Metaverse is an esoteric term first used in 1992 in Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash, described by the author as a kind of virtual reality shared via the Internet, where one is represented in three dimensions through one’s Avatar.
In 2021, there was a boom in non-fungible NFT tokens that not only brought the main focus on investment in digital art, but also catalyzed greater development of the cryptographic metaverse. Reality now echoes Stephenson’s narrative as people use unique Avatars interacting in 3D virtual worlds.
What is the Metaverse?
To understand what the metaverse is, it is necessary to take a step back in time.
Telephones and the Internet have enabled a global network of communication between people. The Internet, especially, provides a global and easily accessible place to make social connections and find community-based engagement.
The metaverse takes this a step further by allowing people to connect in virtual worlds and express themselves through their digital personalities. This means that the metaverse enables experiences such as: attending a business meeting in a virtual conference room, sitting digitally next to colleagues who are physically located around the world. User avatars can then take a walk to a virtual coffee shop to meet a friend who is in another city.
Metaverse in a nutshell harnesses the power of the Internet to connect like-minded people by offering new experiences in another dimension.
Crypto-native digital worlds
Ci sono vantaggi unici del metaverso crittografico che stanno plasmando il futuro dell’interazione online nonostante le comunità che compongono il metaverso non richiedano una blockchain.
I mondi cripto-nativi come Decentraland e The Sandbox sono piattaforme open world in qui chiunque può unirsi per giocare, guadagnare criptovalute, sfruttare i propri NFT per esprimere la propria personalità digitale, acquistare terreni basati su NFT e votare sulla governance, dunque le possibilità sono infinite. NFT è una delle sigle utilizzate nel mondo virtuale di internet di oggi sempre più frequente. Decentraland in traduzione significa terra decentralizzata.
What is Mana and what is the connection with Decentraland?
Decentraland is the union of the two English terms decentralized ( decentralized) and land and is an open source video game platform built on the Ethereum blockchain.
The creators of this virtual space are Argentine developers Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano, who launched the project in 2015.
This platform is for all intents and purposes a DAO ( Decentralized Autonomous Organization), so it is not a project that is managed and regulated by a central entity but by the directions in its smart contract.
To take part in the governance of Decentraland, one only needs to own the Mana and Land tokens.
In addition to buying or selling land space, Mana are used as currency with which to buy digital content, advertising services, NFT, and more.
Mana is an official token of the Decentraland platform.
In the beginning, this platform was just a pixelated grid that assigned pixels to users through a testing algorithm, which later evolved into a 3D world.
In 2018 Decentraland and Animoca Brands made a mutual investment through an exchange of stock tokens and Mana worth $0.5 million each.
In February 2020, it was opened to the public and is now overseen by the nonprofit Decentraland Foundation.
The Mana token is an ERC-20 token that must be burned to acquire non-fungible ERC -721 LAND tokens. It can also be used to buy avatars, names, wearable devices and more in the Decentraland marketplace.
After the first beta version of Decentraland in 2017, its developers sold virtual land for as little as $20.
In the NFT boom of 2021, it is selling digital real estate for over $100,000.
There are currently 1.69 billion Mana in active circulation.
We need to spend a few more minutes on this world of the Metaverse , which is nothing but a virtual world parallel to the real world as the etymology of the word itself reveals to us. If we divide it into two “meta ” (within) and “toward” (universe) we grasp very well the concept of metaverse , plunging into a universe parallel to reality.
To do this we need to know everything around us in our daily lives through technology . Curiosity drives us to delve into and understand very well the importance and use of such applications . Starting from the term NFT we try to delve deeper.
What is an NFT and what can be its uses?
An NFT “Non Fungible Token” is something that cannot be remade or modified or even copied .
With the metaverse, which is a parallel universe in which an individual relates to others through his or her avatar , we have before us the novelty of the moment that is becoming extremely topical and popular.
An NFT is a certificate of ownership. It is not exchangeable money, but a unique document for the simple reason that it is written on a blockchain and is not changeable.
