You've been here all along
Mind-blowing. This is an epic article, reminded me of Mahabharata put in a tech context. It's my first read. You spent a month writing, I may require more than a month to completely imbibe the contents. What a lucid way to explain the most advanced technology. Kudos you deserve an Oscar
Spectacular intro to the metaverse and its core building blocks. I would've liked to hear more about 2D metaverse implementations such as @WhaleSharkDotPro projects including $WHALE poker games and $1337 digital/physical wearables in partnership with Axie and other popular games. As you pointed our, AR and VR solutions are currently vendor-locked and prohibitively expensive for some, so until Gitcoin or others fund an open-VR initiative, I believe 2D screens will be our primary residences.
On this topic, I feel that Discord is currently the most accessible 'entry point' to the metaverse and its constituents. There are several Discord bots (such as Grape protocol and tip.cc) that integrate with DeFi wallets, which allows for all sorts of attribution and community organization based on ownership of fungible or non-fungible tokens. For eg. Whale assigns roles with exclusive privileges based on token holdings, while Star Atlas requires gamers to prove ownership of NFT types to unlock certain server capabilities. Many DAOs are also integrating with these tools (Discord, Github, Twitter) to improve stakeholder attribution and committed governance, beyond the somewhat game-able coin voting model (as Vitalik recently bashed here https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/08/16/voting3.html)
I feel the metaverse is just as much about the "apes" (who currently socialize on Discord) as the "jungle" (blockchain, fungible and non-fungible assets, scaffolds for decentralized realities, supporting liquidity, etc.) So though it is not ideal to be vendor-locked into Discord, this integration with DeFi wallets provides a powerful "welcome mat" to the metaverse.
This is such an important article. However, while one set of institutions and people are being made obsolete and made to evolve and join the Web 3.0 wagon, there are the first movers in the metaverse who shall do essentially the same as these old institutions did in the meat-space. The comment is not about getting any/more regulations in place as the system seems to be decentralised but about the fact that access to this network for the majority of the world is a challenge. Even if and when De-Fi and Distributed Ledgers are being used by governments, they are claiming the channels to let majority of the human beings access the Web 3.0 through them. The transition for most humans into Web 3.0 when most of them still don't have access to decent Web 2.0 tech is to be seen. For those who get it and want to get it will exploit Web 3.0 to become wealthy visionaries of the future, if not already. For those who get lucky, and have the right resources at the right time will join the Web 3.0 wagon but for most making this tech available cheaply and easily is something to be seen and is probably many years away. The child of a rickshaw wala in India has just tasted their first interaction with social media and content creation, around a decade and a half later than the first movers.
Amazing piece! Thanks for this. Couple of questions-
- User data and advertising become ubiquitous tools of monetising the Web2. This was a math hard problem, which once figured out was repeatedly followed by most to make money. This model gave the companies holding large user data the big wins and these corporates became the centre of Web2. What stops emergence of such levers to take advantage of Web3? Sure it wouldn't be user data/ advertising this time, but why not something worse? What are the bad incentives in Metaverse?
- NFTs thrives on digital scarcity. Why limit supply, when it's just digital? Why artificially inflate value? like Decentraland -limited real estate- or some fancy avatar skin