What is Metaverse? Decentralized vs. Zuckerberg’s Metaverse
Metaverse seems to become the new buzzword among NFTs, and the Web 3.0 topics. But what is the concept of Metaverse in actuality and what is wrong with Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, and what blockchain has to do with it?
The ideas and discussions are tremendously growing every day on Twitter and Reddit since Mark Zuckerberg presented his vision of Metaverse in a 70-minute video — Connect 2021. At that time, the former Facebook brand decides to start building its Metaverse, and coherently renames that company to Meta.
Why is it important to know about the Metaverse?
Well, now, it is very clear that Metaverse is inevitable. In the nearest future, Metaverse will be influencing the lives of many people on earth. Pretty much in a similar way how the Internet and Bitcoin had changed our perception about the ordinary routine that we are busy with.
It is important to notice, that the Metaverse as the concept is not an invention of Meta, and the original idea should be aligned with the principles of decentralization.
With which blockchain, NFTs and Web 3.0 determine their existence.
But what is the concept of Meta exactly?
The prehistory of Metaverse
Metaverse may seem like another sophisticated technology to grasp. However, people are passionately discussing where the so-called “borders” of the Metaverse are. Does it mean that whenever we are interacting with our friends and teammates on Zoom or Messenger video calls already put us in a “Metaverse” up to a certain, subtle level?
Many science fiction authors in the 70s, 80s and 90s were fantasizing about a plethora of similar concepts. But, one author hit the target quite accurately.
The Metaverse was extremely accurately described by Neal Stephenson in 1992 in his book “Snow Crash”. His concept was discerned as a vibrant 3D virtual world, hardly indistinguishable from reality, where the people use digital avatars of themselves to explore the online world, often as a way of escaping a dystopian reality.
This idea is extremely close to the actual concept of Metaverse now.
Explaining what is the Metaverse concept
When it comes to the explanation, it is important to understand that the concept is still emerging, and there are many different shapes to it.
Most typically, the Metaverse — is a digital world that offers a person the ability to immersively interact with it apart from the real world, and get enhanced social, visual, and sensual experiences.
This parallel digital world also offers the ability to instantly travel within the abundance of locations in it, freely modify your look, and even work in a metaverse.
But how does this flawlessly described concept work? How is it going to be built?
From the technical side, to build or i.e create the Metaverse, we should use first — develop an interactive digital world, with open locations, interfaces, and inner apps. Pretty much likely it can be done with game design, gaming technology, 3D design renderings, motion technologies that are used in the game dev.
VR & AR
For Metaverse participants, all the interaction inside of this digital world will be possible through augmented reality technologies, and complex motion tracking devices like VR headsets, that we are actively using for games that support VR technology.
The information of brain activity and motion tracking will allow for every participant of Metaverse to interact with that digital world on an enhanced level of genuine feelings.
In contrast with the VR gaming experiences that we have right now, as Mark Zuckerberg said, it will be a new level of human interactions and experiences. (however, this statement might be very contradictory).
Every participant in Metaverse will be able to create experiences that are not possible in the real world and to physically interact with all the features of a virtual immersive world genuine unique way. A participant is distinguishable by his digital avatar (here comes the time for NFTs) and may modify his look whenever he would like doing so.
VR alongside augmented reality technologies will be a key point to shape the experiences that are supposed to characterize the end vision of Metaverse. However, interactive and immersive digital experiences are only part of the concept.
It is immutable for the metaverse concept to be governed by decentralized infrastructure like blockchains to empower transparency and independence of future Metaverse participants and fair competition for platform builders in the metaverse’s development space.
The inner side
Eventually, this will aid metaverse participants in defining the final metaverse’s structure (very likely how people should define the structure of our society, without a third governing party), providing the digital universe greater solidity and diversity.
Decentralization is one of the must-have points for the concept of Metaverse that will allow users to independently participate, and influence the development of Metaverse altogether seamlessly, without having these frightening dystopian ideas when Metaverse is centralized and is governed by companies like Meta dedicatedly.
The passionate enthusiasts around the Metaverse concept including Mark Zuckerberg believe that Metaverse is the new future of human interaction, and Metaverse can offer the advanced version of interaction with the world and people.
However, some people do think the opposite.
We mentioned earlier that Metaverse is inevitable. Why is that?
Well, because the tech whales giants as Meta (ex. Facebook), Google, Microsoft, and Tencent are competing already today for the pioneering of building the Metaverse.
So, there is no doubt that Metaverse is closer than we think.
NFTs and Metaverse
The whole Metaverse concept is essentially supposed to have an inner economy. Similarly, how game perks, skins, and legendary items trade in MMORPG games worlds, the NFTs already have the immutable utility for concepts like that.
The NFTs utility in Metaverse will be a must-have to accessing Metaverse. Why is that?
The features and inherencies of NFTs allow creating a digital economy by enabling authentication of possessions, property, and even identity.
