Redrawing the boundary between the Metaverse and Web3

Published on:

  • Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash first mentions the concept of a virtual reality world.
  • In 2020 various in-game metaverse items were valued in terms of crypto coins.
  • 5G communications, extended reality, brain-computer interfaces, digital twin, creator economy and AI power metaverse technology. 

With Web3 technology steadily gaining a grip on the digital transformation of Africa, many of its implementations have flooded the tech industry. Its first iteration, cryptocurrency, has taken root in Africa’s ecosystem and has a steady adoption rate. CBDCs are now becoming mainstream in various governments from their lucrative growth. The NFT marketplace has taken a substantial piece of the digital transformation pie in Africa.

Nigeria art has flooded most NFT spaces, further propelling its rapid implementation. Many attribute the metaverse as the most successful application of web3 technology. Unfortunately, the metaverse is slightly different from web3 and further from web2. In truth, there are some similarities and differences, but both concepts share an intertwining nature.

This article will shed light on how the metaverse differs slightly from web3. It’s fundamentally composed of various concepts of web3, but it still has significant differences, many alienating it from falling under such a category.

What makes Web3 revolutionary

Web 3.0 technology is a concept for a decentralized version of the Internet or Web2. Web3Afirca has advocated for deploying blockchain technology beyond the financial service industry. Currently, web2 runs on a client-server architecture. This means that a single entity controls the entire network functionality, creating a single point of failure in web2. For instance, today, the Internet can crash entirely on the world. Its sheer scale may prove some difficulty, but it’s possible to render Web2 obsolete. With enough power and enough attack surface, hackers and cyber terrorists can cripple any web network on web2.

Web3 technology takes a different approach. Its underlying blockchain technology has led to numerous implementations, such as NFT. The concept of NFT gave birth to digital ownership, a feat unattainable with web2 technology. This led to the development of NFT artwork, which led to the commercialization of digital art without fear of piracy. Web3 technology has opened doors for the Internet and developed new business structure forms. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations have established one of Africa’s fastest-growing financial industries; the fintech industry.

Also, Read Blockchain and the Metaverse: A symbiotic relationship with unending possibilities.

Blockchain developers and enterprenuers have come together to create an industry with a total transaction value of $994.40 million in less than two decades.

Main Mission

The vision of Web3 technology is to usurp and replace the Internet. Unfortunately, accomplishing this task is more challenging than shifting between Bing and Google. Essentially Web2 is the backbone of anything and everything intertwined with connectivity. Web3 effectively advocates for a fundamentally different concept from web2, similar t how Web2 differs from web1.

Different components that build up the Web3 technology.[Photo/Medium]
Unfortunately, due to the immense size and applicability of the Internet, to replace its web3 must prove to have the capabilities to achieve the same feats that the Internet has. Remember that client-server architecture has formed the basis of most organizations and concepts. Cloud computing, virtualization, and creating a network from the Web2 web. To achieve it must apply in multiple industries and sectors to build a network from the ground up.

Understanding Metaverse technology

The metaverse concept was once science fiction that many indiviudals could not comprehend. Its realization turned the tech industry upside down, and it became clear to everyone that technology had limitless potential. A global 3D network of virtual reality worlds opens up an entirely new notion of the Internet. Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash first mentions the concept of a virtual reality world. Since then, scientists and filmmakers had tried recreating its idea until recently when Facebook announced its plans to create a global Virtual Reality.

How its works

Developers have built the metaverse with two main components Virtual and Augmented and Mixed Reality. It immerses users in a virtual world that looks eerily similar to the real world. There are various interactions, but it all boils down t using an avatar to interact with the virtual world.

The elements that make up the metaverse technology.[Photo/BBC]
Using VR headsets and controllers is the primary medium for interacting with the metaverse, but it soon became apparent that its potential could expand to other sectors and industries. Corporations such as Meta, Nvidia, Unity, Riblox and Snapchat, among others, have spent billions on building the groundwork for the virtual world. 

Also, Read Use cases of blockchain technology in cyber security.

