The words "NFTs" (non-fungible tokens) and "Metaverse" are two terms that have been lately gaining traction and attention from tech stakeholders, enthusiasts and individuals looking into getting involved within the space.
Let's begin by exploring what NFTs are. An NFT is a unique digital asset that is verified on a distributed ledger, making it challenging to replicate or duplicate. Each NFT is unique, and its ownership can be proven and traced using blockchain technology. In the Metaverse, NFTs can represent anything from art to music to virtual real estate.
The Metaverse, on the other hand, is a 3D virtual environment where users can interact with each other and digital items. Similar to a massively multiplayer online game (MMO), but with more immersive and engaging experiences. It is in fact that MMOs were also an early foundation for the Metaverse. In the immersive world, users can create avatars, explore virtual locations, and interact with other users and digital artifacts.
The Metaverse can serve as much of a utility to even education. The number of educational institutions offering online courses has increased significantly, and this trend is anticipated to rapidly accelerate. We have seen increased use of, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality as well, which are said to also play a key role within the Metaverse functions. So how do all of these components connect with one another? What will the future of the educational system look like?
Taylor Freeman, co-founder of Axon Park, is constructing a virtual universe utilising interactive 3D virtual worlds in the Metaverse for learning, as he explains the significance of this new era within the educational sector.
“During the start of the pandemic, nearly 98 per cent of universities shifted their classes online in a matter of weeks, showcasing the power of remote learning at scale. However, relying solely on video calls like Zoom proved to be only a temporary solution.
Educators are grappling with a severe 'student disengagement crisis' and learners are feeling increasingly disconnected and distracted from school. Yet, at the same time, parents are struggling to pull these same kids away from immersive gaming experiences like Roblox and Fortnite — which many consider as early foundations for the Metaverse.
At Axon Park, we see a significant opportunity to help educators and learners by combining these two worlds into an engaging, socially connected, and interactive 3D environment that merges education with gaming.”NFTs are significant to the Metaverse in order to enable the unique and verifiable ownership of digital assets, such as verification to establish a thriving virtual economy and allow creators to monetise their work.
Many are recognizing the endless possibilities of using NFTs to represent digital asset ownership within the Metaverse. For examples in the Metaverse, virtual real estate is a popular asset, and NFTs can be used to establish and transfer ownership of such. This means that users can legitimately own and modify their virtual property, and that innovators and artists can sell their virtual property as unique, one-of-a-kind commodities.
In conclusion, NFTs offer a transparent and secure method for tracking the ownership and transfer of digital assets in the Metaverse, preventing fraud, and verifying the authenticity of digital goods. Although there are criticisms of these ideas, the potential benefits of utilizing NFTs and the Metaverse are substantial. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to observe how NFTs and the Metaverse progress in the foreseeable future.