The Metaverse Blockchain Connection: A Definition

Exploring the Blockchain’s Role in the Metaverse

What is Blockchain and what does it have to do with the Metaverse?
Mixed RealityNews Analysis

Published: June 29, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter

The metaverse, blockchain, and cryptocurrency have all emerged as significant trends in recent years. The digital landscape is increasingly progressing towards a new age defined by decentralization.

It’s the components of this “web3” landscape that are paving the way for the new era of metaverse experiences. After all, the metaverse isn’t just a single branded environment or extended reality experience. It’s a decentralized network of virtual worlds, and communities reliant on the transparency and accessibility blockchain technologies provide.

The “metaverse blockchain” represents one of the core components of the unique environment and economy the metaverse promises to bring to the world.

Let’s explore how the “blockchain metaverse” is influencing the world as we know it.

The Rise of the Metaverse, Blockchain, and Web3

To understand the connection between metaverse, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and other emerging concepts, we first need to take a closer look at the evolution of the internet.

At the start of the internet revolution, Web 1.0 introduced us to sharing information online. It was an information superhighway of interconnected servers and computers based on centralized platforms.

Web 2.0 transformed the internet into a more social experience. Networking sites and blogs unlocked new modes of communication for digitally savvy consumers. However, centralization was still critical to the online experience. Entities like Facebook and Google began taking ownership of content, assets, and data.

Web 3.0 is the emerging “next generation” of the internet. Designed to give ownership back to content creators and consumers, Web 3.0 is based on decentralization. The blockchain is the technology that powers that decentralized experience. It offers transparency into ownership, the transfer of assets, and contractual obligations.

Web 3.0, or “Web3”, also forms the foundation of the metaverse. The overall goal of the metaverse is to build a decentralized, accessible environment where people can interact, transact, and connect.

Defining the Metaverse Blockchain: What is the Blockchain?

So, how does the blockchain work, and why is it so crucial to forming the “metaverse”? As a concept, blockchain was initially developed by W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber in 1991. It was a tool for “time stamping” documents with no central authority.

However, “blockchain” was only officially introduced to the wider world in 2008. At this time, Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, introduced a new distributed ledger technology. This “blockchain” strategy powered the first cryptocurrency.

The blockchain became a comprehensive database spread across multiple nodes or connectors. This decentralized structure promised greater security and transparency, with no single point of failure.

A core component of the blockchain is its ability to collect and share immutable data. Records on the blockchain can include everything from transaction details to the time of a “block” change.

Though blockchain technologies are often associated with cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and Ethereum, their use cases expand beyond the financial sector. Blockchains can serve a range of industries by providing a fraud-resistant environment for tracking data.

Blockchains can be used for identity verification, the creation of contracts, and even to track and audit processes in a digital world.

Is the Metaverse Built on Blockchain?

So, what is the metaverse blockchain? Is the metaverse built entirely on blockchain technology?

Not precisely, but blockchains do play a crucial role in creating metaverse experiences. First, the “metaverse” structure depends on this digital environment, not belonging to a single person.

The metaverse isn’t “owned by Meta” or other well-known innovators like Decentraland. It’s a decentralized environment that allows any person or company to build or explore virtual worlds. The blockchain supports this methodology.

Metaverse blockchain technology ensures the metaverse can be an open space where people can move between virtual worlds and take their assets. For instance, if you wanted to transfer an avatar from Microsoft Mesh to Facebook’s Horizon Worlds, the blockchain should allow you to authenticate your ownership of that digital identity.

Similarly, if you were to purchase an NFT in the metaverse and wanted to take it to your home in “Decentraland,” the blockchain should allow for that too. Essentially, the idea of a metaverse blockchain is that as long as you can access your “wallet” and crypto or blockchain identity in a virtual world, you can access your assets.

Of course, the metaverse and the blockchain are still relatively nascent concepts. Standards are still being developed about how blockchain environments should be utilized within the metaverse.

Groups like the Blockchain AssociationXR Association, and several governments have joined formed efforts to set standards, ethics, and frameworks for this new world. But we’re still in the early stages of discovering what’s possible.

The Connection Between the Metaverse and Blockchain

The Metaverse and blockchain technology link is far more complex than most people realize. Without blockchain technology, creating a genuinely inclusive metaverse environment would be difficult. While many companies are taking different approaches to their “metaverse creation” strategy, most innovators’ goals are the same.

