There’s impatience among metaverse watchers that the thing hasn’t been built yet.
READ MORE: Adidas Goes Full Metaverse With Coinbase Partnership and The Sandbox Real Estate (Decrypt)
There are also groups and consortia attempting to agree on standards as the first building blocks to scaling between metauniverses, as detailed by Streaming Media.
But Vice, and others, have latched onto a product — a game — that’s been under our noses all along.
As digital currency market data provider FTFX points out, some of Minecraft’s software is open source, meaning that anyone with the right technical knowledge can build on it. And Minecraft doesn’t have an established economy like competitor Roblox, which has a robust virtual marketplace and its own (non-crypto) digital currency called Robux.
The metaverse may be a wild frontier, but here at NAB Amplify we’ve got you covered! Hand-selected from our archives, here are some of the essential insights you’ll need to expand your knowledge base and confidently explore the new horizons ahead:
- What Is the Metaverse and Why Should You Care?
- Avatar to Web3: An A-Z Compendium of the Metaverse
- The Metaverse is Coming To Get You. Is That a Bad Thing?
- Don’t Expect the Metaverse to Happen Overnight
- A Framework for the Metaverse from Hardware to Hollywood and Everything in Between
In recent months a project called NFT Worlds has established itself on Minecraft’s servers, offering gamers the chance to buy one of 10,000 unique NFTs related to Minecraft.
An NFT Worlds white paper describes the entity as “a fully decentralized, fully customizable, community-driven, play to earn gaming platform,” and explains that each NFT contains a “world seed,” which is a code that generates a Minecraft world.
In other words, you can now buy and own, via NFT, a virtual piece of land in Minecraft. These assets vary in appearance from snowy tundra to forest islands to massive volcanoes.
Vice explains that if you want your world to be a metaverse destination, you can host your own server. NFT Worlds claims to have “verified” builders on tap to help NFT holders build up their Minecraft experiences.
To get verified, teams of builders must purchase a world at the floor price (currently $45,000) to show they’re serious. FTFX pins the cost at 14.5 Ethereum, or about $38,150, but the Vice article is more current. The ante was just $26,000 in February, showing that property price inflation is rising.
If that seems like a lot of money to invest in a piece of real estate that only exists online, then consider that The Sandbox (a competing online game) often commands much higher prices. Back in December, someone paid $450,000 for a small piece of virtual land next to rapper Snoop Dogg’s property in The Sandbox, reports FTFX.
According to NFT Worlds’ co-founder, who goes by the moniker ArkDev, Minecraft was the obvious choice to build the metaverse on top of because it works, and because it already has a “thriving ecosystem” of mods, user-generated game modes, cosmetic items, and maps.
Quoting the project’s documentation, ArkDev tells Vice, “We didn’t want to have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ by creating our own unproven game from scratch, while also having to innovate on the NFT integration and decentralized metaverse side of the platform we envisioned. This would take far too long to deliver on.”
READ MORE: Why Minecraft? (NFT Worlds)
Cunningly, NFT Worlds has layered its own cryptocurrency called $WRLD on top of everything. According to Vice, “the idea is for $WRLD to be the plug-and-play currency for all NFT Worlds, which players can earn in bespoke “play-to-earn” games built in Minecraft and pay to world owners for various things.”
Are NFTs just more hype, or are they actually the building blocks of the creator economy? Understanding blockchain technology can seem like a lot, but NAB Amplify has the expert knowledge and insights you need to remain at the top of the intersection of art and technology:
- NAB Amplify’s NFT Primer
- What’s the Real Future of the NFT Crypto Art Market?
- Weird Science: The Connection Between NFTs and… Human Nature?
- What Is the Value of an NFT?
- NFTs: Content Strategy or Digital Craze?
NFT Worlds isn’t alone in seeing Minecraft as a shortcut to the metaverse. Critterz is an NFT project where token ownership lets users buy plots of land in an “exclusive” Minecraft server and earn more tokens for in-game time.
Another project called “Survival Game NFT” invites players to purchase unique tokens in order to participate in play-to-earn games in “our private, masterfully-crafted Minecraft Server,” according to a post on Medium.
So what does Microsoft have to say about all this? Remember, the technology giant acquired Minecraft’s developer Mojang Studios for $2.5 billion in 2014. Since then, the game’s player base has grown to more than 141 million monthly active users.
Microsoft appears to be taking a look-and-see approach, content to see how this experiment unfolds, perhaps judging whether NFT Worlds can be incorporated into its newly acquired $69 billion asset of Activision Blizzard.
At the bottom of its website, NFT Worlds features the disclaimer: “NFT Worlds is in no way associated with, endorsed by, or a partner of Minecraft, Mojang, Microsoft or any related parties.” The whitepaper adds that the team believes NFT Worlds falls under “transformative fair use.”
NFT Worlds co-founder Temptranquil told FTFX, “They’re watching us from the sidelines — not like a formal green light — but I think in their eyes, we’re the best case scenario for someone using their product.”