Everything you always wanted to know about the Metaverse (but were afraid to ask)

Everything you always wanted to know about the Metaverse (but were afraid to ask)

Nowadays, everyone has questions about the metaverse. We have compiled some of the most popular questions to help people understand and explore the metaverse.

Depending on how you feel about video games and artificial intelligence (AI), the metaverse can evoke fears of a dystopian future or a happy virtual reality.

You can't just talk to someone about the metaverse and expect the conversation to be simple and easy to digest. There is no clear definition of what exactly the metaverse is, but aside from the initial confusion, people are also worried. How will the data be used? Will virtual relationships replace human contact? The fears are many and have many faces.

This post is part of CoinDesk's Metaverse Week.

But there's also a lot of excitement: will a Metaverse future mean that online shopping for the right size clothes will be easier thanks to customized avatars? Will Web 3 finally force advertisers to learn from Big Tech's mistakes and respect consumer privacy? And will people be able to earn a universal basic income via crypto tokens as they play online games from their computers and go to their favorite concerts in the Metaverse? (If so, the introverts rejoice!).

Everyone - including the experts - has questions about the metaverse. So we've decided to compile some of the questions we hear frequently, along with some you'd probably like to ask, and provide answers.

What is the metaverse?

We'll start with the basics, because there's no room for imposter syndrome in Web 3. What is the metaverse, exactly?

Poet and NFT artist Sasha Stiles speaks of the metaverse by looking at the word itself: The Greek prefix "meta" means higher, beyond, often even transcending. And the "verse" part comes from the word "universe" to indicate that the metaverse is a universe beyond the one we currently inhabit.

Yes, that is a philosophical definition. To bring it down to earth: The metaverse is a technological infrastructure that allows people to interact across physical and geographic boundaries. In a sense, we already live in the metaverse. Gamers have certainly done so, not only with virtual reality games, digital avatars and online communities, but even in-game concerts in Fortnite by the likes of Travis Scott.

Most Metaverse enthusiasts argue that the global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of technology, and many of us are now accustomed to interacting via technology, whether it's Zoom calls at work, Face Time with family members, or selling physical goods on Facebook Marketplace. The Metaverse, as people know it on Web 3, will simply enhance these experiences by providing consumers with digital wallets that hold their cryptocurrency (money) and any digital assets they own in the form of NFTs.

"The Metaverse is an immersive universal 3D overlay on real life," said Isla Perfito, co-founder and CEO of Sator, a blockchain-based entertainment platform.

"As an alternate form of reality, we are able to navigate virtual worlds as we would in the physical world, you can move and interact as you would in real life, with the added ability to transcend the physics we are bound to as humans on planet Earth.

Most popular Metaverse worlds and gaming platforms operate on the Ethereum blockchain, but some operate on Solana or other Layer 1 blockchains. To enter a Metaverse, you need to sign up for a wallet that works on the particular blockchain the world is built on and then link it in your internet browser.

Here are some popular Metaverse and gaming platforms and the blockchains they operate on:

Ethereum blockchain

  • Decentralized and
  • The sandbox
  • Axie Infinity
  • Enjin

Solana blockchain

  • Somnium Space
  • Galactic Marketplace


  • KryptoTanks

BNB chain

  • Metahero

You can also fully immerse yourself in the world by wearing VR goggles that allow you to control your avatar through your own movements.

What is ownership in the metaverse?

So if everything is digital, what do you own in the metaverse?

Imagine you are a video gamer and you collect a special token or prize that gives you extra lives. In the video game, your avatar could store these items in a digital backpack. This is a simple concept that anyone who has collected gold coins while playing Super Mario can relate to.

In the Metaverse, property will work similarly (and already does). Except now, thanks to blockchain technology, you can create a digital certificate (or record) of that transaction. The blockchain is a giant digital ledger that stores all this information forever, and your assets won't be lost just because you turn off your computer or gaming console.

Metaverse companies are going a step further, finding ways to expand the definition of digital property beyond video game prizes. On the Mirror platform, creators can publish content for others to consume, and readers can choose to offer cryptocurrency to the creator in exchange for some sort of property.

