Blockchain Blog 24: NFT | Metaverse — Technology Insights
The Metaverse Pyramid. When we are looking at the metaverse, there are different layers that we can address. We have first the foundation layer, that is our internet, and then the infrastructure layer, It has to do with a blockchain protocol where your assets are living.
The infrastructure layer can be the Ethereum blockchain, the Solana blockchain, Polygon, and so on. And this is the layer that is allowing Web 3.0 to exist. The infrastructure layer is basically the base layer of Web 3.0. And then we have the content/game layer. Many of these metaverses or games have an in-game token. We have AXS from, for example, Axie Infinity, SAND from the Sandbox, MANA from Decentraland. And these are the tokens that these games or these metaverses use as a cryptocurrency to buy and sell items, to buy and sell land, to buy and sell characters and skins, and so on. And the NFTs within this metaverse.
Then we have the metaverse layer. In many of these metaverses, you can also buy or sell lands, and these are also assets that live on the blockchain. The land layer can be tokenized land like the Sandbox, Decentraland, Somnium, and others.
And then you have the individual NFT layer, so you can have different NFTs that represent different things, can be clothes, can be a gun, can be an Axie Infinity character, or things like that. And then we have you, who is not part of the blockchain, but you are the person that is at the top of all these pyramids.
What is blockchain in relation to NFTs and Metaverses?
The blockchain is a distributed database that is used to record some data, assets, transactions, etc. So it’s a database that is distributed across many computers.
Instead of having a centralized database like Fortnite, the Epic Company that manages the Fortnite games, they have a centralized database, the blockchain is a distributed database. So you have this database distributed across many, many people. It has characteristics such as consensus, provenance, immutability, and finality. The data immutability is achieved by connecting blocks with a hash function and sharing the data with many nodes. So there is this immutability thing in every blockchain. You cannot change the data. You can only add new data or you can send transactions. You cannot go back and change data that is already recorded on the blockchain. And this is one of the beauty, beautiful things about blockchain is that it’s immutable and you can track the provenance of things.
It also uses cryptography to sign transactions and data. So you have all these cryptography and encryption and hashing making the blockchain very, very secure. Most of the blockchains are extremely secure. The Ethereum blockchain, the Bitcoin blockchain are extremely secure.
You may have heard of people that lost crypto, lost their Ethereum, or their Bitcoin because they were hacked. Well, what was hacked, was not the blockchain. The blockchain cannot be hacked. What was hacked was maybe the computer or the mobile phone of that person and the wallet that contain the cryptocurrency in his computer or her computer got compromised.
What blockchain protocols are used for NFTs and for the metaverse?
Mainly the Ethereum network, but Ethereum is not the only one. 90 percent of the NFTs and games are running on Ethereum, but Ethereum is not very highly scalable. So in-game transactions happen very often, if you want to have thousands of transactions per second inside the game, Ethereum is not a good choice. So some games choose a different kind of blockchain to work with. For example, Polygon and Solana and other blockchains that allow the creation of smart contracts may also be compatible. You have Tezos, Tron, Cardano, EOS, Wax, Binance Smart Chain, and a few others. But probably across the ones that you see here on this slide you have like 99 percent of the market. And the ones that are growing nowadays quite a lot in terms of adoption because of the NFTs, are Polygon, Solana, Wax, Cardano, Binance Smart Chain. But Ethereum is still the number one 90%.
Content and Metaverse Layer
So infrastructure layer, it’s going to be Ethereum 2.0 or Solana or Polygon and so on. This is the Web 3.0 infrastructure. On top of this, you have metaverse tokens or game tokens, or platform tokens. So in some platforms, these tokens are used to fuel the in-game economy or to fuel the ecosystem within that metaverse or within that game or within that platform.
Let’s look at MANA, which is a Decentraland currency. You can use, MANA to buy lands on Decentraland to buy NFTs within Decentraland, to buy clothes for your avatar within Decentraland. We have SAND, the sandbox currency, basically very similar to Decentraland. You can buy land, you can buy advertisements, you can buy in-game items. AXS the Axie Infinity currency, ALICE, my neighbor Alice Currency. GALA, the GALA Game ecosystem. It’s a game studio that is developing a few games and some of them are already living, ready to play. And PYR, the Vulcan Forged currency, which is also a game studio and launchpad for games for blockchain-based games and plays to earn games.
Few additional Metaverse tokens and how to find these Metaverse tokens on CoinMarketCap.com. You see here the website CoinMarketCap.com and you scroll down and you’ll find here different tabs, different categories.
There are DeFi, NFT, Metaverse, and so on. And you can select the Metaverse to see the Metaverse-related tokens. If you select NFTs and compare to NFT tokens with the Metaverse tokens, you will find that a lot in common, a lot of different tokens that are inexistent in common because basically many of these metaverse projects they also have NFTs
You can visit the following blog to know more about the Metaverse Layer.
The Metaverse Value-Chain
Trillions of dollars are pouring into the metaverse. Learn how the market is structured, and a vision for its…
Different metaverses like Decentraland, SomniumSpace, CryptoVoxels, or the Sandbox have assets that you can own. The in-game assets are represented by NFTs, and you can take them anywhere. Assets in form of art, land, and many NFTs which we discussed in previous blogs.
You can also rent a plot of land on Decentraland. You can also host a party. You can invite your friends or you can invite the community. And a lot of people will be able to see your artwork.
The graphics look a little bit unrealistic, but the technology is improving. You can do pretty much everything that you do on the Decentraland and but adoption of this game is not as widely spread as Decentraland is a bit earlier stage. Developers are still developing quite a lot of the different functions in developing the characters and everything. Currently, you use the web browser to walk around, and later you can use your VR headsets.
We can already envision the future where the metaverse is going to be part of our lives. Metaverse might look very real and become a part of our life in the next 10–20 years, but at least in the short term, we can make some predictions. We know that technology will continue to blend with our lives. This happens very slowly, and the metaverse is not going to suddenly show up just like the personal computer and mobile phones, they took 10, 20, 30 years to take over our lives. And the technology will continue to slowly blend with our lives. Human-computer interfaces will continue to get more efficient and smaller.
Immersive technologies, later chip implantation in brains, and many more future technologies will give more integration and more digital inclusion to people.
Read the blog: The 4 key stages of the Metaverse by Henrique Centieiro
Metaverse in Popular Culture
Metaverse in popular culture, there are some movies in books that you can watch, and they provide kind of their own vision of what can be the metaverse in the future.
- Snow Crash (Book)
- Metaverse Pop Culture Part 1 (Book)
Follow the link to know more books about the Metaverse
- Ready Player One (Book and Movie)
- Tron 1982 (Movie)
- Tron Legacy (Movie)
- Free Guy (Movie)
- Wall-E (Movie)
- Surrogates (Movie)
- The Matrix (Movie Series)
In the last 4 blogs of 28 Blogs on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, we will come back to present reality. And, if by now, you have made up your mind to invest in cryptocurrencies or NFTs then we will look at the research approach that we can follow.
I have kept the remaining blogs on hold because the objective of the series was to understand the core philosophy and potential that blockchain technology holds.
I believe that Metaverse (Web3 + Blockchain + XR) will change lots of things in the tech world. And whether you are a consumer or creator, you must have a basic idea about what is going on all around.
If by any means, my blogs have encouraged you to solely believe in the Blockchain or Metaverse related stuff then I will tell you to explore more by yourself. The future may be completely different than what we see right now. Also, blockchain is not the only solution to everything that we want to see in the future. So do not conclude here, keep exploring.
Entire Series: 28 Blogs on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
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