Blockchain brings the potential for enterprise business models in Metaverse

Blockchain brings the potential for enterprise business models in Metaverse


Since its inception in 2017, enterprise blockchain has paved its way, making it to the front. What initially began as a technology on permissioned or private networks primary to support supply chain management is now beginning to mature as enterprises are leveraging public networks like Ethereum for conducting business. 


In 2021, enterprises are now applying decentralized concepts for creating more efficient workflows in the Metaverse. Head of Business Development at Chainlink Labs, William Herkelrath, has said that while the Metaverse has become “hard to define”, he believes that it is a collection of ecosystems that have been growing “naturally out of decentralized finance.”


He explained that enterprises need to interact with the outside world, and therefore they would be forced to have ecosystems in the Metaverse in time. He cited an example where consumers would want to use loyalty programs outside of a single platform, wherein they would be more likely to opt for brands that ensure rewards that are usable within other ecosystems. 


The Metaverse would then allow “for data, physical assets, commercial and financial assets to be set up in a layer outside of a centralized environment.”


While the concept of metaverse sounds very futuristic, some enterprises are already leveraging blockchain and beginning to embrace it. The topic was also discussed in-depth at the European Blockchain Convention’s virtual conference held last week, during a panel titled “Building the Enterprise Multiverse.”


Blockchain Lead at Vodafone Business, David Palmer, had mentioned during the discussion that he believes the Metaverse is “much more than a virtual world” where digital experiences can take place via games or social media.


 According to Palmer, the Metaverse is a concept now being applied to finances that are powered by blockchain technology, like the example of central bank digital currencies, NFTs, and DeFi.


Palmer also noted that the missing layer in the Metaverse is a way of transferring virtual transactions to the real world. He noted that a mobile phone would effectively bridge these two worlds together, acting as a middleware. 


He further informed that Vodafone Business is leveraging blockchain for creating digital identities that can be applied in both the Metaverse and in real life, adding that digital identity would “transcend the digital and physical worlds,” just like a digital wallet can contain a bank account, tokens, mortgage information, NFTs and more. 


He highlighted that a decentralized identity would, therefore, also have access to all the aforementioned personal credentials in order to allow individuals to participate in the Metaverse and in the physical world.


Palmer also shared that Vodafone Business has been working on building wallets within mobile devices for hosting virtual identities. The notion of self-sovereign identities in a multiverse also found a mention in a recent Greyscale Research study titled “The Metaverse, Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies.” 


The paper has described self-sovereign identity as an “internet-native social reputation coin (creator coins),” outlining that data from other platforms can be transferred into the Metaverse and simultaneously used for identity or credit scoring.


Head of Global Supply Chain Strategy and Transformation at Telefonica, Angel Garcia, had also explained during the panel that a digital supply chain, especially for the Metaverse, has the potentials of bringing about efficiency for telcos. 


According to Garcia, Telefonica has adopted the approach of creating a blockchain network for use within a Metaverse ecosystem. He added that the company is presently in the process of gathering information in order to improve end-to-end processes, and the next step is automating those business processes to make them centralized for everyone.


Co-founder of Rise X, Rowan Fenn, further mentioned that businesses would have a digital twin of their autonomous organization that can operate, govern and control their analogue processes. Rise X is an enterprise solution for companies that aim for building digital autonomous organizations.


Fenn said that these organizations would be able to interact and transact with each other in real-time inside the Multiverse, and that would allow the digital autonomous organizations to work together in an analogue world.


Fenn elaborated that companies having digital twins in the Multiverse ecosystem would be able to produce more goods and services, while using fewer environmental resources. This kind of business model, he believes, would allow the world to move away “from a finite to an infinite economy.”


While enterprises are typing their hands on exploring early use cases to apply business models within the Metaverse, some sectors have already leveraged these environments. Herkelrath had mentioned that blockchain networks that have been leveraged in the insurance industry demonstrate a Metaverse business model.


Herkelrath also explained that several thousands of insurance contracts are currently being offered to farmers globally through the help of virtual ecosystems. He added that smart contracts that have been built on top of blockchain networks, along with decentralized oracles like Chainlink, have made it easier to solve challenges of transparency within the insurance industry. 


Moreover, it has streamlined the entire insurance procedure making it globally accessible to disenfranchised customers. Although it appears to people that blockchain alone has enabled this, Herkelrath has noted that smart contracts generated by insurance agencies also require data that couldn’t have been gathered without the existence of a Metaverse.


While some firms are beginning to develop business models in the Metaverse, taking the time to understand the industry may hinder fast adoption. Rodolfo Quijano, Head of Blockchain at Germany’s chemical and consumer goods company, Henkel, has mentioned that the biggest challenge to drive adoption is understanding the value that the Metaverse is able to provide to enterprises.


Palmer even added that scalability within a Metaverse enterprise environment is another issue, along with making companies understand how they can transition and engage with the new technology.


Moreover, Palmer is of the belief that companies would question the role blockchain plays when it comes to Metaverse business models. However, he also opines that the technology is “crucial for these use cases.”

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