The concept of metaverse has been around for some time now. But recently, it has risen to the center stage of technological innovation, thanks to developments in the emergent blockchain-cryptocurrency sector. Our interactions with and over digital ecosystems could witness radical change because of this.
It follows from above that we must thoroughly understand the concept, as it’s poised to be a significant part of our lives in the coming years. For example, metaverse-related products have the potential to achieve a global market capitalization of $1.5 trillion by 2030.
More significantly, metaverses are increasingly contributing to the ongoing revolution in blockchain-powered Decentralized Finance (DeFi).From digital clothing to diverse collectibles, an entire gamut of products and services is going online. And unless you wish to miss out, it’s better to catch up.
Neal Stephenson was the first to popularize the concept of metaverse when he used the term in his book, Snow Crash (1992). For him, it was the next phase in the Internet’s evolution, where reality and digital networks become intertwined. Partly because of this origin, besides its innate prospect, the visionaries of Web 3.0 — or, decentralized and peer-to-peer web — reappropriated the concept. And today, the term’s dominant usage is primarily in this context.
Still, feeling confused? Check out some cinematic depictions of the metaverse. Stephen Spielberg’s Real Player One (2018) is a great example in this regard. The plot of this movie is set in a vast, gamified metaverse, namely the Oasis.
Interestingly, in real life as well, the gaming industry has consistently been the leading taker of this concept, designing rich user experiences through its use.
Metaverse in Gaming and Social Media
Secondlife, a platform for virtual social lives with online avatars, was among the earliest experiments with building a metaverse. In a way, the platform merged gaming and social media which made it quite popular at the time. And now, with Facebook turning into Meta, the world’s biggest social media platform is trying something similar at scale.
Platforms like Roblox are also trying to convert their massive gaming communities into a metaverse. Moreover, MMORPG players somewhat inhabit a metaverse already.
As a whole, the economics of gaming and social media metaverses is indeed playing off substantially. Play-to-Earn (P2E) gaming is predominantly metaverse-oriented, for example, and fosters unprecedented economic opportunities to the world’s deprived communities. Particularly in the post-COVID world, many are earning a steady income from gaming metaverses globally.
Blockchain & NFTs: Use-Cases for the Metaverse
The evolution of blockchain technology has been a significant catalyst in the mainstreaming and rising popularity of the metaverse. For one, blockchain-based payment networks are setting the foundation for secure and smooth transactions. The integrated storage and digital exchange of value are now possible like never before, without involving centralized and rent-seeking intermediaries. And with all that, blockchains serve as the go-to base layer for today’s metaverses.
Decentraland is one of the great examples of blockchain’s significance for metaverses. Within this Ethereum-based ecosystem, users can own and trade virtual land, over a globally distributed peer-to-peer network and value chain. And that brings us to the role of Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs. Each in-game asset of the Decentraland metaverse is an NFT with tradable utility and value — the LAND token, for example.
The use of NFTs has several promising implications for metaverses, enumerable as follows.
Assets, Ownership, and Value
There has to be a way to verify who owns what in a metaverse. Unsurprisingly, NFTs are a great way to assign immutable ownership and provenance. Moreover, NFTs ensure that in-game assets have actual monetary value, usable in our real lives.
Verification and Digital Identities
The enhanced capacity for verifying the originality of virtual avatars and other content is another ground-breaking outcome of using NFTs. And PFP NFTs are in fact taking this possibility to a whole new dimension, especially in relation to competitive and multi-dimensional metaverses.
As metaverses expand further, bringing newer systems and offerings under their folds, identification and verification will become increasingly crucial to their stability, security, and long-term success.
A Future Full of Possibilities
Metaverses are still in the initial phases of their evolutionary journey, and it’s hard to say what the future holds. But one thing is certain — they will transform the Internet, as well as the real world. For one, both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will become essential elements of metaverses in general.
Gaming and social media will emerge in an entirely new light, becoming more user-centric and competitive than in the past. Innovations in this regard will further enable the creation of genuinely self-sovereign individuals, free from the arbitrary will and control of behemoths.
And finally, through this all, Airdrop Alert will keep producing timely and consequential articles to keep you updated and informed.