What is Metaverse?

Introduction

In the future, virtual reality will become a ubiquitous extension of everyday life. The sky’s the limit. In fact, the sky’s already here.

We are already in a virtual world – we are all living in one right now, and this is a virtual world that is not as far away as it seems. Virtual worlds are much closer than you think; we just need to get there.

In this article, I will provide just one example: Metaverse VR, a fully immersive virtual world for the Metaverse community.

It’s this community that will ultimately create the network of 3D virtual worlds which will be used to create the Metaverse Network – a truly global social networking platform that can be accessed by anyone anywhere at any time.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive three-dimensional virtual environment that can be used with a variety of tracking and perception systems, including but not limited to head-mounted displays and motion sensors.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that augments the functionality of an existing device by overlaying digital information on top of the real world. A user uses AR to display digital elements in the real world, such as a map or listings for a Google search, which are then interpreted by their body’s natural movements, like walking through a room or looking around at objects.

In terms of business, we can’t ignore virtual reality – its potential has been around for over two decades. One reason for this is that there is so much overlap between VR and AR; both rely on head-mounted displays (HMDs), both are immersive environments where users don’t need to look down at their hands or at the ground, and both use motion tracking systems to interpret what people are doing in front of them. And if you look at the total number of HMDs used worldwide today (per capita), it’s roughly equal but falls off dramatically after 2000.

We can see from this graph that while virtual reality has matured slightly over time – from being used primarily as entertainment products to becoming something more akin to our physical world than anything else – augmented reality has remained fairly stagnant:

The number of AR devices sold per capita globally has fallen over each year since 2010 and now sits behind virtual reality as far as market share goes. But it hasn’t quite gone away just yet! People love their smartphones but almost no one likes AR right now (if they even do).

This isn’t necessarily because they have yet to figure out how to use it well; the best way to learn how to use an app like Pokemon Go well enough so you can have fun with it is through playing with it yourself first. And even when people have figured out how they want to experience augmented reality within apps, they still don’t usually buy hardware until much later if ever – which means these technologies aren’t likely going away any time soon.

So what does this mean for our business? Well, nothing new about VR/AR; we already make our product available in VR first before Android™ or iOS™ and sell in both formats before launching our app in any form other than VR/AR. It seems our competitors won’t.

The History of Metaverse

In case you are not aware, a metaverse is an imaginary virtual world that is governed by the use of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is one of the most promising technologies in the last 5-10 years, and it’s no secret that Bitcoin and Ethereum are two that have been heavily influenced by it.

Blockchain technology enables a near-instantaneous, secure, and transparent transfer of value between participants all over the world without any intermediary or middleman. In other words, blockchain technology allows you to transfer money without being tracked on a central server with your personal identifying information.

Although blockchain technology was first invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 as an open-source peer-to-peer network to facilitate financial transactions between users, its true potential was realized only 10 years later when Bitcoin and Ethereum were launched as digital currencies for payments and asset ownership.

Even though Bitcoin is just one example of how blockchain technology can be used for more than just currency transfers, it has quickly become a highly popular topic because it has such much potential for use outside finance (for instance, real estate transactions), scientific research (for example in “virtual worlds”), social media (for example Facebook), and more.

Since Bitcoin was launched in 2011, several other successful cryptocurrencies have emerged: Namecoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ripple, TrustCash, Bitshares, Digibyte, etc.

In 2016 alone there were more than 100 projects implemented using or inspired by the technology. Some of those projects include Blockstack + Hyperledger Fabric; Decentraland + Ethereum; Datum + IOTA; IBM Cloud + Hyperledger Fabric; Augur + Ethereum; Metaverse + Hyperledger Fabric; Ternio + Hyperledger Fabric; Blockchain Alliance – The European Blockchain Association; Decentralized Internet Foundation – DIF; Blockchain Business Association – BBA; Blockstream – Blockstream Corporation; Bitshares team – Bitshares Foundation; BitShares team – Bitshares Foundation. Among others . . .

Currently, there are around 15 million active users worldwide who use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether every day to buy goods or pay for services online. And although many people have heard about blockchain technology before few understand it completely as it is still very new and immature compared with other existing technologies such as the internet.

Current State of Metaverse Technology

In this post, I want to focus on the current state of metaverse technology, relevant to the cryptocurrency space.

The most common misunderstanding about the emerging category of virtual worlds is that they are simply a replacement for today’s social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. True virtual worlds have a very different purpose, one that includes more than just online social interactions.

There are many ways that a virtual world can be used for both entertainment and business purposes (such as company intranets or collaborative white-boarding), but in this post, I want to focus on how virtual worlds can be used as financial tools.

Virtual worlds have already been used for this for some time: social gaming platforms like Zynga’s Farmville and Second Life are full-on metaverse environments; games such as Minecraft and World of Warcraft use them to create an immersive virtual reality; other games such as Counterstrike or Guild Wars are open source projects that run on top of metaverse technology.

But what if you could use a virtual world in place of your native currency? In fact, what if you could use it to facilitate payments for services and products? Think about how much money you would spend on purchasing services such as car insurance: instead of paying out money via bank transfers every month, you could pay with your metaverse currency and make payments in real-time using your real-world currency (or maybe even with credit/debit cards).

