As a term, the word ‘Metaverse’ was coined over thirty years ago, but it is only now being brought to mass public awareness, due in no small part to Facebook’s recent name change. But what exactly is the Metaverse, how did we get here, and why does it matter?
What is the Metaverse?
Simply speaking, the Metaverse is an online realm in which you can interact with people or products using your digital identity, better known as your avatar. In the Metaverse, you will be able to shop, use streaming services, play games (Fortnite and Minecraft are immediate examples, but there are many more being released), hang out with friends, and more.
This might seem confusing, as we have been doing most of these things for years. But the difference that the Metaverse is bringing lies in how we access this digital realm. Currently, that’s through a Web 2.0 interface. This means that we have to use multiple access points (usually email addresses) to access different services.
But the Metaverse is different, as you will access it via a Web 3.0 interface. With Web 3.0, all you will need is one access point, or login, and your avatar will be able to drift through cyberspace, exploring, shopping, gaming, or doing whatever else you want.
And as this means having a greater online presence financially, this access point will also be far more secure than anything we are currently using in Web 2.0. The reason for this is the blockchain technology that underpins Web 3.0. This is the building block of cryptocurrencies and NFT contracts, and central to the Metaverse.
The Journey From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0
Web 2.0 was made by web developers. While this has allowed us to achieve many great technological and social advances, it hasn’t always been the most user friendly, secure, or fun. But the design of Web 3.0 is being led primarily by a young generation of game developers, who wanted to build on the foundations of Web 2.0 while leveraging the innovation of blockchain technologies.
The fundamental challenge for these developers was finding a way to make the whole experience interoperable; that is, for all the different segments of the wider whole to be able to exchange and use information with one another. Imagine purchasing a pair of shoes and having them delivered to your door, along with an NFT of the same pair of shoes for your avatar to wear in the Metaverse. Or how about earning a weapons upgrade for your avatar and being able to take it from game to game?
Creating a more secure way for us to engage with the online space is another key component of blockchain technology and Web 3.0. By accessing the Metaverse through your avatar, your identity is tied to the blockchain, and therefore cannot be faked or duplicated. That underlying technology enables both sides of any transaction to know exactly who they’re dealing with, while also providing concrete proof of ownership, all in one place. Ultimately, that’s how you get to wear those ultra-stylish shoes both online, and in person.
Decentralization: The Path to Freedom
As innovators and corporations go head to head to establish themselves in the Metaverse, there are many benefits to getting involved at this early stage. For the everyday individual, the Metaverse provides opportunities to seize a piece of the pie and invest early in the organizations that will create segments for us to explore.
But there is also a battle to ensure that the Metaverse becomes decentralized, rather than centralized. For it to function, it must be open for all to interact with freely, at their own discretion, without being dictated to by faceless corporate bodies or powerful individuals. Rather than being siloed, governed, and sold to the highest bidder, your data should be yours — and yours alone to control, use, and monetize.
The way we can contribute to this battle is by educating ourselves on the choices available to us in terms of how we interact with the Metaverse, as well as the consequences of those choices. So, while Facebook may have alerted you to the concept of the Metaverse, it is important to understand that Web 3.0 represents an opportunity to move beyond Big Tech and into a world where we have far more freedom.
About The Grow Group
The Grow Group is an ecosystem of visionary solutions designed to incubate blockchain entrepreneurs, elevate understanding of the blockchain space, and accelerate real-world value for positive impact. With a core focus on educational content, Grow offers teams the ability to tell their story with clarity, fostering intelligent investment choices and long-term holding.
The Grow Group benefits from a global team, with offices in Dubai, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
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