Metaverse is the new “hot term” on the internet – and it sounds intriguing and confusing to many. As if blockchain and cryptocurrency weren’t difficult enough, now there is the concept of NFTs and subsequently Metaverse. Facebook’s name change to Meta further complexified the term and now most of us wonder what exactly is Metaverse and the hype around it. We shared the same confusion when it first launched and there wasn’t much information, to begin with. But you don’t have to share the same dilemma as this post will cover all the basic who, what, how, where questions about Metaverse and will hopefully, help you understand its uses and future.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a virtual world that is a combination of virtual reality and virtual assets that can be visited and interacted with by your virtual self using a medium such as a computer, VR headset, and internet. The definition surely appears complex but if you focus on the key aspects, it is just a virtual community in a 3-D space that is highly interactive.
How did Metaverse Originate?
As a concept, Metaverse has been around for decades, usually as a hypothetical belief that could be achieved with technology in the future. It first appeared in a book by Neal Stephenson, where the characters jumped into Metaverse as a part of the plot. You may not have read or known about the book but the most practical and recent example is the movie: Ready Player One.
Ready Player One gave a deep insight into what the future could look like, and the concept of an anonymous virtual avatar in a virtual world that can meet and mingle with other avatars. Physical limitations of travel and access were not a problem in the virtual world, much like what we see in Metaverse today.
Is Meta Company own the Metaverse?
No, not. Facebook increased the confusion further by changing its name to Meta. Meta is not the complete Metaverse but a practical example of a Metaverse or virtual world. Metaverse is a concept of virtual worlds and like Facebook’s Meta, other virtual worlds are also active on the internet. Facebook makes oculus and they made an aggressive move to capture the major market of virtual reality and Metaverse. They have a better-looking and interactive Metaverse than most of the competition out there, but it is not decentralized.
A new concept of decentralized Metaverse is gaining popularity because no one is happy with giving all their data to one company like Facebook, which uses it for personal gain. A decentralized Metaverse built on blockchain can restore the confidence of users who want to be truly anonymous on the platform and create a new identity or persona there.
So, the main takeaway from this section is:
- Meta is not the complete Metaverse, it is just a part of it.
- There are two types of Metaverse: Centralized and Decentralized
- Centralized is owned by one company like Facebook’s Meta, Fortnite, Roblox, etc.
- Decentralized Metaverse has no single authority and is open source, e.g., Axie Infinity, Somnium Space, The Sandbox, Decentraland, etc.
Do we need Metaverse?
Individuals new to this concept often raise the question regarding Metaverse’s existence and needs in society. Will it have any meaningful impact on society, produce jobs, give satisfaction to the users? Why would anyone join a virtual game to sing and dance when they can do the same in real life?
Well, the questions are many but people asking these questions fail to understand that Metaverse isn’t something dystopian that will snatch us away from the real world. It is an evolving method of in-person communication like never before. Today, we can call and video conference easily but these aren’t highly interactive. On the other hand, a Metaverse can provide a highly interactive environment along with communication features to make the complete experience lively and enjoyable.
You could be miles away from your family and not be able to join them on holidays and special occasions, but using the Metaverse you can create a common ground that is accessible and can be attended by all. You could talk, chatter, play games and use the environment to its fullest, all from a single spot. Similarly, meetings and events that need global participants can save a lot of time and money by creating a Metaverse meeting.
Brands are already using Metaverse to hold virtual conferences, parties, and events that are attended by a lot of users of the specific Metaverse. Rapper and Singer Travis Scott’s concert is among the most relatable event in Fortnite history, which drew over 22 million visitors and resulted in a huge revenue boost for both the platform and the performer. This business implementation of Metaverse will grow multifold as more and more people flock to the emerging trend of Metaverse.
Soon, advertisement spots and other methods of monetization can be integrated into Metaverse. On top of that, Web 3.0 is inching close with a heightened focus on decentralized Metaverse. This change presents a lot of opportunities for developers, cryptocurrency holders, NFTs, digital assets, and much more. Metaverse will revolutionize the concept of digital assets and could manifest into a thriving economy in the near future.
What do I need to enter Metaverse?
At present, you need a decent computer and a stable, high-speed internet connection to access a Metaverse. Many you might ask about using a VR headset but that’s not compulsory for all Metaverse. Some may need it, while others are accessible using your desktop, keyboard, and mouse. Virtual reality headsets can amplify the experience of venturing into a Metaverse, so if you have one, it wouldn’t hurt to try.
Where can I find a Metaverse?
There are a lot of options available which are different implementations of Metaverse. Some are purely VR-focused, others can be navigated using a computer too. There are even some game platforms and games which identify themselves as Metaverse such as Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft, etc. You can enter most of these metaverses for free, and explore them for some time, after which there is a subscription model to access these virtual worlds and interact with the objects and meet new people.
You can even purchase assets in these metaverses using the in-game cryptocurrency payments. Usually, every Metaverse has its unique currency which is necessary to make purchases in the Metaverse. For e.g., the popular Metaverse Decentraland supports a native cryptocurrency called ‘Mana’. You can buy Mana using the real-world currency, and then begin spending it in the Metaverse. Some Metaverse also supports globally adopted cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, etc.
Some Popular Metaverse
If you are bored with the usual centralized Metaverse options, you can head to Opensea to find new and happening decentralized Metaverse options. Opensea has loads of Metaverse listed on their platform which can be accessed by paying a subscription fee, which is usually in the form of cryptocurrency payments. Here are a few popular Metaverses that you can explore:
Decentraland is among the largest Metaverse projects available on Opensea. The primary objective is to acquire a piece of digital land and begin building your version of the virtual world. Buying a piece of land requires the in-game currency MANA, which can be bought using Ethereum or any real-world currency. If you are too lazy to build and craft, you can simply stroll in the virtual space and view the existing creations in Decentraland. It also has a thriving marketplace, where you can purchase items for your virtual avatar and trade items.
The Treeverse claims to be an “open-world, fantasy MMORPG with a MOBA-style combat system” game. It is still in the early stage of development and you have to buy a piece of digital land to try it out. Treeverse will soon allow users to try out the game before buying a piece of land but you have to wait for that. The floor price of Treeverse is 1.5 ETH currently, and the price has inflated too much in such a short time. Meanwhile, you can explore other Metaverse that allows you to explore their world for free, and does not require buying a plot to even see a glimpse of it.
Metaverse is here to stay, there’s no denying that fact. Metaverse is expanding and gearing up for Web 3.0 and decentralized Metaverses will blow up in number. Unlike the centralized Metaverses, where you cannot purchase or own anything unique, the Decentralized Metaverses will offer NFTs and trading features. But that is only one part of this intriguing idea. Metaverse options are growing in number, and the floor price of these new and upcoming virtual reality spaces is becoming difficult to purchase.
So, we would advise you to avoid betting and investing your money on all Metaverse that you can find. Be patient and try them out, before jumping and spending you are saved up Ether, or any other cryptocurrency, for owning a digital token.