What is the Metaverse?
In the last few years, virtual reality (VR) headsets have been seen as the next big thing. Companies like Oculus and Sony are hoping that VR will become a staple of everyday life as a way to talk with friends, play video games at home, go to school, or even watch television and movies wherever you go.
The trend has created an entire industry for developing new technology for using VR in many different ways. While this is only really beginning to see the light of day now, there are some early examples of how it is already being used in the real world today.
One example is the Metaverse, a new, more technologically advanced incarnation of Second Life. This is a virtual version of our planet Earth that was created by Linden Lab, creators and owners of the classic life simulator, Second Life. There are hundreds if not thousands of people living in the metaverse right now—they open stores or run businesses there just like they do on earth—and they interact with each other by talking to each other face-to-face over chat rooms and other methods.
They can also visit these stores or people’s places through some sort of avatar that appears from their computer on their screens. They can also use digital money inside this virtual world to buy things from others who have set up stores there too. If you wanted to buy something from one of these stores, all you’d have to do is buy cryptocurrency with a credit card, and you’d be off shopping in a world of wonders. And if you were one of the store owners, well, there’d be a lot of cryptocurrency in your wallet, ready to be converted to fiat.
This isn’t the first time something like this has been done; however, it is one of those ideas for virtual worlds that seem great at first but end up falling short when taken too seriously because nothing about it feels completely practical or real enough yet. For instance: who wants to be “virtually” dropped into an empty city lot where you don’t know anyone? Or be forced into some weird relationship with someone you’ve never met?
Virtual reality on its own isn’t enough without social interaction; all you end up with are ghosts haunting your house who can’t possibly be part of your life any more than the digital entities that run its servers and live in New Jersey or Delaware, though there might be better ways to connect them if we did want them to.
The Role of Cryptocurrency in the Metaverse
The Metaverse is still in its infancy. The virtual world, which has been decades in the making, isn’t ready to be used by the general public yet, though alpha demos are being tested as we speak. Yet, it’s still an exciting time for those who have invested their time and money into the project. The developers behind the Metaverse aren’t just creating a new world for people to inhabit—they’re crafting a new way for people to live their lives, meet people, educate each other, and create with the tools they’ve been given.
While we can only guess what the Metaverse will look like when it emerges from its chrysalis as a fully formed butterfly, many of its core features are already starting to take shape. A fully functional blockchain-based cryptocurrency is at the heart of this emerging world. Users will be able to craft unique items through 3D printing technology and sell them across borders with no fees, thanks to smart contracts that make payment instantaneous and secure. The Metaverse would fundamentally change how you buy a cryptocurrency and use it in transactions.
If you were looking for a glimpse into the future of payments technology, look no further than what’s happening right now with cryptocurrency and blockchain. The development of this ambitious project brings together:
- Artificial intelligence-based robots
- Digital reality goggles that allow users to explore these environments even while blindfolded (with virtual reality glasses)
- Live video conferencing integrated throughout each location via high-speed internet service
- NFTs (non-fungible tokens) designed by artists all over the world that can be collected like baseball cards or other collectibles
NFTs Are Taking Off
When people think of digital collectibles, they may think of games like Pokémon or CryptoKitties. These games are so popular because they’re fun, but also because they give players a chance to own unique items that can’t be replicated by anyone else.
If you have a collection of digital collectibles on your phone, you can’t lose them. At least, not in the same way that you could lose something physical. The blockchain is an excellent way to store and access these kinds of digital items and make sure no one tries to copy them and steal them from you. Many developers who create NFTs are using the blockchain because it prevents fake items from being created— it allows everyone to verify how much each item is worth, and it ensures your money’s worth when you purchase cryptocurrency.
In addition to making sure that every NFT is original, using the blockchain for NFTs makes it easy for artists who create these assets to be paid when their work is sold. Since there’s no middleman involved with handling payments online, artists can avoid paying fees that would otherwise eat into their profits. Fees are applicable if they were trying to sell these assets in person or through more traditional methods like art galleries or print-on-demand companies.
The Future of the Metaverse
The metaverse is a virtual space where you can interact with people and objects in the real world—your VR app could be something as simple as a collage of pictures from your Instagram feed, or it could be something as complex as your bank account. The term “metaverse” was coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash, and the concept has been around since long before that.
At its core, the metaverse is an internet-enabled extension of our physical reality, allowing us to explore and interact with things far beyond our experience. A great example of a predecessor to this, as we’ve already mentioned, is Second Life, a virtual world that allows users to create 3D avatars that can interact with other avatars.
Second life was launched in 2003, and it has a thriving community. However, it did have its limitations; time spent on Second Life was essentially leisure and did not add value to the player’s life. The Metaverse is a riff on the same concept, except it promises utility and value in our real lives apart from the long-lasting personal connections that are established in any community gaming experience.
The metaverse goes beyond just creating art and having fun; it’s also becoming an essential part of our financial lives in a disruptive, decentralized manner. The movement toward decentralizing currency has been around for decades now—the original Bitcoin was developed in 2009 – but there’s still plenty of work to be done. Even though Bitcoin may not have everything we need yet, such as faster transaction speeds, we’re already seeing how related projects like Ethereum are shaping up:
This means that when we look into the future, we’ll see an ever-expanding role for crypto technology in every aspect of our lives—but it also means that all this innovation needs somewhere to live.
The Metaverse is Coming, and Cryptocurrency Will Play a Big Part.
Metaverse is the social, 3D internet of the future. It’s a next-generation version of Facebook and Google but open-source and decentralized. The platform will receive extra contributions from Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies that can be used to “mine” new content and make it available on Metaverse. But that’s just the financial angle.
The Metaverse promises far more than mere cryptocurrency transactions; it promises embodiment, novel forms of lived experience, role-playing, alternate identities, and meeting people from all walks of life. Think of it as what the internet is now, but with features that change the meaning of what it means to be alive.