DecentWorld CEO: Metaverse Hype Is Over. The Demand Is Not

Lucy Len-Stankus talks about how DecentWorld survived a challenging bear market and why metaverses will be a big future hit.

DecentWorld metaverse CEO Lucy Len-Stankus posing in front of the virtual world background.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

Metaverse hype may have faded, but this does not change the fact that there is considerable interest in what the technology offers, assures Lucy Len-Stankus, the CEO of DecentWorld.

The project she runs emerged in the early days of the recent bear market and evolved into a stand-alone metaverse platform in the industry a year later. 

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The CEO tells DailyCoin how the young project survived the challenging market and shares her insights on why metaverses will be a big hit in the future.

Bear Market Brings in Creativity

When Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook revealed plans to invest over $10 billion into its virtual reality space and rebranded to Meta in autumn 2021, metaverse hype hit fever pitch. Tech giants joined the race, and experts predicted the metaverse ecosystem would reach a $5 billion value by 2030. 

However, 2022 changed everything. Global economic slowdown, tighter financial conditions, and massive job cuts at big tech companies shook the industry. Metaverse platforms lost nearly 96% trading volume, dropping from $49.2 billion to $2 billion within a year. The latest buzzword was swiftly replaced by a new hype – artificial intelligence (AI).

But such harsh economic conditions also marked the beginning of DecentWorld, a real-world-based 3D metaverse platform that experienced different user sentiments from the majority of the industry.

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“Building in a bear market is a survival of the fittest situation. Combined with the metaverse losing its momentum, we have a context that pushes projects for unorthodox approaches,” shares Len-Stankus.

Despite that, she’s certain that even in difficult times, projects can find solutions that work. 

“Bear markets bring innovation because people get the most creative when presented with tough situations. And the same goes for projects.” 

Making AI Work for You

The failure of Meta’s metaverse vision dampened the future for many of the technology’s proponents. But the main reason global attention shifted away from the metaverse was the rise of AI. 

The new trending technology took all the spotlight. Still, for DecentWorld, it meant adaptation and opportunities. As Lucy Len-Stankus says, embracing it was significantly more beneficial than resisting technological evolution.

The metaverse platform she runs included the usage of AI in its day-to-day tasks and implemented it in the product itself, which helped increase the team’s level of AI expertise faster.  

“The people who are afraid are gonna lose this game. You snooze, you lose. I didn’t want our team to be snoozing. Therefore, I’m pushing them to use AI every day more and more. That’s how we are stronger. Part of DecentWorld is now operated by AI, which is beneficial both for us and our customers.” 

Unique Concept Forms Part of Success 

DecentWorld established its presence as a 3D virtual world with features like gaming and digital real estate. It also acts as a gateway to metaverses for businesses, primarily catering to the luxury sector.

According to its CEO, a unique concept served as a valuable asset during the bear market. It allowed the platform to distinguish itself from competitors even in challenging economic conditions.

The strategic approach has paid off. A year after its launch, DecentWorld stands out as one of a kind in the metaverse industry. 

“After attending many international events and, obviously, doing our own research and due diligence, we saw that there is no such platform like ours. This makes it easier for us to position ourselves in the market.”

Venture Capitalists Invest During Bear Markets

Although the bear market is a challenging time, metaverse businesses should not see it as a setback, believes Len-Stankus. Instead, they should treat it as an opportunity to prepare themselves for the future. 

In her opinion, a bear market is a perfect time for regrouping, evaluating long-term strategies, polishing the product, and ensuring that all the systems are in line for times when the market rebounds.

“Bear markets don’t last forever. Buy low so that you can sell high later. For businesses, it is time to invest,” she asserts.

The downtrend is the time when venture capitalists (VCs) also make their investments. Thus for the DecentWorld metaverse, born in the early stage of the bears, securing additional investments has never been a question. VCs have always shown their interest in it, the CEO reveals. She sees building a strong and loyal base of supporters as a far greater task.

Users Are Interested, Retaining Them Poses a Challenge 

Since the first days of the crypto bear market, one of the industry’s leading metaverses, Decentraland (MANA), lost more than 94% of its value. The trading volumes accordingly shrank, indicating the risk aversion of the bull market investors. 

