The Metaverse

The Metaverse is a concept of an online, 3D, Virtual Universe that combines various Virtual spaces together to allow users to work, game, and socialize in these 3D spaces. This Concept of the metaverse is not really in Existence, at least not yet, but there are several Metaverse-like online platforms. The most prominent place you can find these metaverse-like platforms are mostly in Recent Video-games where Game developers have really turned gaming into more than just playing games but more of a thrilling life experience where you can immerse yourself on an adventure of meeting fellow gamers, transacting with them and so on, thereby making the whole experience almost real-lifey.

Another Very useful fit for the metaverse is cryptocurrencies, which are basically a simulated virtual currency, that has made it possible for the digital economy to exist with different virtual coins and NFTs.

The Metaverse already has metaverse-like applications that exist and provide people with liveable incomes. Axie Infinity is one play-to-earn game that many users play to support their income. SecondLive and Decentraland are other examples of successfully mixing the blockchain world and virtual reality apps.

The Metaverse while not in existence fully yet, has really given developers ideas to develop software that encompasses the physical, financial and social lives of their users to link these aspects together to give users the full experience of actually living, making a living, networking, gaming, etc all through one piece of software; which can be and is usually a gaming software.

The Metaverse and Gaming

3D Virtual reality games have made it possible for games to offer the closest metaverse experience currently. This point isn’t just because they are 3D, though. Video games now offer services that cross over into other aspects of our lives. The video game Roblox even hosts virtual events like concerts and meetups. Players don\’t just play the game anymore; they also use it for other activities and parts of their lives in \”cyberspace\”. For example, in the multiplayer game Fortnite, 12.3 million players took part in Travis Scott\’s virtual in-game music tour. This is amazing because normal games that were previously played just for fun can actually be used as a medium for networking, online meetings etc

How does crypto fit into the metaverse?

Gaming provides the 3D aspect of the metaverse but doesn’t cover everything needed in a virtual world that can cover all aspects of life. Crypto offers the other key parts required, such as digital proof of ownership, transfer of value, governance, and accessibility. But what do these mean exactly?

If in the future, we work, socialize, and even purchase virtual items in the metaverse, we need a secure way of showing ownership. We also need to feel safe transferring these items and money around the metaverse. Finally, we will also want to play a role in the decision-making taking place in the metaverse if it will be such a large part of our lives. Some video games contain some basic solutions already, but many developers use crypto and blockchain instead as a better option. Blockchain provides a decentralized and transparent way of dealing with the topics, while video-game development is more centralized.

Blockchain developers also take influence from the video game world too. Gamification is common in Decentralized Finance (Defi) and GameFi. It seems there will be enough similarities in the future that the two worlds may become even more integrated. The key aspects of blockchain suited to the metaverse are:1. Digital proof of ownership: By owning a wallet with access to your private keys, you can instantly prove ownership of an activity or an asset on the blockchain. For example, you could show an exact transcript of your transactions on the blockchain while at work to show accountability. A wallet is one of the most secure and robust methods for establishing a digital identity and proof of ownership.2. Digital collectibility: Just as we can establish who owns something, we can also show that an item is original and unique. For a metaverse looking to incorporate more real-life activities, this is important. Through NFTs, we can create objects that are 100% unique and can never be copied exactly or forged. A blockchain can also represent ownership of physical items.3. Transfer of value: A metaverse will need a way to transfer value securely that users trust. In-game currencies in multiplayer games are less secure than crypto on a blockchain. If users spend large amounts of time in the metaverse and even earn money there, they will need a reliable currency.

Some MetaVerse Examples

SecondLive

‌SecondLive is a 3D virtual environment where users control avatars for socializing, learning, and business. The project also has an NFT marketplace for exchanging collectibles. In September 2020, SecondLive hosted Binance Smart Chain\’s Harvest Festival as part of its first anniversary. The virtual expo showcased different projects in the BSC ecosystem for users to explore and interact with.

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SecondLive game: photo credits: academy.Binance.com

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game that’s provided players in developing countries an opportunity to earn consistent income. By purchasing or being gifted three creatures known as Axies, a player can start farming the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) token. When sold on the open market, someone could make roughly $200 to $1000 (USD) depending on how much they play and the market price.

While Axie Infinity doesn\’t provide a singular 3D character or avatar, it gives users the opportunity for a metaverse-like job. You might have already heard the famous story of Filipinos using it as an alternative to full-time employment or welfare.

Decentraland

Decentraland is an online, digital world that combines social elements with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and virtual real estate. On top of this, players also take an active role in the governance of the platform. Like other blockchain games, NFTs are used to represent cosmetic collectibles. They\’re also used for LAND, 16×16 meter land parcels that users can purchase in the game with the cryptocurrency MANA. The combination of all of these creates a complex crypto-economy.

Closing thoughts

While a single, united metaverse is likely a long way off, we already can see developments that may lead to its creation. It looks to be yet another sci-fi use case for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. If we will ever really reach the point of a metaverse is unsure. But in the meantime, we can already experience metaverse-like projects and continue to integrate blockchain more into our daily lives.

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