There are many possible applications of NFTs within the world, with some of the most popular ones being for art and entertainment, which has seen paintings, tweets, memes, and even songs minted and sold as NFTs. However, one of its more interesting applications is likely in the world of metaverses.
A metaverse is a digital ecosystem through which individuals can meet and interact in a similar way as they do in reality. As the world is moving towards embracing Web 3, metaverses are expected to play a much bigger role, and so are non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
How NFTs Work in Metaverses
Because metaverses work in a similar way to the real world and involve participation from real-life people, there is the need for things like identity verification, asset transfer, and some sort of medium of exchange. This is where NFTs come in as they provide all of these and more.
For example, an NFT conference dubbed NFT.NYC was held in New York City in 2019, and entry to the conference was accessed via NFT-based invites. The use of NFTs for invites also exists in metaverses as several platforms such as LAND use NFTs to denote ownership of specific in-universe assets.
By now, the world is quite used to virtual events, and the process of accessing them can be made easier with a specific type of NFT called digital invitation tokens. These tokens are NFTs made for the purposes of acting as invites to events virtual or otherwise. With these, event attendance can be managed more efficiently, and counterfeits can be stamped out of the market.
Many users are already familiar with metaverse gaming universes like Animal Crossing and Fortnite, and within these games, assets are traded all the time. NFTs have great potential application in this context as an asset traded as an NFT has a greater guarantee of authenticity, and its transfer of ownership is recorded for all to see on a blockchain. Given that metaverses often require some sort of virtual economy to stay afloat, tradeable asset NFTs are extremely important.
As users interact more with metaverses, they can effectively trade assets both in real life and digitally using NFTs, and this ensures a seamless transition between both the digital and physical economy.
Mediums of Exchange
NFTs within metaverses can also be the in-universe mediums of exchange themselves, as some of them exist as a currency, especially in the gaming applications. Games like Monsters Clan reward their players for completing tasks and challenges with NFTs, essentially making them a currency unto themselves. Should metaverses become as internationally used as they are currently poised to be, some sort of universal currency to unite all users will be needed, and NFTs could fill this gap. This is especially true when their connection to cryptocurrency is considered.
Finally, while NFTs can act as a way for users to interact with metaverses, they could also be the medium through which they do so. One of the most important features of metaverses is that users leverage a virtual avatar to interact with the universe (the same way a gamer would use a character to interact with a gaming platform). In reality, this too can be an NFT.
Take VAIL VR, an NFT-based game VR developed by the AEXLAB that works through the users buying VAILIENS, NFT pets within the game. Through these pets, users can participate in combat, challenges, races, and so on. Ownership of the VAILIENS also offers a number of perks, such as access to VAIL VR Alpha and Beta testing.
According to Jonathan Ovadia, the CEO of AEXLAB, the idea of making the characters themselves NFTs cuts to the core of the company’s mission to normalize their use.
“At AEXLAB we have a dream that there should be a deeper alignment between VR and cryptocurrency families. That is why we have announced the drop of VAILIENS. They will be pet-friends of our VAIL world players.
VAIL already has evolved from competitive multiplayer FPS to social platform, where players can interact with each other and even create events. VAILIEN ownership can give the opportunity for a player to become part of a member NFT-holders club, which is even more exciting” – says Jonathan.
NFTs of the Metaverse
With metaverse being the name on everyone’s tongue and Facebook announcing a change in its parent company name, it seems we will all be plugged into the metaverse in the future. This emergence of Web 3 provides a prime opportunity for NFTs to see increased use among consumers.
From acting as virtual access codes to being a medium of exchange within these universes, NFTs are here to stay in the metaverse.