It’s true that people talk less and less about the Metaverse and Web3 these days. Meta (formerly Facebook) discovered its virtual reality and his 3D world products. harder sell than they first expected. The value of the cryptocurrency and NFT markets has plummeted. And big companies like IBM Shrink An investment in an enterprise blockchain project that was originally expected to be a game-changer for many industries.
On the one hand, this does not mean that these ideas are any less relevant or potentially valuable than they were when we first started talking about them years ago. , they crave immediate gratification, so they often get bored and move on when it becomes clear that truly worthwhile use cases will take time to emerge. At the same time, new technologies that promise big changes always attract scammers, scammers and get-rich-quick artists. This can make us feel weary and new technology may be more trouble than it’s worth.
Before diving into whether these factors ended the metaverse and web3 dream, let’s start with a quick refresher.
What is the metaverse and web3?
While the two are closely related, they are in many ways different concepts that promise to revolutionize the way we use technology.
Metaverse is commonly used to refer to a virtual, persistent online environment where users can communicate, collaborate, play, socialize, work, shop, and create. Anything you can do online today, you can do in a more immersive and feature-rich environment.
Hundreds of global brands and companies have already entered the Metaverse, with companies such as Nike, HSBC and many others growing their presence on existing virtual world platforms such as Horizons (Meta) and Decentraland. of global companies. A year or two ago, a Google search for the term “metaverse” brought up pages of articles about companies venturing into virtual worlds. Today – not so much!
Importantly, the concept of merging the real and virtual worlds is at the heart of the Metaverse. It’s not just games where users assume virtual identities and avatars to play games that have little to no impact on real life. Access virtual bank branches in the Metaverse to interact with real financial instruments. Metaverse retailers let you browse and try out real-world products, and are users of collaborative Metaverse creative platforms such as Nvidia’s Omniverse. work together Bring your real project to life.
The term web3, on the other hand, refers to the entire ecosystem of the “decentralized internet”. This is digital technology that operates across a network of locations, rather than being centralized on one server or under the control of one organization. It is a distributed ledger technology that uses cryptographic keys to securely synchronize data across many different machines and servers.
This concept includes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, distributed computing platforms like Ethereum, and the smart contracts that run on them. blockchain game Concepts such as non-fungible tokens (NFTS), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), and decentralized financial products and services (DeFi), like Axie Infinity. It also includes virtual world platforms built on distributed technology. So it includes crossovers with the metaverse, and many projects such as Decentraland and Somnium Space that straddle both tech trends.
So are they obsolete now?
Both technologies are certainly not as popular as they were a few years ago. However, this is not necessarily a sign that they are dead. In fact, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. When technology trends are at the peak of their hype cycle, they inevitably attract the attention of those who are only interested in moving to the current Big Thing to make money. This leads to bubbles (where projects and companies are grossly overvalued compared to the real value they create), fraud, and other unfortunate activities!
In the web3 world, the most visible example of this today is the recent Collapse of FTXone of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the owner’s indictment on numerous fraud charges.
Before that, thousands of blockchain-based tokens representing works of art and other digital assets were sold before their prices plummeted to virtually no value. I was able to point out the collapse of the NFT market.
But from the perspective of those interested in implementing these technologies to create real growth and change, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, it is unfortunate and sad when people lose money.
Those who truly believe in the potential of technology can be seen burning out bad, get-rich-quick use cases in order to shift focus to truly useful and valuable use cases.
It could also lead to increased regulation and supervision. Whatever the libertarian principles are at the conceptual stage of many new technologies, this is often necessary in order to make the leap to becoming a viable part of mainstream society.
This is a belief shared by Chris Duffey, author of Decoding The Metaverse. He told me he believes the first truly worthwhile use cases for the Metaverse will emerge as the hype subsides, perhaps in areas such as healthcare and education.
Attending a webinar of mine recently, he told me: Or protective clothing with more intelligent gear and headsets – this is an example of how the Metaverse will amplify the current experience in more intelligent and immersive ways going forward. ”
As the education sector becomes more familiar with this technology, I think we will start to see the potential of the metaverse concept beyond the world of avatar-driven 3D novelties. Not only does it bring more immersive educational experiences, such as walking through ancient Rome or exploring a future colony on Mars, it also has the potential to make education more accessible to people living in areas where it is difficult to commute to school every day. .
It’s this concept of connection and immersion that’s at the heart of what the Metaverse can offer, and why, like Duffy, I believe it’s a trend that has the potential to be truly transformative.
Another thing we agree on is that neither of us particularly like the term “metaverse,” although we believe the technology itself.
For me, who has been used to refer to everything from next-gen social media to dystopian science fiction, it already means too much to too many people.
“You might call it something else, but the core properties are already established and won’t go away anytime soon,” he says.
So when collaborative, immersive virtual environments that link to the real world reach the stage of reshaping the way we live, work, and play, we might not necessarily call it the “metaverse.” not. It’s not a bad thing. However, the concept of the metaverse has not gone away.
What about Web3?
As already mentioned, web3 is different but closely related. Some believe that the negative baggage associated with it is too heavy to shake off. environmental cost For example, many first-generation proof-of-work blockchains.
Another obstacle is that governments and international tech giants, who currently hold ownership and control over centralized technology platforms, will not be able to move to a decentralized utopia where individuals have true ownership of their online environment. It’s a fact that you can resist.
That said, I feel that the idea of decentralization will eventually pay off. Healthcare would love to have a secure way to ultimately manage their own patient and medical data, using cryptographic methods to grant and deny access to personal data as needed. I’ll give you another example I think. do so.
So that concludes the question I asked at the beginning of this article. Are the metaverse and web3 still relevant? I certainly think they should be. Other technologies that provide instant gratification may take the spotlight, but both concepts discussed here have great potential to drive growth and transformation. Now that the hype has ended and the attention has been diverted, it will be great to see innovators build on the progress we have seen so far and the true value of these technologies to emerge in the years to come. I think it’s a safe bet. Stop calling them “metaverse” or “web3”.
you can click here Check out my full conversation with Adobe’s Chris Duffey, author of Decoding The Metaverse, covering more questions about the future of both the metaverse and web3.