The Metaverse Explained

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The Metaverse Explained

First of all, there is no universally accepted definition for the term. Some Think of it as an enhanced successor to the current version of the Internet – a new frontier for online interaction that connects the physical and digital worlds through computer-generated avatars. Millennials and early zoomers may remember this sims, a series of life simulation video games released in 2000 in which you can practically build a second life for the digital version of yourself or a character of your dreams. So think of virtual birthdays and weddings – a range of digital experiences connected to our real lives and accessible via VR headsets, PCs, gaming consoles and even phones, but that’s just the surface. Venture capitalist and former AmazonAMZN Executive director Matthew Ball, in his essay on the subject Remarks:

…it’s important to realize that the Metaverse is not a game, hardware, or online experience. That’s like saying World of Warcraft, the iPhone, or Google
GOOG is the internet. These are digital worlds, devices, services, websites, etc. The Internet consists of a variety of protocols, technologies, tubes and languages ​​as well as access devices and overlying content and communication experiences. Metaverse will be too.

According to Ball, a whole new set of technologies, applications, and, well, financial opportunities await us in the metaverse. CEO of $28.7 billion video game company Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, forecast“In the coming decades, the metaverse has the potential to become a multi-trillion dollar part of the global economy.”

Sweeney has every reason to be optimistic. Epic Fourteen days has grown from a popular multiplayer game into the social network of choice for an entire generation and has even hosted virtual concerts with celebrities like Ariana Grande and Travis Scott.

Brands also lay claim to the metaverse. NikeNKE has launched Nikeland, a virtual gaming experience on the Roblox gaming platform that allows users to dress their digital avatars in the company’s products. In September, Dolce & Gabbana sold a fashion brand’s first collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for around $5.7 million. Five tokens in the collection were accompanied by physical versions of the items, and the other four were digital-only pieces. At some point, avatars in the universe might be able to shape these items in different virtual worlds.

But of all the corporate forays into the metaverse, the loudest is undoubtedly that of Facebook, which changed its name to Meta in 2021 to reflect the company’s ambitions beyond social media. The renaming came amid much controversy surrounding the company, but still indicated that the focus on augmented and virtual reality will define Facebook’s future strategy. The tech conglomerate has spent more than $10 billion developing the Metaverse’s infrastructure over the past year and a half.

When the world’s largest companies are pouring billions into building technologies and experiences that promise us a whole new way of interacting and a new wave of innovation, pay attention.

The “open” metaverse

criticism say “The Metaverse is just a sexy, ambitious name for some kind of virtual or augmented reality game” by tech magnates, but in the blockchain world, the talk is about taking down the internet’s old guard – the so-called Walled Gardens of Big Tech, where companies like Google and Facebook own and profit from vast amounts of user data.

“Our goal is to build an open metaverse that can hold its own against what we call competition, namely the Web 2.0 metaverses.” says Sebastien Borget, Chief Operating Officer of Sandbox, an Ethereum-based platform where players can build and monetize in-game assets and even land. (In November 2021, Republic Realm, a company that develops real estate in the Metaverse, announced that it paid $4.3 million for the sandboxed lot, marking the largest virtual real estate purchase disclosed to date.)

Blockchain platforms such as Sandbox or Decentraland can be used due to the community-based governance where users can propose and vote on changes to the platformMANA, another industry leader, promise an entirely different metaverse, free from the dependency of corporate decisions and the hegemony of data ownership. Additionally, the decentralized architecture reduces friction between different ecosystems through various interoperability protocols that enable the transfer of assets, including cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, and NFTs, across chains.

However, Meta’s user base and resources dwarf those of blockchain-based virtual reality platforms, whose development still relies heavily on traditional venture capital funding, so the issue of Metaverse’s centralization could long remain in the gray area. The future that awaits us now seems far more virtual than it was a year ago.

Forbes is a reputable news publication, not an investment adviser, registered broker dealer, or stock exchange, and nothing in this publication should be construed as investment advice, research, or investment advisory service. The Forbes website is not tailored to the current or future investment portfolio, investment objectives or other needs of any particular reader or prospective reader. The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this publication should be construed as a solicitation, offer, opinion, endorsement or recommendation by Forbes to buy or sell any security, investment, cryptocurrency or digital asset or property in the Metaverse. Before making any financial decisions, you should consult your legal and tax advisor.

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