What Is the Metaverse?

The Beginner’s Guide

The metaverse is a persistent online 3D world concept that combines multiple virtual worlds. You can think of the meta-universe as the future of the internet. meta universe; will allow users to work, meet, play and socialize in these 3D worlds.

The meta-universe isn’t fully implemented, but some platforms contain meta-universe-like elements. The closest experience to the meta-universe is currently offered by video games. Developers have expanded the concept of gaming by hosting in-game events and creating virtual economies.

While not essential, cryptocurrencies can be very suitable for a meta universe. Cryptocurrencies allow the creation of a digital economy with different types of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs). Meta universe can also benefit from the use of crypto wallets such as Trust Wallet and MetaMask. Also, blockchain technology can offer transparent and reliable governance systems.

Meta universe-like blockchain applications already exist and offer people incomes to make a living. Axie Infinity is a “play-to-win” game that many users play to earn more income. Second Life and Decentraland are other successful examples that combine the blockchain world with virtual reality applications.

Looking to the future, big tech giants are trying to lead the way. However, the decentralized nature of the blockchain industry also allows smaller players to take part in the development of the metaverse.

Metaverse

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 the definition of a metaverse?

Metaverse is a concept of an online, 3D, virtual world that connects people in all aspects of their lives. Just as the internet can access different websites with a single browser, the metaverse will connect many platforms.

The concept was developed in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Parasite. But the metaverse, once a fictional idea, now seems to become reality in the future.

At the core of the metaverse will be an augmented reality where each user controls a character or avatar. For example, you can hold a meeting in your virtual office with an Oculus VR headset, finish your work, relax with a blockchain-based game, and then manage your finances and crypto portfolio while staying completely inside the metaverse.

You can see some aspects of the meta-universe in existing virtual video game worlds. Games like Second Life and Fortnite or work socializing tools like Gather.town bring multiple elements of our lives into the online worlds. These apps are similar to some extent, if not meta-universe. It has not been implemented yet.

Besides supporting games or social media, it will bring together economies, digital identity, decentralized governance and other applications. Even today, ownership and user creation of valuables and currencies contribute to the development of a unified, single commodity universe. All these features allow blockchain to power this technology for the future.

Why are video games tied to the metaverse?

Because of its emphasis on 3D virtual reality, video games currently offer the closest experience to the meta-universe. But that’s not just because these games are 3D. Now video games offer services and features that intersect with other areas of our lives. Roblox even hosts virtual events like video games, concerts, and meetups. Players not only play the game, but also use the game for other activities and different areas of their lives within the “cyber world”. For example, in the multiplayer Fortnite game, 12.3 million users participated in Travis Scott’s virtual in-game music tour.

How does crypto fit into the metaverse?

The game world offers the 3D aspect of the meta-universe but does not contain everything needed in a virtual world that can encompass all aspects of life. Crypto; digital proof of ownership can offer other essential parts such as value transfer, governance and accessibility. So what exactly does this mean?

In the future, if we can work, socialize, or even buy virtual items within the meta-universe, we will need a secure way to show ownership. We also need to feel safe when transferring these items and money within the meta-universe. Finally, we may also want to play a role in decision-making processes within the meta-universe if it is to be such a large part of our lives.

Some video games already include some basic solutions, but many developers instead use crypto and blockchain as a better option. Video game development is more centralized while blockchain offers a decentralized and transparent way of dealing with these issues.

Blockchain developers are also influenced by the video game world. Gamification is common in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and GameFi (game finance). In the future, it looks like there will be enough similarities to allow these two worlds to become even more integrated. The main features of blockchain suitable for the meta-universe are:

1. Digital proof of ownership

By having a wallet that provides access to your private keys, you can instantly prove ownership of an activity or asset on the blockchain. For example, you can show a complete breakdown of your transactions to show your financial obligation while at work. A wallet is one of the most secure and powerful methods for digital identity and proof of ownership.

2. Ability to collect digital

Just as we can prove who owns something, we can also show that a product is original and unique. This is very important for a meta-universe that aims to incorporate more real-life activities. Through NFTs we can create objects that are 100% unique and can never be exactly copied or imitated. A blockchain can also represent ownership of physical items.

