Beyond the Metaverse: 5 Business Opportunities Enabled by Web3

September 03, 2022

Metaverse and more – the future of doing digital business

The web3 revolution is well underway, and businesses are starting to take notice of the opportunities it presents. As with many potentially groundbreaking developments, an early assessment of whether you "need to be there" is difficult for leaders around the globe.

Web3 has the potential to enable a number of new business models and ventures that were not possible before.

A digital cube on which the inscription "Web 3" runs
What are the opportunities and chances of this next innovation boost called Web3? Photo © shutterstock – Alexander56891

In this blog post, digitization expert Martin Giesswein and WU Executive Academy Dean Barbara Stöttinger will explore five metaverse business opportunities enabled by web3. Keep in mind that this is just a small sample – there are many other possibilities out there!

From Web1 to Web3 – and on to Various Metaverses

Web 1 was all about making information widely available. Web 2 was about connecting people.

Web3 is the next generation of the web, where users are in control of their data, and applications are built on decentralized protocols.

A shot of an old laptop running Microsoft Word, with the inscription "I was the future once..."
Web 1.0 was less interactive and former big players have been long forgotten. Photo © pexels – Pedro Santos

While web 2.0 was all about social media and web-based applications, web 3 is all about the Metaverse - a virtual world that is made up of interconnected blockchain-based worlds. It's a bit like the matrix, but instead of being a digital simulation of our world, it's a digital world that exists in its own right.

The metaverse founded by Facebook - now Meta - called "Horizon Worlds" offers users - like in Minecraft - the opportunity to build their own worlds, attend concerts and work together on real projects. "PWC," a consulting firm, invites candidates to participate in the recruiting and assessment process as avatars. In addition to cost savings, the reason for this may also be an attempt to increase the attractiveness as an employer among digitally savvy target groups," says Giesswein.

As web 3.0 technologies continue to evolve, they will open up new opportunities for businesses and individuals alike.

  • For businesses, web 3.0 provides a way to reach out to customers and build relationships with them in new and innovative ways.
  • For individuals, web 3.0 offers a platform for self-expression and creativity that was once unimaginable.

So what is web 3.0? It's the next generation of the web, and it's just getting started.

What web3 opportunities in the metaverse are in various industries?

As the digital economy continues to grow, so too do the opportunities for web3 businesses.

From entertainment and art to healthcare and real estate, there are a myriad of industries that can benefit from the decentralization and transparency of the blockchain.

And with the metaverse providing a virtual space for businesses to operate, the possibilities are endless. Whether it's creating digital storefronts or developing new ways to interact with customers, the metaverse presents a unique opportunity for web3 businesses to thrive.

metaverse web3

So if you're looking to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing, now is the time to start exploring the world of web3 business opportunities.

Here are 5 selected industries for you to take a look at:

Finance Industry

The finance industry has been lagging behind in terms of technology for quite some time now. This is largely due to the fact that the finance industry is a very regulated space. But with the rise of blockchain technology, the finance industry is starting to catch up. And one of the most promising aspects of blockchain technology is web3. 

Portrait Martin Giesswein

Martin Giesswein

  • Digitization Expert

Blockchain technology, which is a supporting pillar of Web3, plays a central role: blockchain is a public, decentralized database that chronologically records user transactions in a transparent way and encrypts this information as it arranges it in data blocks and chains. This way, information and digital value creation can be transferred between users without an intermediary.

Web3 is a decentralized platform that allows for peer-to-peer transactions. This means that there is no need for a middleman, such as a bank, to facilitate the transaction. This cuts out a lot of costs and makes the whole process a lot more efficient. 

But web3 is not just about making things more efficient. It’s also about making things more secure. With web3, all transactions are transparent and immutable. This means that they cannot be tampered with or reversed. 

A symbol of a bitcoin
Are cryptocurrencies seeing a resurgence with Web3? Photo © unsplash – André Francois McKenzie

So far, the finance industry has been slow to adopt web3. But there are a few companies that are starting to explore its potential. And as more and more businesses start to see the benefits of web3, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream in the finance industry.

