The metaverse is the next generation of the internet which will merge physical reality with the digital space. It includes the internet, virtual worlds and augmented reality.
If you want to visualise how augmented reality would look like here is a video from Adobe. You can skip to the 2 minute mark to jump right into it:
Who is Working on the Metaverse?
As you can see in the video above Adobe produced the Aero application to allow designers to create immersive experiences. To clarify this is not the only application that can be used to design for the metaverse. There are other applications available that can be used or required to use together to design for the metaverse.
Fornite which is the most popular esport has hosted live concert events on its platform.
Sourced from TheVerge
Additionally a number of companies are currently working on projects for the metaverse. For example:
- Niantic an augmented reality company
- Magic Leap who work on virtual reality displays for enterprises
- Microsoft has a cloud-based AR/VR platform that can teleport you to play games with other people
- Facebook VR technology and VR projects like Oculus, Horizon and Live Maps
Sourced from Oculus
The companies listed above are not creating worlds based on blockchain technology. However the below list of worlds are based on blockchain.
Environments based on blockchain:
NFTs on the Metaverse
The blockchain metaverse virtual worlds listed are already developed and available for use. They even have assets available that can be bought and sold like land, buildings, names, avatars and wearables. Additionally anyone will be able to logon freely and access buildings in the worlds that showcase NFT (Non-fungible token) art.
Similarly to physical art like any Picasso painting, NFT art is one of a kind, except digital. If you purchase an NFT artwork you could view it online, but you would not be able to share your experience with others. So you could opt to place it in a museum in the metaverse where the public could have the opportunity to appreciate the artwork.
Metakovan the buyer of the most expensive NFT artwork by Beeple called Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ plans to display the artwork in 4 different virtual worlds. Metakovan whose real name is Vignesh Sundaresan, is teaming up with architects to design gallery spaces where he can place his NFT artwork collection. The public will be able to access these spaces either by web browser or using virtual reality technology.
Will People Use the Metaverse?
Since the pandemic people have changed their habits, most especially the ones that have been working from home. Moreover a portion of individuals wanted to avoid crowds or were not able to go to brick and mortar stores.
As a result a lot of purchases ended up happening online. People adjusted to the new reality they were faced. At the same time it made them more comfortable with purchasing over the internet.
We can also see a growth in industries such as crypto merchandise, which demostrates that people are prepared to spend money on cryptocurrency-based projects
If people got used to spending more time online or have additional reasons to transition onto the metaverse we could see a gradual adoption into it. Most probably people would come onboard more easily to use the metaverse if there is little barrier to entry.
We cannot expect adoption to happen overnight. However we could look at digital wallet adoption as a metric. Digital wallet adoption occurred twice as fast than social media adoption in the US.
Charts sourced from Ark Invest
Incentives to Use the Metaverse
The charts above could give an indication of speed of adoption for the metaverse. However, blockchain worlds would probably have this sort of adoption and the others will probably not have as much success. Why?
For the same reasons Bitcoin gave more purpose to blockchain by providing an incentive to the community. With Bitcoin, miners are incentivised to mine the blocks on the blockchain because they can make a profit when they sell Bitcoin.
Similarly according to Arthur Madrid who is the CEO and co-founder of The Sandbox says that by time the worlds that were based on game play will shift onto a revenue sharing model.
The game companies will get kickbacks from player creativity because they will end up receiving 100% of the revenue. As a result players will spread the word about the revenue they make in the worlds that will encourage other players to join.
Additionally unlike social media platforms who own your data, you will own your own data since the platforms work with blockchain. You will only share data when you want to, which makes it more fair.
The Metaverse Will Need Currency
Since the metaverse is the offline world being built online it will need to have its own supporting ecosystem. As mentioned there needs to be incentives for people to come online and what better way than to draw them in by allowing them to generate revenue.
The system will need to adopt a currency and there would be nothing that would be a more natural fit than cryptocurrency. Chances are it will mostly be Ether since most worlds are built using the Ethereum platform. NFT platforms are already built on the Ethereum platform so it will become like an extension of it.
Consequently if the metaverse is a hit much like the crypto space then we can expect Ether to perform well in the future. Additionally so will any other Ethereum based tokens that are used in the worlds.