The potential benefits would be obvious: lower transaction costs, lower fees, better security, and faster processing times. In fact, it is likely that the best way to do business in cryptocurrencies today is through a simple experiment like this one by Cryptopia which allows users to pay directly with their metaverse currencies while giving them access to fast processing times (the service is not available yet because they still need clearing before they can accept foreign payments).

What makes this even more tantalizing is that there is no need for cryptocurrencies or blockchain tech at all: all you need is a Metaverse gateway based on a popular platform such as Ethereum or others — or another blockchain system like Hyperledger — which will handle all the details around payment transactions so there will not be any technical issues around compliance, fraud prevention or other things related to crypto wallets. So if we consider how much money we would save by not going through banks every month thanks to crypto wallets — which usually cost us far more than just using bank transfers – it makes sense why so many people are interested.

Potential Benefits of the Metaverse

A hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.

The idea of a metaverse is not really new; as we all know, there are many people working to build one. The problem is that they may be too late to get it right if they fail—as Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in 2013: “We are building a networked world, but it hasn’t been built yet.”
And that’s the problem with creating any kind of virtual world: you can either build it right or you can drive it away. What we want to do here is focus on the things that could be done better than building it yourself:
• Determine what makes for successful social interaction in a metaverse (or virtual world)
• Make sure your competitors think about this too.

How would you determine what makes for successful social interaction in a metaverse? This is where we have to start by asking ourselves some questions like: “Is there one thing that would make people feel socially connected?” and “What are the things that make people feel socially connected?”

If you had to describe what exactly makes someone feel socially connected, do you think different people will identify with different things? Do different groups have more in common than others? Do certain behaviors put individuals at ease? Is it about something that can be quickly shared and acted upon (say something funny or annoying), or something harder to grasp (like feelings)? Does trying hard at something help you feel better about yourself (because when you try hard, you do better)? Are there certain types of interactions that provide meaning, value, and meaning-making capability? How does one communicate with another person in a metaverse—on video or text? Is it fast and easy, slow and difficult? Did x make sense for y reasons earlier; does x make sense for y reasons now? If the latter answers yes to each question above but no others, then maybe x really isn’t all that great after all. But if the answers were no throughout then maybe x was worse than no. And if x were worse than no then maybe y might be better after all! Or vice versa.

The above list is just an example—it doesn’t mean there isn’t any real reason why one thing would make someone feel more connected.

Challenges to the Development of a Metaverse

The idea of a Metaverse is alluring, but it is also remarkably simple. It’s a virtual world that’s accessible to everyone and that allows people to interact with one another and with the outside world in ways that are not possible in the real world.

Most people don’t think about it much. It’s just something that happens around them, but it doesn’t affect their day-to-day life in any significant way. However, when you look more deeply at the concept, you realize that a Metaverse can lead to major changes in how we interact with the physical world (which as we know from our own experience is where most of our problems originate).

Virtual worlds have been around for decades now, but they have not yet come into their own (in part because there aren’t many developers out there who are enthusiastic about working on them). As a result, relatively few people are aware of what they are or what they could be capable of. I am trying my best to change this by writing an educational blog post on the topic of Virtual Worlds and Cryptocurrencies.

I hope this will be useful for both readers and developers looking to get involved; if you want to help me spread the word about how exciting and relevant Metaverses can be for blockchain technology development read on…

Conclusion

Metaverse is a subtheme of the virtual world that emerged in the late 90s and early 00s. It is a form of the 3D virtual world that uses VR/AR head-mounted displays (with the ability to interact with the real world via gesture tracking) as an alternative to conventional web browsing, phone-based gaming, and desktop applications.

In this post, I will present an overview of metaverse technology, its recent emergence, and its main goals:
• To make social interaction easier without compromising on control or privacy,
• To provide a rich and interactive virtual space for developing communities,
• To provide opportunities for individuals to learn about new technologies and use them for their own benefit (e.g., education).
The main focus of the metaverse is on an experience where social interaction is not constrained by being limited to a small screen; it is possible to leave your computer chair at home and engage in real-time social interactions with others. This form of virtual world has been described as:
• A living room where you can chat with friends while they are playing games in your living room
• A cafe where you can meet new people while watching movies or browsing the net
• A classroom where you can teach others how to play the guitar or decorate their house by hand.

The metaverse differs from other forms of virtual worlds in that it is not limited by being constrained by a single medium. For example, it does not have limitations like only one monitor per computer; a single device running only one application; no network connectivity required; etc.

All these limitations are imposed by hardware limitations which limit what we can do with our devices, but metaverse does not take advantage of them (except when they are used through specific conditions such as plugins or advanced features). In addition, there are many different types and sizes of metaverses (each suited to different types of content), so anyone could be composed by just one software package, saving developers time.

Metaverses are also inherently scalable: users grow more comfortable interacting with their peers over time, making this change very easy for developers. The core technical concepts behind metaverses have been around since the 1990s but have only recently gained some traction since last year’s surge in interest around Bitcoin and blockchain technology — so we thought it was about time we finally brought this interesting topic into the light!

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