The Metaverse has arrived. And it’s evolving. Not day by day, but moment by moment. As it means different things to different people, you may be wondering exactly what we mean. To us, it’s a network of interconnected 3D virtual worlds, functioning as a successor to today’s Internet. An embodied Internet, facilitated by Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets.
Metaverse is an online experience that is fully immersive and happening in real-time. The next step in the evolution of online space is going to be a place to work, play, live, and everything, really.
So, if you want in on this world, you need to learn everything there is to know – and then some. Because today’s early adopters will be tomorrow’s insiders. Take it from us, getting in early on the tech of the future is always the right choice.
Who are You in the Metaverse?
Possibly one of the most abstract topics to discuss in relation to the Metaverse is individual identity. But it’s also one of the most pressing and relevant. We love that entering the Metaverse is a realization of the chance to become someone else almost entirely. Like avatars in Ready Player One’s Oasis, the Metaverse instantly provides access to the fun of living a character, with as much anonymity or notoriety as you want to bring.
The number of ‘hats’ you can wear in the Metaverse is as varied as you’d like it to be. You’ll be able to customize your avatar for work, school, socializing, or any other space where you need to reflect a defined role. And those avatars can be exclusive, or even truly one-of-a-kind, made possible by NFT minting.
NFTs are going to have a really, REALLY exciting role in the world of avatars and/or skins going forward. Simply landing the latest exclusive Fortnite skin won’t be half as impressive as being the only person in the world to own it. And of course, NFT avatars, skins, and virtual loot won’t be limited to Fortnite or games in general.
NFTs will also be present in the Metaverse as art (naturally), but additionally as concert tickets, vacation homes, virtual fashion, and more. Pretty much anything with a Digital Twin could also be minted as an NFT.
Democratizing & Decentralizing
The Web3 environment in which we operate is inherently decentralized. The token-based, blockchain-powered economy of Web3 prevents it from being controlled by a single operator. And this structure organically prioritizes benefits to individual users over any one organization’s interests.
This is a dramatic improvement over the Web 2.0 format that funnelled power (and profits) to large tech giants that are not always willing or able to address the wellbeing of individuals. Maybe you’ve already felt the need for this shift. Many of us have realized that the spaces where we first felt liberated to express ourselves, to be independent, and to connect with peers are much more controlled and restricted than they should be – if their goals are to serve users, aka people, first.
So, if you’d like to scratch that itch to decouple the Internet from corporate control, the Metaverse has the potential to do it. And cryptocurrency will be the lynchpin. The power of blockchain technology is that no one entity can control it. Marketplaces using cryptocurrency will be independent, free to serve users first, and not stay laser-focused on corporate profits.
This is why OIX operates as a decentralized marketplace with plans to evolve into a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) as we grow. OIX users will collectively decide on how our organization will develop over time. Our users will be able to submit proposals and vote on prioritizing initiatives. Yes, OIX makes a profit. But we share it fairly and balance business with benefits for the community.
Doing Business in the Metaverse
Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are fighting hard to gain a dominant foothold in the Metaverse. They’re investing heavily to position themselves with the keys to the foundation. This would replicate what we have now with most small to mid-size businesses relying on good relationships with these companies just to be able to do business. Can you think of a business that got ‘cancelled’ by Facebook? And felt the sting of a loss in revenue when they couldn’t advertise or interact on that platform? Sure you can.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not if the individuals who will actually create and use the Metaverse steer it in another direction. A decentralized Web3 environment that runs on cryptocurrency can meet the needs of the many without a single company or person retaining total control. Users own their own data and travel freely with it, without being regulated or restricted.
And now that we’re talking about cryptocurrency, let’s talk about the day-to-day reality of doing business in the Metaverse. If we think of the Metaverse as an immersive Internet, it follows that we’ll be buying and selling goods, providing services, and conducting the associated management and maintenance, all live within that space.
We can’t be certain that cryptocurrency will be the only method of payment. But we know it will be part of the groundwork building the Metaverse. So, anyone planning to operate in this space needs to be ready to purchase and use crypto.
Metaverse Hangouts & Social Media
To talk about hanging out in the Metaverse, we need to talk about interoperability. It’s the capacity to take that ultra-rare NFT avatar from the battlefield in Fortnite to a mining cavern in Minecraft. Interoperability of digital content (NFTs and beyond) turns the Metaverse into the mall where Minecraft and Fortnite are shops. But let’s not box the Metaverse into a space as small as a single property. We just want you to think about the digital landscape as a space where the walls between online entities have been knocked down. It’s an environment that allows avatars to move seamlessly from a gaming session to an educational workshop, and then on to a shared movie screening.
The capacity to share social space in real-time will nudge the evolution of social media as well. Social platforms are rife with issues at the moment ranging from stoking hate and negativity to fostering political instability and poor individual mental health. Connecting immersively has so much potential to strip away the problems of communicating primarily with text and images, and not in real-time.
We expect to see social media make immersive spaces a priority as these companies concurrently work to address their addictiveness and mental health effects. If we continue the metaphor of the Metaverse as a mall, then Instagram and TikTok become less like flat streams of videos and photos, and more like a lounge where people can share and observe, entertain and be entertained. And powering these spaces with blockchain technology prevents both censorship and manipulation of data.
Tech for Getting Inside
Entering and engaging with the Metaverse will be easy. Use a VR headset or a browser window. Use a smartphone or a laptop. And as new devices enter the market, interoperability will apply here too as the success of new hardware and software will rely on their capacity to fit effortlessly in the Web3 environment. Users of the future cannot and will not settle for proprietary apps that run on closed systems.
The Metaverse will be accessible and diverse. Not only will users enter with ease, but they will contribute more than ever as the creation of content will require far less technical knowledge. OIX will encourage this expansion of creator status as well, opening our virtual doors to anyone who wants to contribute, regardless of their background in tech.
The products – physical and digital – that we’re really excited to imagine will look nothing like VR, AR, or the sci-fi concepts of brain-machine interfaces and holosuites. When and how will we enter the Metaverse as easily as walking through a door or flicking a switch? That’s going to be the one true game-changer we will keep dreaming about.
What are the Rules in the Metaverse?
Operating ethically in the Metaverse is a top priority, not just for OIX, but for many of our peers that are working to lay the foundations of a safe and inclusive Metaverse. The process of changing from mobile internet to an immersive one is a moment of opportunity. We know what the problems of today’s internet are. And although we don’t have all the answers, we have enough knowledge to make a much better start with the next iteration of online living.
Right now, here, today is the time and place to be talking about how to best conduct our digital activities. Not what we can do for ourselves, but what we should do for the group. For the world.
At OIX, we see our role not as a rule-maker or a gatekeeper, but as a steward of open dialogue with anyone and everyone who wants to build the Metaverse into a better world than its mobile-constrained predecessor. Because we know that shining a light on a conversation is the most effective way to bring our better selves to the table.
Anchor Your Metaverse Experience
As you grow your presence in the Metaverse, having a base of operations is going to be important. You’ll be defining daily what you want to do there, how, with whom, and so on. OIX is a fantastic space in which to meet like-minded Metaverse residents, travellers, and disruptors.
We believe that what starts as an online creative collective will grow into a haven for every kind of content. All kinds of imagery, stories, music, and ideas are going to grow here like wheat in a sunny field. Having a group of amazing members – who are also steering our ship – will make us a space like no other.
We know that you’ll have more and more options for how to spend your immersed time. This is why we’re putting our users first, building community, and creating a space where everyone is welcome, and everyone can thrive.