With the advancement in blockchain technology and virtual reality, the Metaverse is quickly becoming an art playground. By combining elements of the physical and digital world, artists have a unique opportunity to create interactive 3D experiences.
Artists can create art in the Metaverse through various technologies. They can use 3D modelling software and game engines to create sculptures, interactive objects, and virtual worlds. Artists can also use blockchain technology to monetise their artwork by selling digital assets and tokens. This article will discuss the metaverse ecosystem, platforms, opportunities, and art in the Metaverse.
Table of Contents:
What Is The Metaverse
Metaverse and Web Technology Overview
Metaverse Platforms – B2C, B2B
Block And Smart Contracts
Decentralised P2P Nodes
How does Decentralised Finance Work?
Opportunities in The Metaverse
Art In The Metaverse
Examples of Art In The Metaverse
What Is The Metaverse
The Metaverse is a term science fiction author Neil Stevenson first discussed in his novel Snow Crash. This novel describes the Metaverse as a dystopian future where people can move between physical and digital worlds. Rich people escape into an alternative world connected to a 3-D reality. In recent years, the term has been adopted to describe an emerging digital space that combines elements of the physical and virtual worlds. This new digital space comprises virtual reality (VR) environments, augmented reality (AR), blockchain technology, and other interactive technologies.
A metaverse is where people can experience immersive 3-D worlds and interact with each other in real time. It’s a shared virtual space where people can explore, collaborate, communicate, and create art. The Metaverse offers a wide range of opportunities for artists to express themselves. The Metaverse is user-centric, whereby people can design, develop and own their virtual world. It provides the infrastructure to build digital assets such as art pieces, avatars, virtual stores, etc.
Metaverse and Web Technology Overview
When discussing the Metaverse, three main technological components come to play: Web 2.0, The Metaverse, and Web 3.0. Here’s a breakdown of how they differ and where they meet:
Web 2.0: This term generally refers to websites and applications that are interactive and information-centric. These websites focus on user-generated content. However, they are centralised, so user profile and authentication are key components. Examples of Web 2.0 platforms include social media networks, blogs, wikis, online shopping, and credit cards.
Web 3.0: As the name suggests, this is the next iteration of web-based technology. It uses blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to create a digital trust network that allows users to store and transact digital assets securely. This helps reduce costs and improve transparency while providing more control in terms of ownership and security. Examples include decentralised finance applications, play-to-earn models, blockchain and NFTs, smart contracts, and interplanetary file systems.
Metaverse: This term refers to a virtual world that is 3-dimensional and immersive. It has elements of Web 2.0, as well as additional layers of interactivity and data ownership. The Metaverse can either be centralised like in web 2.0 or decentralised like web 3.0. It also uses cryptocurrencies, play-to-earn models, digital wallets, and blockchain. However, several components in the Metaverse are neither in web 2.0 nor web 3. They include digital twins, learning gamification, and augmented/virtual/mixed realities.
As you can see, the Metaverse shares different concepts with web 2.0 and web 3.0 while also introducing its unique capabilities. This helps to make it more powerful and immersive.
The metaverse landscape is like a parallel universe that exists entirely within the digital realm. Over the years, the Metaverse has evolved and taken several different forms, and today, it has become a rapidly changing landscape.
To access the digital real from the physical realm, the Metaverse uses different concepts such as these:
Centralised vs. Decentralised
One of the critical characteristics of the Metaverse is how it is accessed and how users interact with it. There are two primary approaches to accessing the Metaverse, centralised and decentralised. A centralised Metaverse is controlled by one entity, such as a corporation or a government. These gateways often have strict rules and regulations that govern how users can interact within the Metaverse, and they can also control users’ access to the Metaverse.
Decentralised Metaverse gateways, on the other hand, are built on blockchain technology and operate as decentralised networks. A single entity does not own them; instead, they are governed by a community of users. Decentralised Metaverse gateways offer users greater freedom to interact with the Metaverse and provide users with greater security and privacy than centralised Metaverse gateways.
The Metaverse boasts a vital attribute, enabling its users to generate and manage an avatar, serving as their digital persona within the Metaverse. These avatars can be personalised to resemble their creators and showcase various facets of their user’s character. In the Metaverse, avatars communicate with other users, engage in multiple activities, and investigate virtual settings.
User Interface and Immersion
The Metaverse is designed to provide users with a highly immersive and interactive experience. To achieve this, the Metaverse typically employs cutting-edge technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, to create highly realistic and immersive virtual environments. The user interface is an essential aspect of the Metaverse and determines how users interact with the virtual world and other users. The user interfaces can be as simple as a keyboard and mouse or as complex as virtual reality headsets that allow users to immerse themselves in the virtual world fully.
