Over the course of the past few months, the term Metaverse has been a hot topic of conversation. The main catalyst for this explosion stems from Mark Zuckerberg changing the name of Facebook to Meta. To keep it simple, the term Metaverse can be classified as an embodied Internet, and the next level in terms of online experience. Currently the Internet is a 2D experience, but the Metaverse will make it a 3D reality. The beauty of the Metaverse is that it can’t be controlled by any central company, and this is made possible by blockchain technology. This innovative and disruptive technology creates an open internet, where people can do things such as own property and other digital assets. These assets aren’t controlled by a centralized entity, and allow people to freely move and transfer ownership inside this embodied internet experience.
One aspect of this tremendous potential revolves around the creation of virtual worlds. A virtual world is an essential characteristic of an embodied internet, because there’s so much that you can do inside of it. For example, you can own land inside the metaverse, which is powered by NFT technology. Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com, likens purchasing virtual land today to, “buying land in Manhattan 250 years ago as the city is being built.” Just like prime physical real estate, virtual land is big business, as evidenced by “Republic Real, a firm that develops real estate in the metaverse, paying $4.3 million for land in the Sandbox Metaverse, the biggest virtual real-estate sale publicized to date.”1 In a recent CNBC interview, Ark Invest CEO Kathy Wood emphatically stated, “the metaverse will be a multitrillion-dollar opportunity that will impact every part of the economy.”2
Aside from purchasing virtual land, the Metaverse will also offer people the opportunity to be themselves inside of these worlds. This would enable people to have the ability to create their own physical appearance and attributes. It’s not much different than what we’re already seeing on social media, where people pick profile pictures that don’t resemble what they really look like. In essence, they are recreating themselves in the image they so desire. This is perfectly in line with what we are seeing with NFT avatars. Instead of using their own picture, people choose a given NFT on their profile, and there is no reason this won’t extend into the Metaverse. Or, imagine taking calls inside a Metaverse, where you’re actually meeting and interacting with people, instead of just seeing someone’s face on a Zoom call–3d experiences will be possible inside of a given Metaverse.
Now, you may be saying to yourself that you have no desire to stay connected to the Metaverse all day, every day. It’s important to note the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality. Augmented reality uses a real world setting, while virtual reality is completely virtual. Augmented reality offers people the opportunity to be in and out of the physical world and the Metaverse, where they can interact with Metaverse items and combine them with the physical world around us.
Any way you slice it, we are just scratching the surface of what Metaverses will look like in the future. Buckle your virtual seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
By Jim Lecci
Head of GameFi at RocketFuel Crypto. Jim is a researcher, analyst, and instructor on the topics of NFTs and GameFi for thousands of members at RocketFuelCrypto.com.