HIVE Digital and Visual Capitalist released a study in October on the impact of AI and the metaverse on the data sphere, the infrastructure storing and processing our data. Key findings reveal the rising demands for data speed and capacity in the next decade.
Most of what we stream now—music, video, web content, and gaming—has relatively low bitrate needs, with streaming gaming coming in on the high end at 1 Mbps. In contrast, AR, VR, and holograms for the metaverse will require up to 300 Mbps and very low latency (less than five milliseconds) to ensure users don’t experience motion sickness. This means the average household data demand will rise from 27 GB per day to a whopping 644 GB per day, necessitating significantly faster data transfer.
Currently, the global data sphere encompasses 5,065 data centers, with the United States being the world leader with 1,974 centres online (39% of all data centers). The UK (278), Germany (247), Canada (189), and France (167) round out the Top Five, with India (160) and China (87) included in the Top 10 globally.
Data centers adapt by going big, like China Telecom’s Inner Mongolia Information Park, or going small through edge computing to reduce latency, which is vital for self-driving vehicles. Global investment in edge data centers is projected to reach $208 billion in 2023, a 13.1% increase from 2022, according to the report.1
In an October interview, Beniamin Mincu, the CEO of blockchain-based metaverse platform MultiversX, said that Apple’s augmented reality (AR) glasses launched earlier this year may have an advantage over Meta’s virtual reality (VR) Quest headset and smart glasses.
Mincu sees Apple’s focus on a spatial computing approach—which involves processing and interacting with 3D data and encompasses technologies like AR, VR, IoT, and AI—as better suited for the metaverse than Meta’s VR focus. He believes that Apple’s AR glasses may offer a more intuitive experience for users than Meta’s VR headset and glasses. Likewise, Mincu says Apple has an advantage in their approach because Meta’s glasses are limited to a single virtual world, whereas the metaverse concept demands an interactive experience across virtual realms akin to Apple’s AR glasses functionality.
Only time will tell which approach is preferred by the market, but it’s worth noting that MultiversX’s latest technical upgrades aligned with the spatial computing approach to enhance scalability. These upgrades promise a sevenfold increase in transactional throughput, faster confirmation times, and on-chain governance, among other improvements.2
Company Specific Updates
Microsoft Corporation’s shares experienced their most significant surge in three months following the announcement of robust sales. The boost is attributed to a rebound in cloud-computing growth, driven by the increasing demand for new AI products.
In Q1, ending September 30, revenue climbed by 13% to $56.5 billion, marking the highest figure in six quarters and exceeding analysts’ expectations. The company reported a profit of $2.99 per share. Notably, Azure cloud-services sales showed substantial growth, rising by 29%, compared to the previous quarter’s 26% increase.3
However, there were down notes in October. Microsoft discontinued Project Airsim, an AI-based drone simulation software, as well as Project Bonsai, an AI development platform designed for constructing autonomous systems for industrial applications. Both projects were integral components of Microsoft’s “industrial metaverse” vision and were originally aimed at drawing enterprise clients into Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. With the growing AI-fueled demand for Azure, Project Airsim and Project Bonsai were deemed no longer necessary.4
Mattel, Inc. and Gamefam have announced the launch of “Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon” on Roblox. This marks the first official Barbie Roblox game and is a strategic move following a successful beta period that garnered three million unique visits coinciding with the summer release of a Barbie movie.
The game is designed to tap into Roblox’s vast daily user base of 66 million people in the metaverse. “Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon” allows players to create their DreamHouse, explore various careers, and express their fashion creativity.
Embracing the popular “tycoon” genre on Roblox, players can construct a luxurious multi-level DreamHouse, including unique spaces like yoga studios, recording studios, and walk-in closets. The game offers amenities such as movie theatres, game rooms, and even a helipad. Players can interact by visiting each other’s DreamHouses and socialize in the virtual Malibu Town Square.
To keep the experience fresh and engaging, the creators plan to introduce new features and updates, aligning with significant Barbie brand events and other important occasions. This collaboration aims to provide endless entertainment and creativity within the metaverse.5
Investing in the Metaverse with MESH ETF
Looking to invest in the Metaverse? The Evolve Metaverse ETF (MESH ETF), is Canada’s first metaverse ETF.
MESH ETF provides investors with an actively managed diversified portfolio of companies involved in the development of the metaverse. To learn more about MESH ETF, please click here: https://evolveetfs.com/mesh/.
Portfolio Strategy and Activity
For the month, Snap Inc made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Roblox Corp and Microsoft Corp. The largest detractors to performance for the month were eXp World Holdings, followed by Unity Software Inc and Ubisoft Entertainment SA.
- Dickert, C. & Alexander, A., “How AI and the Metaverse Will Impact the Datasphere,” Visual Capitalist, October 5, 2023; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/sp/how-ai-and-the-metaverse-will-impact-the-datasphere/
- Jha, P., “MultiversX eyes metaverse scalability as CEO sheds light on spatial computing,” Cointelegraph, October 19, 2023; https://cointelegraph.com/news/multiverse-x-eyes-metaverse-scalability-ceo-spatial-computing
- Bass, D., “Microsoft Gains After Cloud Growth Drove Revenue Surge,” Bloomberg, October 24, 2023; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-10-24/microsoft-sales-top-estimates-as-cloud-computing-growth-recovers
- Stewart, A., “Microsoft will lay off the team behind AI drone software Project Airsim,” Business Insider, October 25, 2023; https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-shutters-project-airsim-ai-strategy-openai-2023-10
- “Mattel and Gamefam Unveil Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon on Roblox,” BusinessWire, October 3, 2023; https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231003311480/en/Mattel-and-Gamefam-Unveil-Barbie-DreamHouse-Tycoon-on-Roblox