- While blockchain and the metaverse have unique traits, they will work together harmoniously to open up a world of new possibilities.
- Crypto will evolve into an invisible infrastructural layer that supports micropayments and secondary sales, making it easier to transfer money across metaverses and games.
- Even though many metaverse sites provide free accounts, anyone buying or selling virtual goods on blockchain-based platforms must utilize cryptocurrency.
Many individuals have recently alluded to the ‘Metaverse’ as the next great thing. However, although the phrase seems widely used, few people grasp what it truly means. The phrase “metaverse” acquired the first usage in Neal Stephenson’s seminal cyberpunk book Snow Crash, released in 1992. The word “meta” means “beyond,” and “verse” alludes to the “universe.”
The metaverse represents a public virtual shared platform formed by the merger of virtually improved physical reality and persistent virtual space, including all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. The phrase “metaverse” is often used to denote the notion of a future iteration of the internet made up of permanent, shareable, 3D virtual places connected to a perceived virtual world.
The COVID-19 outbreak sparked curiosity in the metaverse. As more people work and study online, there is a greater demand for methods to make online communication more realistic.
In July 2021, Mark Zuckerberg said that the business plans to build a more maximalist model of Facebook that encompasses user engagement, administrative duties, and recreation. On October 28, 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta, indicating its extraordinary dedication to building a virtual world known as a metaverse.
The evolution of the internet
AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google were among the first companies to offer a Web 1.0 platform that allowed people to search, browse, and occupy a network of linked servers and computers. Social media sites, blogging, and the commercialization of user information for advertisement by the centralized administrators of “free” social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok were hallmarks of Web 2.0 around the turn of the century.
As part of the current internet growth, the metaverse stands on Web 3.0. Blockchain-enabled decentralized apps support an economy built on user-owned crypto resources and information on Web3. While blockchain and the metaverse have unique traits, they will work together harmoniously to open up a world of new possibilities.
Characteristics of Metaverse
There is no single metaverse, just as there is no single internet. Nonetheless, science fiction is where the most popular concepts about the metaverse originate. In this view, the metaverse is typically depicted as a digital “jacked-in” internet — a representation of actual reality set in a virtual realm.
Today’s digital world functions similarly to a shopping complex, with each retailer having its cash, distinct ID cards, unique units of measurement for commodities such as calories or shoes, and varied dress codes, among other things. Metaverse, on the other hand, provides exceptional and unparalleled interoperability of data, digital assets, content, and experiences.
Metaverse as an experience encompasses both the digital and physical worlds, as well as private and public networks/experiences and open and closed platforms. Content and experiences generated and run by various contributors, some of whom are self-employed, while others are informally designed or commercially-oriented organizations, fill the experience.
A fully functional economy exists in the metaverse as well. Individuals and corporations may use the economy to create, own, invest in, sell, and get paid for a wide range of actions that provide value that others perceive.
Metaverse operates persistently, with no pauses, ends, or resets. The space continues indefinitely, either concurrently or individually. As a result, everyone may be a member of the metaverse and participate in a specific event/place/activity simultaneously and with their agency in the metaverse.
Furthermore, the metaverse is a live and synchronous realm where pre-planned and self-contained activities occur. The metaverse is a live experience that constantly occurs in real-time for everyone and is identical to “real life.”
Linking Metaverse to Blockchain
In general, the metaverse comprises two types of platforms. The first platform uses cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to build blockchain-based metaverse companies.
Crypto will evolve into an invisible infrastructural layer that supports micropayments and secondary sales, making it easier to transfer money across metaverses and games. There will be several metaverse tokens, but one super currency that can be used in virtually all of them will almost certainly be a USD-pegged stablecoin.
Tokens are essential in a decentralized metaverse because they handle difficulties such as fluctuating exchange values between local currencies and political concerns like sanctions and allow things to be exchanged inside the metaverse. Having to transact outside the metaverse or use intermediaries to verify or control transactions would limit this world’s economic possibilities.
As a result, crypto-based economies will provide actual jobs that are well-paying enough to augment or perhaps replace traditional forms of work in the metaverse.
The metaverse is used in the second platform to define virtual worlds in general, where individuals gather for commerce or leisure. Facebook Inc. declared the intention to launch a metaverse product team in July.
Even though many metaverse sites provide free accounts, anyone buying or selling virtual goods on blockchain-based platforms must utilize cryptocurrency. Some blockchain-based platforms, like Decentraland’s MANA and The Sandbox’s SAND, require Ethereum-based crypto tokens to buy and sell virtual assets.
In Decentraland, users may exchange NFT artworks or charge for attending a virtual event or concert. They can also earn revenue by exchanging land, which has increased in value significantly in recent years. Users on Roblox may charge a fee to other users for admission to their games.Read: Blockchain: A pathway towards sustainable development in Africa
Blockchain’s crucial role in the metaverse
The purpose of the metaverse is to give individuals an augmented reality experience that, in many respects, may outperform actual reality in terms of experiences and possibilities. Because of the relationship with blockchain, the metaverse requires encryption to work correctly.
Blockchain’s ‘unhackability’ and immutability are crucial for any virtual reality system to garner widespread acceptance. Hacks and data breaches are routine, but if individuals are to function online and virtual, the fundamental platform they will operate on must be safe.
Blockchain not only enables quick information confirmation but also enables cryptographically safe and secured transactions. Blockchain and crypto assets are critical to how virtual reality will be deployed.
The metaverse will desire and require transactions to be completed on demand, which blockchain and crypto assets may assist in enabling. Transactions are necessary for a realistic virtual reality environment to function and execute as advertised. These transactions must be both safe and quick. Individuals in this ecosystem need to be able to: a) transact and engage as quickly as if they were in person and b) trust that these transactions will be completed.
Crypto transactions, which are viable and established technologies, allow individuals and institutions to make transactions in a virtual, traceable, and real-time way. However, the trend toward virtual and online payments is expanding even if blockchain and crypto-asset technologies are not used indefinitely. Transacting and engaging in business online has become a mainstream progression that has grown even more prevalent with Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal’s support of crypto payments.
Crypto-enabled payments have become even more common in a virtual environment, such as the metaverse. It stands to reason that such payments will continue to rise to prominence in the future.
The metaverse is still a new and quickly growing field. Still, the basic fact is that blockchain and crypto assets will need to play a crucial role in its future application to enable and realize a fully working metaverse.
A peek into the future of blockchain-metaverse relation
A single organization or firm is not constructing the metaverse. Distinct groupings will create different virtual worlds. The firms will eventually be interoperable, establishing the metaverse.
People will want to bring their belongings as they move between virtual realms. The blockchain will confirm proof of ownership of digital items in both virtual worlds if the two virtual worlds are compatible. Essentially, one may access their crypto assets as long as they can access their crypto wallet within a virtual environment.
Many blockchain-based metaverse systems are still developing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to allow users to interact with their surroundings.
According to PwC, multinational accounting and consulting business, virtual and augmented reality will boost the global economy by $1.5 trillion by 2030, up from $46.5 billion in 2019.
To prepare for the industry’s growth, Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc-owned Google, and Microsoft Corp have invested in cloud computing and virtual reality startups.
Firms that can dominate critical areas, such as enabling systems or services like remittances, subscriptions, or marketing, will make a lot of money, just like corporations who control the internet.