Retailers Guide to the Metaverse, NFT, and Web3

The vision of the metaverse is that it is a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds and business models. The promise is that it will revolutionize nearly all aspects of life
and business in the next decade, allowing collaboration in virtual spaces, augmented physical places and a blend of both. And it will create new lines of business and transform interactions between customers and companies.

Today, businesses are exploring a future very different from the one they currently operate in. Soon, every company will find themselves at the intersection of many new worlds, from building new physical and virtual realities to providing services in environments created by others. This guide on Metaverse, NFT and Web3 aim to help retailers in those worlds.

Core Attributes of the Metaverse

Metaverse and Enterprises

The early idea of the metaverse is not a new concept to enterprises and large mainstream players are involved. Microsoft’s Holographic computing and Microsoft Mesh technology present a metaverse solution for enterprises. Microsoft has already launched a preview of a metaverse via its Teams platform that allows users to connect using their 3D avatars into various digital spaces where they can collaborate. Microsoft is also heavily investing in its Azure cloud and Office 365 to support the metaverse.
 
Some of the industries that are most likely to embrace the metaverse include healthcare, gaming, entertainment, social media, training, design, real estate, e-commerce, and advertising.
 
As mentioned earlier, the gaming industry is the first to embrace partial metaverse use cases in the form of 3D avatars, 3D worlds, cities, spaces, digital assets, and digital economy. Digital tokens (cryptocurrencies) and Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are being used in games.
 
Advertising and ecommerce in virtual worlds is the next generation of advertising and ecommerce. The virtual economy is already bringing in billions of dollars.

Web 3.0: Is this just Hype?

 
The concept of Web3 is that the internet evolves into a completely new underlying infrastructure that is based on blockchain technology. The stated hope of Web3 is that it will provide more of a decentralized environment, using token-based economics to perform transactions.
 
Web 3.0 is highly decentralized, driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, and leverages blockchain technology. Users retain control over their data and content, and they can sell or trade their data without losing ownership, risking privacy or relying on intermediaries. In this business model, users can log into a website without having their internet identity tracked.
 
Web 3 also provides each person with greater control of their data or data parcels. A data parcel can be divided or it can be access controlled. You can give access to a certain portion of your information and you can give that to only people or the company that you feel will meet the profile that you like to work with, and each time somebody accesses or uses that data, you are going to get paid yourself. You can basically dictate how that data is used, or how long, for what application, by whom and all that. That is in essence Web 3.0. It is about tokenization of the data and building the data economy.
 
Key to the innovation in Web 3.0 is the digitization of assets via tokenization. Tokenization converts assets and rights into a digital representation, or token, on a blockchain network. Cryptocurrency and fungible tokens are forms of digital currency that can easily be exchanged across networks, driving a new business model that democratizes finance and commerce. Non fungible tokens (NFTs) are units of data that represent unique assets such as avatars, digital art, or trading cards, that can be owned by users and monetized for their own gain.
 
The claim is that decentralization will make the internet more democratic and take away many advantages from Big Tech. Other promises of an internet run on blockchain technology include improved data security, scalability and privacy for users.
 
But will these promises become reality?  Opinions vary greatly. The question often asked is, why is all of that necessary, and does it make sense? Blockchain has great value in applications like crypto and data sharing, but is it the right technology on which to base the entire internet? Time will tell whether we see Web3 and the Metaverse converge or whether the two will diverge over issues of technology.

Crypto Coins vs. Tokens

In theory, bitcoin and other similar coins are fungible. One bitcoin has the same worth as another. In practice, things aren’t so simple. Each bitcoin is its ledger history just as much as a unit of account, and none of them can be interchanged with another as they all have distinctive histories, permanently. This traceability means coins of an unknown history could be seen as less valuable than those that are freshly mined and have never been moved. 
Tokens are different in that they don’t have their own blockchain. Rather, they operate on top of an existing blockchain, such as Ethereum. 

Non-Fungible Tokens

A non-fungible token (NFT) is used to identify something or someone in a unique way. This type of token is perfect to use on platforms that offer collectible items, access keys, lottery tickets, numbered seats for concerts and sporting events and so forth.

For example, if an NFT was to represent a piece of art, the artist could set up a smart contract with the buyer so that, whenever the NFT changes hands, the artist receives a percentage of the sale value in royalties.
 
0 %
Of US consumers aged 18-35 demand a personalized shopping experience
0 %
Returns reduction is estimated just by using AR on a website
0 %
Of US customers won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile

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