For many, the term NFT conjures up images of digital art and collectibles, which seem to be associated with too much money. But the digital art frenzy reflects a compelling use case that is almost the only advancement in the NFT space. The road ahead is full of opportunities for hobbyists, businesses and investors that will accelerate the adoption and use of NFT. Chief among them is NFT-controlled access – specifically to the Metaverse.
The Metaverse represents the sum of all the processes and protocols powering the Internet and the emerging Web3 and is coalescing into a central and interoperable space. In this future domain, communications, finances, the gaming world, personal archives, NFT, and more are all part of a larger online experience.
While the Metaverse is similar to the real world, it is also an extension of the real world. Something like augmented reality can bridge the gap between everyday life and what’s happening on the Internet, and all of that falls under the umbrella of the Metaverse.
How do you get into the Metaverse?NFTs of course!
Metaverse and NFTs have almost become something similar. One reason for this is the explosion of NFTs in blockchain gaming. For many, the Metaverse will be realized through virtual worlds, and interoperable games are an obvious vehicle for this. Real identities tied to a digital body are just one way that NFTs provide access to the metaverse.
NFTs are special blockchain-based tokens that can be used to prove ownership of digital items, such as artwork, music, or playable video game items.
The first example of NFT-controlled access is at the inaugural NFT.NYC conference in 2019. The event allows access with NFT-based tickets, offers a VIP dinner, and even the opportunity to display a custom message on a billboard in Times Square – because, why not? While a cryptocurrency conference in New York could hardly be called the “Metaverse,” a precedent has been set.
With the genie out of the bottle, various projects and games are rushing to capitalize on the intersection between the Metaverse and NFTs – and they promise to change the way we interact online. One example is Decentraland, which has a limited number of LAND tokens that represent ownership of Metaverse real estate.
MekaVerse has raised $60 million in Ether sales for NFTs that we don’t yet see.
In a similar vein, NFTs could become the deed and key to a “virtual” property – allowing the owner exclusive access to that location in the Metaverse and the ability to grant access to others. The smart contract feature of the deed/key NFT makes it easy to sell a house to another resident of the Metaverse, granting ownership of the property and all the access rights that come with it.
Building on this concept, NFT-controlled access rights can span a range of use cases, including VIP access to real-life events such as conferences and festivals, as well as those that take place in the Metaverse. They can even be used to airdrop branded merchandise or allow special access to fan-only content – opening up a whole new avenue for fan engagement.
By bringing interoperability from the Metaverse into the meatspace, builders can create infrastructure that supports the essential features of augmented reality and location-based engagement, services and marketing.
All types of experiences, including massively multiplayer online video games and augmented reality spaces, can be assigned to the NFT and be imbued with the many awesome qualities of the blockchain. These experiences can be fundamentally personalized while transforming them into marketable commodities with liquid, exchangeable value in the blockchain ecosystem.
The path to the future of NFT
A few weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the word “Metaverse” a full 16 times while describing the company’s roadmap during an earnings call with investors.Facebook is already experimenting with products like “Portal” to connect physical and digital spaces, and the long-awaited Diem stable coin is being initiated by Facebook and will be designed to be integrated into its platform.
Given that the tech world is gearing up for a Metaverse-based future, an enhanced NFT-based experience could become a cornerstone of the social media experience. Meanwhile, the potential for a blockchain-based ID system will accelerate the adoption of financial services in the metaverse.
Over time, the Metaverse may even develop an independent state of its own, hosted by various DAOs. the DeFi sector, i.e. peer-to-peer lending and transactions, could assume the role of a virtual financial system, with the NFT representing our keys, IDs and passports. The pieces of the puzzle are already there, and it is time to put them together.
A DAO is a formal community in cryptocurrencies in which members align their incentives through mutually agreed governance mechanisms and often through the use of specific cryptocurrencies or tokens.
The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of developers and the needs of users. The growing metaspace will open the door to not only new experiences for users, but new levels of visibility and control. While metaspace already exists technically, it is NFTs that bring it to our real physical world.
To unlock this potential and help foster metaspace, the Web3 sector needs to look beyond itself and facilitate blockchain engagement from established and time-tested creators.NFTs represent the metaphorical and literal key to doing so.