Can you imagine a world where you meet up with your friends, work out, play a game, watch a live concert, and buy merchandise from your favorite brand without leaving the comfort of your own home?
Welcome to the metaverse.
It may seem like something out of the dystopian Sci-Fi series ‘Black Mirror’, but it's here, whether you like it or not. Humanity has begun to embrace the concept of a virtual world, and individuals can now live digitally on the internet via the metaverse.
And, yes! It has already started.
But, before you actually enter the bold and exciting world of the metaverse, let us walk you through what it is, how it works, the essentials to know before joining, how to be in the metaverse, and the top metaverses you can join.
The Metaverse Explained
The metaverse is causing quite a stir on the internet, especially since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook would be rebranded as Meta, where anyone can participate. The term ‘metaverse’ combines the words ‘meta’, which means ‘after or beyond’, and ‘universe’, which describes a specific area.
As a whole, ‘metaverse’ implies a place beyond the universe as we know it or an extension of the physical world. It is a hybrid of multiple elements such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and video in which users live within a digital universe. It’s where people can socialize, trade items, buy lands, host parties, and meetings, or any form of social interaction using AR and VR technology.
But, prior to Facebook’s (well, Meta’s) announcement, the metaverse was already prevalent in the cryptocurrency space, with many people settling in different metaverses built under the blockchain.
From a technological point of view, the metaverse is the next generation of the internet. Blockchain developers idealized the metaverse concept and correlated it with cryptocurrencies.
Crypto is basically the heart and soul of the metaverse, and without blockchain technology, the Metaverse idea will cease to exist.
The timely concept piques many people's interest, given the current dangers of going outside. You'll be able to live the life you've always wanted without the fear of accidents or diseases. Some brands have already joined the metaverse, including Nike, Adidas, and Apple, and this is only the beginning as more businesses become interested in how this digital space can help them grow.
How does the Metaverse work?
The metaverse does not belong to any company. Instead, the users who transact on its blockchain own it. You basically own yourself in the metaverse, and no one can take that away from you. All data is transparent and permanent, which means the metaverse cannot be rebooted where users lose all of their accomplishments and files.
The metaverse utilizes NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens. These are digital assets bought using cryptocurrency. Therefore, the majority of what you see in the metaverse are NFTs consisting of lands, buildings, weapons, goods, and many other things.
Anyone who wishes to participate in the metaverse is welcome to do so. And it’s entirely up to you whether you want to join for the experience or to earn money with NFTs. After all, exposure is still the best way to learn about something that will undoubtedly be a part of the future.
Why does the metaverse matter?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, it could take five to ten years for the metaverse's key features to become mainstream. We could wait years for the metaverse to develop into something more, but there are numerous potential applications for it. The first examples of our ability to access such a world can be found in online gaming, social networking, enterprise, retail, and entertainment.
Hollywood celebrities such as Travis Scott and Ariana Grande already benefited from the early promise of the metaverse when they held their own concerts in "Fortnite," with Scott's virtual performance drawing a whopping 12 million viewers and grossing $20 million in merchandise sales.
With these developments, we may see more businesses enter the metaverse's entertainment space to create events or tools for work collaboration.
Gaming is currently the most developed part of the metaverse as it already provides an immersive environment, from shooting games to VR multiplayer experiences. In the future, the metaverse could become a great place for creators and gamers to monetize their work.
How to invest in the metaverse?
Over time, the NFTs bought in the metaverse increase in value, not all of them to be precise, but as the metaverse platform becomes scarcer and scarcer, the lands and buildings will cost more. This is where investors come to play. There is a finite space in the metaverse, which means there’s a limit to what can be owned.
Some real estate investors view it as similar to traditional real estate investing, where you buy a land plot, rent it out, wait for its value to go up, and sell it. In the metaverse, you can also rent your properties or set up a business there to earn money with minimum effort when compared to the traditional ways.
