Leo Wong Chin Wai
From NFTs to Metaverse, what does Metaverse means & how could you participate?
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
Only a few months ago, the term NFT was exploding all over the internet. Many people in the sector have to admit they are shocked by the size, diversity, and speed of the industry evolving so quickly. But while we have seen some high sale prices, are buying these NFTs a good investment?
You may have heard of NFT stands for Non-fungible token, yet explaining exactly what it means could be complicated. What you need to know is that through blockchain technology, digital objects like a Jpeg file, a pair of virtual air max, or a meme, which normally we think are reproducible, can now be made scarce. For instance, you could download a photo via the internet and copy and paste it as much as you like and it is known as infinitely reproducible. Tokenizing of minting are the processes you can utilize blockchains and create a “record of scarcity”. In the blockchain, you can enter into a ledger that there are only a thousand copies of the specific photo, a hundred, or even just one, taking something that is previously infinitely replicable and giving it artificial scarcity. Only the holders of this piece of NFT, also known as digital wallets, could own the item and can choose to resell them in exchange for cryptocurrencies. Simply said, NFTs are digital certificates that help prove that you own things in the online realm. Due to such reasons, many people start to see NFTs as an authentic asset class as physical art. For something to be called an asset class, they need to embrace the characters that people can conduct the selling and buying process numerous times. Enterprises and corporations like Pringles the chips and Campbell’s Soup also take advantage of this trend and started releasing NFTs regarding their products. People are not only connecting NFTs to art pieces and gaming but also making housings and portions of the entire soccer team into NFTs.
While the initial boom of interest did drive more people to participate in the NFT marketplace than before, some may argue that the number of people able to spend large sums of cryptocurrencies on NFTs is relatively small. According to a 2021 Non-Fungible Tokens Quarterly Report by nonfungible.com, the weekly active wallets are much higher than the people who bought and sold NFTs, in a given week peaked at only 40,000. Provided that NFTs are aiming to become one of the essential asset classes of the digital future, the number of buyers and sellers must increase by a lot.
Nonetheless, the recent surge in popularity, as well as the rapid differentiation, have effectively relieved such worries. NFTs are on the rise once again and even with significant value volatility like NFT artworks, NFT collectibles (etc, NBA Top Shot) and NFT based video games (etc, Axie Infinity) have surged in popularity. “The corrections happening in NFTs are healthy and what we are going to see are projects that actually have utility and are able to affect a wider amount of people. That’s where I think the excitement is!” Responded to by Sam Englebardt, the General Partner of an adventurous business called Galaxy Interactive. A recent Bloomberg report also showed that the metaverse will elevate gaming growth to $800 Billion by 2024 and many companies are betting NFTs will enter the video game world in a big way, which if successful could open NFTs to a massive new audience and forever change the way we value digital objects.
Experiencing the Metaverse
We are in a process of merging the physical world to these digital worlds that have been created over the last twenty years and continue to be created in where people are spending an increasing amount of their conscious time. Metaverse generally refers to the shared virtual spaces or environments which people can access via the internet. To the public audience, Metaverse could sound like a new lifelike world in which you could consciously control your movement and decision by the use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and spatial audio. Compared with people currently interacting with each other online through different kinds of social media, metaverse allows people’s interaction to become more multi-dimensional and users are able to fully immerse themselves in digital content rather than simply browsing it. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced recently (29th October 2021) that the company will try to transition from being a social media company to a metaverse company in the next five years and are going to invest more than 10 billion on developing the technology and the metaverse space this year. Facebook, also now renamed as Meta, aimed to build a place where everyone is plugged into virtual reality, able to teleport from the physical world, interact closely while being remote, and make things happen merely by thinking about them. People are witnessing every day the progress of transforming from a purely physical world to an increasingly immersive synthetic digital world that does not look like one place we all go to, but actually the amalgamation and a merge of different digital worlds we experienced on our various devices. Virtual worlds like “Ready Player One”, in which users have a character that can walk around and interact with other players virtually are only one of the applications of the Metaverse and such an idea is attracting increasing levels of interest and hype from investors who are keen to take a major role in this next big trend.
I don’t want to miss the party!
How can I participate? What makes this technology powerful and interesting is the ability to ignite a community. By building the right community, the digital assets that people owned will be valuable within the space and attract more new joiners to purchase and trade the products amongst each other. Play to Earn (P2E) has proven its value and ability to earn cryptocurrencies by playing games and helping to transform the lives of many players. According to DappRadar, a firm that tracks data on decentralized finance reported that there were about 51,000 daily active wallets connected to gaming-related contracts in the blockchain ecosystem in last March, and such figures had skyrocketed 600% to 359,284 just by three months. Axie Infinity is well known for supporting the GDP of the Philippines when there was a severe pandemic amongst the country and people were locked from working. Such an Axie community has grown so strong and rapid that there were more than 2 million active players in October and generated close to $2.3 billion in total sales volume since the launch in 2018. Games like Axie Infinity showed how NFTs, a key pillar of the metaverse, could interact and affect the daily life of the authentic world and why everyone should not ignore such a new generation of games.
