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What is the Metaverse and how will it alter the internet?


Cointelegraph’s Jackson DuMont, Director of video, tackles the topic of the “next big thing:” the Metaverse. He explains the who, what, why behind the Metaverse and deep dives into how its blockchain technology has the potential to alter the online lives of internet users. 

The term was originally coined by Neil Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. Although not a new concept, recent increased activity and developments within the collaborative virtual spaces have turned it into a new economic virtual realm that rivals the current physical economy. 

“The metaverse is exactly like the current version of the internet,” but it’s on its way to becoming fully immersive, explained Dumont, especially thanks to tech and social media giants like Meta and Microsoft playing a big role in its evolution. In Meta’s case, it has invested billions of dollars and is positioning itself at the center of the “multi-billion dollar eden” while racking up the profits. 

Some of the features that the Metaverse looks to improve upon within cyberspace includes user privacy, data protection, trestles transactions and unchangeable record keeping. That’s where blockchain technology comes in. Metaverses operate on the same values that blockchain-based systems run on, such as permissionless access, censorship resistance, security and decentralization,

“Blockchain and crypto assets are fundamental to creating a safe virtual reality. And NFT technology will also be the foundation for property ownership in the metaverse.”

Decentraland and The Sandbox are examples of metaverses that have seen the most virtual real estate and NFT sales within the past year. Dumont points out, however, that in order for the general Metaverse to be more widely adopted, interoperability between individual virtual worlds is key. This means that users would be able to move from one virtual space to another using the same avatars and digital items while bridging a metaverse life from Ethereum to Solana for example.

Related: Blockchain metaverse ecosystems gain traction as brands create digital experiences

What unites all of the metaverses, that for now are operating separately, is one larger community with a common shared vision: to build a new internet infrastructure that can support the Metaverse. Outstanding challenges include developing augmented and virtual reality devices with higher internet speeds and superprocessors that handle hyper-realistic graphics.

The video ends with a lofty statement: “Humanity is in the midst of creating the most complete alternate reality to ever exist.” But how long will society have to wait to fully immerse itself into this fantasy?