Have you been hearing a lot about the metaverse lately? Well, if so, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. After all, according to many technologists, the metaverse is set to replace the internet.
The metaverse merges both the physical and virtual worlds. You might already be familiar with a rather dystopian version of the metaverse from science fiction works like Ready Player One or Snowcrash. Rather than the borg-esque implementation, blockchain proprietors are racing to build out an open and free metaverse in keeping with the philosophies familiar to the blockchain world: decentralized, transparent, and open-source.
Regardless if they are successful or not, the metaverse is being built today. It’s emerging right before our eyes. The design choices that will impact our virtual lives of tomorrow are being made right now. Those in the crypto space might be familiar with the concept of web3, a decade long experiment in building the next iteration of the internet—one that is permissionless and cannot be controlled by homogenous corporations or platforms.
Some key questions being tackled by web3 developers revolve around privacy, as well as digital identity. They want to make one’s digital identity easily portable across platforms without having to deal with passwords, etc. This would be extremely convenient in the metaverse, which is likely to become more accessible and ubiquitous over time. Billions of people one day may spend parts, if not most, of their days in the metaverse. That’s why it’s so important to encode the value espoused by the Bitcoin and greater blockchain communities into the metaverse.
The events possible in the metaverse today expand beyond social gaming and into conferences. (Perhaps the planning of the future metaverse will take place in the metaverse) For instance, Facebook introduced Horizon Workrooms last week, a new way for office workers to connect via virtual reality—yes, your days on Zoom may be numbered. The idea behind virtual conferences is, instead of talking to people in 2D, why not join them in 3D?
Concerts, too, might be increasingly making their way into the metaverse. Last month, Mix Master Mike, a Grammy award-winning DJ perhaps best known for his work with the Beastie Boys, performed a live event where he performed on stage at a downtown Los Angeles venue while being live streamed as a hologram onto a virtual stage in AltspaceVR.
Serious financial incumbents are dipping their toes into the metaverse, too. Digital payments behemoth, Visa, purchased a unique work of art, CryptoPunk 7610, in the form of an NFT. Current iterations of the metaverse are using NFT technology to manage ownership in these virtual worlds.
“We think that NFTs are going to play a really important role in the future of retail and social media, entertainment and commerce,” says Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa. “So we wanted to understand firsthand what it takes to acquire, custody and interact with an NFT. We’ve worked with Anchorage to do this so that we can build the expertise and be better positioned to help clients navigate this space.”
In Asia, too, the metaverse is sweeping the financial industry by storm. NH Investment & Securities is preparing to launch its own metaverse platform, NH Universe, which will serve as a virtual space extended from the real NH Investment headquarters. Up to 2,000 customers will be able to simultaneously interact while they enjoy various services, like investment analysis seminars and games.
Furthermore, IBK Investment & Securities teamed up with MetaCity Forum, a virtual space providing a wide range of services, including entertainment, e-commerce, and tourism. The brokerage company also plans to launch its own metaverse platform.
There are a plethora of projects in the blockchain industry working on the metaverse, many of which will come together for a conference in the metaverse to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The event is hosted by the Dvision Network, which has a storied virtual conference history. It once hosted a live debate on cryptocurrency legislation organized by the Assembly of the Republic of Korea.
The event will take place over the course of six days, beginning on September 8 and ending on September 13. Events scheduled to take place include airdrops, dances, game shows, and more. BSC projects, that will take part in the event include Arkane Network, Chainstack, AirNFTs, Alpaca Finance, MyDefiPet, BunnyPark, StepHero, BabySwap and others.
BSC, the public blockchain supported by crypto exchange Binance, has had a wild year since its 2020 launch, and surely the conference will be abuzz. After all, BSC has competed with Ethereum on multiple fronts. Just recently, BSC surpassed the Ethereum blockchain in daily transactions thanks to the success of a game called CryptoBlades.
On July 31, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted: “#BinanceSmartChain handled 10M+ transactions yesterday. #Ethereum handled 1.2M.”
That’s quite the feat to commemorate.