What is the Metaverse—and Why Should You Be There?

Are you the always-online type or someone who only accesses a computer when you absolutely have to? Either way, it’s undeniable at this point that the metaverse is a pretty big deal. It’s slated to get even bigger.

Whether you’re planning to be there with bells (and your VR headset) on or you still need some convincing, it’s probably a good idea to at least understand what the metaverse is, how it works, and why people are so excited about it.

As a bank that’s obsessed with technology and is known for its innovation, we’re pretty psyched about the metaverse—and we’d love to hang out with you there. But more on that in just a moment!.

Okay so… what is the metaverse, anyway?

Let’s start at the very beginning. What are we even talking about?

Since the company formerly known as Facebook made the fateful decision to officially change its name to Meta, references to the metaverse have increased exponentially. It’s been called by some as the “next digital frontier” and the future of the internet. Others see it as a glorified video game.

In short: The metaverse is an immersive, 3D virtual reality experience where people can gather, socialize, and trade in many of the same ways they do in real life.

The metaverse, as it currently stands, is a collection of digital realities that can be accessed via virtual reality headsets and other internet-connected devices. The metaverse allows people to interact in digital worlds.

There are several different metaverse platforms up and running, including Decentraland, The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium Space, among others. But metaverse enthusiasts and engineers are aiming for a future where the metaverse is omnipresent, seamlessly connecting our real, “meatspace,” or physical world to this alternate, digital reality.

How will we access the metaverse?

The metaverse is primarily accessed using virtual reality technology such as VR headsets. You can also gain access with hand-held touch controllers that can help you interact with objects in the metaverse. Once you’re inside, you’ll explore the world and interact using a customizable 3-D digital avatar. It’s a little bit like a video game in which you can wander around. But, unlike a video game, there’s not one main objective. Instead, the function of the metaverse is simply to exist and facilitate interactions in a virtual world.

So what will those interactions look like?

What can you do in the metaverse?

If the metaverse evolves to the level its creators and supporters hope it will, the answer to this question will probably be close to “anything you can do in real life, plus a whole lot more. Imagine being able to fly with a flock of eagles or watch the Earth’s earliest days.” As it stands, you can already attend a concert in the metaverse, go shopping , and even buy virtual “real estate”—sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars. While the metaverse is still in its infancy, the possibilities are exciting and getting more so every day. Do you wish you could get in on the good old early days of the internet? Something similar is going on right now in the metaverse and you could be early to the game.

Which begs the question of how, exactly, the metaverse economy works. Many people hope to build homes and businesses, display artwork, sell goods and services, and otherwise trade in the metaverse. This means that if you want to experience it to its fullest, you may want some metaverse-friendly money to do so. What does that look like?

How does money work in the metaverse?

The metaverse is largely propped up by blockchain technology. This is a kind of digital ledger that stores information in a secure and decentralized way.

Without going into deep (and dry) technical details, the important thing about blockchain is the security of this type of data storage. Its security is intrinsic and doesn’t rely on a third party (such as a bank). That’s how the blockchain makes anonymous yet secure cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum possible. It’s also what makes NFTs (non-fungible tokens) possible.

Both cryptocurrencies and NFTs have an important place in the metaverse economy. In fact, many of the most important pieces of the metaverse are NFTs—essentially digital artworks whose singular ownership is secured by the blockchain. For example, virtual real estate, the wearables you dress your avatar in, and the virtual objects you place around your virtual home, should you establish one, will all be NFTs.

That’s why one of the first steps to take, when beginning to explore the metaverse, is to create a digital wallet. Along with helping you stash the cryptocurrencies you’ll use to buy things—and the NFTs that constitute “things” in this digital world—a digital wallet will allow you to save your progress in the metaverse in a more lasting and sustainable way (rather than having it only locally saved). This may give you more unfettered access to all the experiences it has to offer.

How are companies and brands getting involved in the metaverse?

As the metaverse expands, its users are going to include individual people, as well as companies and brands. In fact, many beloved brands already have, or are in the process of building, a footprint in the metaverse.

For instance, Nike launched Nikeland as a place for its fans to socialize, engage with the brand and get access to unique NFTs, like their digital sneakers called CryptoKicks. Disney is also building a game plan to enact “next-generation storytelling” in new technological worlds. Hyundai is playing with a “Metamobility” concept.

All of this plays into the eventual goal of having the metaverse exist as a seamless extension of our real world. You may, for example, have a NFT version in digital space representing the real car you drive around the physical planet. And banks are entering the metaverse too!

Join Quontic in the metaverse

Given our long-standing commitment to innovation, it’s probably no surprise that Quontic has already opened a metaverse outpost in Decentraland. Think of it as a virtual storefront: a place to come interact with us and learn about our products and services. But it’s also so much more than that.

What more, you ask? Well, for starters, we’re planning to host exclusive virtual events where you’ll be able to score valuable wearables and NFTs with fun benefits and incentives. And we’re also the first bank in the world to offer a cryptocurrency rewards program as part of our Bitcoin Rewards Checking Account1. That 1.5% reward back in Bitcoin will really add up when you’re saving for fun metaverse splurges!

As the world continues to evolve, technologically and otherwise, we here at Quontic will be ready to evolve along with it. And we’ve got you covered on real-world financial needs, too: we offer a wide range of mortgage products, including our Community Development Loans (CDLs), which are specifically designed for non-traditional and underserved borrowers. In both real and digital space, we’re on your side. Come visit us in the metaverse soon!

Disclaimer:

1Bitcoin Reward Checking account is a non-interest bearing personal checking account, requires a minimum of $500.00 to open the account, and does not require a minimum daily balance to earn Bitcoin rewards. Qualifying Point of Sale (POS) Debit Card Transactions (“Eligible Debit Card Transactions”) shall receive Bitcoin Rewards at the U.S. dollar value of 1.50% on all Qualifying POS Debit Card Transactions that post and settle to the Bitcoin Rewards Checking Account. Fees and terms are subject to change. Additional terms and conditions may apply. No Bitcoin Rewards will be paid if the Qualifying POS Debit Card Transaction requirements are not met or if the requirements for establishing an account with NYDIG Execution LLC (“NYDIG Account”) are not met. The following are not Qualifying POS Debit Card Transactions and do not count toward earning Bitcoin Rewards: ATM-processed transactions; transfers between accounts; purchases made with debit cards not issued by the Bank; cash over portions of POS transactions; Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash); loan payments or account funding made with your debit card and purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo®️ and PayPal™️, who also provide P2P payments). Transactions may take one or more business days from the date the transaction was made to post and settle to an account. Bitcoin earned through this program can only be sold and redeemed for cash and cannot be transferred or spent, including in the metaverse.. Bitcoin execution and custody services in connection with the Bitcoin Rewards Checking account are provided by NYDIG Execution LLC (“NYDIG”). NYDIG is authorized by the New York State Department of Financial Services to engage in virtual currency business activity. To receive bitcoin services an account will be opened with NYDIG in which your bitcoin will be held (the “NYDIG Account”). Please refer to NYDIG’s User Agreement for more information, including applicable eligibility criteria. Bitcoin balances in your NYDIG Account are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), or any other public or private insurer. NYDIG does not make any recommendations regarding buying or selling bitcoin. There are risks associated with bitcoin trading, including possible loss of value. See NYDIG’s User Agreement. Individual transactions in the rewards program are not recorded on the blockchain. Information is published as of July 26, 2022.

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