Everyone seems to be talking about “the Metaverse” as if it were the next great thing that will change our life if we spend a lot of time online these days. On the other hand, it seems that everyone understands what “the Metaverse” is if they have any understanding.
In Neal Stephenson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, which was initially published in 1992, the phrase “metaverse” was used for the first time. The question is, what exactly is the Metaverse? In the Article, Stephenson refers to the Metaverse, which he always capitalizes in his fiction, as a shared “imaginary realm” that is “made available to the public through the worldwide fiber-optics network” and is displayed on virtual reality goggles. As a result, the expression applies to digital environments augmented or expanded by virtual reality (VR) (AR).
The prefix meta denotes “beyond,” whereas the word “universe” is referred to in verse. Furthermore, some people use the term “metaverse” to refer to virtual worlds where players can roam around and interact with other players. For instance, a world where developers can build buildings, parks, signs, and other things that do not exist is an example of a metaverse world. It consists of enormous light shows that hover in the air important communities (where the rules of three-dimensional spacetime are ignored, and free-combat zones where people can go hunting and kill each other).
The COVID-19 pandemic was the spark that started people thinking about the Metaverse. There has been a growth in the demand for strategies that can make online contact more lifelike in response to the growing number of people working and attending school online.
Mark Zuckerberg announced in July 2021 that the business aims to develop a more maximalist version of Facebook that will incorporate social presence, office work, and entertainment features. On October 28, 2021, Facebook officially changed its name to Meta, reflecting its more significant commitment to developing a virtual world known as a metaverse.
Coins, tokens, and wallets for the Metaverse will be covered in this article, along with blockchain businesses for the Metaverse, crypto metaverse initiatives, and an explanation of how the Metaverse itself functions.
What are the core attributes of a metaverse?
The most widely disseminated ideas about the Metaverse can be found in science fiction. In this perspective, the Metaverse is commonly portrayed as a type of digital internet that has been “jacked in.” This describes the Metaverse as a manifestation of actual reality, but one rooted in a virtual (often amusement park-like) environment. Therefore, the following is a list of the fundamental characteristics of the Metaverse:
- Synchronous and live: The Metaverse will be a live experience that exists continually for everyone and in real-time, precisely as it does in “real life,” even though pre-scheduled and independent activities will take place there.
- Persistent: It never “resets,” “pauses,” or “ends”; instead, it merely keeps playing without stopping for an infinite amount of time.
- Available individually and concurrently: Everyone can be a member of the Metaverse and participate in a particular event, location, or activity at the same time while maintaining their agency inside the Metaverse.
- A fully functioning economy: It should be possible for individuals and corporations to generate, own, invest in, sell, and get compensation for a wide variety of efforts that provide value recognized by others.
- An experience: It ought to extend across not only the digital but also the physical worlds, as well as open and closed platforms, private and public networks, and experiences.
- A wide range of contributors: It should be packed with material and experiences that have been generated and operated by many contributors, some of whom are self-employed. In contrast, others are either informally organized, or businesses focused on commercial activity.
- Offer unprecedented interoperability: It need to provide exceptional info, digital goods or assets, content, and other forms of interoperability across each of the experiences. For example, an automobile designed for Rocket League (or even Porsche’s website) may be moved to Roblox and made to function there. The way things work in today’s digital world is comparable to how a shopping mall operates, with each establishment having its own currency, unique identification cards, specialized units of measurement for things like shoes or calories, and a variety of dress regulations, among other things.
What is not the Metaverse?
Even if the analogies presented above are components of the Metaverse, we cannot consider them to be the Metaverse itself.
Virtual worlds and games that have been around for decades include those filled with “genuine” humans in real time and those populated by characters controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). Therefore, “a virtual world” is not a “meta” universe; instead, it is a fake and synthetic universe that was built to achieve a specific objective (a game).
Similarly, “proto-Metaverses” is frequently used to refer to digital content experiences such as Second Life.
However, specific characteristics of virtual worlds, such as the representation of humans by digital avatars, the absence of game-like goals or skill systems, and virtual hangouts, continue to exist. Even though virtual worlds provide virtually simultaneous content updates, more is needed for the Metaverse. As a result, “a virtual space” is not the same as a metaverse.
The term “virtual reality” (VR) refers to a technology that allows users to experience a simulated environment. It’s not enough to only have a feeling of presence in a virtual environment for there to be a metaverse. A metaverse is neither a game in and of itself nor is it focused on certain goals; even though it may have some goals similar to those of games, feature games, and employ gamification, it is not a game. As a result, we cannot refer to it as “virtual reality” or “a game.”
A metaverse, unlike Disneyland, does not have a centralized programming system, and as a result, it cannot be considered a “virtual theme park.” Similarly, a metaverse is not a “new app store.” Instead, it is fundamentally distinct from contemporary internet and mobile platforms’ principles, design, and objectives.
