The Metaverse is a new term that many have come to know, not just in the crypto world but also as a mainstream phenomenon.
Metaverse is a term that dates back to fiction writing and is used in movies and other productions such as Matrix, Ready Player One, and more. Metaverse essentially refers to something “beyond the universe,” so something beyond our existence, like virtual reality.
The metaverse term has exploded through augmented reality over the past years, with front-runners such as Meta (Facebook), Niantic, Microsoft, and many others. The concept is to create virtual worlds where people can explore, meet, and play without being physically present.
The early stages of the metaverse have taken the gaming industry by storm, as the whole concept pairs up nicely with gaming. Oculus Rift and other virtual reality platforms have helped push the idea to a point where social media platforms, workplace tool, and even investment tools connected to the metaverse and virtual reality exists.
The metaverse concept got interesting when it started integrating with the crypto industry. Nowadays, crypto companies utilise the metaverse to build projects and create cryptocurrencies tied to a metaverse platform. Today, you can use cryptocurrencies to help you make the best metaverse experience, let it be through NFTs, tokens, or other types of crypto features.
What makes the metaverse interesting is that the concept has gone from being part of fictional writing to being implemented in gaming and crypto. The term has taken everyone by storm, but what can we expect from it in 2023, and can it keep up the pace?
Just like other areas in the crypto space, the metaverse saw a big boost during the pandemic. As the entire world went into lockdown because of Covid in 2020, the metaverse suddenly appeared as a tool many were eager to discover.
Gamers and particular crypto enthusiasts already knew about the metaverse’s potential, but with the pandemic, it started seeing mainstream interest. With everyone sitting at home, there was suddenly a significant need for tools to help workplaces and schools proceed efficiently without being physically present.
Would you know it? The Metaverse was, of course, an obvious choice. A metaverse is a place where you can interact without being in the same room – something that fits perfectly into a lockdown where people still need to work and attend school.
Many companies, schools, organisations, and more started to use some sort of metaverse to adapt to the new state of the world. This was perfect for the metaverse companies and fans, as the general public finally realised what the technology could achieve.
The question is if the adoption of the metaverse went too fast during the pandemic, as it happened overnight. While the pandemic was ongoing for a long time, it doesn’t seem like the metaverse as a concept and technology have been able to keep up entirely.
An example of this is the aftermath of the pandemic and how it has left some of the biggest metaverses after the world has gone back to normal.
One of the crypto-metaverse frontrunners during the pandemic was Decentraland, a browser-based 3D virtual world. Decentraland took off during 2020 and 2021, with its NFT technology allowing users to buy plots of land and own a part of the metaverse they were using.
As of the end of 2022 and until now, things have taken a turn for Decentraland as the hype and need for the metaverse have faded. According to data from DappRadar, Decentraland saw under 1000 active daily users back in October 2022, and it likely hasn’t changed much since.
The same was reported for The Sandbox, another crypto-metaverse frontrunner. The Sandbox and Decentraland have been battling to get the most significant market share during the pandemic, but they are now fighting to avoid complete failure in 2023.
As if it wasn’t enough to see pure crypto-related projects fail to perform in late 2022 and early 2023, the biggest of them all is in the same boat. Meta, also known as the company that owns Facebook, has also run into a bit of a block in its metaverse mission.
As reported by The Verge back in October 2022, Meta’s big metaverse gamble, Horizon Worlds, is in such as lousy spot that not even Meta employees want to use it. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has been pushing the metaverse game Horizon Worlds hard, but the backlash is seemingly endless.
Mark Zuckerberg is a known believer in the metaverse, the biggest we got, hence the new name of his company. With that said, his optimism isn’t matched by the public and especially not since late 2022.
There’s no doubt that a guy like Mark Zuckerberg and Meta will continue to push the metaverse concept during 2023, but it seems harder and harder to believe that they will succeed. Maybe the industry is too young for the metaverse to take over, and we will all need to take a few steps back and let it grow at a healthy pace.
The metaverse is likely to stay, but 2023 may not be the year for its big breakthrough and further growth.
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