3. Transfer of value

Metaverses will need a secure way to transfer value that users can trust. In multiplayer games, in-game currencies are less secure than crypto on the blockchain. If users are going to spend a lot of time in the meta universe and even make money from it, they will also need a reliable currency.

4. Governance

For users, the ability to control the rules of their interaction with the meta-universe is also important. In real life, we can have a vote within a company and elect executives. The meta-universe will also need ways to ensure fair governance, and blockchain is already a proven way to do that.

5. Accessibility

Anyone around the world can create a wallet on public blockchains. Unlike a bank account, you don’t have to pay any fees or share information. This makes blockchain the most accessible way to manage your financial activity and an online, digital identity.

6. Interoperability

Blockchain technology is increasing the compatibility of different platforms. Projects such as Polkadot (DOT) and Avalanche (AVAX) allow creating personalized blockchains that can interact with each other. A singular meta-universe will need to connect multiple projects, and blockchain technology already has the solutions for that.

What is a metaverse job?

As we mentioned earlier, the meta-universe will combine all aspects of life in one place. While many people are currently working from home, you can enter a 3D office in the meta-universe and interact with your colleagues’ avatars. Your job may also be associated with the meta universe and allow you to generate income that you can use directly in the meta universe. In fact, such works already exist in a similar form.

GameFi and its “play and win” models provide a stable income stream for people around the world. These online jobs are great candidates for bringing the future meta-universe to life as they demonstrate that people are willing to spend time living and earning in virtual worlds. “Play-to-win” games like Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained don’t even have 3D worlds or avatars. But in principle they can be a part of the meta universe purely as a way of making money in the online world.

Examples

While we do not yet have a single connected meta-universe, there are many platforms and projects similar to meta-universes. These often include NFTs and other blockchain elements. Let’s examine three examples:

Second Life

‌Second Life is a 3D virtual environment where users manage their avatars to socialize, learn and do business. The project also has an NFT marketplace for trading collectibles. Second Life also hosted the Harvest Festival in September 2020 as part of Binance Smart Chain’s first anniversary celebration. The virtual expo showcased different projects on BSC for users to review and interact with.

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a “play-to-win” game that offers users from developing countries the opportunity to earn a stable income. Players can start farming Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens by purchasing creatures known as Axie or using three of the initially gifted ones. When sold on the open market, one can earn from around 200 USD to 1000 USD depending on how much one plays and the market price of the token.

While Axie Infinity doesn’t offer a single 3D character or avatar, it does offer users a meta-universe-like job. You may have heard that the people of the Philippines use this game as an alternative to their full-time job or to increase their income.

Decentraland

Decentraland is an online digital world that combines social elements with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and virtual real estate. In addition, players can take an active role in the governance of the platform. Similar to other blockchain games, NFTs are used to represent collectibles for appearances. NFTs are also used for LAND, which are 16-by-16-meter plots of land that users can purchase in-game with the MANA token. The combination of all this creates a complex crypto economy.

What is the future?

Facebook is one of the biggest supporters of the creation of a unified meta universe. This support is particularly interesting for a crypto-backed meta universe due to Facebook’s Diem stablecoin project. Mark Zuckerberg has openly talked about his plans to use a meta-universe project to support remote work and improve the financial opportunities of people from developing countries. Facebook’s ownership of social media, communication and crypto platforms gives it an edge in combining all of this in one place. Other big tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google also aim to create the meta universe.

Further integration of NFT marketplaces and 3D virtual worlds seems to be the next step when it comes to crypto-backed meta-universe. NFT owners can already sell their products from multiple sources in marketplaces such as OpenSea and BakerySwap, but there is not yet a popular 3D platform to do so. On a larger scale, blockchain developers can develop popular meta-universe-like apps with more organic users than a tech giant.

Closing thoughts

Although a single, unified meta-universe has a long way to go, we are already seeing developments that could bring this concept to life. The meta-universe seems to be another sci-fi use case for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. It is still unclear whether we will reach the point of creating a meta-universe. But during this time, we can experience meta-universe-like projects and continue to incorporate blockchain more and more into our daily lives.

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