Virtual World, Real Impact: Building Sustainability Into The Metaverse

While the developers and owners of hyperscale data centers seek to reduce their environmental impact, it is the responsibility of metaverse developers to make smart choices that will increase their own sustainability.

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When you think of a virtual world such as the metaverse, the chances are that you don't consider it to have an impact on the environment. After all, the metaverse is not a physical thing, and it is accessible through our connected devices. And yet, despite being virtual, it does in fact have an impact on our real planet- both positive, and, without sugarcoating it, negative. This is something I had the opportunity to discuss at the World Economic Forum 2022, because as creators of the metaverse, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that we opt for the most sustainable way for our ecosystem to thrive.

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The metaverse is the next evolution of connected society as we know it. It is an environment free of the restrictions we face in our everyday lives, such as physical distance, gravity and so on, in which people can explore the world -and even beyond it- from the comfort of their own homes. Brands can create ultra-immersive experiences that take their consumers on never-before-seen journeys. Meetings can be held in realistic conference centers, or over a cup of metaverse coffee served by popular real-world brands. Tourists can visit virtual replicas of global hotspots without having to travel. With state of the art, photo-realistic imagery, such as users will see in our upcoming Everdome Phase 1 release, the borders between reality and the digital world become increasingly blurred. Anything is possible.

Bearing this in mind, the metaverse will no doubt lead to a decrease in transportation emissions, if nothing else. At the opposite end of the spectrum, however, there is the fact that an increasingly connected world needs to be powered by sources that consume large quantities of energy, such as data centers. With this comes inevitable carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. There are, however, constant breakthroughs that will help to cut back on connectivity's carbon footprint, which is an encouraging step in the right direction. But while the developers and owners of hyperscale data centers seek to reduce their environmental impact, it is the responsibility of metaverse developers to make smart choices that will increase their own sustainability.

As far as Everdome is concerned, we're committed to being as sustainable as possible. For example, in our efforts to keep our carbon footprint down, we've chosen to use the Binance blockchain network, which is considered to be eco-friendly. The Binance Smart Chain is one of the biggest green blockchains, consuming less than 1% of the energy per year used by the Bitcoin network and traditional banking systems. There is always more to be done to reduce environmental impact, and we are committed to creating new ways to be more eco-friendly as our metaverse grows. We have the exciting opportunity to build sustainability into Everdome from the get-go, and we intend to take advantage of this. So, yes, it is inevitable that the increasing demand for a hyper-connected world will require more energy to power it, but with people and businesses across all aspects of the digital ecosystem working to become more sustainable, the outlook is far from bleak.

The technology world is making constant strides towards becoming more green. And we're proud for Everdome to be part of this movement.

Related: Five Things A Metaverse Sceptic Learned By Buying Real Estate In A Virtual Universe