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We are currently witnessing a merging of Augmented Reality (AR), Extended Reality (XR), and Virtual Reality (VR), and other ecosystems into one big mesh (the Universal Metaverse).
Let’s face it. Metaverses are the in-thing. Almost everywhere you turn, there is something or someone who says the word. Before we get caught up in the Metaverse, we should remember a few things.
First, the Metaverse is a place. It comprises the virtual components of the world. And then some.
We are currently witnessing a merging of Augmented Reality (AR), Extended Reality (XR), and Virtual Reality (VR), and other ecosystems into one big mesh (the Universal Metaverse). The sub-meshes are Metaverse ecosystems. Distinct entities create them.
VR is the landing zone for these technologies. VR can handle the other two technologies within a specified framework. We need different devices to access the virtual representations of the physical world and their virtual counterparts, too.
One of those devices is the Virtual Reality headset (VR for short). VR headset sales have been spiking since the Metaverse became a thing. Everybody requires a VR headset or some other device to access Metaverse components.
Gaming is one activity that goes beyond being a favorite pastime in the Metaverse. So many things occur with and for gamers.
Gaming Is On the Rise
As an indication of the high growth factor in the gaming industry, recent statistics show that the number of gamers worldwide will increase from 2.81 billion this year to 2.95 billion in 2022 and 3.07 billion in 2023.
That number will continue to grow as the adoption of VR technologies increases. VR gaming is now the new cool. Digital avatars become life-size, and other emerging technologies aid an ever-increasing realistic experience.
However, several issues exist as this new industry catches fire globally. Here are some of them.
Metaverse Interactions Come with Problems
The truth is, interacting with the Metaverse comes with its own set of issues as far as emerging technologies are concerned. The first issue has to do with security.
Central databases make things easy for us. Access becomes a point-and-click affair. However, username-password technology has no place in the twenty-first century. Even with two-factor (2FA) authentication technology, criminals can still hack into Apps and steal the data or perform their nefarious acts.
When it comes to the Metaverse, virtual reality, and streaming access, the same problem ensues.
Vertical access also exists for the Metaverse. Just about anybody can get into the Metaverse. Just like the internet, the Metaverse also has its fair share of criminals. Protective measures for children and other vulnerable people don’t exist within Metaverse ecosystems.
We also have the issue of securing transactions. Our current financial system architecture and infrastructure cannot cope with the various kinds of transactions in real-time in Metaverse systems.
We are about to experience an explosion in the financial industry, with different innovations ruling the space. Even with flat-file databases such as NoSQL and others, Metaverse ecosystems are way too diverse and would be insecure.
Governance is also an issue. Many of the initial Metaverse ecosystems are centralized. They don’t give room for what the people want. Players in big tech have mistaken this for passive consent of Metaverse key participants: Millennials and Gen Z.
How Blockchain Technology Can Improve the Metaverse
Distributed ledgers, blockchains, and allied technologies can solve the many concerns that have arisen with the emergence of the Metaverse.
Blockchains are the most secure technologies on earth. Having blockchains with access credentials to Metaverse ecosystems is workable. Companies such as SelfKey have gone ahead of everyone to create blockchain-based virtual identities.
SelfKey’s one-click solution and its array of financial and corporate services is a proof-of-concept that blockchain-identities are a workable solution.
Extending blockchain identities also works for age and identity verification solutions. One-click solutions such as Selfkey’s wallet solutions work well here. Protecting minors and other vulnerable people will go a long way in preventing Metaverse crimes. Something legal systems aren’t ready for, at least not yet. Living Avatar Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) could serve the purpose of identity verification and age compliance. When a person’s avatar is on the blockchain via an NFT, it would be impossible to forge an identity.
Integrating Metaverse financial systems with blockchains and their allied cryptocurrency tokens creates a new solution to the financial system issue. It solves the financial system’s inadequacy for Metaverse ecosystems.
Fungible cryptocurrency tokens and stablecoins can work for regular everyday transactions. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) can work for collectibles and other digital items that need a representation of value.
Programs such as Self-Key’s Proof-of-Individuality (PoI) as a consensus mechanism where the concept of “something is always at stake” exists can work. We can also look at how Metaverse ecosystems such as Upland have worked well within the EOS blockchain.
When it comes to governance and ownership, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) will work for the Metaverse ecosystems. One fact big tech doesn’t get yet is that Millennials and Gen Z don’t take kindly to central ownership of ecosystems.
The massive growth of the cryptocurrency space is proof.
These are but a few examples of the solutions that blockchains can offer to Metaverse ecosystems.
What do These Have to Do with VR Headset Sales?
Without solving the fundamental problems within Metaverse ecosystems, the adoption will slow down for every incident. And as adoption slows, the hardware purchase rate will slow down as well.
The key is to keep the adoption rate of Metaverse ecosystems, their innovations, and hardware up. It is also critical to have blockchains involved in the technology to protect the intellectual property of the firmware that runs the headsets and other Metaverse hardware. Intellectual property theft is still very much around and will remain so for some time to come.
VR headsets give us a glimpse of what is to come. They also provide a basis for interaction with Metaverse ecosystems as they develop. The issue will be to stop people from getting addicted to them once the tech catches on.
For now, we all have to keep finding ways of integrating blockchains into our lives for security and stability.