What you need to know before joining the metaverse
Before entering the metaverse, it’s best to learn about it and understand the pros, and the cons, so that you’re confident in your ventures.
First, you need to learn about cryptocurrencies and then NFTs since these are the core concepts of the metaverse, that can’t be skipped.
Next, assess your situation and medical conditions. Entering the metaverse can be done whether you're sitting or standing, and it may pose potential health-related risks when you stay in a particular position for too long. On that note it is ideal to limit your metaverse time every day and include physical exercise because your real life does matter more than your digital life.
Lastly, the most important thing is to secure your wallet codes/phrases and passwords. The metaverse is irreversible, and your data cannot be erased. However, once you lose your crypto wallet account, there is no way to recover your character in the metaverse. Write your code and password on a piece of paper, or save it in a private document that nobody can access. They are not emails or social media accounts that you can recover quickly, so be sure to keep them confidential.
How to join the metaverse?
There are different types of metaverse platforms available and you just need to have an Internet connection, a high-end computer or laptop (VR may require massive RAM usage), and a crypto wallet. Some popular metaverses like that of Facebook/Meta require a VR headset or AR glasses.
Decentraland and Sandbox are two of the best metaverse options for beginners.
It may be difficult to dive into something you're unfamiliar with, so we'll provide a brief overview of Decentraland and Sandbox to help you out.
Decentraland is a decentralized three-dimensional virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform allows users to customize characters that they will use to play, trade, and explore the massive world. Users can buy plots of land, items, and customizations as NFTs using the MANA cryptocurrency.
Decentraland is one of the easiest ways to get exposure in the metaverse. Users can directly build their avatars on Decentraland's website using a crypto wallet such as Metamask or try it out as a guest. The Decentraland metaverse is backed up by a vast community, with over 300,000 monthly users and 18,000 daily active users. The platform is easy to access and worth the experience, so be sure to check it out.
The Sandbox is another decentralized gaming ecosystem built on the Ethereum blockchain. Users can create, develop and monetize their NFTs for other people to buy in the virtual world. The Sandbox metaverse utilizes the SAND cryptocurrency for all transactions within the digital world.
Users can buy LAND, a digital real estate asset in the Sandbox, where property owners can accumulate income. The Sandbox has 166,464 LAND parcels available, and the finite amount of LANDs entails scarcity and price increase in the digital assets.
Numerous big brands purchased LANDs on Sandbox, such as Adidas, to create its metaverse called Adi-verse. Other notable LAND owners include Atari, Binance, Smurfs, Square Enix, and The Smurfs.
It is projected that more big names will join the Sandbox as different companies begin to realize the value of cryptocurrencies and the metaverse
Well, that was our overview of the metaverse and everything you need to know about it as an absolute beginner. Just remember, it’s okay to be overwhelmed and to put it lightly, freak out about how much is happening in the Web 3 space.
It can be daunting and take a little while to figure out how all this works.
But you’re not too late! One or two years from now, you’ll be surprised that stepping into the metaverse is easier than you might think. You just need to arm yourself with the knowledge to successfully enter the space.
Thankfully, there are communities where you can begin learning about the metaverse. You can start by learning about the gaming community or by playing games like Fortnite or Roblox. You can also join Discord servers to connect with the early adopters or those who are still learning how to enter the space.
While the future of the metaverse is hard to predict, and there is still work to be done before it becomes mainstream, one thing is certain: businesses see massive potential in the metaverse and are willing to invest time and money to bring it to life for users like you.
If you’re feeling brave, you could set up a Metamask wallet and start creating your own NFTs or buy one to see where it takes you. Whether it’s business or entertainment, the metaverse could open up several avenues for you, and you can get started today.
The Metaverse is being created now in front of our eyes.
The question is - how could you co-create it?
Mission Impact is building the Future of Leadership in Web3! To learn more and join our movement, please visit our website and LinkedIn.
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