Just when we think that technology cannot dazzle us anymore, it comes to surprise us all over again. With the discussion on metaverse, all the big companies are focusing their energy on venturing into it. Recent news going rounds in the Tech sector claims Walmart to enter metaverse.

Walmart has decided to join the cryptocurrency trend by filing trademark documents under the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is now planning to create its collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Entering the crypto movement together with NFTS will enable Walmart to enter metaverse with ease.

Kudos to Walmart for getting into this marvel of the digital world also known as the metaverse. This will make their services, products, and many other items (predominantly NFTs) hugely accessible to users. With the concept of VR, customers will have an enhanced shopping experience.

Walmart to enter Metaverse with Cryptocurrency and NFTs
Walmart to enter Metaverse with Cryptocurrency and NFTs

What is Metaverse essentially?

The metaverse is a highly progressive modern digital world (with 3D virtualization) that allows free interaction of users. So, they can do social and economic activities that surpass the limitations of the real world. Realize that metaverse is not restrictive or bound to a single technology.

Metaverse is a portmanteau made by parts of “meta” and “universe” words. This term has roots in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash from 1992. Several virtual world platforms (Second Life and Habbo Hotel) and games (Minecraft and Roblox) use this concept.

Do you remember the concept of the Matrix or any similar sci-fi thriller? This time, machines are our friends though. Therefore, we are building a virtual world with the concept of ease and usability for all users.

Metaverse combines modern technologies for innovation

Thanks to the blend of several cutting-edge technologies, the metaverse is set to revolutionize the business world. What holds the key to all of this is understanding a large amount of secondary and tertiary data. As users perform so many activities simultaneously, it generates enormous data.

This is like a giant avalanche that grows and manifolds with each ticking second. Blockchain holds the answer for storing all the data smartly with proper encryption controls. So that users don’t feel vulnerable to cybercrimes in the metaverse.

The intersection of blockchain with AI is making it all possible. This technology allows unique identification tag controls so that data is also traceable. So, we can use this observable data for understanding patterns, trends and then even predicting the outcomes. This works with various user interactions that may happen with the system or even with other users.

What is metaverse
What is metaverse

Facebook rebranding fuels interest in the metaverse

The interest around metaverse picked up when Facebook decided to provide users with a parallel online universe. This is where they want online indulgence and experience to get more superior. Imagine being part of a universe where you can easily spend time with friends and family located remotely from you.

This is all about avatars or user personas for online interactions. It can greatly enhance online shopping experiences through VR and much more. Other use cases can cover fashion, eLearning, productivity, online retail, real estate, etc.

Metaverse has been the talk of the town both worldwide and in the United States. Particularly, after Facebook Inc. rebranded to Meta Platforms Inc. in October 2021. The company aims to build the metaverse — a digital extension of the physical world with social media, VR/AR features.

They want to empower users to work, socialize, buy and play in the new virtual world of the metaverse. WhatsApp, Instagram, and its other subsidiaries have also collectively come under the same umbrella. Although, its plan to launch Diem (previously libra), a stable-coin cryptocurrency was abandoned in January 2022.

Why is Walmart onboarding the metaverse bandwagon?

CNBC’s news report revealing Walmart to enter metaverse comes as one of the interesting moves on the technology landscape. They are continuously explore emerging technologies that ultimately shape up future shopping experiences. For this reason, Walmart may launch its virtual financial services — a digital currency and a digital token of value.

Members of the online community will likely use them via a global computer network. Walmart is currently focusing to generate some innovative ideas and will test them with their customers. That’s how they iterate and develop their own learning experiences.

Walmart has applied trademarks for terms like “Verse to Store”, “Verse to Home” and “Verse to Curb” with USPTO. The retail juggernaut is targeting to deliver virtual shopping experiences to consumers. Walmart intends to make and sell virtual products (including home decorations, electronics, sporting goods, toys, and personal care items).

Metaverse is among the most sought-after trends on the technology front internationally and in the US. Even, the leading online retailers including Adidas, Nike, and Gap have started selling NFTs. These companies are even intending to create virtual spaces into the metaverse.

Adidas put on sale 30,000 NFTs of Adidas Originals into the Metaverse, selling out within hours earning over $22 million. Nike has acquired RTFKT to make virtual sneakers with minting NFTs. Gap jumped on with gamified NFTs of hoodie art that buyers can unlock for physical clothing.

