Cryptocurrency is a confusing business with a language of its own, partly because it is a genuinely new way of doing business and also because it was created largely by programmers and cryptographers, who should never be allowed to name anything that ordinary people use. .
Cryptocurrencies have many uses as an investment, as a currency for payments, as a store of value, among others. Like any investment, it’s vital to know what you’re talking about and, more importantly, what the person trying to sell you something is really saying. And like every other field of finance, industry, art, or basically every human endeavor, it has its own jargon, acronyms, and definitions, and especially when it comes to law and finance, definitions matter.
Read More: What is a metaverse and why does one have a fashion show?
In this series of articles, we are going to create a series of glossaries for various parts of the cryptocurrency industry, which we will combine into a larger reference tool. Today, we are talking about the most popular, trendy and hyped part of the cryptocurrency world – the metaverse.
See Also: Citi’s Magical MetaFi Tour Predicts a $13 Trillion Metaverse Financial System, Infinite Payment Rails by 2030
As you might imagine, the metaverse is an immersive virtual reality world that goes far beyond the blockchain. Some of the biggest ones, like Roblox and Second Life, have been around for years. Others include Fortnite, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that is expanding into an entire metaverse.
See Also: Meta Opens Its Metaverse Platform To Payments, And It’s Not Cheap
And of course the 800 The 8,000-pound gorilla is Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, who is pouring about $10 billion a year (and much more than that in stock price) into building a metaverse.
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Avatar: A virtual representation of yourself in the metaverse, similar to characters in massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. These can be very basic characters that you can create yourself where you choose the gender, body shape, hairstyle, skin color, etc. to more extravagant representations (Do you want to be a goat with purple polka dots? Good for you). Eventually, the goal is for them to be highly realistic (or illusoryly realistic) virtual representations that allow you to interact and socialize—that is, facial expressions, for example. Some platforms have more realistic avatars than others at the moment.
This is also used to refer to NFTs that represent you and presumably represent your personality (to the extent that a jaguar-furred Bored Ape Yacht Club chimpanzee can) on Twitter, Instagram, and similar sites.
Read More: Meta Metaverse Weekly: 1 Quintillion Ways To Customize Your Meta Avatar
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Augmented Reality (AR): This is a digital overlay on reality. Think of Pokemon Go, Google Glasses, and those smartphone apps that take a picture of an existing field and overlay the house you want to build on it.
Creator Economy: Ways the metaverse and other social media sites enable and help people monetize the art, music, or game videos they create
Decentraland: One of the two major blockchain-based metaverses.
Deepfake: Not strictly a metaverse concept, a deepfake is a photo or video that has been artificially created but cannot be differentiated from reality by the human senses.
Digital Goods: Pretty much any real-world item that can be digitized into an NFT and placed in a metaverse for others to use for fun, marketing, or commerce. Common examples are fashion items that can be used to dress up an avatar, event tickets that provide some kind of access, or are simply collectible. They can be used just as NFTs in a digital environment or they can be used in the real world – tickets that double as souvenirs.
Digital twins: A digital version of a real world item. This can be anything from an NFT on a pair of Nike sneakers to the brick-by-brick virtual version of its New Bond Street, London-based auction house that Christie’s has built in Decentraland.
GameFi: A fusion of “gaming” and “finance” like decentralized finance is DeFi. GameFi refers to the Play to Win economy (see below).
immersive: As far as possible by technology, the ability of a metaverse to bring the player fully into their reality. The idea is to use the three-dimensional virtual reality of a metaverse so that players feel like they are inside the game instead of sitting in front of a screen.
Land: Since metaverses are supposed to be virtual worlds, they are divided into virtual plots, essentially real estate that can be used to build something. Everything in a blockchain metaverse is an NFT, and parcels of land are no exception. They are unique based on their location, and theoretically rare, as metaverses are limited in number. However, it has been pointed out that unlike real-world real estate, metaverses are infinite in the sense that more parcels of “land” can be created (entire neighborhoods, cities, continents, you name it). As the blockchain based metaverse is (or planned to be) controlled by DAO
Metaverse: an immersive virtual reality world where technology like 3D headsets, motion-translating gloves, and (in theory/sci-fi) full-body haptic suits allow people to work, play, socialize, immerse themselves in marketing and advertising, and, in generally live a second life. (That’s why the oldest metaverse, released in 2003, is called Second Life. Other non-blockchain metaverses in development include the MMO game Fortnite, the gaming platform Roblox, and Meta’s Horizon Worlds).
They usually allow (or will allow) players to purchase parcels of “land” on which they can build anything from a billboard or building to a video game or casino.
Marketers have been swarming in, with brands from McDonald’s to Warner Music Group to JPMorgan building outposts in the metaverse.
Read More: PYMNTS Metaverse Series: The Marks Are There. Will the eyeballs follow?
The word was coined by author Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash”. In June, Stephenson announced that he is backing a project to actually build one, so to speak.
Native tab: Generally speaking, a native token is the cryptocurrency issued by a blockchain or platform. In this context, a native token is the official currency of the metaverse, and generally the only currency for any transaction in the world. (In Decentraland this is MANA, and in The Sandbox it is SAND)
Read More: Crypto Basics Series: What is a Native Token, a Non-Native Token, and a White Label Cryptocurrency?
NFT: Generally speaking, a non-fungible token is a type of cryptocurrency where each token is unique and is a platform for storing media such as art, music, videos, and documents.
In the context of the metaverse, NFTs are the building blocks of everything in blockchain metaverses: the land on which things are built, the avatars people use to explore them, and every item in it, from t-shirts to the ones that the avatars can dress up to casinos where they can lose them.
Play to Win (Play2Earn, P2E): A type of massively multiplayer online (MMO) game in which players can earn real money, for example, by creating something that other players need and will pay for. In blockchain-based metaverses, these are generally NFTs. Some P2E games allow players to earn native tokens directly, which can be sold on cryptocurrency exchanges. The concept gets a very bad rap among serious gamers, who often refer to it as playing to win.
Also Read: Turns Out Love (And Other NFTs) Can Give Thrills, Pay Bills Too
Read More: Is Play-to-Earn Killing Blockchain Gaming?
the sandbox– One of the two largest blockchain-based metaverses.
Virtual reality: An immersive computer-generated three-dimensional virtual world in which technology such as 3D headsets and (at this point) hand controllers, gloves that translate motion into avatars, and (in theory/sci-fi) full-body haptic suits translate motion to allow people to work, play games, socialize, soak up marketing and advertising, and generally live a virtual second life.
AR/VR headsets: A video headset that encloses the user’s eyes to allow them to more immersively experience a 3D virtual world. While very basic at this point, several companies are investing heavily in them, most notably Meta, which makes (in 2022) the best-selling Quest 2 gaming headset, and is working on a number of much more advanced features.
See Also: Zuckerberg Shows Off Meta’s VR Progress
Internet 3.0: Mostly theoretical at this point, a blockchain-based platform for a new decentralized version of the World Wide Web that will be privacy-focused and free from the control of the tech giants that dominate the web today. The metaverses are largely seen as part of Web 3.0, accessed through augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) headsets in some versions.
Also read: Web3: Is there any ‘there’ there? And if so, where is it?
Also read: Musk, Dorsey hint that VC Money puts Web3’s vision at risk
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