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Wealthy Nations Care Little for the Metaverse While Developing Countries Are Optimistic

Developing countries late to the Web2 party show more excitement for the metaverse than countries that are well off
Developing countries late to the Web2 party show more excitement for the metaverse than countries that are well off

The growing anticipation of the metaverse recently prompted Ipsos, a Paris-based market research firm, to hold a poll on behalf of the inter-governmental body World Economic Forum. The survey explored how much of the world believes the metaverse will change lives.

Half of the adults surveyed in 29 countries shared their excitement about interacting with the metaverse, while emerging nations where citizens were late to the Web2 revolution shared a more bullish sentiment. To elaborate, 52% of more than 21,000 adults were familiar with the metaverse, while 50% had positive feelings about engaging with it in daily life.

Respondents from China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia had a more optimistic outlook on the hyper-connected metaverse. China had the highest percentage at 78%, while India followed behind with 75%.

The lowest-scoring countries were the ones with the highest income, with Japan scoring the lowest at 22%, followed by the United Kingdom (26%), Belgium (30%), France (31%) and Germany (31%). In addition, the countries were also less familiar with the concept of the metaverse.

Turkey scored the highest as 86% were familiar with the metaverse while India scored 80%, followed by China at 73% and high-income country, South Korea (27%). Poland was the least familiar with only 27%, the lowest in the poll.

Respondents of the poll were also surveyed on the areas of life they believe the metaverse will impact the most. Developing countries like South Africa, China, and India echoed the same sentiments, citing virtual learning, entertainment, digital socializing and applications like remote surgery would impact people’s lives. Japan, Belgium, and France stood on the opposite side of the poll, hitting the lowest percentage of those who think the metaverse applications would significantly change people’s lives.

Developing countries also showed more enthusiasm toward crypto and blockchain. For example, in an April report from cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, half the respondents in India, Brazil, and the Asia Pacific region purchased their first cryptocurrency in 2021. 

The report made the case that inflation and currency devaluation are what drive crypto adoption in those regions, stating that countries that experienced 50% or more currency devaluation were five times more likely to plan to purchase crypto than countries that experienced less inflation.

Opinions expressed by Coin Week contributors are their own.