Business programme

Digital Universes: A Market with Limitless Potential or Empty Hype?

16 Jun , 15:00–16:15
Modern Technology for Humanity: Building a Responsible Future

When the Internet began gaining popularity in the 1990s, many people considered it a temporary phenomenon. Sceptics believed that it would not have many users and that companies would still only do business in the physical world. They were wrong. With a slight delay, the Internet became popular in Russia, and now the world wide web is part of our usual way of life. The same could happen with digital universes. Virtual worlds where you can learn, work, have fun, and socialize are already a $350 billion market that grew by more than 20-fold last year alone. And in 15–20 years, when the generation born in the 2020s grows up, most people will have virtual reality glasses, as they do mobile phones now. Such changes are both a challenge and a great opportunity for the government and business. Will digital universes become the ‘new Internet’? How will society change when virtual worlds become part of our lives, as the Internet has now? What position should regulators take towards digital universes? Will regulators change their attitudes towards cryptocurrencies, which will be the main means of payment in digital universes? What should private businesses do right now so that they do not miss out on this attractive and fast-growing market?