In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg made the decision to rebrand Facebook as Meta, giving momentum to a trend that had been brewing for months. Although Zuckerberg is credited with popularizing the term "metaverse," the reality is that this concept has been gaining traction in the Web3 world since early 2021.

Projects like Decentraland and The Sandbox (decentralized metaverses based on blockchain) were already successfully trading virtual land for significant sums. Zuckerberg thus joined a trend that was already underway, raising the profile of the term beyond the blockchain sphere. However, whether Meta's foray into this realm will be successful or not is a separate matter of discussion.

Nevertheless, confusion gripped many as they associated the metaverse solely with Meta and Zuckerberg's virtual world, leading to unfavorable opinions. This mistaken perception led to unfounded claims, such as the belief that the metaverse had been a passing fad that had already come to an end in 2023.

But nothing could be further from the truth; the metaverse, or rather metaverses, will be the new paradigm of the internet, Web 3, the internet of value, and digital ownership. This will occur in a much more immersive and interactive environment than what we are accustomed to, whether in augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, or other modalities.

The evolution of the web has taken us from global connectivity (Web 1) to social interaction (Web 2). Now, we are advancing towards Web 3, where the metaverse emerges as an immersive experience connecting people, places, and objects. Here, we not only collaborate, learn, or play, but we also own and trade digital objects just like tangible ones, creating a real economy, with some extra advantages even.

In decentralized metaverses, digital ownership gains intrinsic value. Although not presented as an absolute requirement, it emerges as the next evolutionary step. Imagine strategic investments of thousands of dollars in virtual land to develop experiences, monetize them, or boost a personal brand within a metaverse.

The dilemma between opting for a decentralized metaverse, backed by blockchain technology and decisions made by a broad community, or a centralized one, where a few voices dictate the rules, poses a crucial challenge.

From my personal perspective, the choice favors decentralized metaverses, where security and predictability become essential pillars for making significant investments. Transparency in rules, the need for consensus to modify them, and massive participation in decisions provide a more reliable environment resistant to arbitrary changes, fundamental aspects when considering substantial investments.

Decentralized Sciences and the Metaverse

Following the concept of decentralization and empowering users, DeSci (decentralized sciences), and specifically Mushroom Protocol, our project aiming to finance and invest in biotechnological research projects through blockchain technology (using NFTs and cryptocurrencies), creating a decentralized Metaverse. There, users will own their digital assets and participate in decision-making through a DAO.

This promising metaverse under construction will feature a massive, eye-catching technological mushroom-shaped building. It will include virtual classrooms, conference rooms, a museum, digital gardens, an NFT market, utility wearables, gaming rooms and contests, all in a biotechnological and architecturally fascinating innovative environment. Here, people will be able to take courses and learn, conduct business, or simply socialize, play, or enjoy the scenery.

IsoVerse Project prototype for the Mushroom Protocol metaverse.

This will significantly contribute to scientific development, improving collaboration and funding distribution, as research and applications can’t proceed without financing. In this way, many scientific development projects will be able to secure funding that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to through traditional means.

This is a clear example of how Desci can also be linked to the metaverse and how they can contribute to scientific advancement in a more engaging, investment-driven, fair, and distributive manner.

The benefits of decentralized metaverses and videogames

So why haven't metaverses yet experienced the mass adoption that many anticipate? This phenomenon can be attributed to a combination of two key factors. Firstly, the lack of widespread understanding of the benefits and future potential of digital ownership impedes faster adoption.

Imagine when people start to understand that the hours, days, or months they spend playing a video game, where they truly unlock characters, skins, or other achievements, will no longer be merely a badge one earns while playing and only have utility within that video game.

Now, their hours of dedication can be monetized; their achievements, skins, or unlocked characters will no longer be the property of the company that created that video game, and you can simply use them temporarily in that video game, now they will be your property. No one can take them away, and you can trade them in a secondary market if you wish.

This completely changes the business model, where only a few receive all the monetary benefits generated by this multi-billion dollar industry, to a more distributed and decentralized economy where many more can benefit economically from the hours they have dedicated.

The lack of understanding of this phenomenon, even by the majority of users, is undoubtedly something that does not favor the adoption of this new model. As more players grasp the implications of this evolution, the transition towards a more decentralized and inclusive gaming economy becomes increasingly inevitable.

Additionally, the infrastructure needed to create revolutionary immersive environments and innovative real-time virtual or mixed reality experiences (and globally connected ones) is still in the process of development, at best.

Let's consider that creating these environments, where millions of people can interact globally, chat, negotiate, sell and buy NFTs, with realistic graphics, innovative and enjoyable experiences, all in a virtual reality environment, and where everything works seamlessly, is not an easy feat to accomplish. However, significant progress is being made in this regard, and it's only a matter of time before all of this becomes a reality.

Despite these challenges, promising projects have emerged with million-dollar transactions for virtual land, indicating growing interest. Technological evolution and increased awareness of its benefits will eventually pave the way for a society massively immersed in metaverses, similar to the mass adoption of social networks in the early 21st century.