Considered the next chapter of the digital world, we are getting closer and closer to a future in which we will live simultaneously in a real and a virtual world, always interconnected. In this new world, which can radically change social, human and cultural relationships, users will interact and carry out activities such as working, playing, meeting or shopping online. It is worth discovering, in this article, what cryptocurrencies, NTF and Metaverse are, how they are distinguished and what is their relationship. Are you ready?
Cryptocurrencies are a purely digital trading medium, that is, unlike government-issued currencies, cryptocurrencies are private digital currency that central banks do not manage.
The technology that supports these digital assets is blockchain, a virtual registration system compared to an inviolable record book, where all movements, data and transactions are recorded. This blockchain makes it possible to keep track of all coins, validate exchanges on a computer network, and prevent them from being modified or manipulated after being registered.
An NFT is a non-fungible token, that is, it does not wear out with use. NFTs are collectable and unique digital assets, a way to show ownership of a particular asset, whether digital or tangible, represented by a token.
NFTs are digital art that can be a JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG, MP3 file, etc. Although the great boom has occurred in the world of art, mainly digital, NFTs can thus virtually represent anything from artistic works, music albums, tickets to shows, avatars, digital currencies, virtual terrestrials or even clothes or shoes of Lux. In addition, NFTs work as a certificate of authenticity, which cannot be exchanged, divided or shared. They always allow you to know who was the first creator and, finally, guarantee the ownership of that “object” in the virtual or physical world.
Out of curiosity, the most expensive asset in the world today is a “token” – Beeple’s collage, Everydays: The First 5000 Days – which was purchased at a Christie’s auction for US$69.3 million.
Before we explain the concept better, it is worth remembering that it is not new and appeared in 1992, in the world of literature, specifically science fiction, in the book Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. In this book, the metaverse is presented as a virtual world, 3D inhabited by avatars of people who interact with different experiences.
Therefore, the metaverse is a virtual world conceived from various technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, cryptocurrencies, social networks, and others, where people can interact through avatars. Communication, entertainment and business will exist in an immersive way, in a kind of 3D Internet.
Finally, even though the technological giants, and others, are already investing in the development of this universe, two significant difficulties still prevail: it does not yet exist in its complete affection and getting technology to follow these plans because there is still a lot to work on. As Bill Gates said, “Most people still don’t have these tools, which will slow their adoption a bit. One of the things that made the rapid shift to video conferencing possible was the fact that many users already have computers or chambers”.
In the future, it is intended that users can reproduce, literally, all aspects of their life in the virtual world. When announcing the move from Facebook to Meta, Mark Zuckerberg stated that “we will be able to do almost anything we can imagine, gather with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, as well as experience completely that don’t fit the way we think about computers or phones today”. Thus, in this infinite and digital space, we can (will) buy from land to works of art, work by participating in virtual concerts and, above all, interact with others avatars.
However, all these advances and possibilities raise some ethical and data protection issues, which must be regulated. For example, hologram dating can potentiate an even more significant loss in physical and emotional interactions between humans, or the legacy chatbot, created to give “life” to a person who has passed away.
As we have seen, NFT is a token used to demonstrate ownership of digital “articles”, which is based on blockchain and certifies the exclusivity and uniqueness of virtual objects.
Although nowadays NFTs are better known for their use in the purchase of virtual art, they can be used to allow users to access different platforms, including the metaverse, functioning, in this case, as a key to enter and circulate in the same. In short, it will most likely be the priority way of buying and selling in the metaverse, and at the moment, they are proving to be a gateway for many brands to experience parts of the metaverse, such as the functioning of digital property, the impacts of migration of a part of the economy to the same, the behaviour of users, among others.
First, virtual reality is an immersive experience and concerns using a computer system that transports the user to a simulated environment, capable of deceiving the human senses and utterly different from the surroundings.
Second, augmented reality keeps the focus on the real world, but through technology, it expands the physical location, adding digital information, such as virtual objects that we can interact with, 3D models, animations, holograms, among others. In this case, it is not intended to provide an immersive experience but to improve or add interaction with the world around us.
The metaverse is all this, but in a virtual reality that is fully integrated and even parallel to real life. Here, too, technology is a central part, as only then will we be transported to this reality, but it will depend on many other technologies and factors, such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
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