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The metaverse does not yet exist, but everyone is talking about it. Domain investors have had their eye on the metaverse for some time, particularly since the domain name metaverse.io was sold by Andrew Rosener’s MediaOptions for $175,000 in March, 2021 at ParkIO.

Metaverse interest among the general public and business leaders has skyrocketed in recent weeks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in late July that Facebook would be transformed into a metaverse company. But what exactly is the metaverse?

Origins of the Term Metaverse

Many explanations of the metaverse note that the word is a combination of the prefix meta, that can mean beyond, with verse, a contracted form of universe.

In astronomy, the universe is ‘all of space and time.’ That is, the universe includes all galaxies, estimated at about 125 billion, and the stars, planets and other matter they contain. Everything. Universe is used in everyday life to mean all things in some category.

So what exactly does ‘beyond everything’ even mean? A good question.

At time of writing, the Merriam-Webster dictionary does not even recognize metaverse as a word, although I expect that will soon change.

The origin of the term metaverse is usually credited to the science fiction novel Snow Crash, published by futurist author Neal Stephenson in 1992.

Google Books Ngram Viewer shows that popularity of the term metaverse in books increased steadily from 1992 until 2010, and then decreased somewhat, before the recent explosion of interest. That probably reflects that the Open Source Metaverse Project ceased operation in 2008. Ngram Viewer only allows one to look up to 2019, and is how frequently the term appears in Google Books only.

But What Is The Metaverse?

The metaverse depends on technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, high-throughput fast networks, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, online commerce, virtual meeting technology, and online gaming concepts. But it is more than a collection of those technologies. The metaverse includes the existing Internet, but it is not simply an upgraded Internet.

The division between your real experience and your online experience will become fuzzy with the metaverse. You will have an identity in the metaverse, and will interact with others, including in online commerce. In that sense, Second Life could be considered a forerunner of the metaverse.

The idea of the metaverse was simply explained by Mark Zuckerberg in this quote.
What is the metaverse? It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can kind of think of this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of, rather than just looking at.

Another insightful view on what the metaverse is was provided in a recently published metaverse legal backgrounder by the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright:
It is a vision for what the future will be like where personal and commercial life is conducted digitally in parallel with our lives in the physical world.

A number of features of the metaverse are agreed by most experts. It will have persistence, an existence over space and time. It is a synchronous environment, where you will interact with others in real time. The pervasive digital meeting spaces of the last few years helped establish this framework.

Corporate interest in the metaverse is largely related to the fact that there will be a diverse online economy in the metaverse. Blockchain digital contracts and cryptocurrencies helped set the stage for this aspect of the metaverse.

To some degree platforms such as Roblox have been testing aspects of user experience and a user creative economy, and Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki has been a strong proponent of the metaverse for many years.

As summarized in this account, new forms of online marketing and commerce will be important parts of the metaverse.
A key driver in the development of the metaverse is its potential to enable new forms of marketing which are seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the metaverse.

An Example

Perhaps a specific example can illustrate how the metaverse would work, at least as I understand it. Let’s say you and a group of friends fancy a visit to Italy. In an instant you can be transformed on the metaverse to Italy, visit the streets of Rome, drop in for virtual visits at museums, all enhanced through high quality video, virtual reality and particularly augmented reality.

In some senses you will be in Italy, including the ability to interact with your friends while there, to share your experience. You will also be able to interact with other simultaneous metaverse visitors to Italy, as well as those who live there in real life, if they are also on the metaverse. The robotic visits to museums and art galleries that emerged during the pandemic were testing grounds for certain metaverse concepts.

You will be able to interact with artisans and purchase digital items, perhaps NFT-backed artwork, right within the metaverse. Powerful hyper-personalized marketing will individualize the opportunities offered to each participant. You will be able to purchase a wide variety of types of items, and those will stay with you in the metaverse.

During the visit it will be possible to purchase tickets to music or theatrical virtual performances, or even performances on demand. If prior to your trip you bought an eGuide, that will be naturally integrated as you tour the country. You can take selfies and pictures via augmented reality, or do your own artwork to help remember your experience.

After you ‘return’ perhaps your local school will ask you to share your trip with students. You will be able to visit the school virtually, as long as it is on the metaverse, share the images and items from your metaverse trip. But more than that, you and the students can instantly go to the Italy section of the metaverse together, and you can guide them through your favourite places.

Is Metaverse The Right Term?

While I think the term metaverse is so ingrained that it will probably continue to be the name everyone will use, it did strike me as possibly not the best term, however.

Is there one metaverse, as the futurists perceived, or multiple metaverses? The latter seems more likely, as companies move to establish themselves as major metaverse players, each with their own focus. How integrated will multiple metaverses be? If fully integrated, then the futurist dream of one metaverse will have been achieved.

