What is the Metaverse?

Immersve
5 min readMay 15, 2022

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by Zeisha Fremaux — Brand and Marketing at Immersve

Is the “Metaverse” just the latest buzzword or do we need to buckle in for the long-haul?

Six months ago, Facebook rebranded to Meta to highlight it’s interest in building the Metaverse with Zuckerberg stating that he wants to “help the Metaverse reach a billion people and hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce this decade” and made reference to the Metaverse in the earnings call as “the next computing platform.”

So why the name change? Well, because the truth is, there’s money to be made, and huge amounts of hype involved in marketing the idea of “the Metaverse”. The Metaverse will change everything about the way we interact, the way we spend, and the way we live. In short, the Metaverse aims to be a virtual world that parallels our IRL lives.

Tech giants, start-ups and ventures say that because the Metaverse is such a new idea, it’s still difficult to define its meaning. The term Metaverse was originally coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a 3D virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world.

Creating the Metaverse

The Metaverse is at present, being constructed by creators and developers building new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a larger creative ecosystem and economy than the one held back by today’s platforms and their rules and regulations. The Metaverse reflects upon virtual and digital spaces in which people will come together to collaborate, work, meet, game and socialise. Immersive online spaces will boast 3D experiences and require VR headsets to connect into these virtual worlds or via a computer screen. But it’s not just about VR and AR headsets. In the Metaverse, people are building larger communities by buying into projects and connecting with those projects ecosystems. Users can make use of digital currency to purchase clothing, art, even armour and weapons in the case of video games and many other items.

Centrality chief executive and co-founder of Non Fungible Labs Aaron McDonald says “The two key components of how the Metaverse differs from how the internet has operated so far is that the Metaverse allows for individual ownership of content and assets and it also merges different sectors on one platform. We used to have distinctive silos for things like finance and gaming, social and media. And now with this digital evolution those things are collapsing into one. The Metaverse brings content portability so you’re not trapped in anyone’s walled garden anymore.”

How does the Metaverse work?

Cryptocurrencies integrate within the Metaverse. By creating a digital economy with different types of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs), the metaverse uses crypto wallets, such as MetaMask or Coinbase. Blockchain technology is key here. It is a system of recording data in a way that makes it difficult to change or cheat the network making all purchasing data available to everyone at any time, so that all transactions are transparent across the board.

Blockchain, Metaverse-like applications are already assisting and providing people with paid incomes. Polemos is a DAO & GameFi Platform founded by passionate, lifelong gamers that see the current play-to-earn revolution as only the beginning, with consistent developments underway in this space. Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game that many users play to support their income. SecondLive and Decentraland are other great examples of seamlessly combining the blockchain world and virtual reality apps.

Tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple and Meta are attempting to lead the way. However, it’s the decentralized aspects of the blockchain industry who are letting the smaller players engage and participate in the Metaverse’s development as well. NFTs, blockchain games, and crypto payments aren’t just limited to crypto degen’s anymore. They’re now all easily available as part of a developing Metaverse. New ideas are constantly shaping the Metaverse as it continues to expand and grow.

At present, you can explore live concerts in the immersive Fortnite universe, attend a movie viewing or visit a digital gallery in Decentraland or if it’s glamour you desire, you can purchase virtual luxury brands such as Burberry, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton who are consistently paving the way for a future of fashion in the Metaverse. According to Vogue Business, 53% of fashion brands are investing in the $300bn gaming sector, experimenting with Instagram filters, digital avatars and virtual stores.

The exponential growth of luxury fashion in the metaverse boasts new routes for customer engagement. With huge success already, analysts at Morgan Stanley report that the market for virtual luxury items are projected to be near the $50bn by 2030.

Aside from gaming and social media, the Metaverse will continue to work and combine economies, digital identity, decentralised governance, and other applications. User creation and ownership of valuable items and currencies help develop a single, united Metaverse. All these features provide blockchain the potential to power this technology.

With DAO’s becoming more prevalent, decentralized payment systems will reign over the Metaverse. Immersve is set to become the “PayPal” of the Metaverse, enabling in real life and Metaverse payments through a single payment protocol. Immersve Founder, Jerome Faury believes “The future of retail commerce and e-commerce will happen within the Metaverse, where physical and digital collide and overlap, where payment experiences become one.”

What will the future Metaverse look like?

Building the Metaverse will eventually rely on interoperability and standardisation with the idea being, that you are able to take your avatar and digital possessions with you from one app, or game, or virtual world to the next. For the Metaverse to reach the next stage of evolution of the internet, interoperability is absolutely imperative and it’s no easy feat. There are legal and commercial challenges, including intellectual property rights. Finding a way for users to own their own IP and carry it with them wherever they go in the Metaverse, will be a tough challenge to say the least.

Furthermore, seamlessly integrating decentralized payments in the Metaverse and in real life is something of a hurdle, but one we’re convinced we can help with. That’s the beauty of the Metaverse, things change and evolve quickly around here and we’re stoked to be on the horizon of what might change everyone’s virtual and real lives, for good.

Got more questions?

Connect with the Immersve community on Discord and Twitter now, or if you need help, open a Support Ticket with our team.

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