The connections between the financial, virtual, and physical worlds have become increasingly linked. The devices we use to manage our lives give us access to almost anything we want at the touch of a button. The crypto ecosystem hasn’t escaped this either. NFTs, blockchain games, and crypto payments aren’t just limited to crypto geeks anymore. They’re now all easily available as part of a developing metaverse.
- What is Metaverse?
“The metaverse is a concept of an online, 3D, virtual space connecting users in all aspects of their lives. It would connect multiple platforms, similar to the internet containing different websites accessible through a single browser. “
- Who created Metaverse?
The concept was developed in the science-fiction novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. However, while the idea of a metaverse was once fiction, it now looks like it could be a reality in the future.
The metaverse will be driven by augmented reality, with each user controlling a character or avatar. You can already see some aspects of the metaverse in existing virtual video game worlds. Games like Second Life and Fortnite or work socialization tools like Gather.town bring together multiple elements of our lives into online worlds. While these applications are not the metaverse, they are somewhat similar. The metaverse still doesn’t exist yet.
Besides supporting gaming or social media, the metaverse will combine economies, digital identity, decentralized governance, and other applications. Even today, user creation and ownership of valuable items and currencies help develop a single, united metaverse. All these features provide blockchain the potential to power this future technology.
- Concept of Metaverse:
The metaverse is a concept of a persistent, online, 3D universe that combines multiple different virtual spaces. You can think of it as a future iteration of the internet. The metaverse will allow users to work, meet, game, and socialize together in these 3D spaces.
The metaverse isn’t fully in existence, but some platforms contain metaverse-like elements. Video games currently provide the closest metaverse experience on offer. Developers have pushed the boundaries of what a game is through hosting in-game events and creating virtual economies.
Although not required, cryptocurrencies can be a great fit for a metaverse. They allow for creating a digital economy with different types of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs). The metaverse would also benefit from the use of crypto wallets, such as Trust Wallet and MetaMask. Also, blockchain technology can provide transparent and reliable governance systems.
Blockchain, metaverse-like applications already exist and provide people with liveable incomes. Axie Infinity is one play-to-earn game that many users play to support their income. SecondLive and Decentraland are other examples of successfully mixing the blockchain world and virtual reality apps.
When we look to the future, big tech giants are trying to lead the way. However, the decentralized aspects of the blockchain industry is letting smaller players participate in the metaverse’s development as well.
- Connection of Video Games With Metaverse:
The emphasis on 3D virtual reality, video games offer the closest metaverse experience currently. This point isn’t just because they are 3D, though. Video games now offer services and features that cross over into other aspects of our lives. The video game Roblox even hosts virtual events like concerts and meetups. Players don’t just play the game anymore; they also use it for other activities and parts of their lives in “cyberspace”.
For Example: In the multiplayer game Fortnite, 12.3 million players took part in Travis Scott’s virtual in-game music tour.
- How do you prepare for Metaverse?
One of the easiest ways you can start learning about the Metaverse is to pay attention to the gaming community and even start playing games like Roblox with your kids. In many ways, the younger Gen Z and Gen Alpha already understand how their digital reality connects to their physical reality better than most of us do.
- Crypto And Metaverse:
Crypto metaverses are immersive virtual words with immense social and financial potential. Their use of blockchain Infrastructure enables them to tap into the wider crypto economy, making items exchangeable for real economic value.
Gaming provides the 3D aspect of the metaverse but doesn’t cover everything needed in a virtual world that can cover all aspects of life. Crypto can offer the other key parts required, such as digital proof of ownership, transfer of value, governance and accessibility. But what do these mean exactly?
If, in the future, we work, socialize, and even purchase virtual items in the metaverse, we need a secure way of showing ownership. We also need to feel safe transferring these items and money around the metaverse. Finally, we will also want to play a role in the decision-making taking place in the metaverse if it will be such a large part of our lives.
- Digital proof of ownership:
By owning a wallet with access to your private keys, you can instantly prove ownership of activity or an asset on the blockchain.
For example: you could show an exact transcript of your transactions on the blockchain while at work to show accountability. A wallet is one of the most secure and robust methods for establishing a digital identity and proof of ownership.
- Digital collectibility:
Just as we can establish who owns something, we can also show that an item is original and unique. For a metaverse looking to incorporate more real-life activities, this is important. Through, NFTs, we can create objects that are 100% unique and can never be copied exactly or forged. A blockchain can also represent ownership of physical items.
- Transfer of value:
A metaverse will need a way to transfer value securely that users trust. In-game currencies in multiplayer games are less secure than crypto on a blockchain. If users spend large amounts of time in the metaverse and even earn money there, they will need a reliable currency.
The ability to control the rules of your interaction with the metaverse should also be important for users. In real life, we can have voting rights in companies and elect leaders and governments. The metaverse will also need ways to implement fair governance, and blockchain is already a proven way of doing this.
Creating a wallet is open to anyone around the world on public blockchains. Unlike a bank account, you don’t need to pay any money or provide any details. This makes it one of the most accessible ways to manage finances and an online, digital identity.
- Future of Metaverse:
Facebook is one of the loudest voices for the creation of a Metaverse.Mark Zuckerberg has explicitly mentioned his plans to use a metaverse project to support remote work and improve financial opportunities for people in developing countries. Facebook’s ownership of social media, communication, and crypto platforms give it a good start combining all these worlds into one. Other large tech companies are also targeting the creation of a metaverse, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google.
When it comes to a crypto-powered metaverse, further integration between NFT marketplaces and 3D virtual universes seems like the next step. NFT holders can already sell their goods from multiple sources on marketplaces like OpenSea and Bakery swap but there isn’t yet a popular 3D platform for this. At a bigger scale, blockchain developers might develop popular metaverse-like applications with more organic users than a large tech giant.
While we don’t yet have a single, linked metaverse, we have plenty of platforms and projects similar to the metaverse.
Typically, these also incorporate NFTs and other blockchain elements. Let’s look at three examples:
SecondLive is a 3D virtual environment where users control avatars for socializing, learning, and business. The project also has an NFT marketplace for swapping collectibles. In September 2020, SecondLive hosted Binance Smart Chain’s Harvest Festival as part of its first anniversary. The virtual expo showcased different projects in the BSC ecosystem for users to explore and interact with.
Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game that’s provided players in developing countries an opportunity to earn consistent income. By purchasing or being gifted three creatures known as Axies, a player can start farming the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) token. When sold on the open market, someone could make roughly $200 to $1000 (USD) depending on how much they play and the market price.
While Axie Infinity doesn’t provide a singular 3D character or avatar, it gives users the opportunity for a metaverse-like job. You might have already heard the famous story of Filipinos using it as an alternative to full-time employment or welfare.
Decentraland is an online, digital world that combines social elements with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and virtual real estate. On top of this, players also take an active role in the governance of the platform. Like other blockchain games, NFTs are used to represent cosmetic collectibles. They’re also used for LAND, 16×16 meter land parcels that users can purchase in the game with the cryptocurrency MANA. The combination of all of these creates a complex crypto-economy.
While a single, united metaverse is likely a long way off, we already can see developments that may lead to its creation. It looks to be yet another sci-fi use case for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. If we will ever really reach the point of a metaverse is unsure. But in the meantime, we can already experience metaverse-like projects and continue to integrate blockchain more into our daily lives.