The world of smart contracts and dApps (decentralized apps) are full of similar blockchain projects trying to compete for the same piece of cake. When Ethereum became popular, it successfully “transformed” the use cases of cryptocurrencies. Many years ago, people only used cryptocurrencies for cross-border transactions. But nowadays, people can use cryptocurrencies to transfer all kinds of digital assets, thanks to the Ethereum revolution. The thing is, Ethereum is not really scalable. It can become very clogged when the network is full of traffic.
Due to this problem, many other blockchain startups believe they can create something that is far more scalable than Ethereum. There are a lot of newer blockchain 2.0 and 3.0 projects that try to solve the same thing, but they always said that they are more decentralized or faster than Ethereum. Basically, they are all trying to become the ‘face’ of the smart contract platform. NEO, Tron, EOS, and many others have been putting all their efforts to dethrone Ethereum. And then, there’s Metaverse (ETP), which is also trying to become the next Ethereum killer. So, what makes Metaverse unique and why it has the potential to become the real Ethereum killer? Let’s find out!
History of Metaverse
Just like many less-popular Chinese blockchain projects, there’s also not much that we can find about Metaverse history. Apparently, the project itself was started on February 2017 after two different crowdfunding sessions. The first one began in September 2016 and the second one in early 2017. Combined, these two sessions successfully sold 50 million tokens. The founder of Metaverse is Eric Gu, who is mostly known for his time as a co-founder of NEO. The same Eric Gu was also an adviser at Loopring LRC and an ICO investor in the early days of Bitshares. He used to be a senior programmer for Haier.
Besides the CEO (Eric Gu), Metaverse also has a promising CTO. Chen Hao, the CTO, won an award at ArchSummit 2017, where there were more than 200 participating businesses. The Metaverse project itself has been developed by the blockchain enterprise called Viewfin. For your information, Viewfin has 60 staff, and Eric Gu is also the CEO of Viewfin.
The team decided to create the Metaverse project because, at the time, they felt Ethereum and NEO both were too ‘slow’ and not scalable. They believed the other dApps platforms were simply not good enough for mass adoption. Metaverse was created from scratch with an idea to overcome the challenges that have been facing both Ethereum and NEO. After they came out from the shadow in Q4 2017, some people claimed that there were 20 companies who wanted to start their initial coin offerings (ICOs) within the Metaverse ecosystem. Things were looking good for them, and they even wanted to create a partnership with KickICO, which is mostly known for being a website to search for new ICOs.
Unfortunately, Metaverse quickly lost its popularity during the peak of altseason (late 2017 to early 2018). While other altcoins enjoyed their rise to fame in December 2017 and January 2018, Metaverse actually lost its ‘mojo’ in the crypto rankings, and they were not able to take advantage of crypto peak momentum to establish itself as a leading dApp platform. At the time this post was written, Metaverse’s native cryptocurrency, ETP, was still struggling outside the top 100 crypto rankings.
Purpose of Metaverse
The blockchain serves a very similar purpose to Ethereum, NEO, and other players in the same market. It wants to become the all-in-one solution for decentralized apps (dApps) and smart contracts. While Ethereum is still the most popular public blockchain project for smart contracts but Metaverse is trying as best as it can to surpass Ethereum from both technological and reputation perspective. It’s definitely a hard mountain to climb because Metaverse is competing with a lot of projects out there for the same type of market and use cases.
Technology of Metaverse
While the purpose is quite similar to other dApps platforms, but Metaverse uses different technological steps to achieve its goals. On other dApps platforms, people write smart contracts to release dApps. On Metaverse, the smart contract is already built-in and can be divided to avatar, asset exchange, and tokenization. Then, this built-in smart contract is used to release BaaS (blockchain as a service). Metaverse also classifies its service to 4 different categories. They are digital identities, digital assets, oracle intermediaries, and on-chain exchange.
Digital identities are represented by Metaverse Smart Token (MST). The idea here is to tokenize the smart contracts by using the MST. Digital assets in the Metaverse ecosystem are trustless, can be traced, and can be freely sent, issued, and used as collateral.