The economy in the Metaverse is powered by virtual currencies, such as NFTs, digital currencies, and cryptocurrencies that are used to buy, sell and trade virtual goods and services. This economy is driven by the demand for virtual assets and experiences and is influenced by users’ behaviour and interactions within the Metaverse. Users can earn virtual currencies by participating in activities, such as gaming or creating digital content, and they can also use these currencies to purchase virtual goods and services.
The Metaverse is not just a virtual world; it is also a social platform where users can interact with each other, form communities, and participate in a wide range of social activities, such as chatting, gaming, and collaborating on projects. The Metaverse also provides users with a platform to express themselves and offers opportunities for users to connect with others who share similar interests and passions.
Play to Earn and Play to Collect
One of the critical features of the Metaverse is the concept of “play to earn” and “play to collect.” “Play to earn” refers to the idea that users can earn virtual currencies by participating in activities within the Metaverse. For example, a user can earn virtual currency by playing a game, completing tasks, or creating digital content. This currency can then be used to purchase virtual goods or services or traded for other virtual or real-world currencies.
“Play to collect” refers to unique and rare virtual assets, such as NFTs, within the Metaverse. These assets can have significant value, as they are often one-of-a-kind and can be traded or sold for virtual or real-world currencies. Players can collect virtual assets by gaming or purchasing NFTs from other users.
To make the metaverse vision of an immersive and interactive experience a reality, a robust infrastructure must be in place to support the various components of the Metaverse. This infrastructure must be built around the following key elements:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI plays a critical role in the Metaverse, providing intelligent and sophisticated interfaces that allow users to interact with the virtual world. AI can create digital representations of users, known as avatars, that can communicate and interact with others. Additionally, AI processes vast amounts of data and provides users with personalised experiences. Some of the AI technologies that are used in the Metaverse include OpenAI, nVIDIA, and Pandorabot.
Visualisation and Digital Twin
The Metaverse requires visualisation technologies to create immersive, interactive virtual environments. Digital twins, a digital representation of real-world objects and systems, will also play a crucial role in the Metaverse. They enable users to interact with virtual versions of physical objects, such as cars or buildings. They will provide a foundation for the development of a variety of applications. By accurately representing the physical world in the virtual world, users will experience a more realistic and immersive environment.
Connectivity in the universe is crucial in ensuring interoperability, development, and communication between users and the physical world. As such, the Metaverse requires high-speed, low-latency connectivity to ensure seamless and responsive user experiences. This connectivity will be critical for the communication and collaboration between users and data transfer between the virtual and physical worlds.
Different companies such as Nokia, Verizon, and Ericson have already established themselves as significant players in providing connectivity in the metaverse infrastructure.
Adtech and Marketing
The marketing and advertising aspect is an integral part of the Metaverse. Companies such as Frameplay, Admix, and Advertly will play a vital role in generating revenue for applications and services within the Metaverse by offering necessary resources and software for digital advertising.
The Metaverse presents a novel platform for advertising and marketing. Advertisers will have access to a broad and captivating audience while marketers can develop novel and thrilling experiences for users.
Cloud, Scalability, and Hosting
The Metaverse, a digital space, operates on a cloud-based infrastructure that enables users to access the virtual world from any location. This cloud system ensures that the Metaverse is scalable and secure enough to support growing users.
To ensure its continued growth and success, the Metaverse must be designed to accommodate a large user base while providing a stable and secure hosting environment. The scalability of the Metaverse is crucial in ensuring that it remains accessible to users as the user base continues to expand.
Finally, the Metaverse is built on a decentralised infrastructure. This infrastructure is vital to ensure users have complete control over their data and can securely store and access it from anywhere in the world. It will also provide a platform for developers to create applications and services that run on the blockchain, allowing them to monetize their products.
With the Metaverse being user-centric, decentralisation uses blockchain technology to ensure that users will always remain in control of their data. This makes it a safe and secure environment for users to explore, create and collaborate with others.
Metaverse Platforms – B2C, B2B
Several platforms are currently being developed for the Metaverse. These platforms offer various services and applications, including B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business). Below are some top B2B and B2C metaverse platforms:
The Sandbox is a metaverse platform that allows users to buy, own, and sell virtual lands on which they can create and build content. The Sandbox uses an ERC-20 utility token, SAND, to enable transactions within the platform, making it easy for users to buy and sell virtual assets.
