Metaverse is currently a hotly-debated topic on the Internet after Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, introduced to the public the new name of Facebook company called Meta and its plan to develop the metaverse for the next 10 years as a whole new virtual world. What is Metaverse? How does it work to affect the blockchain industry?
The term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel named Snow Crash. The metaverse in his work is a 3D virtual world in which there are many avatars representing people in real life. After that, many sci-fi movies, books, and games have also been written based on the same concept, for example, the blockbuster ‘Ready Player One’, or the recent blockchain-based game called Sandbox
According to Facebook, Metaverse is a collection of virtual spaces where you can create your own avatars and explore this world with other people in the form of their avatars, who are not physically located with you. Basically, Metaverse is now perceived as a digital platform with the following features:
- Integrate functionality of web services, or of real-life operations
- Use 3D computer graphics to create a virtual reality
- Create different avatars according to particular attendees
- Integrate modes of human-to-human interaction
- Support users to create their unique virtual possessions (NFT items)
- Real-life financial incentives for virtual items
- Require AR, VR glasses
There is no coincidence that a technology giant like Facebook is willing to take the risk to be a pioneer in metaverse, a field that is currently unpopular for the majority of its users. The application of Metaverse is significant, and it is strongly proven during the pandemic when everyone has to spend more time at home and the demand for online communication increases. A recent Bloomberg report estimates that the Metaverse industry will be worth $800 billion by 2024.
Technology giants are not the only ones eyeing this innovative concept, as many entertainment companies and startups also simultaneously express their ambition to pursue this technological marvel. The fact that many companies in the fields are joining together means that the virtual universe may come sooner than expected.
Metaverse is considered the next major technological turning point of mankind, after the invention of the Internet. Advocates of Metaverse support the notion that the metaverse will offer huge business potentials such as digital sales and services.
Metaverse, like every other society in real life, needs to have its own financial services, which meet the requirement of providing high-speed payments to millions, or even billions of people. And the answer to these problems is crypto. Blockchain and crypto will be the future of technology and the worldwide economy as they provide the software for Metaverse to run in. Coincidentally, blockchain offers the scalability, interoperability, and ownership & privacy that have solved the problems of the AR and VR world.
On the other hand, the keyword Metaverse has also been the topic and inspiration of many budding technology projects, such as Decentraland, Sandbox, Wilder World, and Star Atlas. Companies like Decentraland and The Sandbox have created virtual casinos and entertainment venues with built-in cryptocurrencies, where players can make money that translates into real-world value
NFTs will also play an important role in the Metaverse, allowing people to take full ownership of characters, in-game items, and even virtual lands. Recently a virtual real estate NFT of 259 parcels of land in Decentraland was sold for over $900,000.
Technology giants are pouring in money and efforts to develop the metaverse that would possibly become a new and flourishing reality for humankind