Brave, an internet browser, allows users to control the amount of advertising they want to see. If users choose to see more ads, they are rewarded with Brave Attention Tokens (BAT), which are stored in a crypto wallet that consumers can use as they see fit.

Similarly, Perfito's company, Sator, was founded with the goal of revolutionizing ownership. According to Perfito, users generate the value of a show by watching it. Currently, however, only centralized entertainment companies receive the payoffs from this user activity. Even if I watch the same episodes of "Mad Men" every year, I don't get a share of the profit Amazon Prime makes by choosing to keep the series available. Sator's platform rewards movie and TV viewers for watching their favorite content, which can then be used as pledges to earn interest or exchange for cryptocurrency or fiat currency. Sator is even setting up virtual movie nights in the Metaverse for wallet holders.

These new concepts of digital ownership are the cornerstones for the brave new Web 3 world, where all of our digital contributions can be stored on the blockchain.

How can you shop in the metaverse?

Just like online shopping, you can access digital metaverse marketplaces via the Internet. However, instead of connecting to your accounts via a Google or Facebook login, you simply connect a digital wallet like MetaMask. To buy anything, you need to have enough compatible cryptocurrencies in your wallet to cover the cost of the item plus any applicable fees.

Is the metaverse fun?

That depends on your definition of fun and what exactly you're doing in the Metaverse, but many find it fun.

Entering a virtual world where you meet new people, engage in new activities and have new experiences creates opportunities for human interaction, says Luca Arrigo, co-founder of Metaverse Architects, a 3D modeling and game development studio for Metaverse worlds such as Decentraland and The Sandbox.

"I think there's a difference between my personality in my hometown and my personality outside my country and online. You drop any preconceived notions about who you are and where you come from. We all grow up with different insecurities. I think going online allows me to be more myself," Arrigo said.

But just because the metaverse exists online doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Most proponents of the metaverse emphasize that virtual worlds are meant to be a complement and enhancement to our lives "IRL" (in real life).

"I met people at a conference," Arrigo says. "And then we met in Decentraland."

In one case, Arrigo and a new friend went to Metaverse Fashion Week together and exchanged NFT wearables for their avatars.

"I honestly don't think everyone would like an NFT wearable. But when you're already in Web 3 and you have your MetaMask and you want another NFT and you get it as a gift ... it really feels like you're giving someone a gift," Arrigo said.

And for Arrigo, who normally wears plain white T-shirts and jeans, dressing up an avatar in the metaverse is a form of fun self-expression.

"I'm not really a person who's into luxury brands. I don't feel like my identity is connected to real-world items.

Since I've been involved with the

metaverse and experimenting with wearables, I've been crazy about virtual fashion. "

How do I find things to do in the metaverse?

As far as finding ventures, I guess you have to rely on word of mouth - at least for now.

A big problem with the metaverse is that when you go to Google - and that's where we search for things to do online - you search for "metaverse." And you search for metaverse, events, or you find in-person summits, meetups, conferences. These are events that deal with the metaverse while staying in real life," Arrigo said.

In some ways, Arrigo said, traveling to the metaverse is like visiting another country or another city. And it takes all the same things that exist at tourist destinations, like TripAdvisor and guidebooks.

For now, exploring a metaverse project's Discord servers and finding people on crypto Twitter who are passionate about the metaverse and following them are two ways to find early signals of things of interest.

More from Metaverse Week:<

a href="https://www.coindesk.com/layer2/metaverseweek/2022/05/25/does-radio-ring-a-bell-how-the-metaverse-will-change-society/" target="_blank">'Does Radio Ring a Bell?': How the Metaverse Will Change Society

The metaverse is the latest technological development to be ridiculed - but it will change everything

. Metaversum real estate - the next big thing or the next big scam?

High-priced properties are fetching fortunes on the biggest platforms. What about the economics of metaverse real estate?

A Crypto Guide to the Metaverse

Verifiable, immutable ownership of digital assets and currencies will be an essential part of the Metaverse