Everything you should know about the metaverse and Web3
Metaverse, NFT (non-fungible token), and blockchain are some of the most loaded tech terms of our time, and metaverse, in particular, has been the buzzword of recent years. The word itself is taken from Neil Stephenson's novel Snow Crash from 1992, which described a three-dimensional world in a virtual reality where people seek refuge from a dystopian reality.
Refuge might not be what today's users are looking for, but in any case, the interest in the metaverse is growing bigger by the day. Analysis company Gartner predicts that 25% of all internet users will spend at least an hour every day in the metaverse by the year 2026. It is not an understatement to say that the development is going faster than the market had anticipated. It is like trying to stop an avalanche with a snow shovel.
Jonas Eric Werner, entrepreneur and founder of Crowd1, was one of the speakers at the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai in October, and the message he shared was crystal-clear:
" To understand the development we are facing, we can draw parallels to the mobile phone boom. In 1993, less than one percent of the world's population had their own mobile phone. The following year the figure was 30 percent, and today there are more mobile phones than people on earth. Just like then, we are now in an early stage, and the blockchain technology on which everything is based is nowhere near its true capacity.
Web 1.0 and the Internet became a serious part of our lives in the 90s and consisted purely of simple websites with stored information. In the next phase, Web 2.0, we began to associate the web with applications linked to internet banking, social media, and various types of helpful tools. We began to interact with each other on different platforms, which resulted in large tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Meta (Facebook) gaining enormous, and in some cases unlimited, power and influence.
Now 2023 is fast approaching, and Web3 is the new phenomenon that the market will try to master and take advantage of. However, no one knows exactly how it will look and work.
The news site Voister describes Web3 as such: “A decentralized web based on blockchain technology where users own their own data and carry it with them from service to service. That's the idea of Web3 and what enthusiasts say is the future of the Internet.”
" It is about time that the people, the users, take back the power from the big tech giants. I understand that they (the big tech giants) fear this development because this is an enormously strong challenge to their monopoly, says Jonas Eric Werner.
So what is the metaverse, and why will it have such a big impact on our everyday life? To make it very simple, the metaverse can be compared to an Internet where the user travels three-dimensionally. The metaverse cannot be tied to a single platform but is built on a series of 3D worlds where everything happens in real time that everyone has access to and where the changes last forever. The worlds and their users can interact with each other, and identities, data, payments, and digital assets can be moved between them.
Some of the multinational companies that have already presented visions and solutions connected to the metaverse are Microsoft, Nvidia, Epic Games, and Meta. They made the metaverse a buzzword and a phenomenon that immediately won people's attention. The areas of use spread over an infinite spectrum, and it will forever affect both private and professional life. For example, today's digital meetings look different as there is an opportunity to create a completely different type of virtual meeting room - or a meeting hotel where you can change the environment and audience in a nanosecond.
So far, the biggest area of use is shopping and gaming, but it's not just physical things that are acquired. The biggest commodity is predicted to be NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. And this is where Web3 will act as a catalyst.
" To link back to the mobile phone boom, just under 4% of the world's population has owned or owns some form of NFT or cryptocurrencies. Countries that applied NFTs early and accepted the development may get a head start. Given Gartner's prediction that 25% will spend at least an hour in the Metaverse, this means that over 2 billion people will somehow come into contact with NFTs and cryptos as blockchain transactions go that way. The mathematics says that we are facing a completely new digital future.” says Werner.
The Swedish market is, like many other countries, in its infancy and far behind India, Brazil, and the USA, to name but a few.
However, some pioneers have emerged who see development as a challenge. Stockholm-based ICT Scandinavia's contribution to Web3 and the metaverse of the future is called Metaversy - a game that takes place in the metaverse in the form of a simulated trading and stock market game that will be part of Crowd1's portfolio in 2023. Robin Sjölander is one of the key people behind the game's development at ICT Scandinavia and Metaversy:
" NFTs are, in many ways, extremely interesting when applied correctly. If you can own something digitally and prove ownership, then you also have the power to do what you want with it. You can keep it, give it to charity, or sell it to someone else. There is nothing to prevent the rightful owner from making the decisions they want to. The technology itself works, we know that, but ordinary people don't yet know how to handle it, and our hope is that Metaversy can serve as the right tool, says Sjölander.
Simply put, when you trade NFTs, you are buying something that cannot be altered, and which can only have one owner at any one time. The use of blockchain technology ensures the uniqueness of the digital item. Some of the most expensive NFTs ever sold are The Merge, a digital artwork that sold for more than $90 million, and Everydays: The First 5000 Days, which sold for approximately $70 million.
Additionally, several multinational companies have been successful in their NFT initiatives. For example, Adidas sold 30,000 NFTs in a few hours in the Adidas Originals: Into the Metaverse at a value of about $21.5 million. Werner says:
" The power must be assigned to the people, the users. For far too long, the big companies have dictated the terms and, in exchange for sky-high fees, only paid back in the form of time-wasting games. In a fair metaverse, the common man himself should be given the opportunity to own his information and earn money from his time and commitment.
Among the skeptics of Web3 is Moxie Marlinspike, the inventor of the encrypted messaging platform Signal. He stands opposed to decentralisation and doesn't believe that private individuals want to run their own servers, but Werner thinks otherwise.
" Man's will to govern himself and own his own content, regardless of what it is about, has always been strong. Now we get to see exactly how strong it is. 2023 will be a very interesting year.