Heard people talking about the metaverse but have no idea what it is? In this blog we will simply define and explain it.
A Simple Explanation Of The Metaverse
The metaverse has been described as a distant evolution of Web3. It is a vast digital world encompassing aspects of cryptocurrencies, virtual reality, augmented reality, gaming and social media, combining seamlessly to allow users to interact. What is augmented reality, you ask? It is a real-world environment enhanced with digital perceptions. Virtual reality is entirely fabricated.
What’s in a Name?
The term “metaverse” was originally coined by science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It was set some time in the 21st century in Los Angeles after a worldwide economic collapse. Stephenson envisioned the metaverse as the successor to the internet. His metaverse resembled a multi-player online game where users wore portable goggles or headsets, appeared in it as avatars and were able to buy things such as virtual real estate. In October 2021, Facebook and its associated platforms Instagram and WhatsApp rebranded to “Meta”. It began trading as Meta in June 2022.
When Facebook rebranded to Meta, it also committed to creating 10,000 niche jobs in the European Union, focusing on helping engineer the metaverse. Meta won’t own the metaverse. No one company can or will. But in making its commitment to help shape it, it sees the metaverse as having “potential to help unlock access to new creative social and economic opportunities”. It announced a $50m investment into global research aimed at ensuring the metaverse was developed responsibly. Meta described it as “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality. “At its heart is the idea that by creating a greater sense of ‘virtual presence’, interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person.” Meta stressed the project will require cooperation and collaboration across many companies, developers, creators and policymakers if it is to achieve the interconnectability that it seeks.
Applications For The Metaverse
The metaverse is still very much in its embryonic stages, restricted partly by available technologies. But that hasn’t stopped anyone from thinking and dreaming big. Some of the fields standing to benefit from the metaverse are:
Social – people already interact socially from opposite corners of the globe. The metaverse takes it to the next level.
Entertainment – think gaming, virtual reality concerts, fashion shows, meet your favorite stars in the metaverse!
Health – surgical procedures that have previously relied on robotics will shift into the metaverse using augmented reality. You may be operated on by the world’s best surgeon who isn’t in the room.
Military – Tactical Augmented Reality (TAR) goggles will give detailed information about the position of opponents. Significantly enhanced training capabilities also exist.
Real Estate – tour the house you want to buy from the comfort of your own living room.
Tourism – tour a prospective destination or hotel before committing to travel or stay there.
Education – there are enormous advantages in education allowing students to explore, feel and live what they are learning about.
Brands Already Engaged In The Metaverse
Interest and investment has already begun in the metaverse as companies and investors scramble to get in at the ground level. Some are doing this through the sale of NFTs, others are doing so via virtual games or other products. Some of the big known brands already committing themselves include:
- New Balance
- Under Armour
Which Cryptocurrencies Will I Need In The Metaverse?
There will be multiple metaverses to access on various blockchains and that means you’re going to need various cryptocurrencies or tokens to access them. The Solana blockchain is emerging as one of the early favorites to host virtual worlds because of its smart contract compatibility. Ethereum will also be a player but may not be as competitive because of higher gas fees. Some of the leading metaverses and cryptocurrencies are:
Decentraland (MANA) – a 3D virtual world where you can buy, sell and manage virtual land by purchasing NFTs with the MANA cryptocurrency.
The Sandbox (SAND) – an alternative to Decentraland that runs on Ethereum offering greater safety and security but also higher gas fees.
Axie Infinity (AXS) – their NFTs have been a massive hit with in-game functionality and more than a quarter of a million daily players.
Illuvium (ILV) – a hotly anticipated role-playing game due for a 2022 release, it runs on the Ethereum network and you don’t need ILV tokens to play. It is expected to be free in many regions.
Star Atlas (ATLAS) – the metaverse where you can explore the universe. Reach for the stars and travel to wherever you please on the Solana blockchain.
Want To Know More About The Metaverse?
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