What is the Metaverse? — A deep dive into the world of infinite space
The recent rebranding of the tech giant, Facebook to Meta with the vision of building a metaverse space where real-time users engage the platform for work, concerts, family gatherings, etc and also the notable growth & development of cryptocurrency projects like The Sandbox, Star Atlas, Decentraland & Axie Infinity has now caught the attention of millions of users in the crypto space and our global tech audience.
Some common questions being asked are what exactly is the metaverse? Is it just a complement to reality like augmented reality? Or will it be an external space we can interact with? Does it have a connection to the real world? What components can we experience right now? In this article, we will look at these questions and explore some of the most exciting innovations that exist in the world of metaverse today.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is the Metaverse?
The term “metaverse” is derived from two words: “meta” (beyond) and “verse” (universe). Basically, people can think of the Metaverse as a virtual world or digital universe.
While it can be quite tough to fully understand the world of Metaverse, it can be simply explained as a vast expanse of digital space where users can interact with one another and their environment in real-time and get similar experiences to what we experience in the real world. This technology will virtualize the physical world and create a new digital world for users to explore their creativity.
To properly understand the Metaverse, we will look at some of its elements and core features:
An Infinite space
The metaverse exists as an immense territory with resources & assets to function in an ever-evolving and sustainable space. Because it extends beyond the physical space of the world in which we exist, we can say that it is infinite. This also means the metaverse has no end.
Immersive & Synchronous
Based on how closely the Metaverse experience mimics the real world, this attribute determines how captivating & realistic the experience is. Users can also communicate with one another via synchronous communication. In this way, it can potentially offer real-time interaction among billions of users.
A Thriving Economy
In the virtual world, the economy is parallel to the real one, making it easy for users to transfer assets between the real and virtual world. It is also possible for anyone to host events & meetings, sell properties or even sell petrol at gas stations available in the metaverse. Users can gather assets in this space and turn them into actual products. For the exchange of value, a simple token mechanism can be implemented.
Interoperability is the ability to see and share information across multiple blockchains. Interoperability has the benefit of allowing users to trade assets across different blockchains without having to use a centralized, custodial exchange.
This is important to the metaverse, as it enables users to transact across different platforms. It means that whatever skin I choose for my character in a particular conception of metaverse can also be ported easily over to another conception that is being implemented by a separate entity.
Implementing interoperability in the metaverse is still a controversial point as a lot of discussions on how/if this can be actualized, are still heavily debated amongst many metaverse communities.
As we have discussed the concept of the metaverse, let us look at some of the most notable metaverses in existence today.
The Sandbox is a metaverse and gaming ecosystem that provides an amazing experience. It allows you to generate unique assets, such as avatars and tools, entirely on your own.
These customized assets can be traded on the Sandbox native marketplace. Assets are also created as NFTs, which are provably scarce digital items available in the marketplace. Your assets can also be leased for passive income.
Decentraland is a virtual world and community-based entirely on blockchain. What makes Decentraland so unique is that it is completely decentralized. As a result, holders of the MANA cryptocurrency can take part in voting events to govern the platform. NFTs are also used to represent the ownership of in-game items, such as clothes and virtual properties.
Decentraland is one of the most popular metaverses in existence. Because of its popularity and thriving ecosystem, some physical world brands have even started advertising their products in Decentraland.
Star Atlas is a unique blockchain-based multiplayer video game with an incredibly appealing and immersive space theme. Set in 2620, It is a story of colonizing the universe. As a player, your task is to uncover hidden treasures and advance. By earning in-game currency like $ATLAS and $POLIS, players can buy assets within the ecosystem. The game is developed on Solana.
A deflationary mechanism in the metaverse allows players to engage in much riskier activities, like exploring deeper areas of the metaverse to gain higher rewards. The success or failure with such pursuits depends on the actions of the player. The NFTs that are lost in battle can also be collected by other users if they perish.
The team responsible for building the ecosystem has also stressed the importance of assets being portable. On traditional gaming platforms, you can only use assets you create or purchase within that ecosystem. In Star Atlas, you can readily trade your assets with players like yourself.
Bloktopia is a “VR Crypto skyscraper” that is powered by the Polygon network. It comprises 21 levels that are said to “pay recognition” to the limited 21 million supply of Bitcoins.
Bloktopia claims to offer an interesting story in an incredible collective space for crypto users of all experience levels. All of them have access to crypto information and immersive content, all in one place.
The platform uses the “world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation engine” which helps the metaverse provide a much immersive and stunning visual experience to its users. Revenue generated within the platform is shared via NFTs.
Radio Caca is the “GameFi” vehicle for USM Metaverse. It is also the creator of the Metamon P2E game, which is a popular Metaverse. Although it is not a metaverse itself, it has contributed to the creation of the USM Metaverse, a non-token-based community.
The USM Metaverse is a unique metaverse where each player is considered a “builder” and can build networks, custom ecosystems, and create entirely new virtual worlds using NFTs to show ownership of digital assets.
The recent move by Facebook has made the Metaverse popular among the tech enthusiast in the world today. The fact that an established platform like Facebook has stepped into this digital space is symbolic and also shows that Mark Zuckerberg is committed to creating a revolutionary space where people can connect with each other both in the physical and digital world.
Meta will provide users with a virtual experience where they will interact with one another and share experiences. Although commendable, critics have pointed out that their version of the metaverse will be more like a separate world than an extension of the existing one as people have yet to discover how it works, what it looks like, and to what extent users can access the experiences.
In the past, it would be hard to imagine such a space not under the control of anyone but with the implementation of blockchain, creators and users can freely explore digital environments securely. The metaverse presents a new world of limitless expansion and possibilities. In the future, this phenomenon is going to really explode when technology and infrastructure are combined with the factors that form the metaverse.