Cryptokitties is one of the first NFT blockchain-based games for collecting, breeding, and digital trading cats. Each of these cats has a unique genetic code and traits, making them one-of-a-kind. The cats are 100% owned by the creator and can’t be replicated, making them a valuable asset for collectors.
Decentraland is another metaverse platform that allows users to purchase and create content in the form of virtual land. The virtual land can host events, build mini-games, or act as a gallery for digital art. Decentraland is built on Ethereum and uses MANA as a governance token for transactions within the platform.
One of the most significant purchases in Decentraland is by singer JJ who bought a virtual real estate worth US $123,000. Another record sale worth US $3.3 million was also sold on the platform, making it one of the most sought-after Metaverse.
Illuvium is a play-to-earn metaverse platform where players can explore, build, and earn rewards for completing in-game tasks. The platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain and uses an ERC-20 token, $ILV, to enable transactions. It is a role-playing game where players can search for in-game items and illuvials and use them to compete in tournaments and battles.
Minecraft is one of the most popular block-building games today, and it has been adapted for use in the Metaverse. The game is owned by Microsoft and is described as an online lego. Players can explore new worlds, gather resources, and craft weapons and other items. They can use these items to engage in battles with others. The game has recently added support for VR headsets and motion controllers, making it even more immersive
Fortnite is another popular Metaverse game that has been around for some time. The game allows players to team up and build collaboration bases to defend against waves of enemies. Players can also participate in various challenges and tournaments within the map. It has a Creative Mode, where users design their environments, and Battle Royale Mode, where players fight to be the last ones standing.
Roblox is a popular metaverse platform that allows users to create, share and play games with friends. It has an extensive library of user-generated content, from mini-games to virtual worlds. Players can use Robux, the in-game currency, to purchase clothes, weapons, and other items for their avatars. The game also allows collaboration through its game creation tools and custom servers.
Microsoft Mesh is a newly announced platform allowing users to connect and collaborate in real-time using Mixed Reality. The platform is built on Azure and seeks to change how remote working works. The platform allows avatars to interact with each other, share digital content, and collaborate on projects. It also supports virtual reality headsets and motion controllers such as the HoloLens 2 and virtual reality (VR) headsets for an immersive experience.
NVIDIA Omniverse is an open, collaborative platform for digital content creation. It allows users to create, simulate and share 3D models in a virtual world. The platform uses NVIDIA RTX GPUs and supports the Unity game engine, allowing users to create high-quality 3D content easily.
The platform uses a Universal Scene Description (USD) that combines AI, the internet, the real world, path tracing, physics, and rendering to create realistic and immersive worlds. It also features tools for game developers, artists, designers, animators, and filmmakers.
Blockchain And Smart Contracts
Blockchain is the underlying technology that powers decentralised applications and smart contracts. It can be described as a distributed ledger of records, with each record secured and connected to the previous one. This makes it nearly impossible for fraud or manipulation of data.
Smart contracts are pieces of code stored on the blockchain, allowing users to create rules and conditions for transactions without involving a third party. Smart contracts are self-executing and can be used to replace traditional legal agreements. Once the underlying conditions of the contract have been met, it will be automatically executed.
How Bitcoin Blockchain Works
For a Bitcoin transaction to be valid, it must be digitally signed and verified by the Bitcoin blockchain. Each block in the chain contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.
This makes it secure and almost impossible to manipulate or corrupt. All transactions are broadcasted to every node. The Bitcoin blockchain uses the following components to make a transaction successful:
A private key is a secret code to access and control a Bitcoin wallet. It acts like a password that must be kept confidential, giving the owner access to the funds in the wallet. A private key is generated when a new wallet is created, and the owner must keep it secure, as it can be used to access the funds in the wallet without the owner’s knowledge.
On the other hand, a public key is the counterpart of a private key. It is a unique code used to receive Bitcoins and generated based on the private key. The public key can be shared with others, allowing them to send Bitcoins to the owner’s wallet. Public keys are combined with private keys to provide a secure and transparent way to send and receive Bitcoins.
Hashing Encryption Algorithm
The Bitcoin blockchain uses a hashing encryption algorithm called SHA-256 to secure transactions. This algorithm generates a unique code for each transaction, making it virtually impossible for the same transaction to be processed twice. Additionally, the algorithm provides a secure way for transactions to be verified, ensuring that no one can tamper with the transaction data.
