Is Blockchain Really the Backbone of Metaverse?

  • Meta for Beyond and Verse for Universe makes metaverse mean something like Beyond Universe.
  • Metaverse is still a dream, although it presently exists in various parts like AI, VR, and AR.
  • Blockchain plays a major role in shaping Metaverse with freedom, privacy, and decentralization. 

Metaverse was in the IT sector and known to only a few people, directly involved in its development or to other tech enthusiasts living out there. It was in IT for decades, undergoing research and innovation, but unfamiliar to the common people.

Facebook, in 2021, became the first company to address the general public about its developments in this field and changed its brand name to Meta. It was then that people were aware of something called Metaverse. 

Are you aware of what Metaverse really is?

You must have heard the lines, “Who could have imagined that there would come a day, when everything would be operated by touch of fingers, pressing of keys, and through a screen.” Yet, we live in this day where the internet serves as a webspace connecting multiple websites.

Similarly, the metaverse, when it is a reality, will be a 3D virtual space connecting several platforms to form a single virtual environment. During the COVID era, when almost everyone went online for some purpose, mostly for the purposes of education and office work, the idea of Metaverse became even more significant, with people imagining entering a 3D classroom for classes or 3D conference rooms for meetings with colleagues.

The pieces of Metaverse present now

The gaming industry took virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to a whole new level, with the launch of games like Jurassic World Alive, Bonelab, and Fortnite and gave their users a sweet taste of what entering into a virtual world would be like. VR headsets, AR glasses, and Haptic gloves are hardware needed to enter into this digital world and have already been sold in millions by Nvidia, Oculus VR, Qualcomm, and Magic Leap, all of which are companies set to play dominant roles in this domain.

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Making metaverse a reality, blockchain as a backbone

The answer to the question of whether blockchain is essential for the existence of a metaverse requires recalling some basic features of blockchain.Blockchain is boastfully called the trust-less network, not because there exists no trust between the parties, but because the use of technology enables overcoming this moral barrier and prevents thefts and fraud.

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are proof of ownership of a digital asset, recorded on a blockchain, and solve the issue of unique, unsubstitutable work, as in the physical world. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins, Litecoin, and Ethereum are already serving as digital currencies on many platforms. Being decentralized and open-sourced, the power of decision-making does not lie in a few powerful hands, thus giving each user an equal share in taking part in its development.

Yes, the metaverse can be built without a blockchain, but do we need it?

The metaverse will be owned by a single company, as most of the things we use in Web 2.0 are. The company will work for its profit and will be the central authority in making decisions. These decisions could include censorship of some content, suspension, or removal of user accounts (as Twitter is infamous for doing). Also, it doesn’t give us complete ownership of any virtual thing we buy.

Diving into a metaverse built on the blockchain

There will be several virtual platforms, and for all of them to combine into a single metaverse, blockchain technology has to be used. This solves the issue of interoperability and allows hassle-free movement of users between different virtual worlds. As people will have more of a digital presence than ever, it also increases the risk of data breaches and security, and once again blockchain will be looked upon as a solution. Blockchain employs cryptography for privacy, where the data is visible only to the end users. 

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As we start living in the metaverse, we may start purchasing digital clothes or jewelry for our MetaVersion. We may participate in purchasing virtual estates. To prove our ownership or transfer ownership to someone else, NFTs can be used. 

The metaverse would be nothing if it didn’t include the basic feature of interaction among various users. Users may even demand the inclusion of more features and facilities so as to enhance their user experience. Such platforms could be built on a blockchain.

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