A New Disruptor In the Digital World: Metaverse

January 23, 2022

In simple terms, ‘metaverse’ refers to a virtual world that lies beyond, on top of, or is an extension of the physical world. The idea of a metaverse was coined in 1992 by dystopian sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson. Fast forward two decades later, the world is crazed with the idea, extending implications for cryptocurrencies, NFTs, gaming and more.

The first iteration of metaverse has been successful in the world of gaming. Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft and Second Life are amongst the most popular names in the gaming industry. Today, metaverse extends to more than just gaming.

Broken down more simply, the notion of the metaverse in 2021 is prominent in a handful of platforms including Sandbox, Mirandus and Decentraland. Interest in these platforms have soared ever since Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta. Facebook’s rebranding into Meta was not just a change of name. It signifies the company’s role in making the crypto space more inclusive.

In the metaverse, individuals are prompted to take on a more participatory role. Designed to help users socialise through more than just chats, images or documents, users in the metaverse are able to traverse real estates, purchase NFTs, and more. As such, the rise of metaverse tokens begins.

Metaverse Tokens As A Transactional Entity

Metaverse tokens, such as MANA and GALA serve as a means of trade. To buy in-world NFTs, land, or digital assets, users must (as is in the real world) accumulate their wealth.

In order for individuals to transact within the digital, they would need to purchase these tokens. While it is possible for users to buy them by going through a loop of fiat currencies and bank intermediaries, many would argue that this step would spoil the whole point of a decentralised trading mechanism. Through DeFi (decentralized finance) networks, users can easily trade Metaverse tokens using smart contracts and P2P transactions.

NFTs, Art and Branding

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) denote an asset that is unique and irreplaceable. It extends to all forms of digital assets such as drawings, music, AI, and more. The current excitement, however, surrounds digital art. Most NFTs are part of the ethereum network, but more and more blockchains can implement their own versions of NFTs.

With the increasing popularity of NFTs, global brands have turned to it for branding and marketing. Adidas, for example, have created exclusive NFT drops of digital and physical products. Partnering with NFT pioneers ‘Bored Ape Yacht Club’, the NFT will provide access to virtual wearables for blockchain-based gaming world Sandbox, and physical products to match those available in the metaverse.

NFTs are based on cryptographic technology that does not allow duplication, and market players ascribe value to them provided they are scarce. Notable brands are riding on this wave to create exclusivity and scarcity – which strengthens their brand image.

Ultimately, the concept of metaverse is here to stay. Its implications extend to the traditional conception of digital ownership.

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