Metaverse-NFT overlap is nigh, says Gartner

Man wearing HoloLens 2
Man wearing HoloLens 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The metaverse and NFTs have both been hot topics of discussion in tech circles throughout the first quarter of 2022.
  • Gartner now has a prediction that, by 2026, 25% of people will spend a minimum of an hour per day inside the metaverse.
  • Gartner also predicts that the metaverse's virtual economy will operate on NFTs and crypto.

Metaverse discussion is ramping up, having gone from a phrase scarcely used before October 2021 to a core part of tech jargon that's warranting five-year predictions and outlook reports. The latest of these analyses comes from Gartner, which predicts a lot of metaverse activity by 2026.

Specifically, Gartner forecasts that a quarter of people will be spending a minimum of an hour per day inside metaverse spaces by 2026 and that by that time, 30% of organizations will have metaverse-friendly services and goods.

According to Gartner, the virtual economy of the burgeoning metaverse will be fueled by digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Though many are skeptical about the future of NFTs, others see their potential to define the future of content licensing.

As for the metaverse itself, even if many would still define it as an empty buzzword, there are others who would refrain from dismissing it. Specifically, Gartner's current definition of the metaverse is as follows:

The metaverse is a persistent and immersive digital environment of independent, yet interconnected networks that will use yet-to-be determined protocols for communications. It enables persistent, decentralized, collaborative, interoperable digital content that intersects with the physical world's real-time, spatially oriented and indexed content. Access is currently device-dependent and includes experiences spanning the immersive (augmented, mixed, and virtual reality) spectrum.

And based on that definition, the firm says it doesn't believe the metaverse properly exists yet. In other words, the forecasts it's outlining are for a 2026 landscape that will look substantially different than where we are in 2022. That is to say: Stay frosty for a potential spike in NFT and metaverse activity.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to