The metaverse has been pushed into the spotlight in 2021. It has not only hit the headline frequently but also become a windfall that attracts big capitalists with deep pockets. Roblox, the world’s largest multiplayer online creation game company, went public on NYSE with an offering price of $45, and its shares jumped 54% on the first day of trading. As of July 15, 2021, Roblox has already secured a market cap of over $44 billion. As early as 2020, Roblox was only valued at $4 billion in its Series G funding. The company’s market value has witnessed a more than tenfold increase in only one year.
The company’s huge surge in wealth has largely intrigued the capitalists.
You may ask: what is the metaverse? What makes it so fascinating among the capitalists? What does the metaverse have to do with blockchain? And what exciting opportunities can be delivered to ordinary people in this rush?
What is the metaverse?
The term Metaverse was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. The novel depicted a completely different form of the Internet: the metaverse, a three-dimensional digital space that is parallel to the real world and linked to society. People who are geographically isolated from each other can communicate and entertain through their respective “avatars”.Haven't you seen this before in the movies like The Matrix, Avatar, and Ready Player One? And yes, that is the way the metaverse will be eventually.
How is the metaverse defined?
It lies in a fully-realized digital world. It is a parallel universe carried through digital forms in essence. Simply put, the metaverse is a virtually mapped version of the real world. It can make things impossible in the real world happen through virtual mapping and augmentation, like crossing rapids and teleporting.
What makes the metaverse so popular among big capitalists?
Someone believes that people will continue to embrace virtuality. The metaverse could be the final form of the virtual world that people embrace. Carbon-based lives will become silicon-based sooner or later. The fantastical ultimate form is still out of reach, or even unimaginable. Yet, in the ongoing trend toward virtuality, the metaverse is highly likely to become a new computing platform and content media and brings with it immeasurable wealth.
What does the metaverse look like and what’s the relationship between it and blockchain?
The very Meterverse-ish Roblox, hailed as “the first metaverse stock”, doesn’t involve blockchain technology. Is the metaverse truly relevant to blockchain?
The mainstream view believes that the metaverse must contain 5 elements: a reliable economic system, virtual identity and assets, strong social connections, immersive experience, and open creation. But when it comes to virtual reality, the first thing that pops up in mind is still “games” rather than our real lives. How come? That is because: Assets in the virtual world can’t circulate in reality. Even if you devote all your energy to being a hero or an elite in the virtual world, you may remain poor in reality. If game operators shut down, the in-game assets, character skins, and weapons that cost you a fortune will probably be reduced to nothing.
However, blockchain is a good solution to the two above-mentioned problems. The decentralized blockchain can help you grow fast in games without being authorized by, controlled by, or dependent on any institution. Besides, users can in turn have ownership and control of their digital assets through blockchain NFT (Non-Fungible Token) without the need for receiving permission or support from any institution. And that’s how users preserve and consolidate what they have created in virtual reality. It is precisely at this point that Tencent, which firmly believes that the mobile Internet will be built into a fully-real one down the line, has partnered with Roblox to develop a Chinese company to make ChinaRoblox, China’s answer to Roblox, which highly integrates the two blockchain elements of NFT and DeFi.
If the metaverse is to emerge as a reliable economic system and civilization that needs no trust, it must have blockchain technology as its support.
Are there opportunities for ordinary people to invest in the metaverse at the moment?
- The key infrastructure for the development of the metaverse, like ETH and DOT. ETH is an Ethereum-based infrastructure for virtual reality platforms. Hit VR platforms, like Decentraland and CrtpoVoxels, are all based on Ethereum. DOT is the infrastructure that supports Web3.0.
- The popular NFT virtual reality games have been hotly pursued by venture capital. Even the virtual real estate market in Decentraland has become a red-hot economy.
- Content creator economy.
These are the areas that can be focused on. But the above information and opinions are for reference only. The Metaverse has covered many areas with promising prospects. Except for the leading virtual reality platforms and NFT games, golden investment opportunities are yet to mature. Big capitalists are just splashing out their money on exploration, mostly in vain. Therefore, remarkable prudence is needed in investing in the metaverse.