Broadcast Transactions to the Bitcoin Network
The blockchain network uses the SHA-256 algorithm to verify all transactions processed and then broadcast to the Bitcoin network. This network comprises thousands of nodes that work together to verify and validate transactions. Once a transaction has been validated, it is added to a block, a collection of verified transactions.
The blocks of verified transactions are then decrypted and added to the blockchain in a linear, chronological order. A permanent and immutable record of the transactions is created on the Bitcoin network. This decryption uses mathematical algorithms to ensure that the process is secure. Once the decryption is completed, the Bitcoin is credited to the receiver’s wallet.
Decentralised P2P Nodes
A peer-to-peer Bitcoin transaction works as follows:
- New Transaction Block: The first step in completing a P2P transaction is to create a new transaction block. This block contains information about the amount of Bitcoin sent from one user to another.
- Miner to Solve the Puzzle: Miners are responsible for verifying and adding new transactions to the blockchain. They use their computing power to solve a complex mathematical puzzle, known as the proof of work.
- Proof of Work: Proof of work is a solution to a cryptographic puzzle requiring significant computing power. Miners compete to find the solution, and the first miner to solve it gets to add the new block to the blockchain.
- Verification by Miners: Once the solution is found, the other miners verify the solution and the new block to ensure that it is valid and complies with the rules of the network.
- Consensus: The network reaches consensus when most miners agree on the validity of the new block and add it to the blockchain.
- New Block Added: The new block is added to the blockchain, and the transaction is complete. The block is added to the end of the chain and becomes part of the permanent record of all previous transactions. The transaction is now considered to be confirmed and cannot be reversed.
How does Decentralised Finance Work?
Decentralised finance (DeFi) is a form of financial technology that uses blockchain-based protocols to enable users to access and use different financial services without the need for centralised authorities. This means that users can manage their funds using smart contracts and decentralised applications instead of relying on banks or other traditional financial service providers.
The DeFis can either be grouped as tokens or stablecoins. Tokens are digital assets representing a specific value, while stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose value is tied to an underlying asset like the USD or gold. Tokens are standard in the metaverse platforms. Examples include MANA, used in the Decentraland, and SAND, used in the Sandbox.
These tokens are used to purchase items from the platform’s digital marketplaces or as a currency form for in-game transactions. They can also be exchanged for other virtual assets like art, music, or gaming accessories.
Stablecoin, such as USDT or USDC, is often used to make payments on the metaverse platforms and centralised exchanges as its value remains stable despite market fluctuations. As such, they are a more reliable form of payment than tokens that may be subject to more volatility.
Digital Currency/ Cryptocurrency
The terms digital currency and cryptocurrency are used interchangeably and refer to a digital asset used as a medium of exchange. However, digital currency and cryptocurrencies are different in some ways.
Cryptocurrencies are virtual coins created and used on blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. They use cryptography to secure transactions and provide users with a degree of anonymity.
Digital currency refers to digital assets issued by a centralised authority, such as a bank or government. Examples include the USD, EUR, or JPY. These currencies are not based on blockchain networks and are more heavily regulated than cryptocurrencies.
Coins Vs. Tokens Vs. NFTS
Coins are cryptocurrencies used as a medium of exchange on the blockchain, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. They can be bought, sold, and traded on exchanges for other coins or fiat currencies.
Tokens are digital assets built on top of existing blockchains like Ethereum and EOS. Tokens provide utility within specific ecosystems and can purchase goods or services, pay for transactions, governance tokens, or store value. Tokens are usually issued during an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and can represent a wide range of assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, art, music, and gaming accessories.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that are used to represent a unique item on the blockchain. NFTs have gained popularity in the Metaverse as they provide users with a secure way to purchase, sell, and trade digital goods. They can be used to tokenize physical objects like art, music, or collectibles and represent ownership of these items.
Opportunities In The Metaverse
As the Metaverse grows, so do the opportunities to create and monetize digital goods. Here are some top-earning activities that you can try in the Metaverse:
Content Creator: With the growing popularity of virtual reality and the Metaverse, there is a high demand for engaging and immersive content. This creates opportunities for artists, animators, game designers, and other content creators to showcase their work in a new and exciting environment. Content creators can create games, animations, music, and more that users can experience within the Metaverse.
Developers as a Service: As the Metaverse evolves, there is a growing need for developers to create new experiences, applications, and tools. Developers can offer their services to companies and individuals looking to build their virtual presence. They can create custom applications, tools, and integrations that help businesses and individuals take advantage of the Metaverse’s potential.
