We tell you the distinctions between the various types of Metaverses. Each one of them can have significant differences.
Despite the recent popularity of the word, it is essential to note that several types of Metaverses exist, each with significant differences. As we have already written several times here, the idea of Metaverses is not new. Spaces like Second Life, created by Linden Research, or Habbo, formerly known as Habbo Hotel, are also Metaverses. Still, the different applications of blockchain technology, such as NFTs or DAOs, have taken them to another dimension.
Differences between Metaverse types
The non-blockchain Metaverse refers to all types of virtual worlds. From centralized ones, such as Grand Theft Auto (GTA) or the mythical Sims, to the metaverses currently becoming popular. Such as Minecraft or Roblox. However, thanks to blockchain technology, the economies and markets built inside have put investors and ordinary people in the spotlight. In this sense, the role of NFTs, representing the value of the assets traded on them, has been fundamental.
Blockchain allows transforming the concept of Metaverses, multiplying their possibilities by connecting the real world with the virtual one. Blockchain Metaverses are places where a parallel economy to the real one develops, only entirely digital. Users can monetize their talent in these metaverses, and buy land, pizzas, art, clothes, cars, etc. As it happened with the internet, all companies will probably open headquarters in the Metaverse soon.
NFTs and DAOs
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and DAOs have played a key role in developing blockchain metaverses. NFTs or non-fungible tokens are unique assets used to digitally represent physical or digital assets on the Blockchain. Their main characteristic is their uniqueness and has digitally verifiable properties. In metaverses, NFTs connect the real world with the virtual world, enabling the creation of virtual economies.
Smart Contracts control a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). They are transparent and immutable and responsible for setting some metaverse rules. As a result, everyone in the Metaverse is aware of the community's rules in advance, recorded on the Blockchain. Similarly, Metaverse token holders have the opportunity to vote on the future Metaverse, just as they would in an election.
Types of metaverses
Within the "traditional" Metaverses, we find, for example, the classic video game Grand Theft Auto. The saga began in 1997. The game's main story allows you to virtually establish relationships with other users in an open world that replicates the real world. For example, a style of gameplay that has become very popular in GTA is "Roleplay." A mode in which the player's avatar has a job that exactly replicates the real world. Thus, you usually start with a low-profile trade, such as Garbage Man or cab driver, and depending on the money and experience gained, you can move up socially in virtual reality.
A remarkable example of a "traditional" metaverse with similar characteristics to blockchain metaverses is Roblox. It is an online video game platform with a game creation system that allows users to create their virtual worlds. Thus, even though it doesn't use blockchain technology, many Roblox video game developers see it as the natural evolution of the platform. Roblox has previously launched a Blockchain virtual environment pilot test called PlayDapp Town on Polygon.
Within blockchain metaverses, there is a distinction between centralized and decentralized. The main difference between these two types of metaverses lies in the control of the virtual world. Those companies control centralized blockchain metaverses, such as Earth2 or Facebook's launch. In these metaverses, the central organization holds all user data, the only one deciding on its future. Likewise, the difference between these blockchain metaverses and "traditional" ones is that the former does integrate crypto payments, and virtual elements are in the form of NFTs. Therefore, they do have a virtual economy of their own. But this economy's control lies in a few organizers' hands.
Finally, there are the decentralized blockchain metaverses. These metaverses operate through a DAO and have a fully autonomous virtual economy controlled by users. It is the case of Decentraland, The Sandbox, or Cryptovoxels. They all seek to become Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, even though they were initially founded by a single organization charged with constructing the virtual world. In other words, all these metaverses will be controlled entirely by the users in the future.
This last type of Metaverse is the one that will probably have the most potential in the future. Although these metaverses are currently at a very early stage of development, they have already attracted the attention of numerous companies such as Adidas, Shotebys, Coca-Cola, and Gucci.