The Metaverse: Everything to Know
By Beluga Research July 21, 2023
- The metaverse is a digital universe that allows users to interact and can offer opportunities to buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies and digital assets
- It can also be built on blockchain technology, which offers transparency and decentralization
- A blockchain-based metaverse can offer a space for investors to exchange, buy and sell cryptocurrencies
- The metaverse allows creators such as artists to monetize their creations, like NFTs.
The metaverse is a digital universe that allows users to interact and can offer opportunities to buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies and digital assets. The metaverse has gained significant attention in recent years due to the rise of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and virtual reality.
Many users create avatars, virtual representations of themselves, to interact in the metaverse. The metaverse provides opportunities for creators like artists and musicians to present and sell digital versions of cretive works. It can also be a "test lab" for real world products, a place to gauge demand and volatility.
A Brief History
Science fiction author Neal Stephenson came up with the term "metaverse" in "Snow Crash," his 1992 novel. Stephenson describes the metaverse as a space where people can interact with each other and engage in various activities. The concept of the metaverse has developed over time.
The early 2000s saw the evolution of virtual worlds such as those in the online game Second Life. These worlds became part of the metaverse. Currently, a number of companies, like Meta and Roblox, are building metaverse worlds. There is not a single metaverse. The term "metaverse" encompasses all digital worlds, even though not all of these worlds are connected.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a set of digital spaces built on blockchain technology. The metaverse encompasses places where online games occur as well as online forums. The virtual world of the metaverse allows creators to offer works of music, art and video for sale and exchange. It also allows users to buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies.
The metaverse offers space for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It also provides transparency and decentralization for cryptocurrency transactions. Users can improve the metaverse by engaging in transactions in honest, secure ways.
Theoretically, the metaverse provides users with new opportunities to receive education, get involved in politics and find employment. The metaverse must be adjusted so it is easy to enter and participate with. This means removing or lowering barriers, such as making fees non-existent or low, ensuring it is not too difficult to engage in transactions and securing systems against malicious actors.
- Access or build a virtual space. The metaverse consists of numerous digital spaces that users enter and utilize to engage in online activities. A user can access the metaverse through numerous devices, like computers, smartphones and virtual reality headsets.
- Create, buy, sell, or exchange digital assets. Examples of parts of the metaverse include NFT marketplaces and NFT exchanges.
- Improve the blockchain technology underpinning the metaverse. Users can take community actions to make the blockchain platforms for different cryptocurrencies or NFT-related activities faster and more secure.
- Ability to create and manage virtual assets. The metaverse offers space for users to own and trade virtual assets without the need for a centralized authority. For example, in the metaverse, people can buy and sell virtual land, goods and services.
- Ability to create and participate in virtual economies. Users can earn cryptocurrencies or work for digital assets such as NFTs. Then users can trade these for other virtual assets. Users can also band together to create and manage virtual economies centered around activities like gaming, socializing and education.
- Offers new opportunities for social interaction. In the metaverse, people can interact with each other in a fully immersive environment. This means that people can socialize, attend events and work together in virtual environments. The metaverse opens up new possibilities for remote work and collaboration.
- Decentralization. Crypto-based metaverses can be built on a decentralized platform. Although authorities, such as the administrators of a particular game, may govern parts of the metaverse, no entity governs an entire decentralized metaverse. This makes parts of it democratic and transparent. In spaces where there is no centralized authority, everyone has equal access. They can participate without fear of censorship or discrimination.
- Security. Blockchain technology provides a high level of security that is essential for a metaverse platform. This ensures transactions are secure and user' data is protected from hackers and other malicious actors.
- Interoperability. The metaverse is designed to be interoperable. In some cases, different platforms can interact with one another. Depending on the rules of a community, users may be able to move assets and avatars between different virtual worlds with few or no restrictions.
- Digital ownership. The metaverse is based on the concept of digital ownership. In a number of digital spaces, users have complete control over assets and are allowed to transfer them between different platforms. This is a significant advantage over traditional gaming. In traditional games, players do not own items they acquire. They cannot transfer items between different virtual spaces.
- Monetization. The metaverse provides opportunities for users to monetize creations and activities. A creator can sell virtual goods, earn cryptocurrency for completing tasks and make a living as a virtual real estate agent. The creator may have to pay fees and follow certain rules for the privilege of certain transactions such as selling a digital asset.
- Technical limitations. The metaverse is not developed to the point that it feels like a real world. Technological and legal limitations can prevent developers from creating a digital experience that mimics real-world interaction.
- Accessibility. Entry into the metaverse can require a certain level of technical expertise and equipment, like having and understanding how to use virtual reality headsets..
- Privacy concerns. A digital space within the metaverse could collect a significant amount of data about its users, including their movements, interactions and preferences. This data can be used for targeted advertising and other purposes. The collection of data raises concerns about privacy and surveillance.
- Centralization. While the metaverse is designed to be decentralized, there is still a risk of centralization. For example, a single platform or company could become dominant. This would lead to a concentration of power and control.