By: Mavneet Kaur, B. Gupta
The Metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual environment that operates in much the same way that the real world does in terms of social and economic activity. “Metaverse” is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction book Snow Crash . The term “metaverse” is made up of the terms “meta,” which means “beyond,” and “verse,” which comes from the word “universe.” It refers to the next-generation Internet, in which users interact with one another and software programmes in a three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality as avatars, as opposed to the traditional Internet. The success of the film Ready Player One  in 2018 reintroduced the Metaverse notion to the forefront of cutting-edge debates. This video illustrates the virtual environment “OASIS,” in which anybody could join the virtual world, function as their own avatar, and do anything they pleased, as long as they followed some fundamental guidelines. The Metaverse, which is based on this concept, is an environment that mixes augmented and virtual reality in a shared online area.
Type of Metaverse
A metaverse may be classified into two types: centralized and decentralized metaverses. Large firms like Facebook, Epic Games, and the Roblox organization focus on the centralized metaverse. However, the decentralized metaverse is built on blockchain, and several firms such as Axie Infinity and SecondLife have shown interest in it.
Applications of Metaverse
As per the concept of Metaverse, many users can freely trade goods and services using the platform’s currency and transaction method, implying that virtual money can be used in the form of bits to replace money in the real world. This means that real-world activities are represented in virtual space as data in bits, as shown in Figure 1. The actual substance has become information, and the smallest unit has changed from atom to bit, influencing the natural world’s direction.
However, progress in multimedia technologies (VR/AR, Etc.) cannot overcome all of the challenges in Metaverse development since multimedia technologies cannot assure a transparent, stable, and long-term digital economy. Hence, we have a question here about data integrity and if the real thing is appropriately becoming data in the virtual world. Trust technology is becoming increasingly important. Moreover, the contemporary digital economy is run by centralized operators (for example, major corporations), which means that digital properties belong to the operators rather than the consumers. This burden and security harm of centrally handling vast amounts of data can be lessened when individuals control the Metaverse environment they choose to utilize or view. It also has the potential to prevent some large tech businesses from monopolizing the Metaverse. If the security issues are not considered, the repercussions can lead to a mass reluctance from the users of this technology. The Metaverse’s data is valuable in itself, just like the real world. As the data grows, artificial intelligence is employed to safeguard the Metaverse’s diversity, and blockchain technology is necessary to ensure the integrity of data in the Metaverse.
Blockchain and Metaverse
To understand how blockchain secures data, let us first see its basic structure. As understood by the name, it is a chain of blocks, as shown in Figure 2. Every block is linked to both its following and preceding blocks using cryptographic hash methods. All blocks are created chronologically using timestamps and are securely joined, forming a chain-like connection. If anyone tries to intrude on this system or change the data of any block, it will simultaneously change its hash, timestamp, and chronological order. Hence, one change will require all blocks to be changed to maintain chronological order, which is practically impossible. This is how security is ensured.
Fortunately, the current explosion of blockchain-related technology  can be of assistance. Due to the success of Bitcoin , blockchain applications in tamper-resistant decentralized ledgers , first proposed at , have gotten much attention. In 2013, Ethereum  was launched, which is a decentralized platform that offers a smart contract for autonomous and transparent program execution and has already spawned thousands of new decentralized applications (DApps), such as blockchain games . Decentralized finance (Defi) might, for example, ensure that digital assets are distinct, permanent, and tradeable.
The Metaverse, as an interactive multimedia community with a large number of online users, can benefit from blockchain’s technological advancements in order to create a more fair, accessible, and sustainable society. A decentralized autonomous organization (or DAO) is one in which stakeholders make choices without intermediaries or representatives. DAOs are an open-source blockchain system managed by a set of stakeholder-created rules that autonomously carry out certain acts without the need for outside intervention. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are classified as DAOs.
So, what are the benefits of Blockchain in Metaverse? There are several reasons to vouch for this technology:
- High-quality learning data: High-quality learning data: When we use AI for data training, we usually encounter noisy, fabricated, and unlabeled data. However, by conducting a search for diverse data utilising blockchain meta-information, we may isolate and induce high-quality content. The necessary high-quality data is made accessible selectively through metadata stored inside the blockchain block.
- Stable decentralized network: The Metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual environment that requires a substantial amount of data and server resources to operate. On the other side, centralising control may be costly. It is important to create a network system capable of using the Metaverse environment with each individual’s PC computing while also utilising the Blockchain distributed environment system. Additionally, distributed systems guarantee that any technology operates at a high rate of speed.
- Privacy: Due to the lack of legal standing of digital virtual beings, they are simpler to influence or modify than actual people, and there is a possibility that the incorrect algorithm may be applied, resulting in considerable racial and gender prejudice. When it comes to personal information, Blockchain technology may be utilised to securely safeguard it from external dangers. If personal data is mistakenly changed, it may be properly handled by tracing a clear trail back to the moment of occurrence using timestamps.
Metaverse and Crypto
In metaverse, users use a virtual reality headset to participate in an office conference with other participants in their digital avatars. Afterward, you may log out of your job and use the same VR headset to join your buddies in a blockchain-based virtual reality game. Additionally, when you win a prize, it gets converted to bitcoin and placed in your wallet. Anytime you like, you may use your in-game crypto funds to purchase a valuable item for your virtual persona. Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and SecondLife are examples of blockchain-based, metaverse-like applications that currently exist.
Facebook and Metaverse
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented his audacious proposal to create a metaverse in July 2021. Zuckerberg’s bet on the social media giant’s future highlighted that establishing a metaverse might enable Facebook to go well beyond its present scope of developing a collection of social applications. Not only did the news get worldwide attention and provoke controversy, but it also reignited interest in the metaverse and its nature. The metaverse’s goal is to develop new online places to engage in more complex ways. Users may immerse themselves in digital information rather than merely watching it.
Open Challenges and Problems
Apart from security and trustworthiness, some other challenges and concerns come with the Metaverse.
- Leaving Reality Behind: Numerous possible challenges in the Metaverse are significantly time-dependent. It will be some years before the Metaverse’s network impact becomes apparent, but hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people will utilise it for a variety of purposes, ranging from the future of online university campuses to remote worker office buildings. Further down the line, when virtual Reality becomes indistinguishable from the real world, humanity will utilise it to spend the majority of its day doing practically everything except eating, sleeping, and using the restroom.
- Health Concerns: Many people will likely spend more time focusing on their virtual selves rather than their physical bodies when the transition from physical to virtual environment proceeds. This transition will cause even more health issues due to inactivity than there are now. Mental health is the other half of the tale. Will people today, more than ever, try to avoid their real-world responsibilities? It is also unclear how online bullying will manifest on the 3D Internet.
- How to Get Into This Virtual World? Even once the virtual universe has been established, enormous advancements in VR gear will be required to allow us to feel completely immersed in the Metaverse. We are now in stage one with modern VR technology, which allows for a relatively immersive experience in a virtual realm using only a head-mounted display and two hand controllers. These applications are rudimentary approximations of real-life sensory experiences, even though they are incredibly inventive today. It is hard to say how long it might take and how real it will appear once the adoption of Metaverse is achieved.
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Cite this article:
Mavneet Kaur, B. Gupta (2021) Metaverse: The Future of Internet and Cyber-world, Insights2techinfo, pp.1
FAQ on this topic
The Metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual environment that operates in much the same way that the real world does in terms of social and economic activity
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented his audacious proposal to create a metaverse in July 2021. Facebook to go well beyond its present scope of developing a collection of social applications using metaverse.
Blockchain metaverse is a decentralized version of the metaverse.