What is Metaverse and why big tech companies are predicting Metaverse to be the future of the internet and social interactions?

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What is Metaverse and why big tech companies are predicting Metaverse to be the future of the internet and social interactions?

What is Metaverse?

The prefix “meta” signifies “beyond, after, or across” in Greek. As a result, the metaverse, a combination of “meta” and “universe,” connotes a location beyond the world or universe as we know it, one that lives in the virtual realm but feels just as real.

Metaverse is a hybrid of technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and video in which users “live” in a digital realm. The metaverse’s supporters envisage its users working, playing, and remaining connected with pals through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual excursions around the world.

https://youtu.be/gElfIo6uw4g

“I believe the Metaverse is the next chapter of internet.” – Mark Zukerberg

The Metaverse is a large online realm where people can communicate using digital avatars. It’s a hypothetical 3D world that combines virtual and actual areas using personal computers, smartphones, and virtual augmented reality glasses. It also includes features like avatar identity and content production that are common in social media. Meanwhile, Web 3.0, also known as the decentralised web, is the most recent generation of internet apps and services that are enabled by distributed ledger technology, the most common of which are blockchains. It focuses on decentralising data instead of storing it centrally, with computers capable of interpreting information as intelligently as people.

What can you do in the metaverse with a virtual reality headset on?

It’s an idea that encompasses an online environment where people may connect, collaborate, and communicate without having to be physically there. You may be in Hyderabad and your family could be in Visakhapatnam, but you could still sit at the same table for dinner and talk to them virtually. With a VR headset like Oculus on, you’d be able to see your family members across the table instead of staring at a screen. This is just one use case among many others that are yet to become a reality.

Is Metaverse going to revolutionise Web 3.0 as we know it?

Today’s Web 3.0 promises to be more dependable, decentralised, and user-controlled, allowing users to socialise for business, living, and play via the Metaverse. Web 3.0 aims to revolutionise the way the internet works in the same manner that cloud technology revolutionised data storage. Most prominent digital organisations and industries, including the blockchain industry, have a large list of use cases that Web 3.0 and Metaverse can provide. Every component of Web 3.0 was advanced by the pandemic of 2020. Aspects of Web 3.0 prompted many businesses to accelerate their digital transformation plans, from making it possible for huge groups of people to hang out online for long periods of time — a social and workplace demand — to the ensuing large virtual economies of scale.

What is the interlink between Web 3.0, NFT, Crypto & Blockchain?

Before we delve into understanding the technologies, let’s take a quick look into what happened at the initial stage of the Internet.

Web 1.0 was a period of time that marked the beginning of the Internet. There was an initial spike of interest in e-commerce, which eventually led to the dot-com boom. We also had the initial wave of internet browsers, such as Netscape, and message systems, such as AOL and Yahoo.

Web 2.0 ushered in a new era of interactive experiences, user-generated content, and marketplace economics, which gave rise to NASDAQ behemoths like Uber, Facebook, and Twitter, among others. Web 2.0 was built from the ground up to be mobile-first, social-first, and cloud-only. Web 2.0 generated trillions of dollars in value for the global economy, but we — as consumers — gave up a lot over the course of our lives in exchange for the value of the services provided by a few corporations.

The evolution of web. Source: Medium

Web 3.0 refers to the next generation of the internet, in which websites and apps will be able to handle data in a clever human-like manner using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud Storage, and Big Data Analytics. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, dubbed Web 3.0 the Semantic Web, with the goal of creating a more autonomous, intelligent, and open internet. Data will be interconnected in a decentralised form, which would be a big leap ahead from our present generation of the internet (Web 2.0), where data is largely stored in centralised repositories.

As Web 3.0 networks operate through decentralized protocols — the founding blocks of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology — we can expect to see a strong convergence and symbiotic relationship between these three technologies and value exchange platforms like NFT for example. They will be interoperable, seamlessly integrated, automated through smart contracts and used to power anything from micro transactions in developing economies to macro transactions in developed economies. Web 3.0 will serve as the foundation for emerging FinTech developments such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as DeFi becomes more adaptable among financial institutions.

Now that we understood how Web 3.0 is being built in a decentralized fashion, let’s explore the underlying technology Blockchain, which in simple terms is nothing but a distributed digital ledger.

https://youtu.be/SSo_EIwHSd4

A blockchain is a decentralised database that is shared among computer network nodes. A blockchain acts as a database, storing information in a digital format. Blockchains are well known for their critical role in keeping a secure and decentralised record of transactions in cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin. The blockchain’s novelty is that it ensures the fidelity and security of a data record while also generating trust without the requirement for a trusted third party.

The way data is structured differs significantly between a traditional database and a blockchain. A blockchain organises data into groupings called “blocks,” each of which contains a set of data. Blocks have certain storage capacities and, when filled, are closed and linked to the previously filled block, forming a chain of data known as the “blockchain.” All new information that follows in is added a block that will then also be added to the chain once filled which are encrypted & linked through crytographic locks.

In the case of Bitcoin, blockchain is employed in a decentralised manner, meaning that no single person or group has power—rather, all users have control collectively. Decentralized blockchains are immutable, meaning that the data inputted cannot be changed. This means that transactions in Bitcoin are forever recorded and accessible to everybody.

Now that we have a brief understanding of Blockchain, let’s explore one of its use case, a value exchange platform, called NFT.

What Is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)?

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are cryptographic assets on the blockchain that include unique identification codes and metadata that identify them from one another. They cannot be traded or exchanged for equivalency, unlike cryptocurrencies. This is in contrast to fungible tokens, such as cryptocurrencies, which are identical to one another and hence can be used as a means of exchange.

Useful inshorts that you should know about NFT’s

  • NFTs are one-of-a-kind cryptographic tokens that can’t be duplicated on a blockchain.
  • Real-world goods such as artwork and real-estate can be represented with NFTs.
  • These real-world tangible goods can be “tokenized” to make them more efficient to buy, sell, and trade while also lowering the risk of fraud.
  • NFTs can also represent people’s identities, property rights, and other things.

Each NFT’s unique construction allows for a variety of applications. They’re a great way to digitally represent actual things like real estate and artwork, for example. NFTs can also be used to eliminate intermediaries and link artists with audiences or for identity management because they are based on blockchains. NFTs can eliminate middlemen, streamline transactions, and open up new markets.

Let’s look at how NFTs are helping digital artists to build a digital market place in the below video from Wall Street Journal.

https://youtu.be/zpROwouRo_M

Final Thoughts

The new internet will offer a more personalised and tailored surfing experience, as well as a smarter and more human-like search helper and other decentralised benefits, all of which are supposed to contribute to a more egalitarian web. This will be accomplished by allowing each individual user to take control of their data and enhancing the overall experience through a variety of innovations that will be implemented once it is in place.

As difficult as it is to imagine given how smart devices have already impacted our behavioural patterns, Web 3.0 will eventually arrive, and the internet will become exponentially more intertwined in our daily lives. Almost all of today’s normally offline machines, ranging from home appliances like ovens, vacuums, and refrigerators to all modes of transportation, will become part of the IoT economy, interacting with its autonomous servers and decentralised applications (DApps), advancing new digital realms like blockchain and digital assets to power a slew of new tech “miracles” for the twenty-first century.

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