A Beginners Guide To The Metaverse
When it was first introduced, blockchain technology revolutionised the possibilities of peer-to-peer transaction. But as time went on, we realised that the true potential of decentralised and permissionless distributed ledgers was much bigger than facilitating monetary transactions alone. Blockchain was the ideal technology to record and store data. Since then, blockchain has evolved from a technology only able to facilitate easier monetary transactions to a technology that enables almost every industry to become more secure, efficient and transparent. And with the latest evolutions, blockchain offers possibilities far beyond what anyone originally imagined. In fact, blockchain now presents ways to combine the virtual world with the physical world in ways that almost seemed impossible just a few years ago.
The world is becoming more digital. That’s a trend that cannot be disputed. But until recently, what was still unknown was how the merging of the physical and digital worlds would come to create one “multi-reality world”. Advancements in artificial intelligence and augmented reality have made great strides in recent years, but their efforts have only managed to enhance virtual experiences. What they’ve failed to do is offer ways to bring these two separate realms into one. But with the introduction of the Metaverse, a blockchain powered virtual reality, the merging of the physical and virtual worlds may come a lot sooner than we think.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a collective version of realities that exists digitally and can be thought of as a digital extension to the physical world. In the Metaverse, individuals can interact with others in ways similar to the physical world. They can work, play, transact and socialise with others. It’s even possible to interact with businesses and take part in virtual events. The Metaverse is very similar to the real world in the sense that space is finite and experiences happen in real time. It even has its own functioning economy where individuals can buy, sell and trade goods and services with other users and businesses.
What makes the Metaverse so unique however, is that it exists alongside the physical world acting as a bridge between physical and virtual realities. It essentially becomes an additional layer to the real world that opens up endless possibilities for human interaction, transaction and commerce that previously seemed impossible. This extension of the ‘real’ world presents opportunities for users worldwide to interact with each other as if they were together. And because the Metaverse is virtual, the possibilities for interaction and experiences go beyond typical physical capabilities. This has led many institutions and individuals to take the Metaverse seriously as a possible future widely adopted digital extension of the real world.
Why does the Metaverse need to be taken seriously?
The same factors that cause the real world to have value also cause the Metaverse to have value. Ultimately, what makes something valuable is its appeal to people and in recent times, we’ve seen a mass societal shift towards digital living. Now, it’s looking like virtual socialization is inevitable and as major Metaverse projects continue to grow, we’re witnessing more and more people choosing to interact in virtual worlds. Right now, the societal shift might seem insignificant. But thanks to the unique nature of blockchain technology and the immense capabilities of smart contracts, possabilities in the virtual world are far greater than those in the physical world. So naturally, Metaversal adoption will increase. It’s only a matter of time before significant amounts of capital get invested into these digital extensions of the physical world. This not only means that the user experiences will improve, but it also means that those who get in early have the potential to make significant profits.
What are the main Metaverse projects?
Decentraland is a virtual world where users can own and develop plots of land that they can later navigate, interact with others on and monetise. Decentraland is primarily built for content creators, businesses and individuals that are looking for new, digital ways to interact outside of the physical world. As with the real world, space in Decentraland is finite, being divided into just over 90,000 individual parcels of LAND which are represented as ERC-721 non-fungible tokens. Besides being a creative platform, many Decentraland LAND owners currently monetise their virtual real estate through leasing, advertising and offering paid experiences, such as casinos, digital art galleries and events. Users are also able to generate income by creating items and selling on the Decentraland marketplace in exchange for Decentraland’s native cryptocurrency, MANA.
2. The Sandbox
The Sandbox is a virtual world that allows users to create, build, buy and sell digital assets. The Sandbox is one of the largest blockchain based decentralized gaming platforms that can be described as a blockchain-based, decentralised version of Minecraft. The Sandbox is focused on creating a platform that enables users to be both creators and gamers simultaneously, enabling users to earn income while playing and interacting in their digital worlds. The Sandbox is a unique project because it introduces collaborative gaming into the blockchain industry which’ll create a new means for interaction between users.
3. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based trading game that allows players to collect, breed, raise, battle and trade NFT-based creatures known as Axies. If you’re familiar with NFTs and card games, the easiest way to think of Axie Infinity is to imagine a blockchain-based game that combines Pokemon and CryptoKitties. Each Axie is a non-fungible token that can be leveled up by entering battles. While not a project that facilitates the creation of decentralised virtual worlds, like Decentraland and The Sandbox, Axie Infinity is an immersive digital game that is a great example of how users can interact and play games with others in the Metaverse, similar to how card game likes Pokemon and Ugio work in the physical world.
4. Decentral Games
Decentral Games is a Metaverse events host and developer on the Decentraland platform. Currently, their biggest attractions are their three casinos that offer Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Backgammon and Slot Machines. At the casino, players can earn $DG for playing games, liquidity providers can earn $DG for providing the house liquidity bank and holders can earn $DG for participating in the governance of the casino house funds treasury. Decentral Games are also well known for hosting events in the Metaverse and they recently announced a partnership with Amnesia, one of the biggest clubs in Ibiza, to bring electronic dance music experiences to the virtual worlds.
5. vEmpire DDAO
vEmpire is entirely focused on the true decentralisation of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations. The project is dedicated to fighting back against so-called decentralised projects that have become somewhat centralised. vEmpire facilitates Metaverse token staking, enabling users to stake tokens such as MANA and SAND in a DeFi-esque staking strategy that returns a yield in its native cryptocurrency, VEMP. vEmpire uses the staked tokens to buy and monetise Metaversal land and then distributes the profits between the stakers. The project’s aim is to prevent the Metaverse from being taken over and controlled by corporate institutions, which can potentially turn the Metaverse into a giant cash cow instead of its original, intended purpose of providing a decentralised digital extension of the physical world.
Why is investing in the metaverse, and more importantly vEmpire, a good idea?
As virtual socialization occurs and Metaversal adoption picks up, there will be amazing opportunities to monetize in ways similar to the physical world. This presents significant opportunities for investment. For those that can get in early, the potential to make immense profit by investing in the Metaverse and Metaverse projects is massive. It’s logical that as adoption and demand for space in the Metaverse increases, the price will too. Currently, attention and adoption seems to be moving towards living in and fully embracing a digital extension of the physical world. And while we’re still early to the party, institutional Metaversal investment is quickly speeding up. It’s imperative that the Metaverse community do not let institutions turn what was intended to be a decentralised digital extension to the physical world into a monopoly used entirely for profiteering.
Disclaimer: nothing in this article is intended to be financial or investment advice