Why do otherwise honest citizens fall for the flippant snake oil scams?
After all, you can buy an acre of land on the moon for £22 from Amazon even if no one owns the moon, according to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty adopted by the United Nations.
Nevertheless, even if buyers pay for a certificate, dozens of sellers advertise that their printed contracts and title deeds give their customers the right to land.
That sounds like a pie in the sky to most people.
Someone might buy land as a novelty gift, knowing that the certificate offers no real guarantee.
However, it’s less clear why anyone would want to buy a virtual swath of land in the Metaverse.
Some business people, including billionaire Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook and Meta, want to monetize the metaverse to line their pockets.
So what is the metaverse and is it worth the investment?
The metaverse is seen as the future of the internet. Any description of the metaverse is vague because this virtual universe only takes shape in computers or in the imagination.
This vast realm has no physical form and can only be accessed by harnessing technology.
The metaverse is cyberspace where people live as avatars – a digital representation of a person displaying the characteristics and qualities they wish to show to others.
This virtual world isn’t private – others can roam where you go – and the metaverse exists even if no one is around.
Entry into this new world is through virtual or augmented reality, computers, tablets, smartphones and other internet-enabled devices.
Buying tech stocks is the easiest investment in the metaverse, but remember that the virtual world is still in its infancy and it’s risky to bet money on any aspect of such a place.
Four publicly traded stocks have a metaverse-related business model or revenue.
Metaplatforms – Meta is Facebook’s new identity where CEO Mark Zuckerberg is working on enterprise virtual reality accessible through the company’s Oculus VR headsets.
Roblox – A netverse pioneer launched in 2006 that has yet to make a profit. The business data is impressive, with 9.5 million game developers hosted on the platform triggering 50 million daily users, but sadly little money.
Microsoft – The software giant wants to provide metaverse connectivity to business users by extending the Teams platform. The plan is to provide an online hub for realistic digital avatars to interact with other team members.
Boeing – The Aircraft Builder is the least likely metaverse explorer to see, but he rushed early to seek out a metaverse environment where personnel from around the world can meet and discuss work.
Nobody owns the Metaverse, but they can claim a conspiracy to try and make money, just like buying real land. Owners can sell, rent, or build on their portion of the metaverse as they wish. There is no planning, taxation or other laws in a space without government or police.
Some metaverse platforms have marketplaces where land and other collectibles are traded as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Buying is simple.
Start by choosing a platform selling the land you want to buy. Decentraland and The Sandbox are two of the most popular platforms.
Connect a wallet containing the same cryptocurrency used by your chosen platform. Think about price, location, future use and why you want to buy the land. For Decentraland, buyers need MANA tokens, while The Sandbox trades SAND tokens.
Once the wallet is connected and the purchase offer accepted, the platform takes payment from the wallet and the transaction is recorded on the token blockchain. The blockchain entry is proof of ownership.
The process is the same for purchasing other NFT-based products on a metaverse platform, such as apparel and accessory upgrades for games.
One of the main problems with investing in the metaverse and cryptocurrency is the weakness of the digital wallet. Coins stored in wallets are prone to hacking during exchange. Users have lost hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrencies over the years.
Hackers have breached the security of the Ronin Network blockchain gaming platform to steal cryptocurrency worth over £500m – the second biggest crypto heist of all time.
Ronin servers held NFT money for thousands of Axie Infinity online game players. The game is the world’s first blockchain-based video adventure.
Thus, the security of the digital wallet is a major issue and concern. Users can minimize the risk of fraud and theft by bolstering cold wallet defenses that take accounts offline when not in use.
Another concern is copyright law. Countries have copyright laws that differ significantly. Although the blockchain certifies ownership, entry into a database does not prevent others from copying and selling an NFT without incurring costly and time-consuming legal action.
Then there are more common issues, like what happens if the platform selling your metaverse land goes bankrupt or you lose access to your wallet storing blockchain passwords?
What is the difference between Web 3.0 and the Metaverse?
The current iteration of the Internet allows users to find information based on fixed web addresses pointing to a single server. Web 3.0 changes this by finding data based on content held on any number of servers on a peer-to-peer network.
The goal is for users to control the sale or use of their data, instead of big companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Thus, Web 3.0 is the framework in which the metaverse is located.
How will people visit the Metaverse?
Tech giants are the gatekeepers rushing to find new ways to access the metaverse. Most corporate videos promoting the metaverse gloss over how people will interact with the digital world, as the path to entry remains unknown.
Meta and other companies are developing VR or AR headsets, but these are bulky, heavy, and bulky, while many headset users report wearing them causes nausea and headaches.
Can I explore the metaverse now?
Despite great intentions, the metaverse is currently an uneven place with only a few platforms acting as gateways. Some metas have been running for a while. like the games second life and The Sims. To find out what’s on offer, go to one of the games or the Sensorium app.
Is the metaverse free to roam?
The metaverse is like the internet – the structure is free and many places to go are also free to access. However, companies are looking for ways to monetize the metaverse by creating “walled gardens; for their registered users. Inside these walls, people must follow company or community rules and are often subject to additional purchases if they want to grow from a basic free experience.
When will the metaverse arrive?
The Metaverse is already here as a concept with a few areas to work on, but expect the idea to grow over the next decade. The metaverse we end with is probably far from the ideas and plans discussed today.
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