If you want peace, prepare for war – the metaverse, virtual social space, pendant to the real world, constantly attracts new followers. The evidence of the economic potential of these emerging virtual spaces then aroused the enthusiasm of the web 2 giants. Even if cryptocurrencies and NFT experience bitter defeat, ever redder, the metaverse emerges victorious. Reinforced by a McKinsey report predicting a value of $5 trillion by 2030, the metaverse is doing well. Therefore, some web 2 companies such as Microsoft or even Meta monopolize the metaverse. Others, born with the blockchain, continue to shape this virtual world by offering another way of conceptualize reality. The Sandbox and Decentraland could be considered their figureheads. In this war which has only just begun, some are gaining the upper hand over others: this is the case with Meta.
In the cryptocurrency war Meta lays down arms…
Meta, formerly Facebook, has never concealed its desire for web 3. Use of NFT on instagram or soon Facebookthe social media giant is also developing its metaverse: HorizonWorld. However, in this war marked by many victories, Meta abandons the project of its Novi cryptocurrency wallet.
The adventures of the company, led by mark zuckerberg, with cryptocurrencies therefore close on this closure which looks like a fiasco. The failure to set up the stablecoin Librarenamed diem, rising to the surface. This token was intended to become the native cryptocurrency of the Meta ecosystem.
Nevertheless, in its conquest of web 3 and its desire to take advantage of the economy it accompanies, Mark Zuckerberg announced in June that Facebook Pay became Meta Pay, marking a further step towards a digital economy that will allow exchanges in the metaverse.
“Going forward, there will be all kinds of digital items you might want to create or purchase digital apparel, art, videos, music, experiences, virtual events, and more. Proof of ownership will be important, especially if you want to take some of these items with you to different departments. Ideally, you should be able to log into any metaverse experience and whatever you’ve purchased should be right there. There is a long way to get there. However, this kind of interoperability will provide much better experiences for people and greater opportunities for creators. »
Mark Zuckerberg – Source: Facebook
… to better dominate the metaverse market
the metaverse is therefore the sinews of war for Meta who registers as a valiant conqueror rich in his VR headsets. The company then seizes 90% of the market. IDC, the world’s leading technology market intelligence provider, armed with global, regional and local expertise, explains this result. Indeed, according to a recent report by the company, Meta would reign over a significant territory of the metaverse, that of VR headsets:
“Meta has increased its share, capturing 90% of the market, with the Quest 2 remaining immensely popular and Meta continuing to offer more exclusive content while subsidizing hardware. Meta is followed by Pico, ByteDance, with a 4.5% share. »
The performance of Quest 2 VR headset are thus underlined. However, the expectations of users in the face of the harsh reality of this helmet cause some disappointments. Bulky, unattractive, this helmet gives access to a universe where everything remains to be done regarding realism.
Will Meta’s metaverse fizzle out?
In this metaverse that cost $10 billion and who makes substantial losses at the start of 2022the IDC emphasizes that the strategic choice of Meta is not the most relevant. Jitesh Ubrani, Research Director at IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Tracking Service, expresses the challenges the social media giant may face in the future:
“Meta is still pouring dollars into the development of the metaverse. Nevertheless, the strategy of promoting low-cost equipment at the expense of profitability is not viable in the long term (…). The good news is that Meta’s upcoming productivity-focused headset will serve as a starting point for the company to pivot to higher revenue-generating hardware.. »
In this war where the helmet still seems to have an important place, Meta settles permanently despite some defeats. Tired of the search for optimal realism for its users, the design of the metaverse proposed by the king of social networks is the antithesis of the metaverses born with the blockchain such as Decentraland or The Sandbox.
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The Sandbox: a metaverse born with the blockchain
From the outset, a difference is striking between the two metaverses. While one offers a mirror metaverse of reality, the other offers a pixelated world in which everything is possible. Hosted on the ethereum blockchain, the metaverse of The Sandbox, cut into plots, is also strong with many owners of varied renown such as Carrefour, Slipknot, Jamiroquai or even the Smurfs and Dinovox. Each therefore offering its universe on its land.
Built of pixels, this metaverse then offers several interconnected universes. Its NFT Voxedit editor also allows anyone to create your universe or even your NFT which will evolve in the metaverse of The Sandbox.
The Sandbox, a metaverse to conquer the blockchain
While Meta struggling to adapt to cryptocurrenciesa revolutionary web 3 phenomenon, The Sandbox prides itself on a strong ecosystem. Her cryptocurrency SAND does not have to be ashamed of its results in this dark period.
Installed on the Ethereum blockchain, the pixelated metaverse is however encountering difficulties. Transactions are sometimes slow and ether transaction fees (gas fees) sometimes very high. It will be noted, however, that they have reached their record low this week.
Carried by the voice of Sebastien Borgetfounder of the metaverse, The Sandbox has announced the deployment of its lands on Polygon (MATIC). Metaverse users who will make the effort to move to the blockchain polygon will receive rewards in mSAND. mSAND is the equivalent of SAND on the Polygon blockchain. the layer 2 therefore avoids fees on Ethereum via bridges (called bridge) gateways to transfer cryptocurrencies from one blockchain to another. Users then avoid a congested network and sometimes too high fees.
This move improves and facilitates exchanges within the metaverse game. Polygon, carbon neutral blockchain, will then offer the possibility of staking lands and cryptocurrencies. It will later be possible to sell NFTs on the blockchain.
This fight of David against Goliath thus seems to take different directions of conquest. One chooses augmented reality technology, the other prefers blockchain development open to all partnerships.
A still embryonic metaverse
Other metaverses are born and offer possibilities that also interest users. In this way Decentraland continues to grow and attracts an increasingly loyal community. Roblox or even Alt Space VR are also developing outside the blockchain.
It must then be considered that the metaverse market is growing. Let’s go back to the IDC report mentioned at the beginning of this article. The data underlines this still juvenile state. Also, if we compare to the first quarter of 2021sales of VR headsets used for the metaverse increased by 241% in the first quarter of 2022.
The Metaverse: A Coveted War Chest
Also, don’t forget that other giants are eyeing the metaverse. Apple despite its hatred of NFTs continues to develop its virtual helmet arousing the curiosity of its fans:
“All eyes will be on Apple when it launches its first headset next year, and while it’s tempting to imagine the company shipping high volumes, let’s keep in mind that this is its first headset that will primarily appeal to a small audience of early adopters and Apple fans (… ) Subsequent iterations will likely show an evolution that will grow by leaps and bounds. Meanwhile, companies like Meta and Sony already have a strong installed base and pent-up demand they can tap into. All in all, this is a powerful driver to drive the market forward. »
Microsoft or Sony are also developing technologies borrowed from web 3. The metaverse market is still too young to determine who will be the winner of the match. It is clear that we have on our left Meta, weakened by the failure of its cryptocurrency and spendthrift in the face of a metaverse that does not bring it enough, and on our right The Sandbox, darling of many influential people and companies, born with the web 3. The others then gravitate in the middle.
A recent consortium however began to draw the snippets of a metaverse regulated, interconnected and meeting the same standards for all. Like politicians trying to settle a diplomatic crisis, everyone wants to meet at conferences. All of them, web 2 and web 3 giants (Sony, Huawei, ImmutableX..) then agree that the metaverse should be open to as many people as possible. To face this technological challenge, it seems that Meta and its colleagues want to team up despite the absence of Google and Apple.
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