In astronomy, while the term universe means everything, there is also the theoretical concept of a multiverse of parallel universes. This is related to the idea of an observable universe. There may be multiple universes, each invisible to the other. The multiverse is the hypothetical collection of these universes.

I wonder if multiverse might be a more appropriate term for how the metaverse is set to evolve. However, since multiverse is a well-established astrophysics and science fiction term, that is a reason not to use the term for something else too. The word multiverse has not had significant reported domain name sales yet. The term multiverse is registered in 201 TLDs according to dotDB.

Potential Legal Obstacles

Whatever we call it, the metaverse has many legal challenges to overcome. Issues such as privacy and data protection, consumer rights, safeguarding minors, competition and monopolies legislation.

This article provides a readable and comprehensive account of some of the legal issues related to the metaverse.

Metaverse Showcase on NamePros

@DomainBarracksRob started a Metaverse Showcase on NamePros back in March.

As well as sharing acquisitions, members discuss what types of names will be in demand. Will it be exclusively exact matches, and if so in what extensions, or will dual word domain names find a market? What about acronyms, like MV, or simply the word meta?

Will interest in the metaverse spur renewed interest in domain names related to the required technologies such as augmented reality?

Metaverse Hand Registrations Gone

One thing is clear, if you have not yet secured an exact match metaverse name the going is tough. DotDB indicates the the exact term metaverse is taken in 579 TLDs, while Dofo Advanced Search shows that 387 are currently listed for sale. The only unregistered exact metaverse domain names are either high-price premium names or a few obscure extensions.

Not So Many Sales, Yet

So far, recorded on NameBio at least, there are not a large number of metaverse sales. Here are a few in the exact term.
  • metaverse.io $175,000 (it also sold previously)
  • metaverse.one $20,000
  • metaverse.xyz $9888
  • metaverse.tech $3000
  • metaverse.world $675 (but back in 2017)
The domain names metaverse.com and and metaverse.org do not resolve, metaverse.net is developed.

If we look at longer names including metaverse, there are a few additional sales, but not many.
  • MetaverseMarkets.com $2401
  • MetaverseArt.com $1050
There are also a few smaller value sales.

The exact word meta has sold a number of times.
  • meta.io $100,000
  • meta.cloud $5000
  • meta.one $4550
  • meta.be $2835
  • meta.us $2500
There were also several sales at about $500 and less.

Will Metaverse Negatively Impact Domains In Long Term?

If one or more metaverse deployments are successful, might that ultimately be bad for domain names? With a powerful integrated user experience, new and more effective marketing, all right in that metaverse, will the need for domain names decrease? Or will it possibly increase, as even more commerce turns online, better enabled by the metaverse?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

It is fun to think about what a metaverse NamePros, or perhaps domain world more generally, would be like.
 
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Wonder if a company will just create .meta?
 

F.E.

INACTIVETop Contributor
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Whenever I see this $h1t thrown around the internet, all I can say: just remember how many World of Warcraft people lost their lives (mine included, but I was smart enough to come back to reality and connect with people IRL) due to this Blizzard's game.

So if anyone is going to see this metaverse as an advancement to the technology, think again before you jump into the life of becoming fat, not being able to participate in real life discussions (as you don't have any connection to it), living and breathing to see Rome in metaversum.

Social medias are already ruining our lives...

my 2 cents
 

CraigD

Top Contributor
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You got me.

I was the one behind it, it is indeed a strategy and now the whole internet is with me and we got many domainers to register domains and we also pumped it for end users like some suggested.
Cat is out!

Seriously?

Did you register the domain first?

The term was coined by Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash (1992).
 
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Elad n

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I perhaps should have included in the article that the domain name metaverse.com was first registered in June 1994. The .net dates to 1995 and the .org to 1999.

Is it possibly right that the .io was only created in Oct 2020? That is what Whois seems to show. If so, that was quite the value increase in a short time.

The .co of metaverse shows a creation date of 2010, while the .xyz has been registered since 2017.

Bob
 

CraigD

Top Contributor
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Whoooosh.
I perhaps should have included in the article that the domain name metaverse.com was first registered in June 1994. The .net dates to 1995 and the .org to 1999.

Is it possibly right that the .io was only created in Oct 2020? That is what Whois seems to show. If so, that was quite the value increase in a short time.

The .co of metaverse shows a creation date of 2010, while the .xyz has been registered since 2017.

Bob

Do you think those original registrations had anything to do with Kai Krause?
He had some apps and tools with names beginning with Meta.
I used to love his graphics software tools. Got me into 3D modeling.
 
