Metaverse Ventures at the Forefront of Web 3.0 Innovation
I’ll just go ahead and say it: the emerging power of the immersive internet is reshaping the world. Just as the internet became part of our everyday lives in living memory, a growing consensus of experts believe that decentralized, multidimensional digital worlds will also become an indispensable part of people’s lives in the not-so-distant future. The metaverse is a digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.
Testifying to the surging popularity of the metaverse concept is the fact that in October 2021 alone, there were an estimated 2.62 million searches for the term “metaverse” and its related topics, highlighting the strong enthusiasm for the metaverse both among businesses and consumers. While search metrics have slowed in 2022, the exponential uptick in interest around the relatively new concept speaks for itself (see chart below). Additionally, as the demand for VR tools slowly grows, the metaverse will experience the same because those technologies lie at its heart.
Through the application of metaverses, different crypto projects can revolutionize how people interact with each other. Furthermore, these virtual worlds open up pathways for digital asset ownership and in-game monetization, which has the potential to transform many industries. For metaverse enthusiasts to better understand this extraordinary concept, I decided to discuss some metaverse crypto projects that are expected this year.
Silks is a blockchain-enabled play-to-earn metaverse game comprising a rich virtual world where players can interact with diverse in-game NFT assets and exciting gameplay features taken from the real world of horse racing. The game offers a unique approach to play-to-earn gaming by linking its featured horses to a real-world racehorse. When entering the Silks Metaverse, players can purchase plots of virtual land and build stables to accommodate their Silks horses. Land, stable, horses, and Silks avatars are all structured as NFTs, allowing players to trade these in-game assets through the secondary marketplace.
Some may believe it’s just a game, but let me clarify, it’s a whole metaverse in itself. Whenever a real-world horse wins a race, the digital horse owner will win Silks native digital currency. If that’s not enough, players can win by staking the cryptocurrency and breeding horses. The initial crop of Silks horses will be minted in mid-2022. With that said, subsequent crops will be minted annually to correspond with the registration of yearlings (one-year-old racehorses in the real world). All horse NFTs will be sold via a blind sale, which means that a player can obtain a high-value horse regardless of their financial situation. As a result of the Silks metaverse having a limited amount of virtual land, players can purchase one-acre plots structured as NFTs. The land is necessary to build stables for Silks horses and is purchased with $STT- Silks’ non-inflationary transactional token.
When looking ahead, the Silks development team has detailed plans to add more structures and player roles to the Silks Metaverse, which will allow sub-economies to develop among like-minded community members. Even though the following datasets will be centralized at first, they will become entirely decentralized over time as Silks expands and the user base grows accordingly. Additionally, the Silks roadmap details Silk avatar’s public sale plans during the second quarter of 2022. It doesn’t stop there; the first public sale of Silks horses, then land and stables will be available for purchase in the third quarter of 2022. Registration for the metaverse and on-ramping is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022, which will allow players to generate racing and breeding rewards. The data used to create the following link between Silks horses and the real world is verified via a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, which rewards miners in $SLK — Silks’ governance token.
Another project is Bloktopia, a metaverse platform designed as a skyscraper with 21 different levels, where users can purchase designated spaces from the floorplan through the platform’s cryptocurrency token- $BLOK. The Bloktopia platform is built on the Polygon network, a leading blockchain corporation, and offers a decentralized Ethereum scaling platform developers can use to build dApps. As I mentioned above, the Bloktopia metaverse revolves around a skyscraper of 21 different levels, but I did not mention that it’s a homage to the total supply of 21 million Bitcoins. To enter the Metaverse platform, users need to create a digital wallet that is connected to their email or social media account. Their wallet stores BLOKS, which a user earns or buys, along with information on digital assets like NFTs. It also acts as a passport when creating avatars, navigating levels, and playing games. The players in this platform are called ‘Bloktopians,’ who can purchase real estate within this virtual skyscraper and generate income via value appreciation, leasing, or even digital advertising.
With that said, one of Bloktopia’s main differentiators is that the following metaverse will be VR-based, which means that it’s most likely that its users will require a VR headset. Some may ask why they would make this decision; it provides a lifelike experience that computer-based games cannot match and will create exciting pathways for content creation. Even though the project’s specifics are limited as it is still in development, Bloktopia announced that avatars and others in-game would be structured as NFTs. As mentioned, even though most of Bloktopia’s capabilities are still under development, they have already launched a few key features such as:
- Reblok- the purchase of virtual real estate inside Bloktopia,
- Joint Owned Bloktopia Enterprise (JOBE)- similar to the initial public offerings, where a few early investors can participate in a Reblok,
- Staking Pools- allows multiple blockchain shareholders to pool their resources and increase the chance of profitability from an asset,
- $BLOK- foundational cryptocurrency token powering all operations on the Metaverse platform,
- Land Sale Portal- The platform will soon launch a designated portal for VR land sales,
- Blokpad- a launchpad for new Bloktopia users, called Bloktopians.
There are two options available — VIP and Essential — and users can quickly navigate the environment from this gateway.
Our third metaverse offering up for discussion today is Looking Glass Labs, a Web 3.0 provider specializing in NFT architecture, immersive metaverse environments, play-to-earn tokenization, and virtual assets royalty streams. Its leading brand, House of Kibaa (HoK), is a digital studio at the forefront of technologies in the blockchain, NFT, and XR metaverse sectors. HoK designs and curates a next-generation metaverse for 3D assets, allowing functional art and collectibles to exist simultaneously across NFT blockchain environments. That said, HoK is currently developing the Project Origin ecosystem and digital distribution service. They strive to provide users with access to spectacular 3D worlds in which they can create, share, learn and prosper while providing opportunities for people, communities, creators, and companies to engage in a hyper-realistic environment. If that’s not enough, all of LGL’s current NFT collections have been 3D-rigged for Project Origin. By connecting their wallets to Project Origin, users will be able to access advanced features and engage with the NFTs and the communities in new ways.
The Project Origin metaverse is being designed with an emphasis on hyper-realism and state-of-the-art utilities. Users, communities, and companies will have the ability to engage in a premium digital space that will be enjoyable and immersive. If that is not exciting enough, they have 20 planned environments inspired by the real world, as Project Origin will function as the ultimate portal to the next generation of metaverse experiences. An upcoming land sale in the next couple of days is a foundational step in the Origin Metaverse becoming a hyper-realistic virtual world with a functioning digital economy, which is expected to launch later this year. Furthermore, Project Origin is being designed with HTML5 interoperability so that brands can utilize their existing web experiences and existing design teams can work to provide engaging displays in the world quickly.
Based on the projects listed above, we can expect incredible transformative potential — especially within the growing area of play-to-earn gaming. These three dynamic metaverse players bring something else to the table, but they all have something in common. The metaverse is in for a treat in the next couple of months, from Silk’s play-to-earn elements and innovative link to the real world of horse racing to Bloktopia’s VR-based metaverse, which will most likely require users to have a VR headset, providing an experience that computer-based games can’t compete with. If that’s not enough, we have Looking Glass Labs, which plans to launch a hyper-realistic metaverse built on the latest version of Unreal Engine in 2022. In short, a number of innovative metaverse projects are anticipating official launches in 2022. Throughout, I will be watching closely as this new phase of the world wide web begins to take shape.