Initially, when most indiviudals look at the concept of metaverse technology, they mainly think about gaming platforms. In reality, developers originally composed the metaverse to cater to gamers, but soon it became clear that its potential was limitless. As the technology branched out, so did its technology, and soon it heavily relied on Web3 technology to point many initially thought that it was a by-product of blockchain technology.

Intertwining nature between Web3 and Metaverse technology

For some time, many referred to the Metaverse as Web3. This is because the technology had adapted various Web3 technologies so seamlessly that many thought its underlying technology originated from it. One of the few reasons many individuals believe that both are the same is that they are still work-in-progress concepts.

Many individuals in Africa, let alone the world, have yet to understand virtual reality or web3 fully. Most of the time, you search the work web3 and find articles referring to the metaverse. 

One of the main reasons this is so is the adaptive nature of the metaverse. Its ever-expanding environment has incorporated concepts such as the NFT to establish digital ownership of virtual land, clothing and any property. Cryptocurrency is the primary financial system of most metaverse platforms, and it incorporates smart contracts to facilitate all blockchain relates procedures. In 2020 various in-game metaverse items were valued in terms of crypto coins.

The use of NFTs blurred the lines between web3 and Metaverse so much that they termed the global 3D world the nets iteration of the Internet. One of the oldest connections between both technologies is the distributed computing employed in both. Generally, the success of web3 technology and metaverse depends on the user. 

As a result, Web2 and web3 metaverses exist.

Redrwaning the orders between the two.

Despite the similarities between the metaverse and web3, both concepts have a few key differences. To begin with, one significant difference between the metaverse and web3 is that they were initially fundamentally different—Web3 targets blockchain-controlled peer-to-peer controlled facilities.

Web3 technology’s primary goal is to usurp web2 technology. By leveraging other sectors, it can potentially create new decentralized architecture businesses, and industries can use it. On the other hand, the metaverse fundamentally builds on AR, VR and MR/XR. Its main goal is to create a sector that allows creativity and expansion of the human imagination and establishes a platform that can exist in both web2 and web3.

Underlying functionalities

Another critical difference is that Decentralized Autonomous organizations, AI and blockchain technology power web3 technology. On the other hand, 5G communications, extended reality, brain-computer interfaces, digital twin, creator economy and AI power metaverse technology. 

The only similarity in its technology sector is the use of blockchain technology. Many people believe that the metaverse will take over from web2 technology, and unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. The only thing the metaverse is achieving is giving the Internet a new feel or, relatively, a unique user experience.

Also, Read and Understand the importance of the Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 transition.

Another fundamental difference between the metaverse and web3 is its applicability. The metaverse has indeed applied various web3 technologies such as crypto and NFT. Unfortunately, this is where the similarities between the metaverse and web3 end. Web3 technology uses in multiple areas or industries like Crypto, ML, AI and blockchain to attached.

Finally, the most crucial difference is that metaverse technology does not hold up various Web3 principles. Incorporating blockchain technology is one of the few reasons it’s termed a web3 application but lacks in other areas. The first is that metaverse technology needs to uphold the concept of decentralization.

Single entities such as Meta or Microsoft are in charge of the full functionality of any metaverse they incorporate. In addition, it does not uphold web3 privacy.

Giving users complete control over their data is among the core factors web3 technology advocates for. This is because web2 technology has failed numerously to uphold privacy regulations despite promising such. The sheer data of the metaverse make it impossible to give users control of data entirely. This is the final white line to the border, making the metaverse simply a technology borrowing from web3


Despite the similarities and differences between the metaverse and web3, their intertwining nature is irreversible. With more web3 applications continually, it’s only a matter of time before the metaverse completely takes over the web3 franchise.

Read: Blockchain and the metaverse: A symbiotic relationship with unending possibilities                                                 


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Ken Mutuku
Ken Mutuku
Your Guide to the Future of Tech, Web3, and Digital Storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for concise communication, Ken Mutuku is your go-to professional for decoding the next wave of technological evolution. Whether through captivating videos, insightful articles, or engaging presentations, he masterfully crafts messages that deeply resonate with his audience, setting him apart in the digital landscape.