How does the Metaverse work?
In a general sense, the Metaverse can be split up into two distinct types of platforms.
The first approach is to develop blockchain-based metaverse startups by utilizing nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies. On the Decentraland and The Sandbox platforms, users can buy virtual land and design their environments.
The second group uses the term “metaverse” to refer to virtual worlds, online environments where users can interact socially or professionally. Facebook, Inc. announced in July that it had established a metaverse product team.
Even though many metaverse services offer free accounts, people who buy or trade virtual assets on platforms based on blockchain technology are required to use cryptocurrencies. To buy and sell virtual assets on a number of blockchain-based platforms, such as Decentraland’s MANA and The Sandbox’s SAND, users are required to have crypto tokens based on Ethereum.
In Decentraland, users can buy and sell NFT artworks or charge for a virtual show or concert entry. They can also generate income by trading land, the value of which has significantly increased throughout the past few years. On Roblox, users can make money by charging other users to access games they have created.
What can you do in the Metaverse?
In the crypto metaverse initiatives, users can travel on virtual vacations, shop for digital clothes, and even attend virtual concerts. The Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize the work-from-home shift just as the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching its peak. The free open beta version of Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms is now available for download on Oculus Quest 2 in all regions where Quest 2 is supported.
You and your coworkers will be able to improve the efficiency of your collaboration from any location thanks to Workrooms, a virtual conference room. You can attend a meeting in virtual reality by taking the form of an avatar or by making a video call to the virtual room from your desktop computer or laptop. You can have expressive conversations that feel more like you’re in person by bringing your computer and keyboard into VR, bringing a large virtual whiteboard into VR to work on ideas with others, or bringing a large virtual whiteboard into VR to collaborate on ideas with others.
Nevertheless, technology companies still need to figure out how to integrate their many different web channels. For it to be successful, competing technical platforms will need to agree on a set of standards. This will prevent users from switching between different metaverses, such as the Facebook metaverse, the Microsoft metaverse, and others.
Is crypto the key to the Metaverse?
The purpose of The Metaverse is to provide users with an augmented reality experience that, in many respects, has the potential to be superior to that of physical reality in terms of the experiences and opportunities it affords.
Let’s have a look at the reasons why encryption is necessary for the Metaverse to operate effectively.
For any virtual reality system to achieve widespread adoption, the underlying blockchain must possess such features as unhackability and immutability. Hacks and data breaches are fairly regular, but if individuals are going to operate in an online and virtual world, the platform on which they will be working needs to be secure to prevent them from happening.
Not only does blockchain make it possible to confirm information quickly, but it also makes it possible to conduct transactions in a cryptographically safe and secure way. The utilization of virtual reality will rely heavily on blockchain technology and cryptographic assets in fundamental and indispensable ways.
Continuing from the previous point, the Metaverse will desire and require transactions to be completed on demand, which can be helped via blockchain technology and crypto assets. For a real-world virtual reality environment to perform its functions as described, there will need to be transactions. These dealings have to be done in a safe and almost lightning-fast manner. In this particular environment, the individuals will need to be able to a) engage in transactions and conduct business with the same ease as if they were doing it in person and b) have faith that these transactions will be carried out successfully.
Crypto transactions, both possible and practical, allow individuals and institutions to make transactions in a virtual, traceable manner and in real-time. Despite this, there is a growing tendency toward virtual and online payment methods, which has been occurring despite the widespread use of blockchain and crypto-asset technologies. The practise of making financial transactions and engaging in commercial activities in an online environment had become a mainstream evolution that became even more frequent when Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal began accepting cryptocurrency payments.
Payments made possible through the use of cryptocurrencies grew even more widespread within a virtual environment, such as the Metaverse; therefore, it is only natural to anticipate that such payments will eventually take center stage.
The Metaverse is a field that is currently evolving and is increasing at a rapid pace. Nevertheless, the fact is that blockchain technology and cryptographic assets will need to play a large role in the implementation of the Metaverse to support and actualize a fully working metaverse.
The future of the Metaverse
It is unknown how real a true metaverse that matches actual life can be or how lengthy the process of creating such a metaverse would take. Many blockchain-based metaverse platforms continue to work on augmented and virtual reality technology to enable users to interact with their surroundings.
PwC, a multinational accounting and consulting business, projects that virtual reality and augmented reality will contribute $1.5 trillion to the growth of the global economy by the year 2030, which is an increase from the amount contributed in 2019 of $46.5 billion.
Startups like Facebook, Inc., Google, which is owned by Alphabet, Inc., and Microsoft Corp. have all invested in cloud computing and virtual reality companies in preparation for the growth of these industries.
There will be a lot of money to be made by companies that can monopolize certain regions, such as those that provide supporting platforms or services such as payments, subscriptions, or advertising.