So to the question : “What can be its uses ?” , we may think at first that it serves little purpose, since it is not reproducible and is not modifiable . The NFT can be declined in different ways , especially in the world of art and fashion and video games .
To create NFT requires the process via blockchain and the cost depends on the transaction on Ethereum, the second cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
So NFT has to be created, for example a work of art can become an NFT after its digitization, giving it a certificate of authenticity and originality. This means that an NFT is not something abstract, but it is a certificate.
Let’s take an example, to fully understand the meaning and function of the NFT.
Beeple artist Mike Winkelmann’s work sold last year for $69 million.
This artist up to that point had sold very little and at a hundred dollars per work.
Why so much interest? Definitely because of the interest in pushing crypto art and cryptocurrency.
Let us now move to the world of video games. The ‘object that can be transferred from one user to another can be an NFT, we refer to a “prop ” of course.
The phenomenon has taken the world by storm since 2017 through the very famous collection of kittens, better known as “Cryptokitties” .
The user who acquires the certificate of ownership and becomes the owner of an NFT cannot replicate the object and sell it at will: the copyright, as also in the case of art with the example of Beeple’s work, remains intact.
NFT through Metaverse in the fashion industry
NFT in fashion has been enjoying great success lately. The word fashion is related to trend, fascination, so NFT could not help but fit into the fashion industry . This trend intrigues consumers and fans from all over the world.
So many fashion brands, including brands that offer accessories and luxury garments, are now busy developing looks that will be possible to buy in the virtual world.
Top products include clothes for all tastes to wear in the Metaverse. Those who own an NFT can for all intents and purposes count on an absolutely original digital item and thus a unique piece that is impossible to find in the real world.
Other brands are exploiting the guarantee of NFTs to sell exclusive collections in the real world. Those who buy an exclusive collection receive the product at home later .
The good reason to take advantage of the potential of the NFT application is to afford to own something that others can never own.
Metaverse is a revolution especially in the fashion world and a variety of brands have begun to familiarize themselves with this digital reality .Prestigious fashion houses such as Gucci and Balenciaga approached the metaverse at first through gaming to set up a strategy, namely dressing their avatars in Gucci looks . Their response has been positive .
Gucci, Moncler, Balenciaga, Ray- Ban, Nike are just a few examples of brands that have decided to approach the Metaverse, fascinated and ready to get involved to see if this virtual reality can become the way forward.
One of the very first brands to present an NFT collection used as a springboard was Adidas, a collection called Into the Metaverse.
Gucci launched the Gucci Garden Experience through Roblox to Balenciaga’s collection for Fortnite.
Dolce&Gabbana experimented with the metaverse with Genesis, an NFT collection consisting of nine pieces of high jewelry and haute couture that exist in both real and digital life.
Roberto Cavalli and Philipp Plein have not been indifferent to the appeal of the metaverse and have acquired a digital space whose goal is to expand business.
While the fashion house headed by Fausto Puglisi has created a virtual home where one can shop and immerse oneself in the brand’s lifestyle, Philipp Plein plans to set up an empire, Plein Plaza, with luxury retail stores, a hotel and residence, and even a museum.
The first-ever Digital Fashion Week was held on Decentraland from March 24-27, 2022.
Parallel to the usual fashion weeks around the world, the event represented a giant leap into the future for the industry.
The world of the Metaverse and NFTs involves many realities and although distant for many users, those who have entered this world certainly have been fascinated because in this new dimension we can be who we want to be.
In the real world we have not come to an expression of pure freedom, free of labels and discrimination. Hamilton said” You can be anyone you want in the metaverse , it’s beyond race,sex and size…”( You can be whoever you want in the metaverse, regardless of sex, race and size..)
In the Metaverse, things change, everything is much simpler, and the expression of pure freedom and without prejudice could be a winner in the near future, and companies in the traditional industry as well as those in the fashion world will surely treasure this new virtual reality.
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