In January, Prager Metis became the first CPA firm to set up shop in the Metaverse. In partnership with Banquet LLC, we opened our three-story digital structure in the Decentraland metaverse platform, where we’re offering real-world accounting, tax, and advisory services.
I’ve been contacted by reporters and other CPA firms ever since.
“Why are you doing this? “Is this a publicity stunt? Do you really think this Metaverse thing will last?”
There has been no shortage of critics outside and inside the firm.
Here’s a simple fact about the Metaverse that often gets lost. It’s a community made up of people. An avatar is an extension of an individual. A virtual city is an extension of a traditional community of people.
To understand this community, we need to be there. People expect us to be invested in their community. They want us to have a presence there. They want us to do business there.
I see the Metaverse as a place where virtual business meets traditional business. In other words, any individual or entity conducting business in the Metaverse needs our services.
The Business Case
In my view, there will be a massive migration of people from the internet to the Metaverse. It’s already happening. People like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates share this view. Like them or not, they know this space better than anyone. Some of the largest brands in the world are planning moves to the Metaverse, while companies like JP Morgan have already followed our lead.
Embracing the Metaverse has enhanced our brand as both a provider of financial services and a thought leader in this space. We’ve been told repeatedly that we’re the only accountants who understand the challenges of doing business in the Metaverse and who speak the language of their community.
We’ve also extended our marketplace, almost infinitely. It’s like entering a new, physical market, but this is a virtual space with no borders. At this point, experts estimate that about 50 million people are in the Metaverse. The growth potential to do business with people all over the world who enter the Metaverse is enormous.
To support our Metaverse presence and services, we’ve created the position of Chief Metaverse Officer. Jerry Eitel is excited to have a major role in this initiative and will ensure that we have a point person for client relations and services.
That’s just the beginning. The Metaverse will be part of our DNA. Our entire team will be educated about what it is, the language, and why it’s important. Instead of being intimidated by the Metaverse, they’ll be able to answer basic questions from clients, who have already begun to ask.
The Road Ahead
Jerry and I were being interviewed about the Metaverse recently, and the person conducting the interview joked that it felt a little weird to be talking to two old guys about the Metaverse. He figured he’d be talking to his kids about it.
I can’t blame him. We may very well be the oldest people in the Metaverse, and we’re okay with that. We’ve found that young people appreciate the knowledge we bring to the table.
After all, the Metaverse isn’t about technology. It’s about people. The success of Prager Metis has always been driven by relationships and our ability to improve people’s lives.
To be clear, there are no experts in the Metaverse. The Metaverse is too new for anyone to claim to be the foremost authority. We’re all learning together. Prager Metis, however, is ahead of the curve.
In fact, we’ve been presented with new business opportunities on a daily basis from people who are either in the Metaverse or considering a move. We’ve already become a valuable resource for people who have domestic and international tax concerns, contractual issues, and questions about cryptocurrency valuations and blockchain.
Prager Metis is better positioned than any other firm to provide guidance and insights in the Metaverse.
A Richer, More Personal Experience
When you compare the Metaverse to how we typically interact with people on the internet today, you can see why the prospects for the Metaverse are so bright. The typical video conference is a flat, one-dimensional experience. You have a bunch of boxes with people who are clearly in different locations and disconnected.
It looks like the Brady Bunch, which is 50 years old.
In the Metaverse, you’ll be able to stand in front of people in the same virtual 3D space, creating a level of intimacy that doesn’t exist when you look at a monitor. Virtual reality will become exactly what the term suggests. Bill Gates has predicted this will happen within three years.
Obviously, I’m excited to be in the Metaverse. The Prager Metis team is excited. We believe it’s the future. In the short-term, new business opportunities are coming fast and furious. In the long-term, we’re developing relationships in the Metaverse community.
Most importantly, what we’re seeing in the Metaverse is real-world business – people-based business. That’s the greatest reward.