Today, the most broached topic is “Metaverse,” as if it’s the next thing that will alter human lifestyles in the digital world. However, the metaverse is a trending topic and a prominent buzzword in technology, finance, and the business industry.
For an in-depth understanding, let’s dive right into the fundamentals of the metaverse and its underlying technology.
Let’s start with the history of the metaverse first.
Evolution of the Metaverse
While the metaverse concept may sound new, its debut happened years ago. It all begins with one brilliant person.
Recalling to 1838, when scientist, Sir Charles Wheatstone, discovered the blueprint of binocular vision, where you combine two images to make a 3D image.
Later on, Sir Charles’ theory contributed to the development of stereoscopes. A stereoscope is a device for viewing two images separately and with relaxed eyes. Additionally, this is the same concept used in modern times in virtual reality (VR) headsets.
Furthermore, in 1935, Stanley G. Weinbaum, an American science fiction writer, published the book “Pygmalion’s Spectacles.” The book contains a story about the main character exploring a fictional world using a pair of goggles that deliver the five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch.
In 1956, the first VR machine, the Sensorama machine, was made by Morton Heilig. Basically, it looked like an arcade machine, but with extra spice. Later Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the ‘Aspen Movie Map,’ a compter-generated tour of the town of Aspen, Colorado.
Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, the term “meta”: beyond and the universe, was forged by Neal Stephenson in his 1922 novel “Snow Crash.” Then, most recently, the majority of people are familiar with the movie, Ready Player One, released in 2018. However, there is more to the metaverse than what Ready Player One represents.
What is Metaverse?
The metaverse is understood as a rich 3D digital virtual space of the real world where people can experience real-world activities in a virtual environment just from the comfort of their homes with a virtual reality (VR) headset.
The metaverse is basically a digital universe that exists among us, but it’s a universe that can merge with our own to create immersive, interactive, and hyper-realistic experiences.
The Metaverse is directly connected to technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality (AR), VR, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
What can you do in the Metaverse?
NFTs and crypto play a huge role in the metaverse to create blockchain-based metaverse startups. For instance, Decentraland and Sandbox are platforms where you can purchase virtual land and other items that they offer as an NFT.
Firstly, people use it to buy real estate or virtual assets such as NFTs in the metaverse. Secondly, some groups use the metaverse for business activities or recreational purposes. This year, in July, Facebook announced the formation of a metaverse product team.
Can you host a party in the metaverse?
Of course, you could host a party in the metaverse. What is more, users can take a virtual trip to places they have never been, go virtual shopping, visit a virtual concert of their favorite artist, or in the metaverse projects.
Throwback to the COVID-19 outbreak times, when the metaverse could be used as a game changer for the ‘work from home’ concept. Additionally, if you are the CEO of a company, you could have virtual interviews with the candidates.
Spatial is a metaverse that allows users to host meetings and other events. For instance, if you happen to be the CEO of a company, you could host a virtual interview in the metaverse with the candidates.
In the future, we could expect tech firms to figure out innovative solutions. With Facebook joining the hype train, you can be sure everyone is taking notice.
Decentraland is a 3D virtual browser-based social platform built and governed by its users.
Users may buy and sell virtual plots of land on the platform as NFTs via the MANA cryptocurrency, the native currency of Decentraland.
Axie Infinity was released in 2018 by a Vietnamese game studio, Sky Mavis. It is a P2E metaverse game that was inspired by Pokemon. Users may grind the game and find rewards such as NFTs of the characters or other valuable assets.
The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows up to six players, and they can physically interact with other players, just like in the real world.
If the world we live in was a giant metaverse, space would be another one. This game focuses on space exploration, development, and mining. The items in the game come in the form of NFTs and are tradable. All trades happen on the Solana blockchain.
What is blockchain?
A blockchain is a database or a ledger shared among the nodes of a computer network. As a database, the blockchain stores all the information electronically in digital format. Blockchains are best known for their security and crucial role in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
If one block was changed, it would be immediately apparent that it had been tampered with. If hackers wanted to infect the system, they would have to change every block in the chain, which is nearly impossible and time-consuming.
How Does Crypto Play a Huge Role in the Metaverse?
To survive and make things happen, crypto and the metaverse are dependent on each other. Although the metaverse and cryptocurrency are unalike things, crypto is what fuels the metaverse. Let’s dive into the fundamentals.
In modern-times hacks and data breaches are usual, and blockchain has proven, to this point, to be unhackable and immutable. Since the metaverse is entirely virtual, the platform needs high-end security from intruders.
Talking about crypto in the metaverse, the metaverse will require and need transactions to be completed on an on-demand basis, which is something that blockchain and crypto assets can help with. For the metaverse to function as advertised, there will need to be instant and safe transactions.
Especially in an online or virtual environment, having a payment method that is secure, traceable, and transparent will be an integral part of how this space will evolve going forward.
Cryptographic transactions offer a practical and tested way for people and organizations to carry out transactions in a virtual, traceable, and immediate way.
Many believe that no matter what the future of the Metaverse holds, we will still be making payments for services and digital goods with cryptocurrency only. Cryptocurrency is the preferred method of payment and, of course, relies on blockchain technology.
What Does the Future Hold for the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is relatively young and does not genuinely exist, but many projects are all trying to create their own version of the Metaverse. These projects reveal the future of the Metaverse, but we can’t be certain about its evolution. We can be sure that blockchain technology and NFTs form the backbone.
The future of the metaverse also spans on an idea of running openly, almost with no interruption from a single community or company, because the participation of creators will be from across the world as more brands are looking to open their outlets on the broader metaverse just like on the internet of the current times.
With two major companies, Facebook and Microsoft, invested in the metaverse, we can get a glimpse of how these companies would contribute to the future of the metaverse.