Arts and Culture

The art industry is no stranger to digital transformation. In recent years, we've seen the rise of digital art, online galleries, and even virtual reality museums. But what's next for the digital art world? Enter web3.

web3 art nft metaverse

With web3, artists and galleries can create a digital identity for themselves and their works. This digital identity can be used to track provenance, authenticate ownership, and even sell works of art online. In addition, web3 technologies can be used to create new opportunities for collaboration and creativity, opening up entirely new possibilities for the art world.

Art, concert tickets, and digital clothing for avatars are digital goods, i.e., copies of things existing in the analog world. They are also referred to as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Digital art in the form of NFTs can be traded and purchased at virtual auctions. An example is the cartoon collection titled “Bored Ape Yacht Club” with a (real-world, not virtual) value of 130,000 euros per image (

At the moment, the world's largest NFT marketplace OpenSea is competing with internet giant Amazon in the web3 presence.

So if you're looking for the next big thing in the art world, keep your eye on web3. It just might be the key to unlocking a whole new world of artistic expression.

Real Estate

Web3 is changing the real estate industry in a number of ways. One of the most exciting developments is the concept of virtual real estate. Just as people can buy and sell virtual property in video games and other online worlds, web3 enables the purchase and sale of virtual property in the physical world. Plots in particularly sought-after locations in the virtual world "Decentraland" go for as much as the equivalent of 200,000 euros.

web3 real estate metaverse

This opens up a whole new world of business opportunities for those involved in the real estate industry. For example, virtual real estate could be used to develop virtual shopping malls, office buildings, or even entire virtual cities. The possibilities are endless!

And best of all, since web3 is still in its early days, there are plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to get involved and innovate which makes metaverses also very attractive for real investors and venture capitalists.

Entertainment and Consumer Goods

The web3 is increasingly being used by media and entertainment companies to create new virtual worlds that blur the line between the physical and digital domains.

For example, popular video game franchises such as "Minecraft" and "Fortnite" have been adapted for use in web3-based virtual worlds, where players can explore, build, and interact with each other in a completely immersive environment. This new form of entertainment in augmented reality is not only highly engaging but also provides a unique opportunity for businesses to reach out to consumers in a more personal and interactive way.

Metaverses are designed to offer virtual reality experiences and encounters as well as social interactions. At the same time, product and brand placement make them interesting for companies.

A woman with a virtual reality headset on
Product and brand placement also exist in virtual worlds. Photo © pexels – Mikhail Nilov

More and more global brands try to attract customers in virtual worlds: Nike is dressing the Nikeland user avatars on the gaming platform Robland, and the luxury brand Gucci has designed a virtual garden fair on the same platform, even selling a limited edition of digital products. (In this case, users ended up reselling these pieces for much more than they were worth in real life; see: Sporting brand Adidas has sold digital clothing for avatars on the largest online NFT marketplace.

As the technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see even more innovative and exciting uses for web3 in the media and entertainment industries.


The healthcare industry is in the midst of a digital transformation, and web3 technology is playing a major role in this. By establishing digital identity solutions, healthcare organizations can navigate the evolving regulatory requirements and make sure that patient data is secure. This can help to improve patient care by making it easier for doctors to access important information.

In addition, web3 can be used to create virtual reality simulations of medical procedures. This can help surgeons to train for complex operations, and it can also be used to provide patients with a more realistic view of what to expect during surgery.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, web3 will become an increasingly important part of it. There are endless possibilities for how this technology can be used to improve the delivery of care and make life easier for patients and doctors alike.

Ultimately, web3 has the potential to transform the healthcare industry by making it more efficient and effective.

How is Web 3 related to the Metaverse?

When we talk about the Metaverse, we're really talking about a digital reality that business leaders can use to their advantage. And web3 is the key to making that happen.

By harnessing the power of the decentralized web, businesses can create virtual worlds that are completely immersive and interactive. This gives them a tremendous opportunity to engage with customers in new and exciting ways. And it's not just businesses that stand to benefit from virtual worlds in the Metaverse. Individuals will also be able to create their own digital realities, opening up all kinds of new possibilities for entertainment and social interaction.

As a digital economy leader, you need to be at the forefront of this trend. Stay ahead of the competition by understanding how Web 3 can benefit your business.