Today, NFTs are popular throughout the world. China, Singapore, and Venezuela are the main countries where NFTs see the most purchases. The USA is not even in the top 10 for now. 2022 seems like the year when the craze of NFTs will pick up in the United States.

Blockchain powers the metaverse

As a decentralized and distributed ledger, blockchain records the provenance of digital assets. It is a very prevalent concept that has wide usage in a plethora of industries. For example, banking and financial services, retail and consumer goods, insurance, automotive, media and entertainment, and telecommunications.

Universally, blockchain technology has taken over the market for being a legitimate disruptor for industries. For instance, digital commerce, financial payments, cybersecurity, and healthcare. Blockchain is the force that is steadily bringing metaverse to the fore.

Combining Blockchain with IoT and AI to drive metaverse
Combining Blockchain with IoT and AI to drive metaverse

Combining Blockchain with IoT and AI to drive metaverse

The technologies like blockchain, IoT, and AI are ground-breaking innovations. They are revolutionizing businesses in the creation of new processes, models and disrupting whole industries. Blending these technologies is driving metaverse forward.

Blockchain can store all kinds of assets in the form of a register. For this purpose, it maintains a decentralized, shared, and distributed ledger. This provides enhanced transparency, security, and privacy for business processes.

IoT is all about providing automation and ease of use in general processes. While AI detects patterns to optimize business outcomes. We will see a magnificent touchpoint between these technologies in 2022.

This will lead to a technological convergence that brings out further transformation possibilities in the future. These three innovations are complementary and can greatly work in tandem. Their full potential of cross-collaboration can help bring positive results for businesses.

Fully automating processes brings transparency for banks and other financial institutions. The ability to detect user behaviors can arm further security to digital transactions. The use case even spans out further to non-financial transactions such as supply chain management and digital identities.

Similarly, blockchain can be used for connecting IoT devices. The speed and accuracy of transactions can further enable companies to grow and expand. Also, the decentralized nature of blockchain can solve the privacy concerns of customers.

Security, management, and scalability of data

At the bottom of it all, we have data that dictates how companies incorporate various technologies into their business. Likewise, when we discuss IoT: we think of smart home devices, smart buildings, sensors, cars, and machines. All of these connected devices are driven by the concept of data.

The same applies to AI, which is fundamentally used in understanding and interpreting large amounts of data. In effect, the more data points AI has, the better results become. Blockchain has great potential to standardize data for bringing more harmony in how businesses can integrate IoT and AI.

Since blockchain uses hash functions, and the storage of data is synchronous. So, it implies increased operability of the data. Blockchain platforms guarantee a higher degree of data privacy that is implemented by the underlying cryptography.

In today’s world, chances of identity theft, fraud, or possible security breaches are generally common. However, blockchain has an answer for that as it provides cryptography. You conduct all the transactions using pseudonyms.

Some blockchain systems such as Monero or Zcash operate completely anonymously. This limits the possibility of hacking and insecurity for users to a great extent. Blockchain systems are built with an encrypted architecture.

Consequently, the storage and transmission of data remain safe. Nowadays, IoT-powered and AI-built devices also have sensitive data. Uniting the concept of blockchain with encryption makes data more secure.

Deliver exceptional virtual experience to users
Deliver exceptional virtual experience to users

Conclusion

The alliance of technologies is truly a marvel to witness. What we witnessed in books, and movies is finally becoming true. We are on the verge of something magnificent in the form of the metaverse.

Yes, it will take plenty of years to evolve into something meaningful. But we are witnessing the brink of something that will take us over. As we can term it as an eventuality.

Do you remember the Internet invasion? Recall the craze of social media platforms. Also, we are witnessing the dominance of smartphones and mobile apps.

The ticking clock is making all of us eager, anxious, and at the same time excited? As large companies join the Metaverse, it’s going to get competitive which will bring more quality and ease for users. Update regarding Walmart to enter metaverse will add further momentum.

Users will be able to explore products in a completely new dimension. AI, IoT, and Blockchain will work side by side in the metaverse. Hence, this will give users a digital, secure, transparent, and immersive experience while doing activities in virtual spaces.