Why So Many Metaverses, Anyway?

By Stan Peterson
February 25, 2022 Updated February 25, 2022
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Over recent months, metaverse has become a term so ubiquitous that it very nearly claimed the top spot in Collins Dictionary’s word of the year after being pipped to the post by its close cousin, NFT. However, the very idea of a metaverse is somewhat misleading for many newcomers, as the fact it’s often referred to as “the metaverse” implies there’s only one. Even relatively early in the game, already it’s evident that the metaverse is a blanket term applied to many different metaverses.

On the centralized side, there’s the well-profiled effort of Meta to move social networking into the virtual realm, while competitors like Epic, Microsoft, and even now Walmart map out their own metaverse ambitions. In the decentralized world, some metaverse projects have been established for years already, including Decentraland and Somnium Space. However, thanks to the open-source nature of blockchain, many new metaverse projects are emerging each week, fueled by record investment flowing into the space and predictions of a $1 trillion market opportunity

But do we really need so many different metaverses? Isn’t it inevitably going to settle into a situation as we see with social media platforms, where a few of them dominate, and we end up not being able to leave because everyone else is using the same platforms? 

Many Metaverses, Many Opportunities

Thinking about it in these terms may be tempting, but it doesn’t grasp the scale and scope of how the metaverse will be used and the fact that the multi-metaverse is the only model that makes sense. While Facebook is trying to build a metaverse focused on social interactions, many of the decentralized metaverses are games, or more correctly, gaming-centric metaverses. Considered from the gaming angle, it makes sense to have separate metaverses hosting different games. 

Decentraland is perhaps the closest to a virtual world with multiple purposes, although mostly focused on commerce and entertainment, hosting brands like Samsung, Sotheby’s, and Domino’s pizza. In this sense, Decentraland is akin to a kind of virtual mall. 

However, there are other use cases than gaming that could legitimately demand separate metaverses. For example, there are likely to be hugely beneficial applications in telehealth, allowing people to consult with virtual physicians and therapists. But for the obvious reasons of security and confidentiality, such a use case demands a dedicated environment. 

Other applications that could demand a tailored metaverse could be in the educational sector, where e-learning becomes v-learning in a virtual classroom. It may also simply be the case that a celebrity or influencer decides they want to operate their own branded metaverse – imagine a virtual version of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, accessible to fans all over the world without leaving their homes. 

Launch-Your-Own-Metaverse?

With such demand for different types of metaverses, it was only a matter of time before some enterprising innovator decided to launch a platform for launching metaverses. Serial entrepreneur Ray Lu wants to make the Web3 vision of a decentralized network of metaverses available to anyone who wants it, enabling them to architect their own metaverse with a map, 3D world, games, economics, and governance – all without any technical skills. 

The platform is called Bit.Country and it’s based on Substrate, the blockchain development framework developed for the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems. It’s currently live as a parachain on the Kusama platform after raising $100 million worth of KSM in its crowdloan. The project has also raised over $40 million from a whitelisted token sale and funding round, which included Animoca Brands and W Ventures as backers. 

Bit.Country’s Multi-Metaverse

In the Bit.Country ecosystem, a metaverse is a sovereign virtual world with its own landscape and governance. The metaverse operators can decide on the rules and policies for joining, including defining the parameters of any community-based governance. Owners could also choose to make a metaverse closed to non-members. 

Each metaverse is split into land blocks, which can be further subdivided into land units that are independently ownable and tradeable. The metaverse can also operate its own token with utility in the metaverse itself, paying for services and assets, but also to act as a governance token.

Aside from its impressive funding history, Bit.Country has also made several notable achievements. It has been chosen as the metaverse platform for launching Kaosland, which has a ready-made user base of 26,000. It’s also a participant of the 2021 Cohort of the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator and a recipient of a Web3 Foundation Open Grant. 

In the end, the question of “do we need many metaverses?” will end up becoming more like the question of “do we need so many websites?” The limitless applications of metaverses means that there’s no way one size can possibly fit all. As such, the multi-metaverse is here to stay.

Being an active participant in the Blockchain world, I always look forward to engage with opportunities where I could share my love towards digital transformation.
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.

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