Meta Digest

The Metaverse is the Next Phase in the NFT Evolution

Source: Time

The past decade has seen a meteoric rise in the adoption of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs),  a unique and non-interchangeable digital asset. However, like all innovations, NFTs are still viewed as a gimmick with no future value outside the crypto world. However, that is soon to change as global brands like Facebook are tipping the scales and propelling the metaverse into the limelight as it rebrands to Meta. With this new development, NFT  has entered a new phase of development. Morgan Stanley, a leading financial service company, has predicted that the metaverse will be valued at $50 billion by 2030. 

To most people, the metaverse is thought of as virtual and augmented reality or games like Ready Player One, but it is not that simple even though it adds to the promised immersive experience. Summarily, the metaverse is an “embodied internet” and it was explained by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, in a statement where he shared his vision for rebranding his company as Meta. He said, “The metaverse is a network of interconnected virtual experiences. It integrates the digital with the physical, offering new ways to work, socialize, create and play. To put it simply, think of the metaverse as an add-on of the remote work- experience precipitated by COVID-19 — but now viewed from a 3D virtual space. So it does not matter if you’re viewing with a headset or a regular 2D screen. Virtual meetings don’t have to mean a wall of talking heads; instead, you could have an immersive experience by sharing a virtual space with a group of avatars. That matters because having a real sense of presence enables more nuanced, natural interactions.”

As a global brand in the digital space, Facebook saw the limitless potential of NFTs early and continues to promote its adoption.  In fact, the company’s Oculus Quest VR headsets which sold out through much of 2020, have added significant impetus to the VR market, largely thanks to their ease of use. The speed with which this device has gained traction is highly indicative of the consumer preference for 3D experiences as an escape from the isolation of lockdown. Epic Games is another brand that is tapping into the metaverse, the studio behind juggernaut Fortnite, which hosted a virtual concert by electronic act Marshmello a full year before lockdown. 

In addition, the metaverse also operates on a decentralized structure free from institutional regulations and where everyone can be in control of their presence, free of gatekeeping. To ensure a seamless metaverse experience, payment on the platform must be secure, friction-free, and instantaneous. Furthermore, it must be possible to retain and use the digital assets created (such as your customized avatar) anywhere in the metaverse. 

Until recently, anonymity was impossible in the digital world, but Blockchain technology has made it possible for users to keep track of their accounts, assets, and transactions while remaining faceless. NFTs now make it possible to express individuality online, whether through randomly generated or carefully designed features, virtual clothes, and accessories. Users can now deepen their online engagements by altering their identity online to suit their style.

Opinions expressed by Meta Digest contributors are their own.