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BradWilson

Established Member
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All this buzz about the Metaverse reminds me of Lucid Dreaming.

If I really want to, I can wake up in my dreams and create an amazing adventure and I've enjoyed doing this for many years.

So for me the Metaverse already exists :)
 

oldtimer

SaveThyWorld.com Let's not leave anyone behindTop Contributor
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So for me the Metaverse already exists :)

To be honest a lot of the new technologies that we are seeing right now have already existed in nature for millions of years.

The whole Universe could very well be a Quantum Computer and our brains could be part of a natural network like the Internet.

So you do enter a Metaverse of your own making when you are dreaming.

In a way our brain is a Metatizer

Just got:

Metatizer.com

and

MetaDreamers.com

Some of the hype around the Metaverse might be real and so it would be a good idea to get a few select domains in case Metaverse becomes an everyday thing in the future, but the trick is to not get carried away and get bogged down with a lot of sub par and low quality domains.

IMO
 

CraigD

Top Contributor
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All this buzz about the Metaverse reminds me of Lucid Dreaming.

If I really want to, I can wake up in my dreams and create an amazing adventure and I've enjoyed doing this for many years.

So for me the Metaverse already exists :)

I purchased and read that book back in the late eighties.
I learnt how to fly in my dreams without the fear of crashing. What a blast!
 
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Unbelievable! I don't know what metaverse is until reading Bob's post...

The term metaverse was only registered in 201 TLDs when Bob created this thread and now it has been taken in 586 TLDs (according to dotDB) in just a few days... I can feel how hot it is now, and I think metaverse is even hotter than NFT or DeFi because people register metaverse domains like crazy. :wideyed:

fleaking
 
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jmaurya

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nononsense123

Established Member
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You got me.

I was the one behind it, it is indeed a strategy and now the whole internet is with me and we got many domainers to register domains and we also pumped it for end users like some suggested.
Cat is out!
I know this guy personally. He's notorious for convincing the whole internet to use new terms. Did the same with XR.
Would be great if Elad tells us what new 5 terms is he going to pump onto the internet..
 
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The term metaverse was only registered in 201 TLDs when Bob created this thread and now it has been taken in 586 TLDs
I think you are mixing TLDs for metaverse and multiverse, both of which were given in article. The metaverse number was similar to the 586 you now find. The 201 was for multiverse.
Bob
 
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I think you are mixing TLDs for metaverse and multiverse, both of which were given in article. The metaverse number was similar to the 586 you now find. The 201 was for multiverse.
Bob
Oops, sorry I didn't notice they were different. Thanks for the correction.

fleaking
 
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The exact word meta has sold a number of times.
  • meta.io $100,000
  • meta.cloud $5000
  • meta.one $4550
  • meta.be $2835
  • meta.us $2500

My sale of meta.pl from 2008 (or 2009?) would have been #2 on that list.
Interestingly, the domain was dropped last year.
 

bruhne

Established Member
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Metaverse is a far-fetched reality in my opinion. Nothing but hype.
 

bolo

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otismo

Established Member
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sounds like a regurgitation of the old portal concept -

aol to yahoo to google

myspace to facebook

I want to buy sports.com from lottery.com

and spend half a billion developing it into

something HUGE, that would challenge FaceBook, et al...
 

iTesla

Established Member
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I know a niche more important than all this you hear from big tech grabbers like Zuck, Elon, Bill etc, for how much would you domainers buy it from me?
I want minimum 100K but when i post it for free it will be too late for you all.
Also you mr.Bob are collecting info from different guys and post it here as your own without giving credits and accolades to those people, you are also a grabber and there are many like you here, I call them lazy grabbers.
 
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Also you mr.Bob are collecting info from different guys and post it here as your own without giving credits and accolades to those people, you are also a grabber and there are many like you here, I call them lazy grabbers
Writing here on diverse topics, at times learning as I go (metaverse was one such topic), I welcome positive feedback on ways to improve. I must say, however, I never really expected to be called lazy and a person who does not credit contributions. If you have a specific oversight in the article, please let me know so I can correct the situation. With, I believe, 17 linked sources in the article and direct quotations from a number of different experts, I thought this article was fair in this regard, but nothing is perfect.
Bob
 

BradWilson

Established Member
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Also you mr.Bob are collecting info from different guys and post it here as your own without giving credits and accolades to those people, you are also a grabber and there are many like you here, I call them lazy grabbers.
Did you wake up on the wrong side of the Metaverse today? :)
 

otismo

Established Member
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193
just keep hearing more and more metaverse buzz

it is going to be developed so we can "live" in it -

a pre-emptive strike ?

time to dream up a new word...