Chart of Decentraland (MANA) price.
Source: CoinMarketCap

Other industry players, like The Sandbox (SAND), Gala (GALA), and Axie Infinity (AXIE), also saw a decline in trading volumes and value. None of their market value has yet recovered to the pre-bear market level.

According to Len-Stankus, such a situation is temporary, and a bear market decrease does not mean the demand for metaverses has vanished.

Although their first year of existence was marked by product development, the brand-new metaverse gained tens of thousands of users from across the globe.

“We do see a very good and positive conversion in South American markets. Users there are very open to Web3 and are seemingly thirsty for 3D entertainment. We also see that the majority of general Western markets are very open and willing to engage. They are looking for such experiences.”

However, the growth of the user base is only one part of the story. As users often seek thrills and exclusive experiences, keeping them satisfied and engaged becomes challenging for metaverse platforms.

Therefore projects must find ways to develop new and more tailored services, says Len-Stankus. In DecentWorld’s case, this was the very individual customer support that helped to keep users loyal. She strongly supports the idea that metaverse platforms should focus on the communication and narratives they build with their communities.

“Here comes the art of storytelling. You have to create a compelling story in order for them to see the future the way we know it will be.” 

Institutions May Trigger Adoption of NFTs

With more and more institutions adopting blockchain technology, their acceptance and use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are expected to be one of the most significant factors that could trigger a revival of the metaverse industry. 

According to the CEO of DecentWorld, the first stage of blockchain adoption on the institutional level is over, with numerous countries already developing their national digital currencies on the blockchain.

Meanwhile, the proof-of-ownership topic is still a big issue, and the next stage of institutional blockchain adoption may focus on it.

Len-Stankus gives current registry centers as an example. Visiting institutions to provide ownership of certain types of assets is becoming outdated, and the ownership information is not always safe and secure.

However, if institutions like registry centers could establish a secure proof-of-ownership through the creation and adoption of NFTs, this would revolutionize how assets are authenticated and transferred.

“I believe that on the institutional level, translating valuables into NFTs, in order to have this registry of ownership, is the next logical stage for blockchain.” 

Hardware Evolution Holds Back Future Potential

Apart from institutional adoption, the fast-evolving AI is also often named as one of the key catalysts that could fuel the mainstream adoption of metaverses. First and foremost, changes in people’s habits will significantly contribute to this.

“People are gonna have more spare time because their job role is gonna be different. If people have spare time, they will fill it. I would say the metaverse is gonna fill in that void with the experiences it can bring.” 

She further believes that metaverse adoption will not only bring entertainment to daily activities; it will simplify multiple types of experiences. Shopping online will mean walking around immersive and very visual 3D stores and trying out products. In short, real-life experiences without leaving home. 

“For me, this is about emotions, about time well spent. This is one of the biggest values that the metaverse brings.” 

She sees the limitations of physical technology as the main factor holding back the progress of the metaverse. However, with the rise of artificial intelligence, this obstacle might get overcome faster.

“AI is going to bring Web3 sooner than expected. If hardware weren't part of this formula, I’d say AI would bring the metaverse to our doorstep five times faster. So if it were ten years, I would give it two years because AI is very powerful and fast developing.” 

In her opinion, having quantum computing already available would bring significant advantages to the industry.  At present, these and similar technologies could be the only options for making processors faster and ensuring widespread access to metaverses.

However, until that happens, it is important to realize that a bear market is not the end of the market. 

“It’s just a phase that will end sooner or later. We have to be prepared for the moment when it suddenly spikes,” the CEO of DecentWorld concludes.

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Simona Ram

Simona Ram is a senior journalist at DailyCoin, based in Lithuania, who covers the forces and people shaping the Web3 industry and the areas where decentralized crypto assets meet the centralized world. She has experience in business communication within the financial sphere and has a degree in Foreign Languages, which helps her interact effectively with sources from diverse backgrounds. In her free time, Simona enjoys exploring new cultures.