Metaverse And Decentralization: What You Need To Know



Metaverse” has gotten much attention after Facebook’s name change to Meta and its new goal of making the metaverse a reality. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and Meta aim to all but own the metaverse, including quietly acquiring critical players in the space.


Metaverse is not a new term. It has been used and explored thoroughly in movies, comic books, games, books, and more. Depending on the source, it represents variations of a single concept — connecting people from different places, separate universes, or spheres of life and allowing them to interact with one another.


In fact, it involves a variety of products and technologies, such as NFTs and crypto, 3D avatars, decentralized applications, virtual landscapes and realities, the ability to win rewards, participate in airdrops, conduct deals through smart contracts, operate businesses in a digital reality, and more. It is a virtual world, featuring avatars, digital objects, functioning economies, where technology is not just a tool, but something that is all-encompassing.


Besides Facebook’s own intention to pour $10 billion into metaverse-related projects just this year, Microsoft is building out its own metaverse and rolling out 3D avatars for teams. Earlier in April, Epic Games, the gaming giant behind the teen favorite Fortnite, raised $1 billion for its metaverse efforts. A lot of big players are revving up their engines to race into the Metaverse, and money tends to make things happen.


It is to be mentioned that most of the commentators imagine it as a VR/AR-heavy interface for online interactions with other people and online services alike, the sleek futuristic tech we see in movies like Ready Player One, where users navigated the online world donning 3D avatars.


VR and AR Solutions


Future Metaverse dwellers need VR and AR solutions to go in and new platforms and protocols must emerge to bring the disjointed Metaverse shards together into one seamless experience. And, unless people want the Metaverse to be as bottlenecked and surveillance-ridden as today’s internet, the Metaverse must live and breathe decentralization.


Databases are not necessarily interesting in themselves, but what is interesting is what you can build around them. Ethereum is the best example of that, fundamentally working for a sprawling ecosystem that incorporates gaming, finance, digital art, and many other spheres. There is no central authority, the governance is community-driven and there is no surveillance either — in the sense that a crypto wallet is anonymous even though the transactions are auditable on the blockchain.


Given that Zuckerberg himself billed the Metaverse as the “next generation of the internet” that will be used by hundreds of millions of users, it seems unlikely that a corporate goliath with shareholders to please won’t do everything in its power behind the scenes to position Meta at the center of the Metaverse.


How Metaverse Enters into Blockchain?


Blockchain is widely expected to become one of the key technologies enabling the development of a truly pervasive virtual space that can be navigated just as securely as the Web 2.0 internet. Blockchain-powered digital identity solutions will power truly persistent digital avatars, along with digital assets that provide region-agnostic access to services and products, the Metaverse looks set to inherit the values that the blockchain industry was founded on — namely, permissionless access, censorship resistance, security, and decentralization.


Biggest Metaverse Cryptocurrencies


Decentraland (MANA): Decentraland is a virtual reality space that allows people to buy/sell, maintain and manage virtual property called LAND. In this Metaverse, people can develop their LAND in whichever way they see fit, either through phone, laptop, or desktop.


Axie Infinity: Axie Infinity is one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies of 2021. It's already seen eye-watering gains of over 24,000% so far this year and inspired a slew of similar games. Players breed, raise, and compete with cute (and unique) Axies, which they can also sell in the marketplace.


Enjin Coin (ENJ): Enjin is a platform that lets people create and manage their NFTs. It integrates with several gaming platforms and allows players to use an item across multiple games, or sell it on the marketplace. Before NFTs, if you bought a sword to use in one specific game and that game folded or you stopped playing, the item was lost. Now, you own the item no matter what happens in the game. And Enjin makes that process possible.


The Sandbox (SAND): Sandbox is another virtual world that allows people to manage virtual land as well as other digital assets through an alternate yet native metaverse cryptocurrency called SAND. The digital experience can be easily monetized online through this cryptocurrency.


Star Atlas (ATLAS): Star Atlas lets people explore the virtual extra-terrestrial space wherein they can use a customized spaceship to access an incredibly unique metaverse, create their own virtual world, and create or join a faction. These in-game activities are enabled by the ATLAS Metaverse token on the Solana blockchain, which is much cheaper, faster, more secure, and even more scalable than the Ethereum blockchain.


Conclusion


Metaverse and cryptocurrencies work in close association and unlock a vast possibility of experiences that can only be lived virtually. The blockchain platform not only adds security and safety to digital transactions but also unlocks the concept of virtual ownership of assets, which was previously a less explored arena.


Thus, a range of crypto-native social media platforms and metaverse projects are currently in development and arguably have a major head-start and technical advantage over corporate-backed offerings in that they can remain truly permissionless and democratic.



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