Metaverse & Web3 - Keywords & Terms Brands Need to Know
There's a lot of talk about Web3 and Metaverse and a ton of jargon that goes with it. And we know what happens when a company uses jargon - you tend to lose your audience.
Let's start with what is the Metaverse? The metaverse is a set of 3D virtual spaces where people can socialize, work and play using a digital avatar. It aims to immerse users in virtual reality through sight, touch, sound and even scent. In the metaverse, you can communicate and interact with people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. Users, businesses and other platforms can exist and interact through digital avatars, advanced virtual reality or augmented reality headsets.
What is Web3? Web3 ties many of these metaverse concepts together. Proponents say it is the internet’s next step in becoming a decentralised internet and expanding the creator economy. This new iteration of the internet will put control of content and data back in the hands of users and producers.
So let’s take a look at some key words and terms that you will need as you begin this journey to Web3.
It's about to get jargony - hold on to your hats.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
This is one of the most successful NFT collections, which launched in April 2021. It includes 10,000 profile pictures of cartoon Apes with different characteristics, which often serve as digital avatars for their buyers. Ape owners are part of an online social club that offers certain amenities like Ape parties and meetups in different cities.
A collection of 10,000 pixelated human-like characters that were created in 2017, the CryptoPunks collection is one of the most successful early NFT projects. The price of these tokens is often determined by their characteristics and uniqueness. Many buyers often see value in them as a representation of themselves in the form of a digital avatar online and in the metaverse.
Decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, are essentially groups that govern the rules for projects like coins, without a clear leader running the show. They have a flat management structure, with no CEO or executive team, and raise money by issuing tokens. Members can complete coding or debugging tasks and get paid in the DAO’s cryptocurrency. They’re also increasingly becoming a way for job seekers to get a foothold in the crypto world by creating a kind of publicly available resume through blockchain, and offering networking opportunities.
Slang for “decentralized app,” dapps are programs that run on a blockchain, instead of a single computer. They’re designed to operate beyond the control of a governing authority. While apps like Uber or Snapchat are managed by corporations, dapps have no such controlling entity. Examples include BitTorrent for file sharing or media player Popcorn Time.
This abbreviation for “decentralized finance” refers to a new system of financial infrastructure based around blockchains and outside the purview of any single entity. DeFi uses cryptocurrencies for traditional banking services such as trading and lending money, and bypasses intermediaries like brokerages and banks.
To replicate the real world, the metaverse will use digital holograms that recreate a person, place or object. Other users can interact with these 3D projections. It’s closely connected to — and sometimes used interchangeably with — the concept of an avatar.
Imagine a place like your favorite clothing boutique — and its metaverse counterpart. A digital twin is the virtual representation of a real-world system or object, with the two interconnected and able to share data and information. You could try on a new shirt in the metaverse, and then have it delivered to your actual home. Or a business meeting in the metaverse could incorporate a model of a company’s real-world manufacturing plant.
In crypto, gas is essentially the fee for using energy in transactions. When smart contracts are executed on the blockchain, or when coins are traded or used to pay for things, there’s a charge that goes to the crypto miners. The fees can be minimal or quite expensive, based on how much traffic is flowing on the network at any given time, as well as on the transaction’s size and complexity.
People who use their crypto to buy avatars, digital-twin T-shirts or sneakers are going to want to be able to use those items across different systems or virtual worlds. That’s why interoperability is important, like having a universal plug or systems that can talk to each other. The metaverse needs sufficient interoperability to achieve mass adoption.
This is one of the biggest marketplaces for buying and selling NFTs. Think of it as a digital art gallery that transacts in crypto. All transactions are public on the blockchain, so people can see which crypto wallet bought and sold certain assets.
Staking is a way of earning rewards for holding certain cryptocurrencies. Investors that choose to stake their crypto essentially become validators that can confirm transactions in the decentralized computer network and ensure that those recorded in the blockchain are legitimate. For doing so, they are rewarded with more cryptocurrency. Think of it as a way to earn passive income on the crypto that you own.
This investing strategy involves lending cryptocurrency for borrowers to speculate with. The potential gains come both from interest paid on the loan, as well as the coin's appreciation.
This is the system by which cryptocurrency functions. Think of it as a big, open, online database. The digital ledger proves who owns which coins and, crucially, doles out new ones. Data is stored in chronological order, where a block of data that contains new information is added to the block that comes before it — forming a kind of chain.
As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase is the place for millions to buy, sell and exchange digital coins. The company went public in April 2021, and investing in its stock is seen as a way to bet on the future of crypto.
Cryptocurrency is created by “mining,” or using computing power to solve complex problems. The electricity used to deploy vast fleets of computers has increased tenfold over the past five years.
Short for “non-fungible tokens,” NFTs are essentially digital certificates of authenticity for content ranging from art to music to videos. Their value comes from their inability to be replicated because of an algorithm that creates a barcode for each virtual item. In the metaverse, NFTs are expected to be a crucial component, serving as a way for people to display their digital art and property.
This group-chatting platform was originally a mecca for the gaming community but has recently become a gathering place for wide-ranging groups, from stock traders to music fans. Many crypto fans congregate here to share tips or hype up the newest coin.
The Sandbox is mixing this open-world gameplay with the metaverse. Users can create
art and games that they can monetize through the platform’s cryptocurrency, Sand. They can also purchase virtual land, fashion experiences and concerts.
Play-to-earn games are considered an important part of the metaverse, and they reward players with cryptocurrency or NFTs. Typically, the gaming platform is built on blockchain, and it provides players with a chance to earn in-game tokens that can be sold or exchanged for money in the real world. Some games require you to pay while others are free.
The creator economy refers to the businesses and people who create and sell content on platforms like Twitch, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and more. Some people predict that the metaverse will give the creator economy another venue in which to grow.
An avatar is your digital identity – it refers to an illustration of a user that will represent you in a computer-generated world. It can be a 2D image like your avatar on Instagram, or a 3D model which is often seen in games or virtual reality.