A lot of recent articles and videos have started to show some of the potential that the metaverse offers, and people are beginning to get very excited about the potential for a revolutionary experience within this virtual world.
It is important to understand that there are so many different activities and categories that fall under the definition of “metaverse” and it can be hard to get your head around exactly what this entails. It can be considered as a digital reality that we will presumably all engage in as we evolve to Web 3.0.
Of course, nobody is forcing people to get involved, but with everything from chatting, buying and selling, and even activities like gaming and casinos such as Metaspins operating within the metaverse, there certainly is a degree of interest.
Understanding the metaverse
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What is the metaverse, anyway? It’s really important to wrap your head around it properly if you are going to understand the way in which it could transform lives. A lot of us think of it as a “Ready Player One”-style second universe, which isn’t a bad analogy, but there is a lot more to it than that.
The cryptocurrencies and NFTs within are in huge demand, and there is undeniably the benefit of the fact that companies can create experiences for people within the metaverse. Companies have an unbelievable opportunity to engage customers in a new way.
Some studies and estimates have shown that the industry could be worth $800bn by 2024, and there is already global interest in the metaverse and what it could look like.
Huge companies such as Facebook seem to be going all in on this technology. Mark Zuckerberg has been a very important figurehead when it comes to the promotion of the metaverse. In fact, they have changed the name of their holding company to Meta. In their own words: “Meta is helping build a future where people have more ways to play and connect in the metaverse. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection.”
Web 3.0 is a phrase that was first coined back in 2014 by the founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, and it relates to blockchain and decentralization, which we have seen grow incredibly quickly in recent years.
The shift from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0
What most of us are currently experiencing is Web 2.0. When we log in to play a game, most of the time it is simply a part of Web 2.0, meaning that a lot of the decisions have been made for you regarding the way you play, and the look and feel of the game. Also, things like in-game currencies are very much controlled by the developers of the game.
In Web 3.0, a lot of the decision-making will have been passed on to the players of the games, and this is what helps things like NFTs to become popular.
Because of the P2P networks that are decentralized networks of computers, users have ownership and protection of all of their data. It is anonymous, and data can be transferred and kept through private keys.
As Web 3.0 takes over, expect things like NFTs to be a huge part of it. For instance, if you are going to play a game, there may be a genuine scarcity of some of the objects in the game, and customization options beyond what you would have experienced before. As in real life, when you go to buy a new car, you might want a model that is customized – or even a limited edition. That sort of scarcity doesn’t currently exist in games like GTA or others where there are vehicles and a currency system, but NFTs and blockchain technology introduce that scarcity and give gamers more to aim at.
Of course, the way in which we socialize will be totally changed too. It may even look more like what you had imagined from a science fiction film. Using VR headsets and the metaverse, our online personas may “meet” and even aspects like what virtual clothes we wear and how we look in virtual reality will be part of something you can control.
Web 3.0 is still relatively new, and so is the metaverse, so it is impossible to know exactly how this is going to shake out. In the future, though, it seems inevitable that the metaverse will experience a huge boom and have an effect on pretty much every household.