Do you remember back in the 1990s when the World Wide Web had just become a household name? The now outdated, familiar “buzz” of a dial-up modem provided personal computers with access to an ISP or Internet Service Provider, which connected users to what was then a vast pool of knowledge. It was big, to say the least. Its consequences are the reason why you’re sitting there reading this post in a country across the globe.
It feels just like it was yesterday, huh?
Back then, we had similar debates about the potential that it could provide humanity. Some argued that the internet would become an important part of our lives, while others thought it would be nothing more than a passing fad.
But times are changing, and we’ve reached another stage of debate.
Now, we are on the cusp of Web 3.0, a digital era that, like its earlier iteration, provides creators and regular people with novel methods of sharing, collaborating and working. It’s only becoming more integrated.
However, the intersection between virtual reality, human interaction, blockchain and NFTs, i.e. the “metaverse” has not been warmly welcomed by everyone.
As we have seen in all past paradigm shifts, people tend to recoil when confronted with the difficult unknown. But here are three key reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of the metaverse and, instead, embrace it (No, we are not sponsored by shady overlords or lizard people – but we do have our connections).
But before we begin!
If you want to learn more about the metaverse, we highly recommend Navigating the Metaverse by Cathy Hackl. et al. It’s a great overview of this not-so-scary concept that’s been dominating the headlines.
Reason #1: It will provide further job opportunities
Work is changing due to the trend of virtual reality and Web 3.0 technology, even though companies are still not acting as fast as was initially predicted. Web 3.0 technology is already incorporating a decentralized internet based on blockchains, which will in turn provide a huge list of further use cases, including but not limited to NFTs, DeFi (decentralized finance) and cryptocurrencies.
This will drastically change the way people look at work and employment which has the potential to create a massive expansion of the online job market, and have a huge impact on the future of employment.
Many of these jobs will undoubtedly be remote and be easier to pick up without having to physically move or travel to your job. These job opportunities will also be flexible around different schedules and work hours.
Experts believe that “meta-villages” will change the way we work. Video calls on Zoom, which is popular today, will be replaced by meetings in the virtual space. With advancements in VR technology, people will feel as if they are physically present. With special gloves, you will be able to physically feel your designs if you’re an artist and, in your free time, you’ll be able to relax by playing virtual bowling or stand next to an imaginary water cooler.
Combine these dramatic changes with what many have called the “Great Retirement” after the pandemic in 2021, and you have a wide range of talent from around the world looking for new opportunities for greater autonomy, change and growth. The metaverse is there to fulfill the demand.
There are plenty of job positions that will arise, as well. These fit a range of different skillsets and resumes. Here is our list of the most lucrative jobs in the metaverse this year.
Reason #2: We will be more safe online
Cybersecurity is still an issue in the traditional web space. Web 2.0 intermediaries such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are trusted to keep users and their information safe with SSL certificates (just like we do, as well).
While SSL has come a long way and undergone many changes to become the primary form of online security, it has also run into problems of its own. Hackers are becoming more clever and cybersecurity firms and governments do run into problems with staying on top of these persistent threats.
Why will we be more safe with an added degree of complexity?
It has to do with blockchain technology itself. Web 3.0 is based on distributed applications, which are built on the Ethereum blockchain. So far, most of the early metaverse platforms (such as the Sandbox and Axie Infinity) run on blockchain technology, a decentralized database that is used in a vast computer network. No one has to go through a “trusted party” to use these platforms, and each user has a copy of the distributed registry containing the same data, allowing the technology to provide maximum security for each user of these platforms.
These early examples of decentralized communities are leading the way. As one of the first platforms to enter the nascent online real estate business, Decentraland recently sold for a whopping $2.43 million.
Overall, blockchain will add another layer of security to the internet and reinvent the way data is stored and managed online. This should give many people confidence that activity in the metaverse universe will be much safer and more secure than on traditional platforms.
Reason #3: The virtual world will be united
If you thought the world was close-knit and united now, just wait until the metaverse truly develops. The digital world as it stands right now is still not as integrated as it can be and is highly fragmented.
Just think of all the websites, services and games that still exist in isolation to each other, despite there being overlap in some aspects. For example, there are several big social networks, a few decent messenger apps, millions of of games, websites and forums. Many of them try to be a distinct ecosystem with its own community around them.
This is particularly true when it comes to gaming. If you’re a gamer, you may run into the frustration of always having to look into which hardware platform to purchase next. Some games are not available on both Xbox and Playstation, so you have to choose.
With the metaverse, things will likely be very different.
In the metaverse, this will likely be a more organized and united process with a shared economic space. It will also be much simpler for people, gamers and artists to monetize their work, whether it is a gaming achievement, a skillset or a cool digital design.
In the metaverse, shared spaces will also make it easier for like-minded people to come together and unite around a specific passion, political group, activity or theme. In virtual worlds, people will be able to crossover and mingle with people with completely different interests, as well. Since you can really present yourself as anyone you want to be in the metaverse, it’ll allow us to form unlikely relationships and bonds that wouldn’t be possible in the real world.