Play and Earn: The Metaverse offers unique opportunities for users to earn money through playing games and participating in virtual activities. For example, users can earn virtual currency by playing games, completing quests, or participating in events. They can then use this currency to buy virtual goods and services or trade it for real money. This opens up new monetisation opportunities for players and game developers.
Making and Selling Assets: The Metaverse allows users to create and sell virtual assets, such as clothing, furniture, and vehicles. These assets can be bought and sold in virtual marketplaces, creating a new market for virtual goods and services. This allows creators to monetise their skills and creativity while providing users access to a wide range of virtual assets to enhance their experience in the Metaverse.
Tokens and Coins: The Metaverse has the potential to create new forms of digital currency and tokens, which can be used to buy and sell virtual assets and services. These tokens and coins can be traded like stocks, creating opportunities for investors to buy and sell them for profit. This opens up a new world of financial opportunities for those interested in digital currencies and blockchain technology.
Stocks and Shares: Companies operating in the Metaverse will likely have their stocks and shares traded on financial markets, just like traditional companies. This creates investment opportunities for individuals looking to invest in the Metaverse’s future growth and success. As the Metaverse evolves, the value of these stocks and shares may rise, providing investors with a potential source of profit.
Avatar Replicator Creator: As the Metaverse evolves, there will be a growing need for virtual avatars representing users in the virtual world. This creates opportunities for avatar replicator creators to offer their services to individuals and companies looking to establish a virtual presence. Avatar replicator creators can offer custom designs and features that help users create a unique and personalised avatar that represents them in the Metaverse.
Art In The Metaverse
The Metaverse provides a unique platform for artistic expression and creativity. Artists, animators, filmmakers, and other creatives can showcase their work in the virtual world, reaching new audiences and inspiring others. From virtual galleries and exhibitions to immersive installations and interactive performances, the Metaverse provides artists with a new canvas to explore.
One of the most significant benefits of art in the Metaverse is the ability to reach a wider audience. Artists can now showcase their work to people from all over the world, regardless of physical location. The Metaverse also offers a unique opportunity for artists to experiment with new forms of expression, from virtual sculptures and paintings to interactive performances that respond to user input.
Another advantage of the Metaverse is the ability to create highly immersive and interactive experiences. In the physical world, exhibitions and installations are often limited by space and resources, but in the Metaverse, anything is possible. Artists can create entire virtual environments so visitors can explore and interact regardless of location.
Despite its many benefits, art in the Metaverse also presents its challenges. One of the biggest obstacles is the technology itself, which is still in its early stages and can be challenging for artists unfamiliar with it. In addition, the Metaverse is a relatively new frontier and can be challenging for artists.
However, despite these challenges, the Metaverse is already proving to be an exciting and dynamic platform for artists to showcase their work and reach a wider audience. With the rapid development of technology, the Metaverse will likely continue to evolve and offer even more opportunities for artists to explore.
Examples Of Art In The Metaverse
The Metaverse is already home to various virtual art installations, from interactive sculptures to immersive exhibitions. These art pieces come in different categories, such as:
AI Art: AI art is an emerging artwork created using artificial intelligence. AI art can range from simple visualisations to complex interactive installations.Ai can also be used to enhance normal photos or videos, adding effects and animations that are usually unattainable with human-made art.
3D Art: 3D art is one of the most popular forms of artwork in the Metaverse. This artwork uses 3D models and textures to create immersive and interactive virtual environments. These environments can be used for gaming or simply exploring, allowing users to interact with the artwork in ways that would be impossible in the physical world.
VR Art: VR art uses virtual reality technology to create immersive environments for viewers to explore and experience. This type of art is gaining popularity as more and more people have access to VR headsets, allowing them to step into a world created by an artist.
Robots: Robots are an increasingly popular art form in the Metaverse. Creative coders and artists create robotic sculptures that can interact with users, responding to their input and creating a unique experience for each viewer. They also form a big part of role-play games in the Metaverse, such as combat and battles.
Art in the Metaverse is an exciting new frontier for artists to explore and share their work with a global audience. While the technology is still developing, it offers even more creative expression and engagement opportunities. As more people enter the Metaverse, this will open up new possibilities and push the boundaries of what’s possible for art. And the possibilities are endless. The Metaverse is a vast and ever-changing platform, and artists have already begun to explore its potential. Contact us for fresh prospects and perspectives into the realm of the Metaverse today! Stay turned to our socials for the latest updates in the Web 3.0 space.
This article was written and proofread with the assistance of FXMedia.