General Industry Update

Some of the most innovating uses of metaverse technology in December came from the world of entertainment. 

The Weeknd recently drew over 800,000 virtual attendees to his concert held within Fortnite’s metaverse, showcasing the potential of virtual concerts as technology allows musicians to transcend physical constraints. 

Avatars, even AI-controlled ones, elicit social responses comparable to real-world interactions, creating lasting memories stored in autobiographical memory. While not replacing live events entirely, virtual concerts offer unique benefits, enhancing accessibility for fans with disabilities, for example, and expanding the size of the audience that can attend. How many Swifties would attend a virtual Taylor Swift concert held in the metaverse? Could the internet even handle that much traffic? 

Digitizing performances in the metaverse also provides artists with unprecedented control over self-expression, allowing for creative feats like animal embodiments and spectacles of elaborate stage set-ups not possible in the real world.¹

Moreover, the metaverse can offer musicians digital immortality. 

After a 50-year career, veteran rockers KISS are retiring, but that doesn’t mean they will stop performing. KISS now has 3D digital avatars created by George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic that will carry on their legacy. The KISS avatars already performed the final song of KISS’ live Madison Square Garden show, and discussions for a KISS avatar tour are underway. Expected to take two-to-three years to organize, the KISS avatars could also potentially expand into gaming or new entertainment platforms, according to the band’s management. The initiative reflects a strategic approach to using the metaverse to prolong the band’s cultural impact.²

A similar digital avatar strategy by pop group ABBA has been generating more than $2 million a week for the last 15 months for a 99% sold-out run in London. Discussions are underway to bring the show to Las Vegas, New York, Singapore, and Sydney, with all shows running at the same time—a feat no human artist could accomplish.³

With more than half of millennials and Gen Zers expressing interest in virtual concerts, there is a growing demand that musicians would be wise to consider in developing their avatar strategies to connect with fans in the metaverse.⁴

Company Specific Updates

Coinbase Global Inc

Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange giant, expanded its services globally by introducing spot crypto trading on its international platform in December. This move signifies the company’s strategic push beyond the U.S., with spot trading phased in gradually on the international exchange, initially focusing on derivatives. The rollout commenced with bitcoin and ether trading against the USDC stablecoin, catering primarily to institutional clients. The surge in Bitcoin’s value, doubling over the course of 2023 and reaching a 20-month high in December, is attributed to the anticipation surrounding the approval of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in early 2024. In tandem with Bitcoin’s rise, Coinbase’s own shares have quadrupled in value this year.⁵

Source: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

As the metaverse gains prominence, cryptocurrencies are poised to play a pivotal role in digital economies, offering growth prospects for Coinbase Global. JMP Securities, expressing confidence in Coinbase’s trajectory, drew parallels between the position of Coinbase and Amazon in its earlier years, underscoring the potential for sustained success.⁶ 

Tencent Holdings Ltd

Epic Games (40% of which is held by Tencent) is expanding into the metaverse with three new internally developed games. Epic Games debuted its enhanced Fortnite at a New York City showcase, introducing Lego Fortnite, a collaborative survival and building game, Rocket Racing, an arcade racing game by Psyonix (acquired by Epic in 2019), and Fortnite Festival, a multiplayer music game by Harmonix (acquired in 2021). The games, running on the same code-base, were not initially planned for simultaneous release but aligned due to delays, creating a strategic moment for Fortnite as a convergence point for developers, customers, and partners. Epic aims to have top global teams develop diverse games within Fortnite, emphasizing its evolution into a comprehensive metaverse. The three games will incorporate user-made creation tools, encouraging a broader user base beyond Fortnite’s traditional Battle Royale combat mode.⁷

Image Credit: Lego Fortnite. Image: Via Epic Games

MESH ETF: Investing in the Metaverse

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: 

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, Coinbase Global Inc made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Unity Software Inc and Snap Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were NetEase Inc, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Ubisoft Entertainment SA. 



  1. Pimentel, D., “The Weeknd’s Avatar Can Be as Good as the Real Thing,” Bloomberg, December 12, 2023;
  2. Lindeberg, R., “KISS Avatars Go On Tour After Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons Retire,” Bloomberg, December 2, 2023;
  3. Shaw, L., “‘ABBA Voyage’ Is Making $2 Million a Week With an Avatar Band,” Bloomberg, September 4, 2023;
  4. Pimentel, D., “The Weeknd’s Avatar Can Be as Good as the Real Thing,” Bloomberg, December 12, 2023;
  5. “Coinbase’s international exchange to launch spot crypto trading,” Reuters, December 13, 2023;
  6. “JMP Securities bullish on Coinbase (COIN) – sees same attributes that were present in Amazon decades ago,” Street Insider, December 22, 2023;
  7. Totilo, S., “Epic adds Lego mode to Fortnite, putting action behind metaverse talk,” Axois, December 7, 2023;
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Tags coinbase global  cryptocurrency exchange  digital avatar  Fortnite  MESH ETF  virtual concerts