When Metaverse Meets Blockchain

When the metaverse meets blockchain, the result is a whole new, expanded worldview. How is it that the two combine to create new value?

When the metaverse meets blockchain, the result is a whole new, expanded worldview. How is it that the two combine to create new value?

With blockchain and metaverse together, virtual items can be traded outside the virtual world

The metaverse is a virtual reality based on interaction and economic activity between users. Through non-fungible tokens (NFT) based on blockchain, virtual reality becomes a virtual world.

NFT use blockchain technology to assign a unique number to each token, which then becomes like a collectible of which there is only one of its kind in the world. These tokens are typically issued on blockchain networks such as Ethereum, Solana or EOS.

In previous virtual worlds, all items in the world were owned by the operator. Now, in the metaverse, users can take full ownership of their items through NFTs. NFTs also allow users to prove their asset ownership and trade in the community both inside and outside the virtual world.

And that’s not all. NFTs are also a vehicle for users to use virtual world assets to earn money completely outside its platform. Users can exchange NFTs for other stablecoins and cryptocurrencies on virtual asset exchanges outside the virtual world. This allows them to create new value, for example by investing in other cryptocurrencies. Introducing NFT to games or real estate integrated into the metaverse thereby maximizes interoperability with other worlds.

Axie Infinity, Decentraland, The Sandbox maximize interoperability

Decentraland, Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Earth 2 are prominent examples of building and expanding a powerful virtual world by combining the metaverse with blockchain-based NFT. They are extending the virtual world to the outside by transforming characters, collected items, and virtual land into NFTs.

Decentraland has developed a virtual world where gamers can make money by combining their virtual real estate and the platform’s cryptocurrency. Users can buy and sell all areas inside Decentraland, except public squares and roads, using its MANA currency. MANA can be purchased on Coinbase and other external cryptocurrency exchanges.

One of the most famous virtual real estate areas in virtual reality is Genesis City, built on an area the size of Washington DC. Landowners within Decentraland are trying to use MANA to create a platform within the game for various businesses, such as by creating Vegas City – a dedicated gambling area – and the VR Shopping District, where digital assets can be traded. As of November 19th, the most valuable virtual real-estate transaction recorded on NonFungible.com was listed as 1,295,000 MANA (about $910,000).

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In the metaverse game platform The Sandbox, users can directly create content such as games and items within the platform, which can then be bought and sold by users. Users can also purchase virtual real estate called ‘LAND’ with SAND, the platform’s utility token.

Axie Infinity is perhaps the most well-known example of a project to create an in-game economy. Here, players can purchase monsters called ‘Axie’ and breed them to grow better Axies. Players start the game by purchasing 3 Axies. They can then breed Axies using SLP and AXS tokens obtained while playing the game.

New Axies birthed in this process can be sold on the game’s marketplace. The chance for existing players to earn money keeps growing the more new participants join the platform, since they are required to buy Axie when they first play the game. This can also lead to capital gains from trading SLP and AXS tokens. Axie Infinity has become a leading PlayToEarn (P2E) game, with a global user base concentrated on the Philippines and South America.

“A true metaverse digital economy can be created with NFT”

Experts predict that if all virtual and intangible assets are expressed as NFT in the metaverse, this will take the metaverse digital economy to the next level. This is because combining these two concepts will allow virtual assets in various games and worlds to be traded more actively. For example, a user could sell virtual real estate in Decentraland and use their remaining funds to buy a skin in Fortnite.

According to the US economic news outlet Forbes, creating a true metaverse requires a way to conduct transactions that are transparent, traceable and interactive. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are considered one means of achieving this. As Forbes puts it: “Clearly the metaverse is still an emerging and fast-growing area, but the underlying truth is that – in order to facilitate and realize a fully functioning metaverse – blockchain and crypto assets will need to play a prominent role in the future implementation of this idea.”

US specialist cryptocurrency media outlet CoinDesk has a similar take: “While no one can predict exactly what the metaverse will look like, or when its final form will arrive, the importance of cryptocurrencies for its growth is a certainty. As we monitor the development of technologies like virtual reality, and the ways that current industry leaders like Facebook are getting involved, advancements in blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency sector will play an equally important role in shaping the metaverse’s future.”

Arthur Madrid, CEO and co-founder of The Sandbox, is convinced that with NFT, the metaverse is about to truly take off: “I think people are truly blown away by the amount of money that players spend in digital assets. Hundreds, thousands, and probably millions of dollars spent on digital assets. I think making those assets NFTs, building an NFT economy, is going to add a new layer on top of the existing digital economy.”

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