Digital assets in the Metaverse ecosystem are controlled by individuals through digital identities. They have what it’s called as The Metaverse Avatar. Basically, it is a solution for digital identity where different pieces of relevant information can be ‘linked’ to each avatar’s unique index, and then it’s encrypted for data privacy. This is needed to allow digital asset interactions among different identities.
Oracle intermediaries What they meant with oracle here is a “middleman” on the Metaverse blockchain. They need to use intermediaries that they can trust so they can easily check the processed information on the blockchain. While any entity or individual can become an oracle, but there are different types of credibility depending on someone’s reputation in history. Metaverse really values trusted intermediaries.
On-chain exchange The last one is on-chain exchange. The idea here is the same with decentralized exchanges built on top of NEO or Ethereum. To buy or sell crypto assets directly on the blockchain. That’s the goal of having on-chain exchange, so nobody needs to trust anyone.
Apart from the things we wrote above, it’s also important to know that Metaverse utilizes a standard Ethash Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. However, when the mining rewards are close to their limits, Metaverse plans to convert to a more modern consensus Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). To get a better understanding about Metaverse technology, you should read their Metaverse Docs.
The Function of ETP In The Metaverse Blockchain
Metaverse’s native cryptocurrency is called Entropy (ETP). It is a utility token, and its function is to reward both the miners and developers in the Metaverse blockchain ecosystem. All transaction fees in Metaverse are paid with ETP. You can also use ETP as collateral. And when we wrote about Metaverse Smart Token (MST) above, the valuation is measured in ETP. Keep in mind that MST is not exactly a cryptocurrency. Unlike ETP, MST is just a digital asset, and that’s why it needs to measure its value in ETP.
Because ETP is not an ERC20 token, nor it is a part of a popular blockchain ecosystem, it’s not easy to find multi-crypto wallet applications that already support ETP from the very beginning. You might want to try Metaverse official wallet if you plan to invest and hold ETP coins.
Controversies and Challenges
There's no publicly known controversy about Metaverse. It seems the project is free from any negative publications in the crypto space. However, talking about challenges is an entirely different thing. There’s no standout feature that can make Metaverse looks significantly better than its competitors. It will take a lot of effort before the Metaverse core team can convince the crypto community that Metaverse is technologically superior compared to Ethereum or NEO or EOS. Unfortunately, the Metaverse team hasn’t really done much in terms of brand awareness and marketing (at least, not much if we want to compare their efforts to the more popular dApps platforms like EOS).
Talking about competitors, it’s quite easy to point out which projects can potentially become the biggest roadblocks of Metaverse in the future. You can definitely point out Ethereum as the biggest name in the dApps platform space. Despite the fact that many critics claimed that Ethereum is too slow and not scalable to support mass adoption, but it does not change the fact that Ethereum is still the most popular name for smart contract and dApps platforms.
Other than Ethereum, Metaverse also has to compete with Tron, EOS, IOST, Qtum, and NEO. When it was first created in 2017, Metaverse was seen as an alternative to NEO. But NEO itself nowadays has slowly lost its popularity, and two newer projects (Tron and EOS) are becoming more popular in recent time. Metaverse has a big mountain to climb if it wants to be adopted by more developers and dApp users.
ETP In The Crypto Market
At the time this post was written, one ETP was worth $0.353453. ETP had a market cap of $27,142,666 USD and slightly above $4 million daily trading volume. You can buy or sell ETP coins on Bitfinex, RightBTC, MXC, Huobi, HitBTC, CoinSuper, and many other mid-tiered crypto exchanges.
Metaverse has a really big potential, and from a technological perspective, they have been doing the right thing to keep improving their algorithm and ecosystem. However, the real challenge is not only about that. They have to prove themselves that they are the better solution compared to other dApp and smart contract platforms that are currently more popular than them. It will take a lot of efforts and branding strategies before they can overtake Ethereum or EOS or Tron.