The metaverse and its possibilities have the potential to upend not just how we work, earn and spend, but also the fundamental ways in which we live, plan and run our lives. The Covid pandemic has further pushed people to look more into the potential of the online world, and they discovered that they could still do business, transact and have fun at the same time on these virtual worlds, using their devices from anywhere in the world.
The Metaverse, we foresee, will be…
A fully functioning economy — There will be a wide range of works that allow people to produce values that are recognized by others in specific communities, which individuals and businesses will be rewarded and able to further create, own, sell and invest.
2An experience that merges both the digital and physical worlds, private and public networks/experiences, as well as open and closed platforms.
Constant and Endless — Metaverse will never pause, end nor reset. On the contrary, it will continue to grow and differentiate indefinitely.
Populous and developed by “experiences” and “content” created and operated by a great deal of contributors. They could be independent individuals, informally or formally organized groups, commercially-focused enterprises, or even robotic programs.
A living experience that exists consistently for everyone and in real-time.
A space that provides individuals the sense of “presence” — People could be a part of the Metaverse and participate anytime and anywhere. It could be a specific event, place or activity.
An experience that offers unprecedented interoperability of data, digital items/assets, content, and so on across each of these experiences — People in the Metaverse could open stores in virtual malls where each store is using its own cryptocurrency. They can also buy and send gifts, or meet new friends in other Metaverse.
An authentic experience for everyone to experience a life they wish to — Participants of the Metaverse could have the opportunities to determine their new identities, appearance, formation, races, or even species.
It is not an easy task to accomplish the goal without long-term collective efforts from all parties in both physical and digital worlds yet Play to Earn (P2E) has set a significant milestone for the whole progress of Metaverse development. Games will encompass creator economies of their own, which embrace opportunities for participants to earn through customization, experimentation, and exploration.
Heros of Mavia
Heroes of Mavia is the first AAA base builder strategy game in Crypto where players go on to use their base and army to battle other players and compete essentially for two cryptocurrencies, MAVIA and RUBY, and rare NFTs. The game created in 2021 has managed to build a really strong following. Set in a fantasy world that is made up of various armed forces battling for the control of as much as the resources and further growing the economic value of the base, Clash of Clans fans would find this game very easy to fall in love with. Just like Clash of Clans, there’s a base-building game concept, upgradeable buildings, characters, and items, and players could start wars with whoever other players they target while protecting their territories at the same time. There are secondary markets for players to buy and sell their NFTs assets, like heros, lands, and statues from the game, and embrace a Dual Token model, in which players utilize their MAVIA and RUBY in both exchanges and the Mavia marketplace. Mavia is also backed by strong supporters and investors like the Double Peak Group, Genblock Captial as well as Exnetwork Capital, which further showcase the strong determination of letting the mass audience enjoy Metaverse via gaming.
Warriors of Aradena
Aradena is building a medieval fantasy metaverse including Battlegrounds, the first Play-to-Earn, miniature strategy game on the blockchain. The team’s ultimate mission is to revolutionise blockchain gaming by focusing on deep game mechanics and creating a fun to play game whereby players must strategize to win. Aradena are demonstrating how they are evolving from previous successful P2E games like Axie Infinity by creating a more sustainable ecosystem which includes a dual-token system and a number of key features in-game. Its mercenary system will work similar to other P2E scholarships but will be integrated in-game making the whole process more convenient for lenders who wish to lend out and earn from their NFTs, and more regulated for new players looking to borrow NFTs to play. Other great features include a comprehensive recruitment (breeding) system, and a social web app, the Tavern, where players can personalise their warriors, chat with others, and form guilds. Also, world tournaments in the game allow players to compete individually or in guilds, with huge prize pools for the best performers. The team at Aradena are quickly realising their goal of building a Medieval Metaverse for its rapidly growing community, and has already partnered with Seedify Fund, Polygon, Chainlink, Kalmia, SkyVision Capital, Double Peak, and a number of other leaders in the blockchain gaming space. Please Note: At least one ‘Warrior of Aradena’ NFT is required to play Aradena: Battlegrounds. The initial sale of the genesis Warriors of Aradena NFTs sold out in 13 minutes and are now available on OpenSea.
The metaverse is truly the sum of its parts, relying on many different things coming good for it to be truly realized and this is before we even address the broader issues of policing, legalities, and other things that come with running the next version of the internet. Nonetheless, we have already witnessed the rapid development in the P2E gaming field is having promising progress and achievements in setting key pillars for the Metaverse, especially in giving NFTs important recognition to the whole world.