Metaverse environments powered by blockchain technology enable brands to provide additional user benefits, such as increased interactivity and ownership of virtual items, but will they catch on?
Billion-dollar companies are reshaping the Metaverse, as consumers demonstrate an increased interest in online virtual, interactive, three-dimensional experiences.
While the term “Metaverse” is still a relatively new concept, research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that the global Metaverse market will exceed $42 billion by 2026. This could very well be the case, as a small number of businesses, including Nike and Walmart, have begun to investigate consumer experiences in metaverse environments.
NFT utility for Metaverse-based brands
To appreciate how and why brands are leveraging the Metaverse, it’s critical to recognize the role of NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, in these ecosystems. While the year 2021 saw an increase in the number of NFTs, the rise of the Metaverse is expected to emphasize the utility of NFTs.
According to Adrian Baschuk, co-founder of Eternity Chain — an authenticated and licensed NFT platform — every brand, company, and the notable figure will eventually have a metaverse and NFT integration:
As a result, Baschuk disclosed that Ethernity recently licensed its intellectual property to The Sandbox, a blockchain-based metaverse ecosystem. Eternity has acquired a desirable plot of land in The Sandbox for the purpose of establishing a gallery and fully licensed NFT store. According to Baschuk, this will enable users of The Sandbox to purchase Ethernity NFT wearables and collectibles.
Baschuk stated that these wearable NFTs will include athlete jerseys that will be used to dress and empower The Sandbox avatars. “Zeke and Dak of the Dallas Cowboys will kick this off, as the players’ wearable jerseys and shoulder pads will boost a user’s avatars’ skills and powers,” he explained.
While this particular example may appeal to members of The Sandbox gaming community, the underlying concept is applicable to all brands entering the Metaverse. For example, Baschuk explained that NFTs within virtual ecosystems enable businesses to monetize assets across a blockchain network, thereby increasing consumer and fan interaction.
Thousands of participants, speakers, and vendors gathered in Midtown Manhattan during the first week of November 2021 for the third annual NFT.NYC conference. The diverse group of investors, gamers, artists, programmers, and crypto enthusiasts gathered for panel discussions, speeches, and after-parties centered on the burgeoning and lucrative new trend in the blockchain world: the NFT, or non-fungible token.
NFT technology, which is still a relatively new blockchain phenomenon, establishes ownership of digital assets and has been applied most famously (or infamously) to digital art. But this year’s conference had a new spin: There was a palpable emphasis on the future of NFTs, which many believe lies in their use as building blocks in the next iteration of the internet, referred to as Web 3.0 or “Web3.” Finally, it is anticipated that the convergence of this platform with NFTs will result in the creation of a massive, decentralized virtual world dubbed the “metaverse.”
An NFT is a unique and non-transferable unit of data stored on the blockchain that can be used to track the transfer, ownership, and properties of a single digital asset. The term “non-fungible” differentiates NFTs from other blockchain entities such as cryptocurrencies, which have a fixed value and are interchangeable or fungible.
For instance, if two people each have a one-dollar bill in their pocket, they can exchange them without either becoming richer or poorer, as the two bills are fungible. However, if those same two parties held the Mona Lisa and the deed to their home, they would each have unique utility and value.
What exactly is a metaverse?
Neal Stephenson described a virtual world he called the Metaverse in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash — an internet-connected, immersive construct that served as an alternate shared reality for its users. As the internet grew in popularity, the term “metaverse” gradually entered the technical lexicon to refer to any large-scale, persistent virtual environment in the online space.
The concept of a metaverse has manifested itself in the gaming world, most notably with the recent explosion in the popularity of multiplayer online games and the development of affordable virtual reality technology. However, these primordial metaverses are confined and self-contained. The “future metaverse” vision is significantly more audacious.
The concept of a metaverse made headlines recently when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his audacious plan to transform the social media giant into a massive metaverse experience for its users – even going so far as to rebrand Facebook’s parent company as Meta.
Zuckerberg and others envision a parallel virtual world to our own in which people work, buy, sell, and interact. Stephenson describes in Snow Crash the main thoroughfare, dubbed the “Street,” from which residents can construct their own neighborhoods, streets, buildings, and other features. This prescient description could just as easily apply to many of the emerging applications of NFTs, as well as their potential utility in a Web3 metaverse.