Metaverse developers are committed to building a decentralized network of digital worlds that anyone and everyone can access. These spaces connect users in all aspects of their lives, unlock new economies, and develop thriving communities.

The metaverse blockchain serves the metaverse environment in a few ways:

Establishing the Metaverse economy

The blockchain is the core component of many cryptocurrency solutions. It enables the creation of a virtual economy, with various styles of tokens, from NFTs to virtual coins. Each metaverse blockchain can support its own unique currency and economy.

With the blockchain, individuals and institutions can conduct traceable transactions instantly. This allows for secure purchases of everything from Metaverse land to avatar apparel. The metaverse even gives creators new ways to monetize their content and experience through blockchain-powered sales.

In some metaverse environments, users can sign up with digital cryptocurrency wallets based on the blockchain to earn NFTs, crypto, and other digital assets. Players also have the freedom to transfer their digital assets to other platforms.

We’ve already seen examples of metaverse economies growing on the blockchain: Decentraland with its LAND tokens, Fortnite with its in-game transactions, and even Roblox.

Ensuring Metaverse safety and security

The safety of the metaverse is a common topic of debate. In such a new, unique environment, we’ve yet to establish specific laws and guidelines to protect every user. Though a metaverse blockchain can’t eliminate all potential risks, it can provide some security pillars.

The unhackable, immutable nature of the blockchain makes it easier to protect digital assets in a decentralized environment. The blockchain doesn’t just allow for the fast confirmation of information; it also enables cryptographically secure and protected transactions.

The blockchain makes it easy to track actions and changes in a virtual world and potentially track the people or actors responsible for specific attacks. Blockchain technologies have already been used in various financial environments to improve the security of transactions.

Moreover, metaverse blockchain technologies could help resolve disputes around IP fraud and plagiarism. The blockchain can validate the owner of assets and reduce IP theft.

Building metaverse landscapes

The metaverse blockchain also provides a foundation for building the landscapes we’ll traverse in the metaverse. When people buy “metaverse real estate,” they’re not purchasing land packets. They’re buying segments of a blockchain.

Platforms like Decentraland, The Sandbox, and others facilitate this with virtual real estate in the Metaverse. By offering companies and individuals the opportunity to buy “space” in the metaverse, the blockchain opens the door to creating new worlds and experiences.

Companies can build all kinds of virtual experiences with these pieces of blockchain real estate. Individual consumers can even use their metaverse “homes” as an environment for storing NFTs, assets, and other digital content.

Preserving metaverse identities

Building on the ability of the metaverse blockchain to preserve security in the metaverse, it also offers an opportunity to protect user identities. Numerous metaverse platforms leverage blockchain technologies to verify user data when they access critical infrastructure.

In some parts of the world, government organizations such as Dubai’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and cities in South Korea and China have already leveraged NFTs and the blockchain to track citizen records, access medical files, and provide secure services.

The metaverse blockchain can act as an incredible solution for authentication and validation. This will be essential in a future where people turn to the metaverse for entertainment, education, and work.

In the future, people may access their unique digital footprints with blockchain data linked to interoperable avatars. This will become crucial for creating a Metaverse for conducting real-world transactions.

Developing engaged metaverse communities

The blockchain even provides companies and institutions a new way of developing and connecting virtual communities. Creators worldwide are leveraging blockchain technologies and the metaverse to create their societies.

Many know the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and other NFT collectives. These blockchain-based communities use decentralized assets and rewards to connect with their tribes. For instance, the Dancing Seahorse DAO allows its NFT holders exclusive access to its nightclub franchise across locations.

Even brands are taking advantage of the community-building opportunities offered by the blockchain and the metaverse. Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Nike have all invested in metaverse environments and blockchain-powered NFTs to help engage consumers.

This could lead to a new revolution in how companies connect with their audience in an environment where “social media networks” will give way to accessible, decentralized communities.

The Metaverse Blockchain: A Crucial Part of the New World

Fundamentally, the “metaverse blockchain” will be a crucial part of our future. Blockchain technologies empower companies and creators to build safe, secure, accessible virtual environments.

With blockchain technologies, metaverse creators can facilitate more than just cryptocurrency transactions. They can assist their audiences in building truly authentic digital identities, perfect for traversing the digital worlds of tomorrow.

The blockchain will be crucial in shaping a future where no single firm or entity controls the metaverse. It fulfills the promise of “mobility” in the metaverse by allowing for the transfer of assets. It also introduces the foundations of a new economy and paves the way for secure interactions.

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