Inside the Metaverse

In the first post in this series, we introduced Josie Bellini’s new groundbreaking project CyberBrokers and provided a brief history of NFTs to show the important context in which CyberBrokers has come to life. 

Yet NFTs are just one of the two fundamental elements of this new project. The other fundamental element is the metaverse, which is what we’ll be diving into in this post. What is the metaverse in the context of crypto, and why does it matter for CyberBrokers? Here’s everything you need to know to get started!

The Metaverse 101

The idea of the “metaverse” was first popularized by author Neil Stephenson in the 1992 novel Snow Crash, which depicts humans interacting among each other and AI in a futuristic virtual reality realm. 

That future is now, though. Whereas in the past the internet’s possibilities have been dominated by static and flat webpages, our digital activities in the future will converge in the evolution of the web, i.e. the metaverse. 

Simply put, we can think of the metaverse as interconnected virtual spaces. VR has progressed considerably over the past 3 decades, so these connections have increased considerably too in that span. It’s now easier than ever to hop from one virtual world to another, and it’ll only become easier over time as the nascent metaverse continues to mature. 

Ethereum’s Blooming Metaverse

Virtual spaces and the idea of the metaverse existed before Ethereum. But as the first and most popular smart contract platform, Ethereum has popularized NFTs, which are essentially provable digital deeds to digital property, whether that property be art, gaming assets, or even virtual real estate. 

To that end, NFTs provide ways to transact in digital assets of all kinds like never before. So in recent years, we’ve seen a handful of VR projects arise that leverage Ethereum’s NFT infrastructure to apportion and sell their VR plots. Some of these early metaversal stalwarts include:

We’ll surely see more going forward too. Why? 

Because Ethereum and NFTs bring to these projects the possibility of a viable and interconnected digital-native economy to underpin their respective activities. For this reason, VR projects that use Ethereum are more “metaversal” than ever, because they can remain readily interconnected in many regards atop Ethereum. 

The New Work, Live, Play Paradigm

In our increasingly digital world, many people work, live, and play out much of their lives on the internet today. 

Notably, we’re already seeing this kind of range of activities in the Ethereum metaverse in the here and now, and they’ll surely surge further as the metaverse grows more popular in the years ahead. 

Things have started with a small but swelling tribe of trailblazers managing their professional and personal lives in and around Ethereum’s metaverse. Soon, it’ll be routine that many people do the same. Indeed, the metaverse isn’t just VR — it’s the future of our lives. 

Endless Possibilities Await

So the metaverse will connect everyone. It’s real, and evolving right in front of our eyes. Going forward, then, metaverse culture — driven by its lifeblood, VR — will become increasingly important to many people around the globe.

From that, we can expect things we’ve seen in the cultures of metaverses past. For example, in the popular online virtual world Second Life, which was first launched in 2003, some residents have been raising virtual children for years. As our contemporary metaverses continue to advance and mature, look for droves of users to continue shifting major aspects of their daily lives into the virtual. 

Source: Second Life Babies

Notably, this cultural shift will lead to an economic explosion around virtual avatars and virtual accessories. We’ve already seen the beginnings of this outside the cryptoeconomy in Virtual Market, a huge event in the VR social platform VRChat where content creators present and sell virtual creations. 

This is amazing, but for the metaverse to expand toward its full potential it needs to be powered and interconnected by the open infrastructure made possible via NFTs and blockchain. Indeed, blockchain’s been the missing ingredient for unlocking the metaverse. Whereas the internet has been value extractive, the blockchain makes the metaverse value additive and affords users new avenues of ownership. 

That said, in the metaverse we’re not just going to live out the VR possibilities of yesteryear. NFTs and cryptonative users are charting out, and will continue to chart out, weird new cultural and economic terrains in the metaverse, expanding what it means to be human all along the way. The trailblazers here are already hard at work!

Source: jin and Boomboxhead at the Metaverse Makers Mixer in April 2020

The CyberBrokers Connection

So NFTs give us ways to take true ownership of digital assets, and the metaverse gives us new ways to experience and live out our lives with digital assets.  

For these reasons, both NFTs and the metaverse are going to be hugely crucial components of Josie Bellini’s coming CyberBrokers project. NFTs will facilitate the project’s 10,001 collectibles, while the metaverse will facilitate the experiences and teeming ecosystem around these collectibles. The future is here, and CyberBrokers is aimed at becoming the premier project of this future’s many metaversal possibilities. 

Stay Tuned!

This concludes our second post in the CyberBrokers introductory series. Now we have a grasp on NFTs and the metaverse, so what’s next?

Our next article is going to explore Josie’s personal journey around NFTs and the metaverse, how she’s become the creator she is today and how she’s arrived at the CyberBrokers project in her own words. Josie’s one of the world’s leading NFT creators, so be sure not to miss this one!

Written by William M. Peaster