Metaverse in 2021
Let’s start by briefly explaining Metaverse’s meaning. The answer’s fairly straight forward at its basic level: Metaverse means a virtual world where users experience various digitised elements of reality presented via various themes. The latter aspect is what sets the industry’s platforms apart, they all have slightly different features, design, or even entire ecosystems. For instance, we can distinguish centralised–Meta (Facebook)–from decentralised–The Sandbox (SAND)–metaverses, or Play-to-Earn (P2E) ecosystems–Axie Infinity (AXS)–from content rewarding projects–Decentraland (MANA).
What made the Metaverse the topic of the year is a different question. First, it’s important not to forget the pandemic that reshaped the way the world behaves. Most of us were quite literally locked out from our realities from one day to another, ultimately incentivising people to explore viable alternatives. Enter the idea of Metaverse. Whether designed to be full-blown realities, or just complementary elements of restricted lives, metaverses seemed to offer the perfect solution for humanity’s void in 2021.
And if this wasn’t enough, the other superstars of the year actually crossed paths with metaverses: in many cases, the digital goods within these ecosystems are purchased and traded as NFTs. Needless to say, this naturally resulted in an extremely efficient popularity synergy–if one topic was the talk of the town, it pulled the other with it, and vice versa.
The Biggest Metaverse Projects
When talking about highly in demand solutions, it should come as no surprise that sometimes even huge companies set their eyes on the prize. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, was, by far, the most significant of them all. As the name pivot suggests, Mark Zuckerberg’s team not only takes this topic incredibly seriously, but envisions a future where anyone will be able to choose to engage with a virtual, alternative reality in the Metaverse.
On the decentralised side of things, The Sandbox (SAND), Axie Infinity (AXS), and Decentraland (MANA) must be mentioned. What’s common in all of them is the fundamental way they differ from centralised players, like Meta: they are all blockchain based ventures built on the smart contract giant Ethereum (ETH). Providing a variety of solutions ranging from gaming to just a digital, individual avatar based reality, these Metaverse projects are paving the way towards a potential mass adoption of the concept.
A virtual reality where people can play games, explore, develop, and pretty much live: that’s the true Metaverse meaning. Whether centralised, or decentralised, the concept of a full-blown virtual reality is still in its early stage, but with efforts from successful projects like Meta, The Sandbox, and the likes, we could see this seemingly distant, future world become our tomorrow sooner than we’d think.