Metaverse jargon buster: what exactly does the language in web3 mean? 

A guide to the metaverse terminology you need to know

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Our 'WTF is the metaverse? feature was an introduction to the digital world. Now, here's an explanation of the common terms and phrases used in web3. Tricky language shouldn't be a barrier to web3 knowledge, so find out exactly what an NFT is and what XR means with our jargon-busting guide to metaverse terminology.

NFT: Non Fungible Tokens  
It’s best to think of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, as the outcome of metaverse exchanges! An NFT can take various forms like a piece of art or a fashion collection. It's something that is bought using a cryptocurrency, that is completely unique and can be either sold, purchased or traded. Major fashion houses are creating exclusive collections, and some people are selling NFTs made from their childhood bedrooms. Creating one-off collections of NFTs is often more successful than selling individual items. Some big NFT collections include the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Azuki. Check out the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, and get hands-on with your own NFT discovery. 

Cryptocurrency 
Cryptocurrency is far from a new concept. However the ways that it is being used has changed within the metaverse. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is secured, making it impossible to fraud or double spend. The reason why cryptos are important in the metaverse is because they are used predominantly in the purchase of NFTs, with Ethereum becoming one of the most popular NFT currencies. Crypto’ and non-physical currencies will continue to play an integral role in the growth of web3. 

Avatars
Avatars are images, often NFTs, that are used within the metaverse community (especially on socials) to represent people. They are often highly personalised, and can contribute to minimising hiring bias!

XR: Extended Reality  
XR is an umbrella term used to encompass all areas of digital reality technology. A term that has existed for decades, XR is often used as marketing talk to incorporate both augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. What XR means exactly is up for debate, but it can be attributed to any digital reality form! 

AR: Augmented Reality  
Augmented reality, or AR, refers to any form of real life experience that is subsequently enhanced by a form of digital technology. Filters are the easiest way to conceptualise AR; you take a photo of your face that is then enhanced by AR filter technology. Check out our interviews with Doddz and Piper ZY who are both pioneers in the AR area, to understand exactly what forms AR takes in the digital world, and now the metaverse. 

VR: Virtual Reality 
When VR became popular, it was a new way to experience gaming, entertainment, and even education . VR is an experience in a simulated reality, that can be both similar to real life, or completely the opposite! The limits and possibilities are endless with VR, but each virtual reality experience is usually aided by VR headset technology.

AI: Artificial intelligence 
Artificial intelligence refers to robots or machines that replicate human-like functions. Some of the most common uses of AI include Alexa, self-driving cars and smart assistance. 

DAO: Decentralised autonomous organisation

A DAO is an organisation based on open-source code, that is crafted by users and written onto the blockchain. It normally focuses on a specific project and is community-oriented with no central authority. With a DAO the community works together to make a decision about a certain project.

DeFi: Decentralised Finance

DeFi is an emerging financial technology. Similar to cryptocurrency, it eliminates service fees that usually exist for holding money, and allows you to securely keep your currency in a secure wallet, rather than in a bank.  

Blockchain
The blockchain is a database where information can be stored electronically. The blockchain plays a large role in the running of cryptocurrencies, as they are able to store multiple pieces of information, including crypto-related transactions.

Words: Grace Goslin

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