In October of 2021, Facebook announced that it would be changing its company name to Meta. The name change is anything but random, as it reflects the company’s aspirations beyond social media.
More specifically, Facebook is looking to get a piece of the pie in the Metaverse. The Metaverse is a network of virtual worlds, and it could soon play a huge role in our real lives. Here’s what to know about the Metaverse and what its future holds.
Metaverse: Welcome to the future!
While public interest in the Metaverse may have just begun in this past year, the Metaverse concept dates back way further.
The term "metaverse" was first introduced by the sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson in 1992. In his novel "Snow Crash", he used the term to describe 3D virtual spaces. Fast forward 30 years, and we have a more robust version of the metaverse created through the immersion of virtual reality, augmented reality, the internet, and cryptocurrency.
However, a lot has happened in those 30 years since Stephenson first coined the term. Here are some highlights:
- 2003: Phillip Rosedale and his team at Linden Lab unveil Second Life, an online virtual world.
- 2009: Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is created.
- 2011: Science fiction writer Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One introduces people to the world of virtual reality. It became so popular that in 2018 it was also released as a movie.
- 2014: Facebook acquires virtual reality hardware and the platform Oculus.
- 2015: Decentraland creates the first iteration of an online virtual world.
- 2016: Pokemon Go takes the world by storm with its augmented reality game.
- 2017: Fortnite, the multiplayer game and social hub, is released. The game introduced concepts like virtual concerts and tours.
- 2018: Axie Infinity, a popular virtual reality game based on training and trading virtual creatures, is released. It runs on the Ethereum platform.
- 2021: Microsoft unveils Mesh, a platform designed for virtual collaborations across multiple devices.
- 2021: Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces that Facebook’s parent company will adopt the name Meta, and he reveals plans for the metaverse.
What constitutes a Metaverse?
Simply put, a metaverse is a space where people can participate in a shared virtual universe. However, there is also the Metaverse with a capital “M.”
This is the idea that humans will participate in a single virtual reality where each person has their own avatar. In this shared virtual reality space, people will be able to hang out, talk, play games, and browse the web.
Some people think the Metaverse will become the “new internet.” Instead of a “flat” internet that people use to surf every day, people will enter the Metaverse where there’s dimension, color, and texture. It seems that with Zuckerberg’s recent announcement, he may have his eyes set on his company capitalizing and controlling this Metaverse.
It also seems likely that if the Metaverse were to come about, it would exist on the blockchain.
What's behind the current hype?
While talk around the metaverse has been building momentum for a while, Facebook’s name change has thrust the metaverse into front-page news. However, the hype goes far beyond this name change, as many people are starting to realize that the Metaverse could be the most significant technological breakthrough since the invention of the internet.
Who is most interested in the Metaverse?
While tech big-wigs like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk may be at the forefront of conversations related to the Metaverse, other individuals and organizations also have a great interest in the Metaverse.
The Metaverse is extremely exciting to those working in the gaming, NFT, and crypto industries, as it can have an enormous impact in these areas. It is also of great interest to investors. Investing early in metaverse-related companies and products could lead to significant returns in the future.
Who is already involved in the Metaverse?
Investing in the Metaverse goes beyond buying stocks in Facebook (Meta). The least volatile option for those looking to buy into the metaverse is to invest in publicly traded companies with business models or profits tied to the metaverse.
Some companies outside of Facebook looking to expand into the metaverse include:
Boeing: Boeing has a vested interest in the metaverse, as it’s using it to expand and improve upon production capabilities. Boeing has future plans to create a digital environment where human, robot, and computer employees can seamlessly collaborate and communicate.
Microsoft: Microsoft may be Facebook’s biggest competition when it comes to staking a claim on the Metaverse. The company recently released Mesh for Microsoft Teams, a video conferencing service that allows individuals to create personalized avatars and collaborate with teammates in a 3D holographic environment. Holoportation is a key feature of the service, as it allows users to access their digital environment with a VR headset.
Roblox: This is an online metaverse gaming platform that allows users to create and share a virtual world with other gamers.
