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The metaverse is growing fast, both in terms of cultural awareness and financially, as the Meta name change on Facebook has accelerated it last month. As the concept slowly begins to become more popular as many big-name companies embrace it and some analysts call it the “next big investment topic”.
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The metaverse goes beyond virtual/augmented reality and technology itself and has the potential to be the ultimate equivalent of the first half of the 21st century by creating a truly global arena for people to be included, says Igor Tasic, founder of Meta Ventures consulting firm Metaverse. An authentic hybrid experience.
“We are living in a transitional moment in metaverse. I think even the way we refer to ‘it’ will evolve,” Tasic told GOBankingRates.
“As in the past, we have called the internet the ‘web’ and the ‘infoway’ and now, the ‘cloud.’ It seems to be a natural next step for the internet where the experimental aspect will take place.”
In a note to investors earlier this week, investment bank Morgan Stanley said that the metaverse — a concept that involves building an alternate world where people can design their image according to what they want to be, and perform realistic tasks like buying things, playing games with friends and other activities — “can It fundamentally changes the way we communicate with others,” according to Bitcoin.com.
But what is the relationship between the metaverse and crypto and how does cryptography play a role in it?
Sina Kian, vice president of strategy at Aleo, an all-private application blockchain platform, told GOBankingRates that crypto is an essential part of the metaverse because it allows ownership of digital assets, and ownership will create incentives for investment.
Kian added, however, that one of the biggest threats to metaverses is the potential for it to be taken over by oligopolists, thus re-creating the threat of monopolies in the digital world.
“The most important thing that crypto offers is a potential alternative to that world, where ownership is more decentralized,” Kian said.
Philip Bakhazy, co-founder and CEO of XBTO Group, a global crypto finance company, echoed this sentiment, telling GOBankingRates that the cryptocurrency is poised to play a very important role in the metaverse.
“There are clearly emerging technologies, such as NFTs and social tokens, that can be used for everything from playing games and making money to acting as incentives to hold virtual concerts for influencers and their fans,” Bekhazi said.
“What I think is underappreciated is the role that major cryptocurrencies can play. Digital currencies are being prepared for use as a payment system between different parties in a metaverse-like digital world.”
Also, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that in some future metaverse, cryptocurrency traders can even trade Bitcoin and other crypto assets on an integrated VR/AR system within the metaverse. In such a scenario, they can bargain “in person,” in the form of digital avatars, Whatever the origin of the cryptocurrency they want to trade at, the possibilities can be endless, and we are excited to see what comes out of that,” concluded Bakhazi.
Other experts explain that the metaverse is not just AR/VR and GIFs. Any form of online engagement, from a Zoom call to commenting on the social posts of your favorite content creators, as well as anything that gives you presence, participation, and identity in a digital space can be a transfer, according to Chris Fortier, vice president of product at Rally, A blockchain ecosystem that helps creators craft their own social codes.
“In light of this, cryptography plays an important role in any metaverse,” Fortier told GOBankingRates. Crypto allows root ownership of ‘tokens’ but ‘tokens’ are so much more than money.
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“Rally, for example, let creators and communities symbolize their time and reward participation in digital metaverses (both the current web and web3). That could mean amplifying a tweet, fulfilling a fan’s T-shirt request or introducing a new community member to crypto. Web3 communities now have the tools to honor and reward that digital figure.”
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