What companies are already active in Web3?

Strategic and operational planning is important for all businesses, but they take on a new level of importance when it comes to web3. In order to be successful in the web3 space, companies need to be strategic about how they approach the opportunities and challenges posed by this new technology. They also need to have a clear understanding of their target market and how to reach them. Many traditional businesses are still struggling to come to grips with these challenges, but there are a few that are already seeing success.

Here are three examples of companies that are actively pursuing web3 business opportunities:

  1. Deloitte: Deloitte is one of the world's largest professional services firms, and it has been at the forefront of global business change for many years. The company has significant experience in helping businesses transition to new technologies, including web3. In addition, Deloitte has a large network of clients and contacts that it can leverage to help its clients succeed in the web3 space.
  2. PwC: PwC is another major professional services firm that is actively involved in web3. The company has developed a dedicated team of experts who are focused on helping businesses navigate the opportunities and challenges posed by this new technology. PwC also has a strong network of clients and contacts, which it can use to support its clients' web3 initiatives.
  3. IBM: IBM is a technology giant that is well-positioned to capitalize on web3 opportunities. The company has been working on blockchain technology for several years, and it has already started to develop products and services that use web3 technology. IBM also has a large network of clients and partners that it can work with to help them take advantage of web3.

What is the Future of Web3 in business?

There's no doubt that the digital economy is here to stay. We've seen it grow by leaps and bounds in recent years, and there are no signs of it slowing down. With that in mind, it's no surprise that web3 is also on the rise.

Web3 is the next generation of the internet, characterized by decentralized solutions and a commitment to privacy and security. For businesses, this presents a unique opportunity to build a more secure and efficient digital infrastructure.

We're already seeing web3 being used to create decentralized exchanges, digital identity management systems, and even new ways of funding startups. With its vast potential, it's clear that web3 will play a major role in shaping the future of business.

How do you build a career in Web3?

The goal of Web3 is to provide a business-driven technology transformation that creates opportunities for new economic activity while leveraging the existing web2 infrastructure. As the web2 business model continues to decline, it's important to re-think how we do business on the internet.

That's where Web3 comes in. By utilizing the power of decentralization, and emerging technologies such as blockchain and IPFS, Web3 provides a new way of doing business on the internet that is more efficient, secure, and trustworthy.

So if you're looking to build a career in Web3, you need to be thinking about how to leverage these technologies to create new business opportunities. Whether that's developing dapps, working on decentralized exchanges or creating new protocols, there are many ways to get involved in this exciting space.

So start exploring and see where you can make your mark in Web3.

Web3 & Metaverse are here to stay

As we’ve seen, web3 is bringing about massive changes in a variety of industries. These changes are providing opportunities for businesses to thrive in the new metaverse economy.

"We are seeing Web3 technologies seeping into our everyday lives - this is the time when everyone, but especially B2C companies, should be looking at the possibilities of future user interactions," says Martin Giesswein. He predicts that surfing the World Wide Web via smartphone or on screens will soon be outdated. "We'll be moving around in virtual or augmented real space in the next five to 10 years - just as we don't leave home without a cell phone today," Giesswein said.

By 2030, Metaverses are expected to generate around five trillion U.S. dollars in value-added, according to estimates by the consulting firm McKinsey. There are also new types of jobs out there. "Operators are building small economies," says Barbara Stöttinger.

Executives should seize the business opportunities of the Metaverse

To executives interested in Web3, Martin Giesswein advises, "Just try it. Create a crypto wallet, borrow a pair of virtual goggles, or test a recruiting assessment using virtual onboarding. Only when you get a taste of it on a small scale can you make an informed decision for the company."

Barbara Stöttinger Portrait

Barbara Stöttinger

  • Dean of the WU Executive Academy

The speed of the spread of Web 2.0 at that time surprised many, especially in Europe. We shouldn't regret again in five years that we also slept through the opportunities of Web3.

That’s not all

If you want to learn more about how to capitalize on these changes and get ahead of your competition, join our short leadership programs.

You’ll hear about the most important developments in the industry and gain insights into how you can start preparing for the future today.

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