The metaverse, the virtual world, has evolved a lot since Stephenson’s novel in 1992. Indeed, we can see for a few years more and more projects blooming that combine blockchain with the metaverse. We are going to present you some of the most famous ones.
We will start with Decentraland, which is one of the first and most important metaverses of its kind. This virtual world, created in 2017 and built on the Ethereum blockchain, has been a rapid success.
In Decentraland, all spaces (called LAND, with a minimum area of 100 sqm) can be bought, sold and developed by users. Owners have full control over what happens in their LAND. It’s up to them to be creative and imaginative to create the perfect place to interact with other avatars in the game.
A LAND is represented by an NFT (Non-Fungible Token). An NFT is a non-exchangeable token that represents something unique. In this case, real estate.
To buy a LAND, you need a currency, and this is where MANA comes in. This is the official crypto-currency of Decentraland that can be purchased on the various dedicated platforms. Given the success of the platform, the price of MANA has skyrocketed and many brands have become interested in Decentraland, including Atari.
This is not Atari’s first foray into the metaverse and blockchain world. Indeed, in 2020, the company partnered with The Sandbox, another game quite similar to Decentraland (in a voxel version), in order to offer virtual versions of its bestsellers like Pong, Centipede or Roller Coaster Tycoon. It is precisely with this last game that the publisher made a big splash with the creation of a theme park in the colors of Atari and by proposing numerous immersive and community experiences.
The Sandbox is a bit like the blockchain version of Minecraft and Roblox. It has 3 main components: VoxEdit which is a voice editing software, a Marketplace and a Game Maker.
Besides Atari, this platform has already signed partnerships with many brands and entities such as The Smurfs, Cryptokitties or even the DJ Deadmau5. At the beginning of July, we learned that the famous IP The Walking Dead was going to join the online world, offering players the chance to try to survive in a zombie-infested universe, just like in the comics or in the TV series.
Third and last platform of our selection, OVR. In a few words, OVR is an application that will mix physical and virtual worlds thanks to the use of AR (augmented reality), which will allow to create a new dimension where the possibilities are infinite.
This last one, unlike the 2 previously mentioned, does not invent a totally new map. OVR has chosen to build its metaverse on Earth! The land units (LANDs in other platforms) that can be bought are places that really exist.
The Earth has been divided into about 1.6 trillion equally sized plots, creating OVRLands. Users can buy real-world plots as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) via an auction system.
OVR’s strength lies in its use of AR, which allows it to offer immersive experiences, immersing the user in a world that is both real and virtual. And it works, the platform is growing and partnerships are multiplying.
The team announced a few weeks ago that it had reached 300,000 bids (including the Eiffel Tower auction, which was sold for a cool $100,000). New updates are coming with for example the arrival of the AR chat which allows to communicate with other users via avatars.
As we’ve seen, the world of blockchain via cryptocurrencies and the metaverse is in full swing. Doped with the power and possibilities allowed by these new technologies, the metaverse, already revolutionary, is pushing the limits of the virtual even further and more and more crazy projects are emerging in recent years!
Somnium Space is an open and social world, developed using virtual reality and built on the Ethereum blockchain. Created in 2017, users can buy land, build or import NFTs via the dedicated cryptocurrency CUBE.
The possibilities for creation are immense and the developers have provided many tools to allow everyone to express their creativity. These virtual creations can be sold (in CUBE).
Karma” is an essential component of Somnium. The level of “Karma” represents a kind of social status. It is calculated according to several factors such as evaluation (users can rate each other) or commitment and activity (time spent playing, participation in events).
It is possible to join this virtual world via the Somnium WEB client or simply download the Somnium application. Everything is available on the website. It is also possible to download the application on a platform like Steam. Users will be able to fully enjoy Somnium Space with VR headsets (like the HTC Vive or Oculus headsets).
Cryptovoxels is a virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain. As its name suggests, it uses Voxel technology. To put it simply, it is a cube that is part of a matrix. If you want to go further, there is a very good article on Hitek.
Users can buy land and build many objects (via an editing tool). A text chat is also integrated to bring a social touch to the platform.
Cryptovoxels is a very interesting platform for artists who have many tools to create and display their artworks. In addition to images, the platform allows its users to easily add sounds, music, and even different “call to actions” that will allow users to click links and arrive at art galleries, YouTube videos or various websites.
Unlike many platforms, Cryptovoxels does not have a specific currency (like MANA for Decentraland). The platform had one until June 2020, called COLR, but it has been abandoned. Transactions are simply done in ETH. For example, users will be able to buy their peers’ creations on sites like Opensea.
Cryptoxels can be played in the browser and is compatible with several virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
The last platform we will introduce you to, the most recent of all: Matrix World. This platform is a virtual world, open which allows users to enjoy many features such as 3D construction, NFT exhibition, organization of events and much more! It will also be possible for the most experienced developers to create their own decentralized applications (called DApps), such as games or marketplaces using resources provided by Matrix World.