As NFT sales appear to pick up after a nearly two-month dry streak since its peak in May, one NFT app in particular is gaining popularity more than ever: Metaverses. Metaverses have gained a good chunk of media attention lately, with big moves coming from companies like Facebook and Epic Games. However, not everyone, even those who have been in crypto for a long time, has realized what metaverses are despite the hype. But as more companies, celebrities, and artists venture into the space, it has become another domain that deserves extensive consideration.
The metaverse is a network of virtual environments in which people can interact with each other, with digital objects, and the physical world through their avatar. While the definitions of the metaverse vary, they orbit around technologies including VR, AR, digital twins, and blockchain. Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable, describes the metaverse as “something more than a game but less than the real world. The metaverse is for virtual worlds like a website is for the Internet. “
For weeks, Mark Zuckerberg has been beating the drum for metaverses. The founder of Facebook sees virtual worlds as the next iteration of human interaction online. Zuckerberg sees Facebook’s transition from a social media company with a connected set of applications to a metaverse company with an interconnected set of experiences. And his recent move to present Horizon Workrooms it is a step in that direction. You are also in a prime position to pursue your metaverse goals, having invested heavily in VR technology for several years.
Another burst onto the scene is game and software developer Epic Games. Epic Games, of course, already has something to show for when it comes to metaverses with the successful virtual concerts of Ariana Grande, Travis Scott and Marshmello that took place within their flagship game, Fortnite. And the $ 1 billion in financing you received in April with an additional $ 200 million deal from Sony Group will help you pursue long-term growth opportunities with metaverses, especially as you are already reshaping the future of live events.
Why the metaverse?
The metaverse offers a hugely unique experience for everyone. It’s a way for artists to connect with fans in a more interactive and perhaps individual way, which is a step up from the live streaming format delivered by artists like Post Malone, Dua Lipa, Gorillaz, and many others when the pandemic hit in 2020.
On the other hand, Facebook’s Horizon Workroom is geared towards replacing Zoom’s boring call-in meetings with a more interactive environment, a virtual conference room, so to speak, for remote workers. Others also see a wide variety of applications for which the metaverse will be useful. Education systems, for example, can benefit from allowing students, particularly in the medical field, simulation training rather than one-way communication in which teachers simply deliver lessons to students.
Metaverses and NFT
The link between metaverses and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) comes from the ability of NFTs to add a certificate of ownership or authenticity to assets that belong to the digital world. Projects like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Landemic, CryptoVoxels, and SuperWorld involve acquiring a portion of this digital asset, which is primarily virtual land. NFTs help verify your uniqueness and even provenance.
For example, Decentraland is based on the Ethereum blockchain and uses ERC-721 tokens called LAND to facilitate trading of virtual land parcels called parcels. This makes each piece of land different and helps users establish ownership of a portion of the entire real estate in Decentraland. This is based on your consensus layer, which maintains a ledger that tracks ownership of each parcel.
LAND tokens allow owners to do various things within their digital real estate, such as hosting games or experiences, organizing contests and events, or even renting them. The same concept applies to The Sandbox, the second largest metaverse NFT project in terms of sales to Decentraland.
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Metaverses and cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies play the medium of exchange within the metaverse, allowing users to exchange virtual goods. The two metaverses mentioned above allow players to transact using cryptocurrencies. Decentraland’s ERC-20-based token, MANNA, is the legal tender for users to purchase parcels of digital land and SAND tokens for The Sandbox. Such coins also provide users with the opportunity to participate in their development.
Users can use MANNA tokens to vote on policy updates, land auctions, and grants for new developments in Decentraland, while users can use SAND tokens for more or less the same purpose. Furthermore, cryptocurrencies can further open up the possibility of transacting goods from different games or metaverses in interoperable markets.
At this stage, metaverses have not reached their full potential and companies are just beginning to explore the ways in which they could penetrate space. Facebook and Epic Games are just the two most recent examples of big names jumping on the bandwagon. However, companies like Microsoft and Amazon are getting involved as well. Amazon, in particular, is developing a “Amazon mall” where users can buy and interact with the products they want to buy. But it is still uncertain and perhaps even unlikely whether or not they will support NFTs.
However, metaverses NFT sales are gradually gaining a strong position against other categories. In the second quarter, its weekly sales topped $ 8 million at one point.
Total sales from 2017 to August 2021 amounted to $ 138 million, which is enough to take a 6.77% share of NFT sales by category. This places the Metaverse NFT category in third place in NFT sales behind digital collectibles and works of art.
And as more and more well-known personalities and large companies join the trend, the numbers could improve a lot before the end of the year. The growth of metaverses and NFT, in general, is unprecedented, especially in 2021. Sales of NFT in the metaverse have already increased by 428% since 2020 and averaged 149% growth in the last four years. If this explosive growth keeps pace, it would not be difficult to see sales exceed the $ 120 million dial in early 2022.
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