What is Metaverse? Our future reality or hype?Oct 26, 2022
If you ever wondered what Metaverse is, here is our ultimate beginner-friendly guide explaining the basics. Let's see why there is so much buzz about it, why it is important, and finally, what it has to do with crypto.
When did Metaverse actually become a thing?
Oxford English Dictionary was on a verge of awarding the Word of the Year status to "Metaverse" as it appeared to be one of the most viral words of 2022. Mark Zuckerberg may be legitimately credited for hyping up the term since Facebook announced its rebranding to Meta in October 2021.
Zuckerberg bets the metaverse is an evolution of the World Wide Web and defines the term as "an embodied internet where you're in the experience, not just looking at it". But the idea of metaverse existed long before.
|Zuckerberg's idea of the future of the internet / Source: CBC
A short history of Metaverse
Back in the XX century, science fiction writers started exploring unreal worlds using eyewear providing realistic vision and senses, very much reminding of today's VR headsets. Inspired by the concept, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented the very first virtual tour of Aspen city in the mid-19s.
|Weinbaum's Pygmalion's Spectacles Illustration / Source: BlogPost
What is Metaverse?
The word Metaverse is minted in two parts, where Meta conveys the concept of “over and above”, and Verse comes from "Universe". If decoded from its constituents, Metaverse is a certain universe existing beyond our real world. But where does it exist then? And how to get there?
How does Metaverse work?
Metaverse is conceived to be an interactive digital space powered by blockchain and web technologies involving virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). It exists in the form of a computer code — not so romantic. The idea behind it is much more metaphysical than we think.
The aspiration behind the technology is to replicate the real world and move daily activities into the digital domain. Incorporation of avatars, digital representations of people inside the virtual reality, enables this type of interaction. People have long been dreaming of escaping to other spaces, and with blockchain technology, we're steadily moving toward that idea.
How do NFT and cryptocurrency fit into the metaverse?
The metaverse reminds a video game crowded with avatars and NFTs. The non-fungible token technology is a key element to ensure users' ownership of digital items and pieces of virtual lands in the metaverse. In the metaverse, anything can be tokenized and traded in the form of NFT via blockchain-based operations.
What is the metaverse used for today?
At present, the virtual environment is mainly discovered by crypto projects that offer game worlds with NFTs attached. Two of the top metaverse crypto projects, Sandbox and Decentraland, allow socializing and purchasing lands & items using cryptocurrency to pay for all these things. They enable making money by creating or buying NFT things and lands, and then flipping them for higher prices.
Brands and celebrities are exploring the metaverse to reach a new audience: Nike launching digital clothing, Warner Music Group preparing virtual merch for fans, Snoop Dogg playing music shows in Sandbox metaverse. And the list goes on and on.
Meaning and importance of Metaverse
Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse may bring social media development to a whole new level. Human interaction in the metaverse erases borders and is experienced as a real-life social contact — like Zoom calls but better. Imagine making a Facetime call and instead of seeing the person on a screen, you're sitting right next to them as if you've been teleported to their room.
Apart from that, Metaverse technologies introduce a new media of:
- using virtual lands and expanding the real estate industry,
- experiencing video games,
- businesses interacting with users to advertise and sell their goods online.
The technology can be basically applied to any area. While Meta is building VR social platforms and Roblox supports game creators, INTERPOL is funding their own Metaverse development to train officers; the Martian Metaverse sponsored by Nasa is being designed to be used for scientific research purposes.
Metaverse appears to be a whole new level of technological evolution mighty enough to change the world, rather than pure fun and entertainment.
How to access the metaverse?
Modern Metaverse is not as complicated and immersive as it's envisioned to be in the future. Nowadays, having a crypto wallet and a device connected to the Internet is quite enough to start exploring it.
To perform any activity on blockchain-based metaverses you will also need metaverse coins native to the platform you want to access: e.g. Decentraland's MANA is used to purchase lands and inventories, SAND token is the local currency for Sandbox metaverse, AXS is used in Axie Infinity world.
As soon as the technology is only starting to gain momentum and promises to grow immensely from what we have today, it may be worth paying attention to developers helping to build on top of metaverse like Enjin, Efinity, and Flow.
|Source: Arctic Wallet
|Source: Arctic Wallet
Where to get Metaverse crypto?
Top metaverse tokens are available on many exchanges. You can buy mentioned metaverse coins and hundreds of other tokens including Ethereum and Bitcoin in Arctic Wallet, purchase them directly from the Arctic Wallet app and exchange them at zero fees without leaving the wallet.
Is Metaverse coming?
The Metaverse technology is being shaped as we speak, take Metaverse weddings already being a reality! The future of Metaverse seems to be bright due to the benefits it has to offer to different spheres of human life. It is coming, there is nothing we can do to stop it, so let's embrace it and enjoy its advantages.