Is the metaverse just a catchphrase used by the tech elite, or it can actually be a force for good?
In our previous blog post we established our concerns regarding a metaverse that could be centralized from Day 1, that is, created and deployed by Big Tech. We made a case that what we really need is a metaverse that is Web 3.0 - ready, right from the very beginning.
But what exactly is Web 3.0?
From Web 1.0 to Web 3.0
Web 1.0 enabled us to exchange information via desktop applications and intuitive user interface as well as buy things easily, online. Web 1.0 was revolutionary at the time because it diminished the latency and cost at which people and businesses could trade value, information, and work.
Web 2.0 signifies a shift from the world of static desktop web pages designed for information consumption and served from expensive servers, to interactive experiences and user-generated content. Web 2.0 proliferated under two key components – cloud computing which democratized otherwise expensive storage and computing power, and the advent of the iPhone which transformed web interfaces into intuitive and interactive experiences for the end user.
The next paradigm in Internet computing or so-called Web 3.0 is now emerging. In simple terms, Web 3.0 is about everything which Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. accomplished, but in a decentralized manner. Open, trustless, and permissionless are the three keywords one should consider when speaking of Web 3.0 – which coincidentally are the same philosophical tenets of the metaverse.
The Decentralized metaverse in action
Fortnite has built an ever-changing virtual world that’s molded by feedback from players and the partner brands rather than by solitary geniuses in black turtlenecks. Nvidia announced plans for creating a ‘digital twin’ of the Earth in Omniverse (a metaverse for engineers) to model climate change and predict how the Earth will change over decades. The Hong Kong International Airport was famously designed in Unity, a leading game engine. Unity wasn’t used because it’s the best tool to design an airport. Instead, Unity was used because it was superior at simulation.
We are witnessing the rise of the metaverse in healthcare as well - augmented reality is already being used to deliver smarter workouts with guidance from virtual instructors. Healthcare is an industry where interoperability is of utmost importance which is why we need to take part in creating a decentralized metaverse right from Day 1.
The metaverse is already helping otherwise impoverished communities earn more than their average monthly earnings. Over 55% of Axe Infinity players are in the Philippines and 65-70% are in Southeast Asia. Most of them are ‘scholars’, which means a player is temporarily using another person’s ‘axies’ to play the game and earn. Axie Infinity is one of the most popular Play-to-Earn games with over 2M daily active users.
Roblox, a game engine where you can play a game created by another user, is already being used to build a game about adopting pets, or a virtual re-creation of their local church, thus assisting the most pressing causes amongst local communities.
More traditional industries are also being disrupted by the metaverse. For example, Metaverse Property is creating what they’re calling the first “metaverse real estate investment trust (REIT)”, which will trade through a non-fungible token (NFT) that is backed by the company’s virtual land portfolio. This metaverse-first REIT means that retail investors, traditionally locked out of this asset class can now consider it for their personal retirement portfolio.
Last but not the least, companies are also hiring top talent via the metaverse. Unlike traditional hiring processes, you can apply for a job as your preferred avatar (read: personality) in the metaverse while being free to choose how much of your personal data you are willing to share with the companies you apply to. For a sneak peek of how awesome applying for a job in the metaverse is, visit the Swappable headquarters in Decentraland (instructions here) and walk yourself around Crypto valley where some of the finest crypto and blockchain companies host their virtual headquarters.
Want to see the decentralized metaverse in action? Visit the TrustSwap headquarters in Decentraland by following the instructions here.