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Volume XII, Number 183

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Understanding the Metaverse

The Metaverse, a virtual world created by combining different technologies, including virtual real estate and Augmented Reality (AR), is one of the hottest buzzwords of 2022. The Metaverse merger of both virtual and physical worlds has entered our lives like a meteor, and to remain competitive, brands must grasp and embrace this new world as our way of life is poised to experience a monumental paradigm shift.

It is expected that the Metaverse will redefine what it means to spend time in a virtual space and extend our capabilities beyond what is possible in the physical world. One of the most uniqure aspects of the Metaverse is that its constantly expanding, growing, and finding its own place. Currently, people understand the Metaverse as "a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet." 

This “extended reality” blurs the lines between physical and digital and is spreading worldwide, bringing excitement, cocktail party conversation, and many unanswered questions. Companies expect that the Metaverse will become a place where people go to meet, work, play, purchase real estate, and shop.

This convergence of physical and digital worlds wouldn’t be possible without rapid advancements in 3D, Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR). As with other forms of online interactions, the Metaverse is at its core, place where people can meet, and digital assets—land, malls, offices, products, and avatars—can be created, bought, and sold.

For some, the Metaverse is becoming another source of income. The "creator economy" is growing, and these new play-to-earn, create-to-earn, and learn-to-earn models are turning fun activities into work.

Creators and artists mint digital assets such as photographs, videos, music, and art on non-fungible tokens (NFTs). An NFT authenticates a person's possession of a digital asset, meaning you can't copy the deed of ownership. This move creates scarcity and builds desirability into digital items, which we haven't seen before.

The Metaverse's future will be interesting to see unfold. We have more questions than answers on what it will ultimately become, but we can be sure that the first vision of the Metaverse will not be the last.

© 2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 74
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About this Author

Partner

Natasha Allen is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices, where she is a member of the Venture Capital, M&A and Transactions Practices. Natasha is a strategic advisor for her clients, supporting leadership teams in complex decision-making.

Prior to joining Foley, Natasha was a founding partner at a corporate and transactional law firm, where she counseled startups and emerging companies on debt and equity financing, venture capital financing, commercial matters and general...

650-251-1112
Ethan Floyd Corporate Law Attorney Foley & Lardner LLP, Silicon Valley
Associate

Ethan Floyd is an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley office, where he is a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice. Ethan represents a wide range of investors, venture capitalists and investment banks in the buying and selling of companies. He also has experience assisting a variety of businesses at all stages of their life cycles. Ethan prides himself on his ability to offer superior work product that is always practical, cost-effective and specifically tailored to each client’s specific circumstances.

Before joining Foley, Ethan was a...

650.251.1123
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