Even if you went out of your way to hunt for someone who knew what a metaverse was or whether there was even such a thing two years ago, you would have had a tough time finding them. The term is made up of the prefix meta, which means “to transcend,” and the word “universe.” Neal Stephenson, an American science fiction writer, coined the phrase in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It has recently gained widespread notice as a result of Facebook’s choice to call itself meta and its news that it will be developing a 3D virtual shared space termed the Metaverse. Many individuals believe that Facebook’s Horizon Worlds, a free virtual reality online video game, is the Metaverse. However, this is not the case because the Metaverse has not yet been made available to the general population.
The term “metaverse” refers to a shared digital world in which users may traverse using avatars and interact with other users. Despite the fact that the most recent version of Facebook has not yet been launched, it is the platform that has shone a light on these digital realms. Several significant features of these planets will be explained in the following paragraphs.
1. There have been several metaverses since the dawn of time
Although Facebook/Meta seems to retain the Metaverse name patent, there are already hundreds of virtual shared spaces that offer many of the capabilities that Facebook should integrate into their version. Decentraland is the most well-known of these virtual environments, followed by SandBox and Somnium Space. The great majority of currently active metaverses were very recently launched, and only the most well-established ones have user populations in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. They do not display fancy visuals, instead sticking to plain pictures and emphasizing the interactive component that they provide.
2. The vast majority of platforms are DAOs
The acronym “DAO” stands for “decentralized autonomous organization.” A DAC, or decentralized autonomous company, is another term that some people prefer to use interchangeably. They both relate to the same concept: an organization with rules that have been voted on by all of its members and are encoded as transparent software. A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) does not have a central controlling body since it is a kind of governance in which the people influence how things function in their community.
3. Blockchain Technology Development Is Required for Metaverse Expansion
A blockchain-powered economy, complete with its currency based on the ERC-20 standard, may be found in almost every metaverse that uses the DAO system. SandBox’s fungible cryptocurrency, for example, is named SAND, but Decentraland utilizes its native currency, MANA. These are critical to the operation of the ecosystems that make up these platforms. They are the foundation for all transactions that occur within such systems. Each metaverse has a limited supply of its currency, and users may buy and sell tokens representing that currency on popular cryptocurrency exchanges.
4. A primary goal is to realize the potential of virtual reality
Even if not every metaverse has a virtual reality mode, the majority are striving to implement one shortly. Somnium Space is compatible with all of the most popular virtual reality headsets, including those from Valve, HTC VIVE, and HP, as well as Oculus devices and Windows mixed-reality headsets. Despite popular belief, Decentraland is working on establishing a virtual reality (VR) option, and Facebook’s upcoming Metaverse will certainly be VR compatible.
5. You Have the Ability to Run a Business
Since metaverses feature fully functional economies, users may acquire and exchange digital items that are distinguished as one-of-a-kind virtual assets and are referred to as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Users of a metaverse can buy these non-fungible tokens (NFTs) using a fungible token, and they can also buy pieces of the map that reflects their virtual world. When someone owns property in a metaverse, they have the freedom to do anything they want with it and their estates, regardless of what others believe is acceptable. The vast majority of individuals choose to build their houses and businesses on property they already own. The Tominoya Casino in Decentraland is a well-known example of this type of operation. It is analogous to high-paying internet casinos that welcome American players. In a metaverse, there is only one example of a person leading a gaming institution. As a result, you should brace yourself for huge growth in the number of virtual casino tycoons in the near future.
6. There are various banks in the Metaverse
Recent news articles state that JPMorgan, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, has started looking into the opportunities presented by the metaverse. In March of 2021, HSBC, which was at the time one of the most significant asset lenders in Europe, made history by becoming the first financial institution in the world to purchase real estate in the Sandbox metaverse. In February, a group of JPMorgan Chase’s rivals from Wall Street opened the Onyx Lounge officially in Decentraland. Users of the site have the opportunity to purchase assets and land in that location. EQIFI is a platform for decentralized finance that is powered by the EQI bank. Recently, it has formed a partnership with Polkacity, a platform for online gaming. The next NFT-powered game that Polkacity develops will feature an EQIFI bank as an optional feature.
7. When using metaverses, you should be aware of several concerns regarding your privacy
The fact that these platforms collect an enormous amount of personally identifiable information from their users is the primary concern that the vast majority of people have regarding metaverses. These hubs, in contrast to more well-known social networks, keep a closer eye on the activities of their users and enforce stricter rules. In addition, as users carry out thousands of crypto-based transfers in their primary marketplaces, metaverses may collect information regarding financial activities. Even though numerous companies operating in a wide variety of industries collect biometric data from their customers, only a small number of nations have enacted legal frameworks to regulate the process of collecting biometric data.