What is the relationship between Blockchain and the Metaverse?
Numerous new blockchain-based platforms are utilizing Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) and cryptocurrency to create, own, and monetize innovative decentralized assets. Prior to the advent of blockchain technology, the metaverse was incomplete due to the fact that everything was stored in a centralized network. Due to blockchain’s ability to operate globally as a digital source, crypto enables decentralization.
Metaverse is diametrically opposed to what the Internet currently offers. On the current Internet, for example, content is available in the form of apps and websites. Whereas the Metaverse is connected globally via individual nodes. As a result, no particular platform will be required to gain access to any digital space. Every digital thing has a proof of existence in the Blockchain Metaverse.
Now, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology serve as the best examples of a living Metaverse. Companies such as Facebook, Epic Games, Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft, among others, are developing metaverse technology that enables the virtual world.
Decentraland is a virtual world powered by Ethereum in which users can interact, explore, and play games with one another. Additionally, it enables you to purchase virtual lands, create your own environments, applications, and marketplace. The best example of a blockchain metaverse is Decentaraland. It is a decentralized 3D virtual reality platform based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Metaverse is built on a variety of technologies, but most notably on the internet, 3D objects, open media standards, open programming language standards, decentralized ledgers, and smart contract platforms such as Blockchain.
The fundamental tenets of Metaverse are as follows:
The Internet-Metaverse is a decentralized network of computers that does not require centralized authorities such as the government. There will be a single entity responsible for authorizing users to access the system and conduct transactions. It would be entirely under the control of every user out there.
Extended Reality (XR) and Mixed Reality (MR) hardware, such as smart glasses, holoLens, haptics, and the Omni treadmill
Blockchain technology is used to create the Bst metaverse experience. Blockchain technology enables transactions to be highly secure, transparent, and permissionless. Blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Theta, Binance Smart Contracts, and Neural Networks (NFT’s), among others, present tremendous opportunities in the field of Metaverse. It makes it accessible to the public and supports the blockchain metaverse ecosystem.
How Does the Metaverse Work?
Although I’ve stated that Metaverse is transforming the Internet’s digital ecosystem, one question that arises is how Metaverse actually works.
To begin, Metaverse is owned by everyone because it is based on a decentralized network similar to blockchain. It works for a viable public good that is open to all people on the planet and is not controlled by a single company. Invest in the Metaverse’s services, architecture, and development to stay connected to technology.
At the moment, Metaverse is in its infancy and is not yet fully implemented for public use. The following two diagrams illustrate how Metaverse operates and why it is so dissimilar to the existing platform-based internet.
This is the one significant contribution that Blockchain has made to the world. The Ethereum network is currently hosted by over 1100 nodes worldwide. That is, the network is not owned by a single company or server and is not reliant on a single entity for transaction processing and other network-related tasks. As a result, decentralized nodes significantly benefit the blockchain metaverse.
Additionally, blockchain provides a consensus mechanism that ensures the metaverse’s foundation is secure.
Portability- In the metaverse, content is not compartmentalized. In simple terms, any content uploaded to the Metaverse Foundation, whether artwork or any other type of content, can be seamlessly transferred to any other application. Additionally, the Metaverse foundation is unable to alter, modify, or remove that content.
Why is the blockchain Metaverse Important?
There are numerous ways in which the Blockchain Metaverse can benefit the entire world. The combination of the metaverse and blockchain technology will result in significant technological advancements for the Internet ecosystem.
The following are the primary advantages of metaverse:-
It enables users to take control of their data.
Metaverse is based on decentralization, allowing users to own their data and travel freely without interference from a third party.
The blockchain enables the metaverse to completely emerge into the digital space, and users can enjoy increased autonomy within digital spaces.
The Blockchain Metaverse facilitates human creativity. It makes use of 3D expressions created using technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, and extended reality. All of these elements combine to create a virtual space that optimizes communication and interaction.
It circumvents the limitations of physical works and creates an infinite virtual space.
Additionally, it benefits the global economy, as cryptocurrencies and digital assets continue to grow in popularity.
The Blockchain Metaverse is the future, and people will interact, explore, communicate, conduct business, and even form virtual communities to coexist. The potential for blockchain technology to transform the digital world into the Metaverse, also known as a new Internet, is enormous. Therefore, if you are interested in becoming a Blockchain Expert and learning more about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies,