Metaverse 2.0 or 3.0?

In the words of Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, the metaverse enables computing to be embedded into the real world and for the real world to be embedded into computing.

But wait a minute, isn’t the metaverse a word that popped up in the NFT craze only recently in the context of crypto? Why have corporations been so quick in appropriating the phenomenon?

Among the many opinions, one that stands out is that held by Emin Gürer, founder of Ava Labs, who thinks that the ultimate goal for these companies is to boost the targeted ads business. Because if you think about it, you could literally spend hours in the metaverse without ever leaving your home while still churning valuable behavioral data at the service of the so-called surveillance capitalists.

So why has the metaverse been celebrated profusely, especially in relation to NFTs?

This has to do with the play-to-earn narrative that was spurred by on-chain gaming and DAO-led networks that are here to weave the future of work by creating the web 3.0 version of the metaverse. The fundamental difference between web 3.0 and web 2.0 is that the latter does not focus on ownership but on interaction through which important data is gleaned from and returned to the user as a revenue-generating ad for the company and not the user. With web 3.0, the user has the right to a slice of that revenue as they contribute to the network/metaverse.

Therefore, the metaverse, which is discussed mostly around the creators’ economy, empowers a large group of the population that for most of the time was under-appreciated or had no platform and/or opportunity to manifest their abilities. The metaverse represents the world that we always dreamed about, where your identity and all your worldly attributes have no meaning unless you want them to.

Millions in investments both in crypto and in the real world are converging to an agreement that the metaverse is what would propel humanity forward. Who knows, world decarbonization might be greatly accelerated if we built more forests rather than business districts because having an office or a virtual land in the metaverse would mean a lot more.