We are witnessing yet another epoch-making phenomenon – the building of a Metaverse Economy
A quick search on Google trends shows exactly how much the ‘metaverse’ has expanded. On an indexed scale going up to 100, it is at 100 – and is currently one of the most searched words on the internet.
The boom in the number of searches containing the term ‘metaverse’ isn’t completely random, however. It coincides exactly with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of the rebranding of Facebook to ‘Meta’, marking the transition for almost all major big tech firms, such as Microsoft into the metaverse. As more and more companies begin their journey into the metaverse, the more important social internet is set to become.
Coined first by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash”, the metaverse was a place where people used VR headsets to interact in a digital gaming world. We’ve come a long way since then – currently surfing at Web 2.0, which if metaverse enthusiasts are to be believed, is soon set to evolve.
However, as Mark van Rijmenam notes in an article for The Digital Speaker: “we are seeing the first signs of a metaverse in the making. There are plenty of, closed, metaverse spaces available already, including Fortnite, Roblox, VR Chat, or Minecraft. There are avatars walking around in cyberspace, developed by companies such as Ready Player Me, and the NFT craze has reached into the billions of dollars already.”
The Metaverse Economy
Dubbed the ‘Godmother of the Metaverse’, Cathy Hackl today stands at the forefront of the metaverse economy.
An esteemed tech strategist and futurist, she is currently the ‘Chief Metaverse Officer’ of Futures Intelligence Group, spearheading the meta-transformation of our physical realms for almost a decade now.
She’s probably as good a person as any to explain what the metaverse economy actually is; and she did so thus, in a recent interview with CoinDesk:
“I usually start from the past. Web 1 connected information, so you got the internet. And did that change anything for your brand? It probably did. Web 2 connected people and you got social media, the sharing economy. Did that change anything for your brand? Of course it did, right?
And now we’re in the evolution of Web 2 going into Web 3. And Web 3, it connects people, places, and things – or people, spaces and assets. And those people, spaces and assets can sometimes be in a fully virtual environment, like most people tend to think.
But it’s also going to be in our real world with some level of augmentation, probably through a wearable. So, Web 3 is kind of enabling the creation of the metaverse, and the metaverse is a convergence of physical and digital. Think of it as the successor of what comes next on the internet. It’s like your digital lifestyle catching up to your physical life.”
And this is, essentially, what the metaverse is: a convergence of our realities, the blending of the physical and digital realms together in a single platform.
A forerunner revolutionising the metaverse economy, US-based Together Labs is leveraging blockchain technology for users to buy, sell and invest. To this end, VCoin was launched as the first global digital currency that can be used just about anywhere in the metaverse. The coin makes it possible to earn value in the metaverse and then convert it to cash.
Essentially, as the GitHub page of VCoin reads, “VCoin is a crypto-currency: an open source, peer-to-peer, pseudonymous, community-driven value transfer system. It allows individuals to make payments and transfer value without needing to seek permission or evade censorship.”
[Read about the Metaverse Economy in Part II]