To many people, the mention of NFTs means uploaded “jpeg images” that you can buy and flip for a profit. However, the current hype and adoption surrounding digital art and collectibles has revealed a slew of new possibilities and use cases for NFTs beyond images and arts.
One of the most notable use cases for NFTs that has recently received much attention is access to the metaverse. So let’s take a look at how the metaverse and NFTs correlate, and what’s in store.
What are NFTs and What is the Metaverse?
An NFT is a digital token that exists on the blockchain to record proof of ownership for the person holding it. Each token is completely unique because it has its own unique metadata which can never be replicated or replaced for another.
The metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world, a space that exists online where you can do virtually all you do in the physical world without the limitations of the real world. It is a world where you can hold social interactions, professional meetings, relax, and shop. Virtual worlds even have their own economies of some sort.
For those who have watched James Cameron’s ‘Avatar,’ you may have an idea of what a virtual 3D alternate universe looks like with a bit of a touch of Science Fiction. You get ‘plugged’ into a device (in our case, wearable VR gears like Oculus), and then you find yourself in a virtual world of endless possibilities.
Transparent and Fair Economy
Blockchain-based metaverses have to be decentralized for everyone to be well represented and enjoy a full experience. This means that items for sale, online objects, and even online real estate must all be ownable, sellable, and transferable within the metaverse without any control or permission from any centralized leadership and entities. NFTs will assist everyone in gaining actual ownership of digital objects, and likewise, the concept of NFTs conferring ownership of digital goods will make transactions in the metaverse seamless.
Not only that, but NFTs will also assist in the concept of metaverse gaming. With new crypto-economic models springing up like the play-to-earn gaming model, the role of NFTs in the metaverse will grow more prominent. Players can use NFTs to increase involvement in the metaverse via gaming. Furthermore, play-to-earn games provide a fair gameplay experience by giving players entire ownership and control of assets.
For instance, Axie Infinity, the largest game project in the space right now, as well as one of the largest NFT projects. Axies, which are similar to Pokémon, are adopted, trained, and battled in the game. On-chain, each Axie is represented by an NFT. As the Axies represented by NFTs gain experience, they become more powerful and, as a result, more valued.
In Axie Infinity, players battle and interact with one another. Axie Infinity is essentially a virtual environment where people worldwide may communicate and interact via digital items – a similitude of metaverse.
In the metaverse, partying, networking, or simply meeting new people seems intriguing, although we are yet to ascend that bridge. NFTs offer a better way for community members, creators, and buyers and sellers to connect.
It’s difficult to conceive social events without commercial infrastructure – a meeting for example requires an office building, an event requires an entry ticket, and so on. NFTs can make it easier for enterprises to facilitate social encounters in the metaverse because of their non-fungible public immutability ownership records.
Just like how a centralized financial institution keeps track of money and guarantees that real fiat currency is available; NFTs will perform a similar role in the metaverse, in a more decentralized manner.
Consider a device that can be dubbed as a passport, a wallet, and your investments portfolio. NFTs will have the ability to serve the same role as this fictitious gadget when the metaverse scales, with a focus on your digital avatar, your metaverse wallet, and the digital art you possess. Due to the blockchain’s immutability, NFTs will prevent identity theft and data manipulation in the metaverse.
In spite of that, the metaverse is still in its early stages of development. Integrating NFTs allows users to play, work, socialize, engage, trade, and profit in whole new ways, opening up a plethora of social and economical options.