Understand Web 3.0 & The Metaverse
What is Web 3.0?
TA new wave of networking technologies, also known as Web 3.0, promises to return the internet to the hands of users. This movement utilises advances in peer-to-peer (p2p) technology like blockchains to build services that protect users over profits. Its decentralised, peer-to-peer nature provides a hard technological cap to the possible accumulation of power and data in the hands of monopolists. This movement isn’t just about blockchains (not everything needs a blockchain!)—it is about architecting a web that protects individual property and privacy through a range of p2p technologies.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a seamless convergence of our physical and digital lives, creating a unified, virtual community where we can work, play, relax, transact and socialize. The metaverse is still early in its evolution, and there is no singular, all-encompassing definition to which people can turn. Themes of what the metaverse is and could be, however, are emerging. A key point is that there is no one virtual world but many worlds, which are taking shape to enable people to deepen and extend social interactions digitally. This is done by adding an immersive, three-dimensional layer to the web, creating more authentic and natural experiences. The metaverse even has the promise of facilitating accessibility from the comfort of the home, breaking down boundaries and democratizing access to key goods, services and experiences.
Before diving deeper into the metaverse, it’s important to lay the foundation between features of today’s metaverse—Web 2.0 characteristics, and the emerging Web 3.0 characteristics. While the table below highlights our assessment of the key metaverse features between the two, the lines are blurring as more and more traditional virtual worlds are adopting elements of the blockchain-based worlds.
Source: JPMorgan Report
Why metaverse? Why now?
The concept of a metaverse is not a new one. In many ways this is a linear progression. Online, multi-player, role-playing worlds like The Sims or Second Life have been around for nearly 20 years, with players spending an average of 20 hours per week in these worlds. 9 Modern equivalents like Minecraft, World of Warcraft and Fortnite have hundreds of millions of users, and huge
We are now at an inflection point, where it seems that not a day goes by without a company or celebrity announcing that they are building a presence in a virtual universe. While the buzz can partially be attributed to attention grabbing headlines, there is a convergence of emerging trends. A number of new technologies have come together to enable this vision of the metaverse.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets have become cheaper and more powerful, improving the user experience. Blockchain has enabled digital currencies and NFTs. The new methods to transact and own digital goods are allowing creators to monetize their activities through tokens. In addition
to monetization, and as a means to exchange value, token-holders can also participate in the platform’s governance (e.g. vote on decisions). This democratic ownership economy coupled with the possibility of interoperability, could unlock immense economic opportunities, whereby digital goods and services are no longer captive to a singular gaming platform or brand.
From a social perspective, the development of more immersive virtual experiences is helping people to build communities based on shared values, and to express themselves in more authentic ways. Meanwhile, COVID-19 accelerated the digitization of our lives and normalized more persistent and multi-purpose online engagement and communication. It is this combination of technological, social and economic drivers that is resulting in the explosive interest in the metaverse.
Every year, $54 billion is spent on virtual goods, almost double the amount spent buying music.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) currently have a market cap of $41 billion
200 strategic partnerships to date with The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group to launch a music-themed virtual world
The average price of a parcel of virtual land doubled in a six-month window in 2021. It jumped from $6,000 in June to $12,000 by December across the four main Web 3.0 metaverses
One of the earliest pioneers in the metaverse, Decentraland, is practically a 3D universe. The 3D universe allows players to develop plots of virtual real estate alongside participating in many other activities. Players could also host events, engage in social activities and create content on Decentraland.
As a matter of fact, Decentraland is a renowned project in the metaverse well before the buzz around the metaverse started building up. Developed in 2016, the simple 2D game has turned into one of the best metaverse crypto projects, with NFTs pinned at hundreds of thousands of dollars in value. Decentraland also offers its own native ERC-20 standard utility token known as MANA.
Decentralized has necessary traits which validate its entry into a metaverse crypto projects list, such as a 3D interface. The other traits of Decentraland which fit with the metaverse include in-game events, a digital economy, and elements for social interaction. In addition, Decentraland has been gaining unparalleled popularity in recent times for the virtual real estate NFT on the platform, known as LAND.
Another prominent entry in the list of best metaverse crypto projects would be The Sandbox. It is practically a blockchain game in the metaverse, which allows users to explore a virtual world. The virtual world in The Sandbox includes NFTs, user-created environments as well as other content. The Sandbox has evolved into a complex environment that leverages Ether and its native token, SAND, for powering in-game economy.
Players could create their own digital avatars and identities, which they can link with a crypto wallet for managing their NFTs and SAND tokens as well as other blockchain assets. With the help of powerful programs, players could create virtual items and games with exclusive economic potential as NFTs.
The name of Enjin is also an important addition to a metaverse crypto projects list for its unique capabilities. It is a blockchain platform that helps users in creating NFTs that they could use as in-game items. Enjin has successfully released software development kits or SDKs for facilitating simple development of Ethereum-based NFTs. Since NFTs have turned into an integral aspect in the metaverse, Enjin vouches to develop a secure platform for minting NFTs.
The most striking aspect about Enjin as one of the top metaverse blockchain projects is the liquidity for NFTs. Generally, NFTs are plagued with the setback of illiquidity as you must find a buyer for the NFTs. On the contrary, you can convert your Enjin NFT into ENJ tokens and get the desired value for your NFT. Apart from offering liquidity, Enjin also empowers scarcity and digital collectability, thereby qualifying it for the metaverse.
The final, and probably, one of the most innovative metaverse crypto projects, is Star Atlas. It is a new gaming metaverse built on the foundations of multiplayer video games, real-time visuals and experiences, decentralized financial technologies, and blockchain. One can clearly notice how Star Atlas bridges the gap between metaverse and blockchain technology in its foundations on the Solana blockchain.
The gaming metaverse of Star Atlas allows users to buy digital assets like land, equipment, ships, and crew. In addition, Star Atlas also features an in-game monetary system known as POLIS, which primarily serves the different in-game procedures. With so many unique functionalities and promising experiences in-store, Star Atlas can rise quickly among the ranks of best metaverse crypto projects in the future.