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Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) Newsroom

What is the Metaverse?

What is the Metaverse?

The term “metaverse” is one of the latest tech buzzwords to make headlines – especially after Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that, as of October 28, 2021, Facebook’s parent company has been renamed and rebranded Meta Platforms Inc., or “Meta” for short. The new name reflects the company’s commitment to the metaverse - what many are calling the future of the Internet. Facebook is not alone in promoting the metaverse. Many other companies, like Epic Games, NASCAR, The Walt Disney Company, and Microsoft, are making plans to enter the metaverse space. But what exactly is the metaverse? And how does it work?

If you Google the term “metaverse” you’ll find several different definitions. Stated simply, the metaverse is a shared virtual space that utilizes emerging technology (extended reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, social media, wearable tech, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and much more) to allow Internet users from around the globe to engage in virtual experiences. The idea is to create a more immersive Internet, a way to make our virtual lives more seamlessly integrated with our real lives. Proponents believe that by creating a greater sense of "virtual presence," interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person.

The metaverse will be accessible through mobile devices, laptops, desktop computers, game consoles, virtual reality glasses, wristbands, and headsets and amongst other things, will allow millions of users to work, collaborate, learn, play, shop, and socialize all on a 100% digital platform. Although the metaverse is still largely conceptual, companies are already operating in this virtual space - more than 12 million players tuned in to watch Fortnite’s virtual concert featuring Travis Scott where his digital avatar debuted new songs and a plot of digital land recently sold for $2.43 million in Decentraland, a popular metaverse environment.

The following examples demonstrate how companies are planning to utilize the metaverse:

  • In April 2021, Epic Games (the video game company that created Fortnite) announced a $1 billion funding round to accelerate its long-term vision for the metaverse.

  • NASCAR recently partnered with Subnation Media (an e-sports entertainment holding company) to bring NASCAR into the metaverse and develop virtual experiences such as exclusive NFTs, digital collectibles and limited edition apparel.

  • The Walt Disney Company is seeking to connect the physical, digital and virtual worlds through “Theme Park Metaverse” which will help guests navigate Disney properties and platforms.

  • Microsoft is introducing a metaverse which will allow Microsoft Teams users in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences.

For now, conversations about the metaverse are still theoretical. Stay tuned to Ingram’s NFT Newsroom for upcoming information.