Blockchain is a core technology which differentiates itself from other technologies. It has solved the double expense since 2008 with the emergence Bitcoin blockchain. Blockchain technology was the driving force behind nonfungible tokens (or NFTs) which brought scarcity to tokens and interoperability. What does blockchain technology and nonfungible tokens have to do Metaverse? Large companies are experimenting in Metaverse with NFTs.
When Neal Stephenson published his science fiction novel Snow Crash in 1992, the term “metaverse”, was first used. This book shows humans interacting with one another and with software agents, such as avatars, in a three-dimensional space which acts as a metaphor to the real world. Stephenson was the first to use the term. However, internet pioneers in late 1970s and early 80s already discussed the possibility of a virtual reality-based alternative to the internet. They envisioned the internet as a shared virtual world. It is a place where the physical world merges with the virtual, creating new digital spaces.
These spaces are where the rules can change. They can achieve the life they desire in every day living. Digital avatars allow them to express themselves and even bring in their digital idols. Some have even attempted to conceptualize the metaverse, now that the term “Metaverse” has become mainstream.
However, it is still a risky task to define the metaverse. As with the early days of internet, many didn’t know what the metaverse would look like, or how it would be used to support business models such as Uber, Amazon, and Netflix. I don’t believe anyone has a clue about the size or breadth of the Metaverse.
The movie, directed by Steven Spilberg, and based upon the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, is worth a look for those still unsure about the Metaverse.
Related: Sci-fi and blockchain reality? It is possible to build the OASIS ‘Ready Player One.
Metaverse and Web 3.0
The Metaverse and its expansion in all areas of society, and Web 3.0 (and the democratization) are two trends that will change the world over the next 10-15 years.
Aren’t Web 3.0 and the Metaverse the same thing? As there is no clear definition of Metaverse, so is there no idea for Web 3.0. Both are still in development.
Related: The Metaverse: Is it a decentralized haven, or a central tyranny.
It is possible to already identify the characteristics of Web 3.0, such as the emphasis on users (rather than companies), the widespread use of artificial intelligence (as an effective tool to provide the best analysis to people) and distributed networks (we won’t rely on huge centralized data servers). Web 3.0 content will feature more 3D images and videos. Web 3.0 will also have augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), which will bring more realistic graphics to games and applications.
This means that we can conclude that the Metaverse is still in its infancy and being constructed in many spheres, with the Web 3.0 being by far the largest.
It can be used for games as well as social spaces, such Second Life, which was one of the most successful attempts to create an metaverse portal. However, it is not possible to say that the Metaverse is the Web.
Metaverse and NFTs
As we have seen, tech professionals were already anticipating an Exponential Age in which the “internetof the future” would take us to the Metaverse.
The future is now at our doorstep, but it was not yet known how this virtual space would achieve its full potential. The Metaverse could fundamentally change not only how people interact with the digital universe but also the way that part of the real world is altered.
The integration of NFTs in the Metaverse has led to a transformation in our interactions with virtual worlds and a part of the real-world. Gucci is trying to reach new customers in the Metaverse through the Roblox game. NFTs are sold to avatars of limited edition “Gucci Collection” (bags, glasses, and hats) in Roblox.
Coca-Cola launched virtual clothing in July as non-fungible tokens. It included a jacket that could be worn by avatars in the virtual world Decentraland. The platform even hosted a Rooftop Party to celebrate the launch. In November, NASCAR will launch a virtual car on Roblox’s Jailbreak breakout gaming platform. It will also sell clothing to players’ avatars. As part of a fan contest, players will be able create their own NASCAR uniforms. The game’s developers will act as influencers and promote them via social media.
NFTs provide access to many parties in Metaverse.
Last quarter, several global brands launched non-fungible tokens from their NFTs into virtual worlds. Why?
There are many interactive opportunities and eyeballs. Roblox has more than 200 million active users monthly, half of whom are younger than 13, and hundreds of thousands virtual games. Many of these games include brand activations. The platform has been accessed nearly 30,000,000 times by WarnerMedia’s Wonder Woman: The Themyscira Experience. This initiative is a great example of how companies meet their customers where they are.
Gucci and Coca-Cola are two examples of companies that should consider betting on this new sphere. While the metaverse is still in its infancy and brands are still in the early stages of their digital transformation, NFTs have proven to be an excellent gateway for brands to experience the many parts of this Metaverse, including how digital ownership works, the effects of migrating part the economy to it, user behavior, and much more.
Similar: Building the Metaverse with no bias: New industry, new rules
Blockchain technology is the new face of NFTs
NFTs represent a nonfungible asset. An NFT, as a technical term, is a piece or code that verifies you own a nonfungible asset. It also represents the digital representation of the asset in digital media.
Noting that NFTs were around before the advent of blockchain technology is important, blockchain technology has revolutionized NFT markets. It solves the double-spending problem, and gives scarcity, uniqueness, and authenticity to nonfungible tokens.
An NFT that is registered on a blockchain becomes a unique asset that can’t be counterfeited or manipulated. The standardization of basic attributes of NFTs, such as ownership, transfer, and access control, has been achieved by blockchain technology. Additional attributes, such as specific instructions on how to claim an NFT have also been added. Interoperability has been enabled by blockchain technology, which allows NFTs to move between different ecosystems more easily.
Because blockchain technology is open, NFTs are instantly visible across many different wallet providers. They can also be traded across multiple markets.
Interoperability has allowed NTFs to be traded in other currencies and outside of their original environment. This includes stablecoins, digital currencies, and cryptocurrencies. This negotiability also has allowed for a shift from an NFT economy that was initially closed to trading to one that is now open to trade. The NFT market has been opened up to trading on the real world, and recently also in virtual worlds.
Many still view NFTs as a passing trend, but industry leaders realize that NFTs are the missing piece to create a functional metaverse. A fully functional metaverse has the potential to transform the way people interact with the digital world and merge it with the real world.
It’s a truly collective virtual experience that can reinvent the creative industry by opening up new doors for creators, artists, and players, as well as allowing the physical world to seamlessly integrate with the digital.
We can see where we were in the early days and where we are now and more importantly where we are headed. The inevitable existence of shared virtual spaces, resignifying both our private and public lives, is obvious.
Have you ever purchased an NFT from a virtual world? What can you see here that NFTs and Metaverses can do for your daily life? This is what you should be thinking about until the next meeting.
These views, thoughts, and opinions are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cointelegraph.
Tatiana Revoredo, a founder member of the Oxford Blockchain Foundation, is a strategist in Blockchain at Said Business School at Oxford. She is also an expert on blockchain business applications at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The European Parliament invited Tatiana to the Intercontinental Blockchain Conference. In Brazil, Tatiana was invited to the public hearing about Bill 2303/2015. She is the author two books, Blockchain: Tudo O Qu Voce Saber and Cryptocurrencies within the International Scenario – What Is the Position Of Central Banks Governments And Authorities Regarding Cryptocurrencies