What is Metaverse: Deobfuscating Hottest Trend of 2022 with GetBlock

By GetBlock | GetBlock | 25 Jan 2022


Coined by a sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson in 1992, a ‘metaverse’ team is one of the red-hot topics for Web3 right now. But isn’t it overhyped?

In its new article, the GetBlock team is going to explain the basics of metaverses and answer whether this concept deserves such an enormous hype.

TL; DR

In Q1, 2022, the term ‘metaverse’ is used here and there to promote various products somehow related to an immersive experience with AR- and VR instruments. As such, the hype around metaverse should largely be attributed to the activity of marketers, shillers, and ‘influencers’.

At the same time, some metaverse-themed projects managed to build sustainable tokenomics. Also, the euphoria around metaverses has already attracted a new portion of ‘big names’ to crypto and blockchain businesses.

What is metaverse?

In July 2021, we admitted that there was no clear definition for the GameFi segment. Now this observation looks 100% true for the term ‘metaverse’ that made headlines after Facebook’s re-branding to Meta and Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of ‘metaverse mission’.

In general, ‘metaverse’ is utilized to cover a wide array of services, platforms, instruments designed to simulate real-world experiences in a digital environment. For instance, a virtual exhibition hall where all paintings are represented as NFTs is the element of the metaverse.

Online MMORPG where gamers can buy and boost the equipment of their characters should also be referred to as ‘Metaverse’. Some projects even tokenized Earth, Moon, and Mars to allow their clients to buy land plots on virtual planets.

Simply put, a metaverse is a sphere of advanced digital simulation, ‘Second Life’ on steroids.

Why do metaverses need crypto?

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are always associated with metaverses. However, sophisticated VR- and AR-based products can exist even without Web3 services integrated. So, why is crypto always associated with metaverses?

First, it's about NFTs. As we briefly covered two months ago, the non-fungible tokens craze took crypto by storm. To ensure 100% authenticity and ‘peg’ to real-world objects, many virtual elements in metaverses will actually be NFTs. It is the most reliable and easy-to-understand way to monetize something virtual right now.

Then, it’s GameFi (or Play-to-Earn). The vast majority of projects that are aggressively promoting themselves as metaverses are actually low-end blockchain-based games. They look like 2000s simulators, but explore tokenization and accept crypto as payment instruments. That’s why, ideologically, Play-to-Earn is a predecessor of Metaverse.

Last but not least, it’s all about the audience. Metaverse-themed initiatives of big tech (like Facebook’s rebranding) or real-world business majors (like Adidas and Nike’s metaverse forays) are targeting the crypto natives with their excitement about new technologies and gains from the ongoing bull run.

Why is everyone talking about the metaverse?

Largely, Metaverses gained much attention because of price rallies demonstrated by NFTs sales in some projects (e.g. land plots in the Sandbox) and by native tokens of metaverse-focused products Axie Infinity, Sandbox, Decentraland.

Also, every brand that started exploring metaverses, surrounded its foray with massive advertising campaigns. In a nutshell, the ongoing interest in metaverses for retail clients is mostly FOMO-driven.

Instead of an epilog: Is it all about hype?

At this stage – it is.

By Q2, 2022, the sphere of metaverse hasn’t introduced something previously unseen in gaming, social media, digital collectibles, or DeFi. At best, it introduced several viable financial concepts with virtual assets.

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