Cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse: Where Should Technology End and Life Begin?

This article was written exclusively for Investing.com.

In my 60s, I’m old school in many ways. When I began my career in the goods industry, the computer was on another floor in a refrigerated room. In the eighties, personal computers began to appear on desks. Calculations that once took hours now take only nanoseconds.

The weight of my first mobile phone was about 10 kg. She carried it in a bag. Today, my cell phone fits comfortably in my back pocket and has much more computing power than that cooler computer in its separate room. Plus, it has many features that replaced most of the electronics I owned in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

You are at the forefront of the technological age. I had the good fortune to meet Steve Jobs when he sold his NeXT computer system to our company during his hiatus from Apple (NASDAQ :).

As a writer and market analyst, social media has expanded my reach beyond my imagination. Technology has been, and will continue to be, amazing. I can only imagine the changes my grandchildren will experience over the next 50 years.

Historically, innovation occurred at lightning speed. The latest concept is “Metaverse”, a term that aims to include digital reality. Frankly, I do not understand. Technology has improved our lives here and now. “Metaverse” is, as comedian Rodney Dangerfield puts it in his classic Back to School, set in “Neverland.”

What is metaverse?

To make things really confusing, the term “metaverse” doesn’t have a single originator or agreed definition. Essentially, it combines aspects of social media, augmented reality, online gaming, and cryptocurrency, to form a “digital reality” that allows users to act and interact virtually.

The Wall Street Journal describes the metaverse as follows:

“Un monde étendu transcendant les plateformes technologiques, où les gens existent dans des espaces virtuels immersifs et partagés. Grâce à des avatars, les gens pourraient essayer des articles disponibles dans les magasins des ou coms le assisterve a Outline.”

The “official” Metaverse would require enormous computing power, including tools and codes that had not yet been created, written, or made available. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during his July (NASDAQ:) Facebook earnings conference call:

“It’s a virtual environment where you can be with people in digital spaces. It’s a kind of embodiment of the Internet you are in rather than just looking at it. The successor to the mobile Internet.”

In the meantime, older versions of the Metaverse are already on some digital gaming platforms. Roblox, Second Life, and Fortnite offer a virtual world where you can find everything from trading to concerts.

Supporters say the Metaverse will create an extension of humanity and creativity. I struggle with this idea – to get on the Internet is to get away from reality and all real sensory experiences in the real world.

As with cryptocurrencies, my first reaction may be wrong; Technology is omnipresent in all aspects of our lives.

However, being at the forefront of the past six decades of technological advancements that began to accelerate in the 1980s opened my eyes to the possibilities. My quick reaction to the Metaverse is to dismiss it as an escape from nature and the world. But this was also my first reaction to cryptocurrency.

When I first heard about digital currency a little over a decade ago, I dismissed the concept as a technological video game. I watched my sons grow up playing Super Mario and the latest and greatest Xbox and other games. I left video games after college because I didn’t have time for Mrs. Pacman and the Asteroids.

{I felt Bitcoin mining was a video game where mining was the game and the reward was tokens. Like those tokens in my youth, I thought they’d never buy anything meaningful.

It turns out I got everything wrong. If you had bought $100 worth of bitcoin when you first heard about this cryptocurrency and held it, it would have been worth over $120 million by the end of last week.

I may be old school, but my first reaction to the Metaverse is the same. Real life is wonderful. I don’t need to live my life in virtual reality on the Internet.

Fintech is the future

Yet fintech is the future. I have no doubts about that. Blockchain technology has changed everything as it reflects the necessary sophistication of business.

Cryptocurrencies are booming because the trust and credit of governments that issue coins or legal tenders have deteriorated. Individuals collectively search for alternatives that will bring back the power of money to the masses.

In his 2004 book The Wisdom of Crowds, author James Surovicki highlighted examples that demonstrate that “many are smarter than few and how collective wisdom shapes businesses, economies, societies, and nations.”

Cryptocurrencies embody the wisdom of the masses, and their rise is proof that financial technology, the means of exchange that transcend borders and government control, is the future.

In this regard, it is considered the leader among cryptocurrencies. After trading at five cents per token in 2010, it opened for trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at just over $20,000 per token in late 2017.

Source: CQG

The monthly chart shows that Bitcoin reached a new all-time high last week at $67,680 per token. Some call cryptocurrency dangerous, others say it is a bubble. However, most opponents of digital token have an interest in maintaining the status quo.

The crowd continues to push Bitcoin higher. The direction of increasing the value is the wisdom of the public.

Incredible technological advancements in my life

I often think about the changes that occurred during my grandparents’ lives. They lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. They have seen radio and television explode onto the scene, replacing newspapers and word-of-mouth communication of the latest happenings. The transformation was astonishing for those born in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

When I was a young boy, there were only a few TV channels. Today there are thousands. Betamax has made way for VCR, DVR, and streaming now.

My car starts with the push of a button. There have been too many technological advances over the past few decades to mention. Humans have a natural aversion to change, but technology has improved our lives, making them more efficient and easier.

Fact and Fiction: A Complex Case

My problem with the Metaverse goes back to the old saying: “Wake up and smell the roses”. While it seems likely that the next stage of technology will appeal to our senses of sight and sound, smells and tastes may be another matter. I remain comfortable with reality.

Fantasy may have its place, but I’m afraid it will make many people live in a different reality, which will affect their socialization, personal relationships, and possibly other factors.

However, I learned a lesson from cryptocurrencies, so I’m hesitant to dismiss the potential of the Metaverse. However, reality versus fiction is a complex issue that is likely to change our lives, though in ways yet to be determined.

Tech companies will make a lot of money with Metaverse taking over. My question is: at what cost to users?

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