Cryptocurrency is decentralized digital money that’s based on blockchain technology. You may be acquainted with the most popular versions, Bitcoin and Ethereum, but there are more than 5,000 different cryptocurrencies in circulation.
How Does Cryptocurrency Work?
A cryptocurrency is a digital, encrypted, and decentralized medium of exchange. Unlike the U.S. Dollar or the Euro, there is no central authority that maintains and manages the value of a cryptocurrency. Instead, these tasks are primarily distributed among a cryptocurrency’s users via the internet.
You can use crypto to purchase regular goods and services, although most people invest in cryptocurrencies as they would in other assets, like precious metals or stocks. While cryptocurrency is a novel and exciting asset class, buying it can be risky as you must take on a fair amount of research to understand how each system works fully.
Designers of crypto metaverses have usually sought to distinguish their worlds from earlier iterations of metaverses in multiple key ways:
Decentralization: While early virtual worlds were owned and managed by companies, crypto metaverses are typically decentralized, with some or all elements of metaverse games built on blockchain technology. This means that blockchain metaverses themselves tend to split from today’s gaming industry’s mainstream business structures and value extraction models. The unique design of blockchain games can open up more equitable engagement options for participants. It also means that ownership of the Metaverse itself is shared amongst its players. Even if the founders of the metaverse blockchain were to step away, the game itself could continue to live in perpetuity.
User Governance: Crypto metaverses like Decentraland make use of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and governance tokens to help put their users in control of the game’s future, allowing them to make changes and updates through voting. In this manner, metaverses can be more than just crypto games — they can grow into whole societies with economies and democratic leadership.
Provable Provenance: In-world items in crypto metaverses carry the form of crypto tokens, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Acquisitions and achievements in gaming environments can represent immense value to gamers. NFTs, update the standards of in-game items with much-needed clarity and access to asset markets. Because every NFT is unique, metaverse items and tokens can be coded to quickly help prove the provenance of in-game user-generated content and NFT gaming assets.
Real-world Economic Value: Because crypto metaverses use blockchain infrastructure and crypto tokens, their economies are directly connected to the broader crypto economy. This allows holders of avatar skins, metaverse tokens, and digital real estate to trade them on DEXs and NFT marketplaces, commanding real-world significance for their in-world investments.