The term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by writer Neil Stevenson. According to science fiction writers, the metaverse is virtual reality. A person can get there with the help of special devices, perform various actions similar to the real world.
The metaverse is all over the place right now. Many well-known companies plan their development considering the trend. We are talking about such IT giants as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. In addition, many computer games are also associated with this concept – Decentraland, Fortnite, Minecraft, and others. Each company has a different approach to building its own version of the virtual world.
At the same time, the definition of the metaverse differs from the vision of science fiction writers and directors. The main criteria are:
- The universe never turns off and does not end, it exists indefinitely.
- All events occur in real-time, regardless of external influences.
- The audience is unlimited, any user can connect and participate in the process.
- There is an economic justification for all processes, money is used, there is an opportunity to earn and spend it.
- Metaverse unites all existing platforms and systems, both virtual and real.
- There must be full compatibility of all assets, the ability to move them between platforms.
- Users create content, accumulate experience, which becomes available to all participants.
So far, no project meets all the stated criteria. Although work in this direction is being carried out by well-known companies and startups.
The idea of metaverses has existed since the late 20th century. First in fantastic works, and later the first real developments began to appear. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Second Life virtual gaming space was popular. Users could buy game artifacts, perform various actions on the network.
In 2021, Facebook has spawned a new interest in the metaverse. Zuckerberg renamed his service to Meta and announced the start of work on creating a platform based on virtual and augmented reality. Shortly after Facebook, other big players in the market, Microsoft in particular, showed real interest in the metaverse. Companies are investing in existing game metaverses like Decentraland or Sandbox. They buy virtual space, the so-called land, real estate, accessories. All this exists in the format of NFT tokens.
So far, the metaverses are represented mainly by gaming virtual platforms. However, there are different options:
- Social networks.
- Trade zones.
- Space to work.
- Financial instruments and so on.
Facebook and other major companies are planning to develop full-fledged metaverses. They will include all tools and services – for work, leisure, and entertainment.
In addition, the modern approach to the formation of the concept of the metaverse is different. First of all, the focus is on communication between users in digital reality.
The basis is the real economy. Users simultaneously act as developers. They create elements of the virtual space, improve it, exchange or sell it. You can also create other useful objects, works of art, even write programs. There are already attempts to hold virtual concerts and festivals. So, in the game Fortnite, a Travis Scott concert was held. It was attended virtually by 12 million people.
Blockchain and everything related to distributed database technology fit perfectly into the concept of metaverses. With the help of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and smart contracts, it is possible to form the economic component of the next generation of the Internet. Digital assets provide:
- Proof of ownership.
- Transfer of value.
At the same time, there are blockchains that ensure the compatibility of different platforms. For example, Polkadot or Avalanche make it possible to create blockchains that can interact with each other. This allows you to deploy metaverses based on them.
Artifacts, collectibles are made in NFT format. Service tokens are used to manage the project. Cryptocurrency platforms can also serve as a tool for investment or trading. Tokens of popular platforms are listed on crypto exchanges and are available for exchange.
At the same time, the cryptocurrency differs from the in-game money of some centralized platforms. Token mechanisms are more protected from attackers or third parties.
Many popular projects are developing towards GameFi. In 2022, this is the main trend of the digital world on the way to creating full-fledged metaverses.
Among the projects that are the furthest advanced in the development of blockchain-based metaverses, it is worth mentioning:
- Axie Infinity.
The first 3 projects are based on the Ethereum blockchain, and SecondLive is based on the Binance Smart Chain blockchain. All projects involve the possibility of making money on the gameplay, they have cryptocurrencies that are sold on trading floors. At the same time, Axie Infinity is made in a conventional, two-dimensional format.
There is still a long way to go before a single, accessible to all metauniverse. Now only separate elements of the future WEB 3.0 Internet are emerging and developing.