Blockchain and the Metaverse: what’s the link?

By now, you’re probably familiar with the concepts of both blockchain and the Metaverse. But how are the two linked, and what do people mean when they refer to the Blockchain Metaverse? Let’s find out.

The “father” of the Metaverse

The idea of the Metaverse was originally conceived by sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson, in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. He described a shared virtual world in which humans could interact with each other using avatars.

This might sound a lot like the Metaverse we’ve come to know today, but there is one significant difference: in Stephenson’s original conception of the Metaverse, it was centralised. That means it would be controlled by a single entity, who could in theory erase people’s assets, identities and anything else they fancied.

Fast forward a decade or two to the creation of the blockchain, and this issue has the potential to be solved. But how, exactly?

How is blockchain related to the Metaverse?

With blockchain comes decentralisation, which means no single point of failure – data can be copied onto multiple different computers at a time, without an external server. On top of that, transactions are stored in a ledger, which means users’ identities can be easily verified.

Incorporating this technology into the Metaverse enables users to truly own their virtual assets and identities. It also opens the door for NFTs, which allow assets to be owned, monetised, bought and sold within these virtual worlds.

A good example of a Blockchain Metaverse is Decentraland. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland is a virtual world in which you can buy and sell plots of virtual land, interact with other users and build your own surroundings, apps and marketplaces. Founded in 2020, it claims to be the first fully decentralised Metaverse.

Are Blockchain Metaverses the norm?

Ultimately, the benefits of the Metaverse are only enhanced by blockchain technology. Neal Stephenson’s futuristic 3D world that was designed to bring people together virtually becomes more secure, completely trustless and allows people to truly own their own data, with the addition of blockchain technology.

In fact, Stephenson himself has recently announced the launch of a new Metaverse-based blockchain project known as LAMINA1. The project, which he is co-founding with former Bitcoin Foundation chairman Peter Vessenes, will reportedly act as “the base layer for the Open Metaverse.” It is intended to be a place to build something closer to Stephenson’s original vision – that everyone with a 2D screen is able to navigate the Metaverse, not just those with AR/VR headsets.

But regardless of how you access it, it’s pretty safe to say that blockchain is an integral part of most modern-day Metaverses.

The future of Metaverse

These days, it’s hard to imagine a centralised version of the Metaverse being successful. With the Metaverse commonly referred to as the “new internet”, and with blockchain’s secure, decentralised nature, it’s clear that the two go hand in hand.

So, is the Blockchain Metaverse the future of the internet? And what will be the next big thing to follow? Only time will tell.

1 Like