Metaverse is buzzing with activity as the virtual worlds take shape
Audius, a music streaming platform built on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains, has joined hands with the decentralized gaming studio DeFi Land to build a radio station in the Metaverse. It will allow you to stream millions of songs from its library while playing a DeFi Land game that teaches you different concepts in decentralized finance (DeFi).
Recently, a virtual luxury ship called the “Metaflower Super Mega Yacht” in the Sandbox gaming world sold for a staggering $650,000. Just a few weeks ago, a plot of land in Decentraland, a 3D virtual reality universe on the Ethereum blockchain, sold for $2.43 million. All the ships, pieces of land, wearables, and artworks bought and sold in the Metaverse are NFTs.
Looking beyond the hype
Given the hype around games and big-ticket NFT sales, it’s easy to assume that the Metaverse is all about virtual collectibles and gaming. It’s much more than that.
The Metaverse is rapidly coming together as a fully functional, 3D virtual universe that blends with the physical world to transform how we work, socialize, shop, and spend time with our loved ones. Thanks to our virtual avatars, the Metaverse could make us feel like we are together even when we are not.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay indoors and accelerated the shift towards remote work, several companies turned to the Metaverse to give their employees a place to interact with one another. Many have set up meeting spaces and headquarters in Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and other virtual worlds.
ConsenSys, the company behind the MetaMask wallet, has a meeting space for its employees in Decentraland. Nike is preparing to sell virtual sneakers and clothes in the Metaverse. Sportswear giant Adidas Originals, which described the Metaverse as a “world of limitless possibilities”, has partnered with the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club and Pixel Vaults Punks Comic, and signed a deal with crypto investor Gmoney to debut in the Metaverse.
Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has rolled out a virtual space called the “Metaverse Art Exhibition” where people can interact with one another. It also has a “digital employee” called AYAYI to welcome guests and guide them in the Alibaba Metaverse. Guests could explore NFT artworks by brands like Alienware, Burberry, and more.
Financial services in the Metaverse
It’s not just digital artists and large corporations that see a role for themselves in the Metaverse. Drops, an innovative NFT lending platform, is infusing greater liquidity into the ecosystem. It enables the Metaverse participants to easily access liquidity by putting their collectibles as collateral in one of its permissionless lending pools. Users can join an existing pool or create a new one.
Unlocking liquidity helps NFT owners by reducing the pressure to sell an asset they don’t want to part ways with to meet a short-term need. Drops also has a Vault feature that automatically sends the loan amount to a yield farming strategy to maximize yield for the collectible owners.
Korean banks such as KB Kookmin Bank have also joined the Metaverse to offer financial services. The bank’s KB Metaverse VR Branch Testbed will allow customers to access banking services in the Metaverse using a head-mounted VR device. Customers and employees will also be able to interact with one another through their avatars in the Metaverse.
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The Metaverse is no longer just an idea. It’s shaping up to be a full-fledged virtual world that seamlessly blends with our physical world, unlocking new opportunities for everyone. With virtual corporate offices, museums, gaming, meeting spaces, entertainment, and even financial services, the Metaverse is already reshaping the world.