2022 has been a torrid time for the crypto markets courtesy of singular catastrophes, but institutional investment in Web3 and blockchain-based projects has not suffered any such downturn. Now, tech giant Samsung has invested over $35 million in Web3 and metaverse experience centered around the Latin American audience.
Samsung has been loosely involved in Web3 with its experience in Decentraland, its official Discord server that rewarded members with NFTs and “other Web3-based wonders”, as well as some public investments and comments by senior figures at the company. If you want to go deep into the weeds, there is also the relationship between Samsung and Qualcomm, and Qualcomm launched a $100m metaverse creator fund earlier this year. So, direct input in Web3 has been mostly window dressing.
Latin America has been one of the quieter success stories in crypto, achieving adoption from citizens similar to that of the Phillippines, but with less romanticism from Western media.
Latin America is the seventh largest cryptocurrency market in our index this year, with citizens of Latin America countries receiving $562.0 billion in crypto from July 2021 to June 2022. This represents a 40% growth over last year’s total. Latin America is also home to five of the top thirty countries in this year’s crypto index: Brazil (7), Argentina (13), Colombia (15), Ecuador (18), and Mexico (28).
Unsurprisingly, this represents an opportunity for investment from major companies and institutions, which given the metaverse and Web3’s foetal status, is a positive. Samsung has earmarked a $35m pot for Latin American metaverse initiatives as part of a marketing strategy that will act as an extension of social media platforms.
What constitutes a “metaverse” project is difficult to say, but in the study referenced in the press release by Samsung, they do identify Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite as potential metaverse platforms. Although none of the three use blockchain technology in any way (and in fact, Minecraft has banned it from community servers), these games do encapsulate multifaceted online experiences and it’s easy to see how they could be considered early prototypes for future metaverses.