What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse generally describes an online, 3-dimensional, virtual universe that is accessed through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). A metaverse can compromise many different virtual spaces, such as a gaming arena, a fashion world, sporting universe and many more - limited only to a developer's imagination. It therefore can allow users to meet, game, and socialise together in these 3D spaces.
Developers have pushed the boundaries of what a metaverse is through hosting virtual events and creating virtual economies.
Cryptocurrencies, although not a necessary feature of a metaverse, are more regularly becoming the primary medium of exchange within digital economies that reside within these new virtual worlds. Different types of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs) have become commonplace for users to make transactions in these worlds. Crypto wallets, such as Trust Wallet and MetaMask are also compatible. Also, blockchain technology can provide transparent and reliable governance systems - particularly in the form of DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations). Play-to-earn blockchain-based metaverse games, are even allowing users to earn a livable income.
In order to fully ‘live’ or work or socialise in a metaverse key functions are required other than that of the virtual aspect. Cryptocurrency can facilitate these finer workings of the virtual world providing things such as digital proof of ownership, transfer of value, governance, and accessibility.
- 1.Digital proof of ownership: A digital wallet with access to your private keys, can instantly prove ownership of activity or an asset on the blockchain.
- 2.Digital collectability: NFTs, can create objects that are entirely unique and which can’t be copied exactly or forged
- 3.Transfer of value: Cryptocurrencies provide fast and secure transactions and therefore prove to be a reliable medium of exchange in digital worlds.
4. Governance: Similar to governance systems in our normal lives e.g. political systems or company & employee rights, implementing fair governance in the metaverse is a key part of its functionality, and blockchain is already a proven way of doing this.
5. Accessibility: Anyone with an internet connection can create a digital wallet and interact with a metaverse, without having to fill in an application form or provide any details - as you must with a regular bank account.
6. Interoperability: Different blockchains are now able to communicate with each other and users can seamlessly move between different chains. A metaverse will likely connect multiple projects, and blockchain technology already has solutions for this.
The connections between the financial, virtual, and physical worlds have become increasingly linked and the metaverse can combine all aspects of life in one virtual place. The metaverse will be driven by virtual and augmented reality, with each user controlling their own avatar. While many people already work at home, in the metaverse, you will be able to enter a 3D office and interact with your colleagues’ avatars. After work, you might then socialise with friends playing a virtual sport together, or visiting their virtual home. The metaverse is shaping up to take our physical world, digital, with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology providing the tools to facilitate a real working virtual society.
Although currently, many large tech companies such as Meta (previously Facebook) are entering the metaverse space, the blockchain-based nature of it allows anyone to enter the market and build their own metaverse creation.