The hype for the metaverse and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) is much higher in developing countries than in those with higher incomes, according to a survey conducted for the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Market research company Ipsos published the results of the survey on Wednesday, showing that the concept is already widely recognized: 52% of the more than 21,000 adults surveyed in 29 countries are familiar with the metaverse and 50% have feelings positive about its use in everyday life.
China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Colombia were the five countries in which two-thirds or more of those surveyed said they had positive feelings towards the metaverse.
China is the country with the highest percentage, with 78% positive feelings towards daily use of the metaverse, followed by India, with 75%.
The lowest scoring countries, where less than a third of respondents were positive about the metaverse, were also the highest income countries.
Japan is the lowest scoring country, with only 22% feeling positive, followed by the UK (26%), Belgium (30%), Canada (30%), France (31%) and Germany (31%). ).
Interestingly, the concept was less well known in higher income countries as well, with less than 30% in France, Belgium and Germany.
Turkey is the country most familiar with the metaverse, with 86%, followed by India (80%), China (73%) and South Korea, the country with the highest income (71%). Poland had the lowest score, with 27%.
Respondents were also asked about the areas of life they believe the metaverse will have the most impact on. Developing countries such as South Africa, China and India agreed that areas such as virtual learning, entertainment, digital socialization and even applications such as remote surgery would have an impact on people’s lives.
Once again, respondents from high-income Japan, Belgium, and France had the lowest percentages of those who agreed that metaverse apps would significantly change people’s lives.
Developing countries appear to be more enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general, according to an April report from cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, which noted that half of those surveyed in India, Brazil and the Asia-Pacific region bought their first cryptocurrency in 2021.
The report argues that inflation and currency devaluation are the drivers of cryptocurrency adoption in those regions, stating that residents of countries that experienced a currency devaluation of 50% or more were five times more likely to plan to buy cryptocurrencies than countries that experienced lower inflation.
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