Of course, we can’t forget the blockchain projects venturing further into the Metaverse. Keep reading to learn more about the Metaverse and the blockchain projects that feature prominently in the growth of this emerging space.
What offers the Metaverse and how can you invest?
Many describe the metaverse as a fusion of the internet, virtual reality, and augmented reality. While this is an appropriate definition, it’s a bit broad, and it doesn’t get into the heart of what the metaverse is in action.
One of the best ways to understand the metaverse is to see how it works with other existing industries. Here are some examples:
The gaming industry has already hit the ground running when it comes to the Metaverse. The game Axie Infinity was released in 2018. Other popular Metaverse games that have been released or are in development include:
Sandbox: Based on the Ethereum Blockchain and still in development, this game will allow players to build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences.
SoRare: Also developed on the Ethereum blockchain, SoRare is essentially a football NFT game. Players can buy cards that represent real players on the platform and then create fantasy teams. How players perform in real matches could help cardholders win points.
Illuvium: This game centers around exploring the virtual world, and it allows players to collect entities called “Illuvials.”
Ultra: Ultra is an entertainment platform that plans to provide a variety of blockchain metaverse games.
And many, many others.
Many people use the terms virtual world and Metaverse interchangeably. However, while they’re intrinsically connected, they’re not the same thing. You’ve likely already encountered the virtual world in some capacity.
For example, if you’ve ever taken a VR tour of a home on a real estate website, you’ve had experience with a virtual world. Oculus Quest and Playstation VR are examples of VR gaming. Many industries, such as healthcare, the military, real estate, and education, already use VR to engage others and share information.
While virtual reality is already well-defined, the Metaverse isn’t. But, we can expect the Metaverse to include a shared virtual world. Furthermore, users will access this shared virtual world via the internet, with each user having a personal avatar.
NFT real estate
NFTs are unique digital tokens that one can purchase with cryptocurrency. These tokens confirm sole ownership of a digital asset through the blockchain, where ownership can be tracked publicly and sold readily.
Through the Metaverse, people can purchase NFT real estate. In other words, people will buy virtual real estate in the Metaverse using an NFT token. The proof that you own this piece of real estate will lie on the blockchain.
NFT artwork exploded in popularity in 2021 as celebrity hype, and online buzz pushed them to the forefront of the conversation. Similar to real estate, people will be able to showcase digital art in the metaverse, and others can purchase these works with NFTs.
Like real estate, ownership of the artwork will also be tracked on the blockchain. You can get started in this space today with our own VALOR PRIME NFT marketplace.
Major Metaverse projects
As many industries are figuring out how to get involved in the Metaverse, many Metaverse projects are underway. These include:
Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is a digital pet universe where you can earn tokens through contributions to the ecosystem and skilled gameplay. Players can collect, battle, and build land-based kingdoms for their pets. Apart from providing entertainment, users can earn money in several ways. This can be done by breeding rare creatures, staking AXS tokens, and selling “smooth love potions.”
You can check out this article to learn more about Axie Infinity.
Decentraland describes itself as a “virtual destination for digital assets.” Through the Decentraland Marketplace, users can buy and sell land, real estate, names, and avatar wearables as NFTs. This can be done using the MANA cryptocurrency, which operates on the Ethereum blockchain.
The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is a decentralized NFT gaming metaverse that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. Through Sandbox, players can build and monetize their virtual gaming experiences. Users can buy and sell these experiences using the utility token SAND.
SuperRare is a digital art market that operates on the Ethereum blockchain. Users create artwork on the network, and every piece of artwork is tokenized as a collectible digital asset.
As you can see, the development of the metaverse is already well underway.
If you’re looking to get involved in the metaverse, we recommend that you consider investing in diverse projects.
Of course, profiting from the metaverse will take a lot of research and diligence, so we also recommend creating a SMART VALOR account to stay up-to-date on all things related to the metaverse. Creating an account will also allow you to trade, stake, and manage your crypto portfolio. Click here to sign up today.