And also, we highly recommend watching our webinar NFT Fever to follow up the discussions on future NFTs utility. You’re welcome to watch it here.
Metaverse economy powered by NFTs
Any society (physical or virtual) needs the ability to travel and trade freely between realms. This is why in-game economies have started becoming more popular with players who can earn while they play by playing games such as blockchain games that use NFTs. The most prominent precursor of the Metaverse digital economy is Decentraland. By relying on NFTs, immutable digital assets will provide a full-function economy with digital ownership rights, properties, and trading of play-to-earn metaverse assets.
The play mechanics like “play-to-earn”, which rely on various forms of rewards for those who contribute value through their gameplay, will only enhance the digital economy in Metaverse.
The adoption of the plat-to-earn gaming model for the digital economy in Metaverse is offering a lot of benefits to Metaverse participants. The blockchain-powered play-to-earn model that we are witnessing in every NFT game will derive the digital economy in Metaverse to a new level of engagement and transparency within Metaverse.
This model with the help of NFTs will allow Metaverse participants to engage in financial activities by earning rewards, disposing of property. And all the activities will be conducted fairly, due to the decentralized nature of blockchain.
Those digital economies in Metaverse will have the chance to have an open and fairground economy if it will be governed by blockchain networks and NFTs that enhance the functionality of the basic economics law, like distributed supply and demand, market prices regulation, and so on.
NFTs avatars and identity in Metaverse
The NFT avatars from NFT collections for sure will find utility in Metaverse since NFT avatars are already actively used in NFT games. Metaverse participants will be using NFT avatars as their appearance in Metaverse that will be determined 100% unique and immutable as well. Since NFTs are inherently offering a field of opportunities for digital identity usage, they will play a big deal in it.
Coherently, NFT avatars will unfold a lot of options for Metaverse participants, such as the ability to access tokenized assets, switching between locations in Metaverse, enhancing being a part of a dedicated community, and bonding social experience with like-minded people.
We can see that at this very moment, the NFT avatars that we know are already forming communities that gather a lot of people. These communities are shaping the future Metaverses at this current moment, and for sure, we will see them existing in Metaverse.
Decentralization and blockchain-powered Metaverse
The perfect endpoint of building and developing Metaverse will be looking like a full, interconnected virtual environment, that is fully independent and enhanced by all ecosystems (like blockchain) to make it seem less dystopian with the power of decentralization.
The Metaverse would be empowered by blockchain in the best manner and will give equal and seamless cooperation for every individual participant in Metaverse with abilities to connect and contribute.
A completely open and independent digital world with an interoperable virtual network that is applying the same mechanism for every participant without the idea of being governed by big venture capital, or a giant silicon valley technology company.
A decentralized system that would be powered with a blockchain will be able to promise a safe and engaging digital reality as Metaverse but through a virtual ecosystem. In this way, Metaverse will be one place that is not owned by any centralized entity.
We already are a few steps further to decentralized Metaverse, than we think. Holding and trading digital assets and currencies, tokenized items has become possible with the emergence of a blockchain and decentralized economy.
The decentralized Metaverse should be cooperatively built with the independent open-source apps, decentralized oracles, and cross-chain powered technologies, to make it solid, yet decentralized. We think that only in this case, the Metaverse has the chance to be considered as the future of the Internet and digital world concepts.
Blockchain by its nature possesses an infinite capability of utility for shared networks, this is what Metaverse can be fairly considered. Metaverse, which is powered with blockchain networks, cross-chain technologies alongside with DeFi tools for fair decentralized Metaverse economy and NFTs for creating digital identity and assets value representation, actually brings the essential things to everyone — a true connection to a virtual world based on free will, fair systems cooperation inside of a virtual world, and network consistency.
Therefore, according to these principles above, Metaverse would resemble an upgraded alternative digital space that we know today with DAOs instead of corporations and governments, NFTs instead of marketplaces and galleries. DeFi as our banking system, and the alternative knowledge bank, that would be somehow transferred from Web 2.0.
But let’s be honest, that is already a bit different concept of Metaverse, in contrast to the one that was described by Mark Zuckerberg in Connect 2021.
Yet, it is obvious that Metaverse powered by blockchain technologies has more potential to bring the utility and value for further developments of virtual worlds as Metaverse.
Is Metaverse here to stay?
Despite all the discussion and turmoil around how Metaverse will look, and how it will be built, there is no doubt that we will be able to face it very soon.
As blockchain developers, we are truly convinced that Metavese is inevitable, and we are admiring the concept as long as it is built in a decentralized manner.
We feel like we should give a contribution to the emerging Metaverse builds, and help as many companies that are working cooperatively with the AR, VR, and gaming resources, to empower their Metaverse into a real, true, and enhanced version with blockchain technology.
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Article author: Mariia Zavtur