What Is The Metaverse & How Can Your Business Leverage it?

What is the Metaverse?

Many people have asked what the metaverse is and how does it work? But the term has become so vague that people don’t know where to start looking. The term is relatively new; though its concept has taken on many forms throughout the years, in different forms of movies and entertainment, the label is only really being created with certainty now.

We’ll begin with a summary of what we can confirm the metaverse is (in current form). For starters, the internet, websites, and social media are the foundations of what the metaverse is. Without these critical ideas, the idea of the metaverse would never reach beyond a dream. With these as a landing for a place to “be,” it allows for the traffic of viewers/users to be able to navigate the online as we understand it (web1/web2).

Now let’s take a step into defining web1/2 against web3 to interpret what it will become correctly. To start, we had web1, the “read-only web,” which allowed people to read from websites and required people to host their servers. This was the first internet, as we understood it from the beginning.

Transitioning from Web2 to Web3

During the web2 revolution, we had the creation of the Web in which we could interact with websites, create accounts, make purchases, and every other application we’ve come to understand that makes the internet functional. Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and many others have built their fortune based on data (residually mined through usage) and the interaction associated with generating income for the company (sales). Third parties host the servers, and people give power to data/server farms to control the flow of precious information.

From here, we move a step forward into web3 and what that means. Once we remove the buzzwords that tell us sweet vague nothings of a world not yet built, we come to the hard truths. What is web3? In a nutshell, web3 indicates the maturation of the internet and what it will become through decentralization. Web3 aims to create individual experiences where people can interact with each other as individual servers/smart contracts. Every particular person functions like a web2 website but on a personal level. The goal here is to regain control over our data and have the opportunity to monetize ourselves without the need for a 3rd party. This would, in turn, possibly deal with threats over censorship and allow for the world to be run by DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) and communities of like-minded individuals. Within this web3 world, we also see the possibility of building AR/VR realities (augmented reality/virtual reality).

In these concepts of online virtual reality, that’s when having web3 infrastructure truly becomes valuable. Many web3 environments are still in their infancy, and many investors are taking speculative bets around virtual worlds. That’s where the possibilities come to fruition, as we’re still paving the road to its future. What’s inevitable is its development and the fortunes that may follow the bold wise enough to do some research on the subject. Once everyone can interact with each other without the need for 3rd parties, we enter the unique position to disrupt tech monopolies that control the layout, and we allow creative/individual economies the chance to flourish in the new landscape.

Virtual World basics

Now I plan to briefly outline the potential for opportunities within the metaverse and what virtual reality might offer you as an individual or as a company looking to capitalize.

We start at the basics. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) represent verifiably unique creations on the blockchain. These can represent art, collectibles, private access passes to exclusive clubs to be, and even ownership deeds to properties virtual and physical. There have been many successful launches of brands selling NFTs for exclusive merch (Adidas) and others who are offering land in a metaverse platform such as Decentraland or Sandbox. It’s simple to see how branded merch from big names could become valuable based on trends and popularity, but how will land benefit us, the user?

Your first step into the metaverse.

You would start by picking a metaverse platform you see potential in, and for whatever reason, you may want to be involved with Decentraland, Sandbox, Bloktopia, Otherside ETC… They all have different functions and ideas, but they hold similar opportunities. In Decentraland they have what’s considered an “OG” status as they are the first to build a functioning project (though an extremely simple beta); they’ve come up with great ideas. One of the things that started there were personalized games/worlds and artistic experiences. Another would include advertisements posted in virtual reality to create a real-life conversion for businesses. My favorite installed the first virtual ATM in that they loaded with crypto for people to make micro-transactions within the environment, which is a clever way to profit from the macro of that world.

Opportunities in the metaverse.

Other exciting ideas would be to network events, or host live music and performances exclusively in the metaverse. To potentially have business meetings in an application more intimate than a zoom call. This is the next logical step to what the future of the online world will look like. As we’ve seen in the pandemic, more and more people are opting for online work and less appearance in the physical world due to convenience and environmental concerns. It provides us with a reality where we might produce less waste. It potentially might replace many expensive conventional ideas like “brick and mortar stores” and the “3 rd parties” that create the plague that is bureaucracy (banks, notaries, mortgage brokers, etc.)

To reiterate there will be many opportunities to come in this online wonderland, most of which have not even begun to be created. I’ll be leaving this list to give a visual representation of what you can expect so far

  1. Exclusive NFT’s and merch.
  2. Commercial virtual real estate to host worlds/offices/events (as well as rentals for these spaces).
  3. Advertisement! In the physical world we are held back by the laws of nature, while in the metaphysical world, we don’t have those same boundaries. We could in theory advertise where we want, however we want and any fashion imaginable/programmable.
  4. Exclusive clubs that can grant access to holders of NFT’s online or physical.
  5. ATMs distributing cryptocurrencies for access to online interactions.
  6. Cheaper option to running a brick-and-mortar location, when you can ship from on online sources, in a semi conventional manner of shopping (virtual shops shipping from physical locations).
  7. Creative economies with direct P2P (person to person) transactions that don’t need 3rd parties! Which gives individuals the power to create value and make money from their personality, ideas, art and overall creativity.
  8. The job markets are hitting a wall soon with automation, many people will work online in the creative economy as outlets of the future (considering how many jobs are bureaucratic waste).
  9. Many more which have yet to be developed!

Ready to jump in?

In summary of everything we’ve read today in this short and sweet article explaining the metaverse. There are many opportunities to come and most have which have not yet been developed or are so early in its infancy that we can’t begin to fathom the monumental shifts they may provide. In terms of ownership and facilitations of value propositions, all we know is that the ability to leverage this technology to our benefit is extremely likely, especially for those bold enough to consider the risks.

The closest representation of this would be the “dot com bubble” in the early 2000’s where everyone was buying whatever they could, without using their best tool…Foresight! What makes sense in the online world to come? Many projects will likely end up in the graveyard of software, but the projects that survive and rise from the ashes of that mass exodus, will likely become the amazons of our next generations.

Only time will tell what that could look like, but us as the writer/reader have the unique probability of being early to this party. Considering the weight of the situation I invite the reader to ask themselves… is it riskier to involve yourself into this vast world of online possibilities, or alternatively to be sitting on the sidelines watching others capitalize on the wild west of investments set upon us. The choice is yours to decide as nothing here should be misconstrued as financial advice!

We’re all here to learn and be educated and these are the texts provided to give a surface level education, to begin asking yourself the questions of whether this may be for you.