How emerging technology will influence freedom, industry and money in the metaverse
Join Gaming Leaders, Alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for Their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 from January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event.
This article was written by Brad Yasar, Founder and CEO of EQIFI.
The innovation related to the metaverse has resulted in expected criticism and skepticism. Like any rapidly growing emerging technology, the parameters of its operation have yet to be fully established. This means, essentially, that those hoping to glean financial returns by interacting with the metaverse don’t know what the investment looks like. Are these VR headsets, digital lands or a pair of Gucci sneakers wearable only with AR? Some might say the Metaverse is a dystopian fantasy conjured up by gaming fanatics and tech titans alike. Facebook’s transformation into a metaverse-centric social media company only heightens this prevailing apprehension.
With Facebook’s Meta rebrand costing the company an estimated $60 million, it looks like Mark Zuckerberg is onto something. Since Instagram boasts one billion monthly users, it would be wise to assume that the metaverse could have a significant impact on our lives in the near future, much like social media. Much like the early days of social media, the impact of the metaverse is limited by its rate of progression. Soon, however, this progression will bring about an era of industry transformation, influenced by a variety of decentralized tools like DeFi, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and Web3. Once the power of these technologies is fully realized, life as we know it will be forever changed.
What is a metaverse?
The 2nd Annual GamesBeat Summit and Facebook Gaming and GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2
The word “metaverse” was coined in Snowfall, a 1992 novel by Neal Stephenson. In its depiction, users could immerse themselves in a digital world through the use of specially designed headphones and glasses. This digital world has created a space for users to engage with each other, trade goods, and essentially live a double life through virtual reality. Predictions about the 21st Century Metaverse detail stark similarities to the reality Stephenson imagined. The main difference is that the many infrastructural gaps associated with the metaverse in the fictional world have been addressed by using blockchain technology as a way to engage and interact in this new virtual world.
Because Snowfall‘s more than 30 years ago, the world’s largest tech vendors like Facebook dominated the tech industry insurmountably. Google’s recent acquisition of Canadian North Company taking a more modern approach to AR hardware and software could indicate the company’s plans for involvement in the metaverse. Similarly, Apple, the most valuable company in the world with a valuation of over $2.5 trillion, produces a currently unconfirmed and unnamed headset designed to serve as a gateway to the digital realm of the Metaverse. Organizations like these aren’t used to throwing money at projects with no future.
The advent of NFTs offers a secure method of transferring digital assets from one party to another in a secure manner. Web3 provides decentralized interaction and connectivity between separate entities, which underpins the decentralization of the metaverse. Cryptocurrencies and stablecoins provide the financial infrastructure that is suitable for a decentralized market. DeFi possesses the ability to bring fully realized financial decentralization to the process of moving funds and assets into the metaverse. This would round out the network infrastructure, facilitating an expansive digital universe unhindered by centralized intermediaries.
It’s clear that the variety of companies, individuals, and entities that could potentially operate in the metaverse is vast. The widespread use and acceptance of decentralization through the growth of crypto, NFTs, and DeFi point to a fully realized future operating outside the parameters of today’s established markets.
Clearly, then, the metaverse is not some sci-fi fantasy conjured up in a dystopian novel, but a more tangible and natural progression of the current structuring of the internet. The founding principles of the metaverse have already been introduced in several ways. Now, its development is focused on blockchain and DeFi technology to propel it from the conceptual stage to the implementation stage. This development will allow us to firmly realize how much the metaverse will impact our lives.
The gaming industry is one such sector that stands to benefit greatly from developments in the metaverse. Game skins, which are in-game avatar outfits, are expected to trade at a level of $40 billion every year. According to a report by DMarket, 81% of players who know about these skins want to exchange them for real money. Currently, there is no method to transfer skins between game worlds or exchange them for cash. In the metaverse, however, as each separate game universe is connected through a decentralized economy, this would be possible. Using metaverse-based banks would also allow transactions like these.
As in the gaming industry, many sectors and industries will benefit from funding and asset transfers related to the metaverse. Just like the bankless barter system that excludes our current financial structure, the metaverse should reach its maximum potential, alongside fully operational and functional digital banks. This is now possible thanks to the advent and expansion of decentralized finance (DeFi). As current banking infrastructure increasingly separates from cash and brick-and-mortar institutions, DeFi will be the financial model that facilitates funding across the metaverse.
To operate effectively in the metaverse and provide a standard practice for transferring digital assets, banks will need to be decentralized. As continuous innovations are made and more and more industries shift their operations to the metaverse, the likelihood of DeFi-enabled banks becomes a compelling growth development. Centralized banking systems simply cannot work on the Metaverse, which means that the expansion and increased sophistication of industries like gaming will fuel the push towards DeFi-enabled banking, which will underpin the financial structure of the Metaverse.
This will unlock a host of benefits for industries, technologists, and digital enthusiasts as innovation is driven by the metaverse. In gaming, for example, playing to win becomes a viable and attractive prospect for users and gaming companies. The introduction of the metaverse provides a concentrated arena where altcoins can be exchanged for game time. NFTs can be used to exchange in-game assets, facilitating a whole new era of gaming and working effectively with DeFi enabled banks. This again works to illustrate how emerging blockchain-based technologies will be used to facilitate user interactions across different industries.
Dystopia or utopia?
It’s not just games and entertainment that are likely to transform and expand with the onset of the metaverse. Synchronization, a fully functioning economy and interoperability of digital assets, information and consumers means sectors such as supply chain management, real estate sales and even office workflows are set to benefit from developments. linked to the metaverse. As a concept and technological innovation fueled by the decentralization of blockchain technology, the future is in the hands of these industries, without the rigorous parameters of centralized control.
Given the problems that have arisen from unregulated innovations like social media, the likelihood of targeted and consistent regulation influencing the future of the metaverse is likely. the OASIS Consortium, for example, brings together leaders from industries such as games, dating apps, and immersive technology platforms to address security and privacy in Web3. Such developments are favorable, given that the regulatory parameters of the metaverse are developed by those who invest in its growth and expansion in a positive light for the end user.
Clearly, the correlated growth of cryptocurrency, NFTs, DeFi, VR, and AR will eventually collide to create the metaverse. Will it look exactly like the representation in Snowfall, a dystopian online universe where reality is no longer the central connector of civilization? Or, could the metaverse serve to disenfranchise the dominant financial structures of today’s economy, drawing power from the intermediaries that have caused multiple financial crises? Nobody really knows. One thing is certain, however: the metaverse is coming, and it will forever change the way we view money, entertainment, and society.
Brad Yasar is the founder and CEO of EQIFI.
Welcome to the VentureBeat community!
DataDecisionMakers is where experts, including data technicians, can share data insights and innovations.
If you want to learn more about cutting-edge insights and up-to-date information, best practices, and the future of data and data technology, join us at DataDecisionMakers.
You might even consider writing your own article!
Learn more about DataDecisionMakers