The metaverse is envisioned as the next iteration of the Internet, introducing an immersive digital universe where your data and assets are backed by Blockchain technology.
Essentially, Metaverse is another hot topic and a technological buzzword that has gained mainstream momentum. It is an ecosystem that adds layers of creativity to a digital platform by allowing users to connect within a virtual world intended to provide an immersive and ultra-realistic experience. Metaverse is extremely exciting, and it promises a future full of virtual potential overlapped with fun and potency where people can socialize, work and live about other facets of their life.
Centralization Vs. Decentralization
Technologies like AR and VR are crucial to the NFT Metaverse because they will let people feel truly immersed and lost in that alternate reality. While diving into the Metaverse, people are beginning to wonder about the difference between the centralized metaverse and the decentralized metaverse. Continue reading to explore more about these terms.
Over the past 20 years, centralized metaverses have been around and are deeply engraved into people’s lives. The virtual world is controlled by a single entity, which has internal servers and policies to govern it. At the same time, a decentralized metaverse incorporates Blockchain technology, including NFTs and other assets based on blockchain. Massive multiplayer online games have long existed in an environment of crypto Metaverse, but the incorporation of blockchain, smart contracts, NFTs, cryptocurrency, and VR into the industry has started to demonstrate the worth of assets, interactions, and experiences acquired in the virtual world.
What is Centralization?
In addition to blockchains and other financial systems, centralization has a wide range of applications. There are many forms of centralization on the internet and beyond, such as social media platforms and a variety of business operations. When a Metaverse is centralized, the data and functions of that operation are controlled by a single center of authority. Here we’ll see what a centralized Metaverse has to offer:
1. Lack of self-ownership of assets
A centralized Metaverse is an extremely exciting space with many opportunities, but primarily here, users lack self-ownership of their digital assets. Only one person or a group has complete control over the metaverse space and in-game assets. As well, users cannot start functions on their own without authorization from a centralized authority. In simpler words, the game flow is entirely dependent on third parties, and there is no need to utilize consensus methods to verify the information.
2. Having a single point of control
The primary issue with the centralized metaverse is that just one entity has power over them. This implies that a single person or entity may seize total authority over the metaverse and decide how it should be run. For instance, in the virtual world of Earth2, there is ultimately just one estate owner who has complete control over everything. This applies to land, constructions, and even areas where other players are permitted to build their own buildings. All digital assets have to be hosted on Earth2’s servers and are not their own properties.
3. A Metaverse with centralized control structure
A centralized control system within a centralized metaverse allows spiteful actors to enter these worlds and use them unintentionally. The virtual community lives within the boundaries of a centrally managed space in centralized systems like Fortnite and Roblox, and players are constrained within those restrictions. Although the community can communicate with one another and share experiences, they do not have access to own or control some aspects of the digital world. Therefore, many users prefer NFT Metaverses over centralized ones. XANA Metaverse or Sandbox are examples of decentralized Metaverse.
4. A world with a lack of censorship
Besides the lack of self-ownership, censorship is a serious issue in centralized metaverses. There the centralized owners have the option to filter content or erase it entirely. This implies that all types of artistic expression and freedom of speech are prohibited in these games. In reality, centralized companies have the authority to completely remove other players from their virtual world, much like how China has done in recent years by purging undesirable individuals from their centralized social media platforms.
5. Intransparency within centralization
A centralized system will likely keep you from knowing what’s happening and what long-term plans exist for it unless you’re at the top. Regardless of whether you’re part of the system, you have to trust someone who has more power than you. In the absence of good leadership, this issue is likely to arise, but broken trust is difficult to repair, and users might abandon the system as a result.
Traditionally, centralized systems have been the norm, but blockchain technology has opened up the possibility of decentralized systems for the first time. Although the technology is relatively new, some trends have emerged. It’s true that some decentralization enthusiasts refuse to acknowledge its faults, but just as with centralized systems, decentralization has both pros and cons.
Diving Into a Decentralized Metaverse
With significant technological advances, the decentralized metaverse can replace the natural world in terms of compatibility. Although this is a future vision, we may soon see the NFT Metaverse replacing certain parts of the real world. Here creators can create content while owning, controlling, and monetizing them through the implementation of blockchain technology.
1. Complete control over assets
Blockchain is intimately intertwined with the Metaverse as one of its core technology layers. Decentralized Metaverse offers full control over your digital assets. You will be in charge of your assets, whether you are the creator or an explorer. Think of an NFT as a unique digital record of metadata that resides permanently on the blockchain. NFTs are the safest solution for proving digital items’ reliability, ownership, and rarity, allowing virtual assets and items to exist as tokenized assets on the blockchain. NFTs can be easily transferred between chains. In short, tokenized items enjoy full interoperability.
2. Your data can’t be altered
Blockchain technology data structures are secured that can’t be altered. This implies that no one can alter or change the data once the data is saved. Distributed networks are more secure due to the way data and transactions are handled. They use encryption to ensure that the data ledgers are secure. Similarly, the data in the current block needs data from adjacent blocks so that the data can be validated using encryption.
3. Offering cross-chain interoperability
Metaverse offers interoperability across multiple blockchains, technology, and data environments to ensure a seamless user experience. Primarily, users want digital avatars and assets to be easily accessible across numerous Metaverse projects. This level of interoperability may be guaranteed by protocols such as Polkadot, Cosmos, Chainlink, and Avalanche.
4. Supports open development and governance structure
NFT metaverses typically support open development. This is due to its nature and the way it works. An open development environment provides the network with great services, tools, and products built on top of it. Blockchain introduces a user-driven governance structure that allows owners of governance tokens to vote on proposals. Similar voting systems are already in use by community-managed blockchain protocols such as Solana, Polygon and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), which are proportional to the number of tokens a user’s voting rights held.
5. Controlled by Community
A significant potential advantage of a decentralized metaverse over a centralized one is that decentralization allows governance to its community. Governance is an important topic when discussing the metaverse. An example of its importance is shown via the crypto metaverse, Decentraland, which uses DAOs to empower users to determine the future of gaming. This is beneficial for users as they can make changes and updates by voting. Furthermore, this shows that the Metaverse is not limited to cryptocurrency games but is evolving into a progressive ecosystem that acts on democratic values.
Both centralization and decentralization have their own pro and cons, but decentralization is here to stay. Its implementation has become widespread among significant projects, organizations, and even governments due to its efficiency and security benefits. It has the potential to transform our educational system, the way we interact with other people, and the way we do business. However, a big problem remains intact. Will this immersive new world be centralized with the same exploitative data mining techniques that dominate today’s online world, or will it be decentralized and user-driven?