As the concept of the Metaverse continues to gain momentum, people are beginning to understand the concept of this interconnected virtual world. While many people perceive the Metaverse as a virtual space accessed via virtual reality, there is another critical component to it: blockchain. This article delves into what the Metaverse is, how blockchain will be the foundation of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, and what role crypto-assets will play in this new reality.
Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
Web 1.0 refers to the era of the “information superhighway” of interconnected computers and servers that people could search, explore and inhabit through centralized company platforms. On the other hand, Web 2.0 was characterized by social media sites, blogging, and the monetization of user data by centralized gatekeepers of free social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
Web 3.0: The Foundation of the Metaverse
Web 3.0 will be the foundation for the Metaverse, which will consist of blockchain-enabled decentralized applications that support a user-owned economy of crypto-assets and data. Blockchain technology allows the permanent recording of transactions in a decentralized and public database called a ledger. Bitcoin is the most well-known blockchain-based cryptocurrency, and every time an individual buys Bitcoin, that transaction gets recorded on the blockchain, which is distributed to thousands of individual computers worldwide. Public blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin are transparent, and all transactions are available to anyone on the internet to see, as opposed to traditional banking books.
Crypto Assets: Ownership of Digital Goods in the Virtual World
Ethereum is a blockchain that is programmable through smart contracts, which are blockchain-based software routines that run automatically when certain conditions are met. Smart contracts allow the establishment of ownership of digital objects like art or music to which no one else can claim ownership on the blockchain, even if they save a copy on their computer. Digital objects that can be owned are crypto-assets, and items like artwork and music on a blockchain are non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They are unique and not replaceable, unlike fungible items like currency.
The Role of Blockchain in the Metaverse
The blockchain allows people to own digital goods in the virtual world. This means that you won’t just own an NFT in the real world, but you will also own it in the virtual world. As the Metaverse is being built by different groups and companies, the blockchain will authenticate proof of ownership of digital goods in both virtual worlds. As people move between virtual worlds, they will want to bring their stuff with them. Therefore, if two virtual worlds are interoperable, the blockchain will prove ownership of your digital goods in both worlds.
Crypto Wallets and the Metaverse
People will keep cryptocurrencies in their crypto wallets, as well as their metaverse-only digital goods, such as avatars, avatar clothing, avatar animations, virtual decorations, and weapons. Additionally, crypto wallets will allow people to buy physical-world items in the Metaverse, view and hold 3D models of items, and purchase traditional digital goods like music, movies, games, and apps. Wallets can be linked to real-world identities, facilitating transactions that require legal verification, such as buying a real-world car or home. Also, wallets will be linked to a person’s contacts list, which would allow them to bring their social network information from one virtual world to another.
The Future of the Metaverse
In conclusion, the Metaverse will be the foundation of Web 3.0, and blockchain will be a critical component that sets it apart from today’s internet. Crypto-assets will be the new form of ownership in the virtual world. People will carry