It has been nearly 12 years since people started to mine and buy Bitcoin. The revolutionary cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology have been huge drivers for the development of a fully digital world, better known as the metaverse.
And while we are not yet at a point where we can claim victory and live in virtual worlds, there is a lot of progress being made. And this is exactly what we will discuss in this article. Over the next few chapters we will analyze how Bitcoin is building the foundations of a digital universe, and the role it will eventually play within it.
Bitcoin as a digital store of value
Bitcoin made it possible to store value digitally since it is impossible to copy, manipulate, or destroy. While the majority of the public is still hesitant when it comes to Bitcoin as an investment opportunity, the futurists among us are already working hard to expand the possibilities of such systems.
Sooner or later, the technology used to create Bitcoin will not just be used to create a scarce digital currency, but pretty much everything around us. Everything that has some form of value at the moment, but is not digital, will eventually be digital.
The first steps – Ethereum
A few years after Bitcoin’s development, and with many unsuccessful copycats being built based on its protocol, a new cryptocurrency came to shake the foundations of the industry. Ethereum was built as a foundation that enables developers to build decentralized applications. For those who get somewhat confused by the technical terms, it means that anyone can create a decentralized project that aims to create digital value on the web.
Initially, Ethereum became another profitable opportunity for investors. Pretty soon however we started seeing multiple projects being developed. The so-called DeFi movement started to reshape all financial products into better alternatives that are run by code instead of “trusted” third parties. The revolution started with the introduction of smart contracts, which eliminates the need for third parties (escrow services) for pretty much any contract between two parties.
This revolutionary invention can be applied anywhere from salary payments and inheritance to correctional facilities and governmental elections. While we may be early for most of these, there is one niche that has already exploded in popularity as a result of this.
Art goes digital
Artists of paintings, music, literature, and more, are finally finding justification by making their creative work scarce through blockchain technology. By attaching their work on a specific Ethereum wallet, they are able to “tokenize” their work, making everything a limited edition that cannot be copied.
The digitization of art and collectibles are known as NFTs, short for Non-Fungible Tokens. It started a few years ago with funny-looking “Cryptokitties” and has now locked more than $100 million in value.
You can check out some of the most popular NFTs on websites like Rarible, Opensea, and NiftyGateway. At the moment, the most popular NFTs are those of digital art, and all platforms allow users to purchase these pieces using Ethereum as a payment method. Each digital painting is attached to an ETH wallet, which in turn makes the art unique and allowing transfer of ownership.
The future of our Metaverse
As the interest of the crypto industry and the price of Ethereum continues to grow, we are seeing the first steps towards building a fully digital universe. One in which users will be able to sustain themselves by building and exchanging value digitally.
One question that we are all asking is whether this world will be built on top of Ethereum or a more popular Social Media platform like Facebook. We may also see completely new blockchains that are more optimized for specific niches being created to accommodate the growth.
It is becoming clear that building a digital world is simply a matter of time, and those who remain active and try to look for opportunities are going to be the big winners. But the wins are not only going to be financial ones. The opportunities that will arise for those who join the crypto world early enough will allow them to reshape the way we see the world today.
In other words, the future of the metaverse lies in your hands. And the ability to discover and join the projects that are helping to build this world may help you get a significant part in the development of this digital universe. If you wish to educate yourself on the topic of the metaverse and how it has evolved over time, you will need to do some more research in the space. We recommend reading the essay of Piers Kicks: “Into the Void: Where Crypto Meets the Metaverse”. It is a long read but certainly worth the time.