The last year we all witnessed metaverse go from the idea of imagination to tech reality. Metaverse is actually not a new term, however, it gained popularity and became mainstream after Facebook rebranded itself to Meta Platforms Inc. (Meta) in October 2021 to go beyond social media and unlock the new world of the internet.
Since then, Metaverse – the convergence of the physical world with virtual and augmented reality has picked up the pace to create disruptions in different economic sectors across the globe. There is no denial of the fact that Metaverse has captivated the public’s imagination.
What is the metaverse, anyway?
“Meta” means beyond. So metaverse basically promises a universe beyond the real world as we know it, which is based on blockchain technologies. It’s a place where virtual reality, real world and augmented reality share the space.
For decades, technologists have dreamed of an era when our virtual lives play as important a role as our physical realities. In theory, we would spend lots of time interacting with our friends and colleagues in virtual space. As a result, we would spend money there, too, on outfits and objects for our digital avatars.
While this new universe is still in the ideation stage, it is certain that it will be shaped by the collaboration of new, upcoming innovations and currently pioneering digital technologies.
To put it simply, it’s basically you and your avatar interacting with others in a digital environment.
When can we expect to see it?
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the newly named Meta, estimates it could take five to 10 years before the key features of the metaverse become mainstream. But aspects of the metaverse currently exist. Ultra-fast broadband speeds, virtual reality headsets and persistent always-on online worlds are already up and running, even though they may not be accessible to all.
What are some examples of it?
Here’s a look at what’s happening today that could lead to the metaverse of tomorrow:
- Meta: The tech giant formerly known as Facebook has already made significant investments in virtual reality, including the 2014 acquisition of Oculus. Meta envisions a virtual world where digital avatars connect through work, travel or entertainment using VR headsets.
- Microsoft: The software giant already uses holograms and is developing mixed and extended reality (XR) applications with its Microsoft Mesh platform, which combine the real world with augmented reality and virtual reality.
- Roblox: The platform, founded in 2004, houses scores of user-generated games, including role-playing offerings like Bloxburg and Brookhaven, where users can build homes, work and play out scenarios. Roblox is now valued at more than $45 billion after going public this year.
- Minecraft: Another virtual universe beloved by kids, the Microsoft-owned Minecraft is essentially the digital equivalent of Legos, where players can create their own digital character and build whatever they desire.
What’s the impact of the metaverse on finance?
Although it seems that there will be a focus on virtual reality, digital assets, blockchain, crypto and most commonly, video games, in fact, the metaverse will offer much more comprehensive and endless opportunities for many industries. Metaverse is expected to become an important digital platform for both personal and business interactions, including finance.
In fact, it is believed that financial data management and the methods of managing financial transactions provided with fintech solutions that will be equal to real life will be the most important indicator of making the metaverse as indispensable as real life.
Imagine a virtual world where buildings, objects, clothes, land or avatars can be bought and sold just like in the real world, or where it is possible to walk around the buildings and participate in events in the virtual environment. That means a huge economic ecosystem.
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