Mission To deliver a Layer 1 blockchain, interoperating tools & decentralized services optimized for the Open Metaverse –– providing communities with infrastructure, not gatekeepers to build a more immersive internet.
The Metaverse represents the evolution of our lives online –– graduation to rich 2D and 3D worlds in which we fluidly create, explore, socialize and transact. As we usher in this bold new era of content creation and participation, we must revisit the centralized business models of Web2 to empower creators and consumers with greater agency, ownership and privacy. A creative community that is free to innovate and transact will give rise to a thriving economy. Lamina1 delivers critical infrastructure to enable the trillion-dollar economy of the Open Metaverse.
“Inexorable economic forces drive investors to pay artists as little as possible while steering their creative output in the directions that involve the least financial risk.” –– Neal Stephenson
Web2 introduced a period of rapid innovation and unprecedented access to entertainment, information and goods on a global scale. Streamlined tools and usability brought creators and innovators to the web en masse to build digital storefronts, engage and transact with their customers. Owning and controlling that growing ecosystem of content and personal data became a primary, lucrative initiative for major corporations. Consumer behavior, recorded on centralized company servers,
Open Metaverse with a multi-pronged approach:
● Open Metaverse Data
● Carbon Token Staking
● Cross-chain Integration
● High-scale Payments
● OpenID Connect
● EVM Quality of Life Improvements
Lamina1 will foster –– with heavy participation from the ecosystem –– the creation of a set of interoperating decentralized services to support virtual worlds, i.e. Metaverse-as-a-Service (”MaaS”).
Our mission is to be the rallying point for an ecosystem of open source tools, open standards and enabling technologies conceived and co-developed with a community of creators.
MaaS and ecosystem technologies will ideally be enhancements to/integrations of existing open source solutions, and/or directly provided by third parties. However, our technical team will be involved in the early launch stages to identify best-in-class tech and tools, highlight key technical areas for innovation and close critical feature gaps — possibly creating spatial technology and tools needed to get the job done — demonstrating leadership and vision toward building the Open Metaverse. That said, we will only build what is absolutely required.
There are a variety of legal issues concerning the metaverse, especially given that it is a meeting point for multiple technologies, requiring or linked to servers, hosting, software, platforms, hardware and other peripherals (e.g. VR glasses and haptic gloves for sensing virtual objects), content, graphics, maps, buildings, photos, interfaces, as well as blockchain for acquiring and registering tokenised virtual assets. This diversity also raises a host of legal issues ranging from intellectual property rights to data protection and civil law.
What Legal Issues Will the Metaverse Raise?
Data Security & Privacy Intellectual Property Fintech M&A and other Investment Activity Regulation of Virtual Assets Gambling and Lottery Laws Regulation of Conduct in the Metaverse Tax
In this series of articles, we explore the key issues concerning the metaverse, including:
Part 1: Trademarks and copyright, NFTs and civil law principles in metaverse
Part 2: Data protection challenges, the importance of cybersecurity, advertising regulation in metaverse
Part 3: Tax, Regulation
Part 1: Trademarks and copyright, NFTs and civil law principles in metaverse
Users can generate virtual creations in the metaverse by interacting with the digital avatars of other users or brands in the virtual space. This raises the question of who owns the intellectual property (IP) and what protection is provided to the creators?
To quote an example, it may become difficult to conclude the identity of a given work’s creator(s) in the metaverse, especially when the work results from a decentralized collaborative process carried out by users hiding behind avatars.
The metaverse can also experience issues with trademarks. Companies in the metaverse use real-world brands such as Nike, Gucci, CU, etc., to create and sell items/accessories for avatars. Circumstances can arise when:
Such items are used within the metaverse,
A user creates and sells the same item, or
When items gain popularity in the metaverse and are then copied and produced in the real world.
Part 2: Data protection challenges, the importance of cybersecurity, advertising regulation in metaverse
The security and privacy of users’ data will be among the most significant metaverse legal implications issues that platform owners will face. While these concerns are not new to tech companies, Facebook being a very popular example, data in the metaverse will be exponentially more valuable than it already is. Technologies will become closely integrated into almost all aspects of the users’ lives.
The sensors would have real-time insightinto the lives of humans. Gears like AR glasses and headsets can particularly bring major privacy threats by serving as mics and cameras inside homes and offices.
Behavior in the metaverse will have the capacity to reveal intrusive information about people’s interests, including biometric data and head and eye movements. Currently, there are no set guidelines for who and what companies can collect, who owns it, and how it can be used.
Since the metaverse aims to be a global environment, it would be difficult to know which data protection laws apply.
Some of the key questions to consider when it comes to privacy and cybersecurity include:
What personal information are you sharing on the metaverse?
Who has access to your personal information?
How is your personal information being used?
Is your personal information being shared with third parties?
What security measures are in place to protect your personal information?
Part 3: Tax, Regulation
Digital assets, when purchased and/or sold, may be subject to different taxes like income tax, sales tax, etc. For example, the metaverse allows users to buy virtual land and build settlements or purchase NFT versions of real-world objects needed to construct their world. The growth of Web3 has also created an opportunity for people from all over the world to work together on new business ventures with their own rules.
Finally, regarding the provision of public services, several cities have already started a transition towards a virtual public venue. Virtual reality seems to be the choice picked by these cities for greater efficiency and proximity in favor of their citizens. However, this approach presents a strong risk of massive surveillance and monetisation for host platforms. To protect users, European institutions should ensure the complete application of the GDPR provisions to effectively avoid targeted advertising in such online public venues. Furthermore, our study underlined the transformation that is going to occur in education. The Metaverse will open new possibilities and opportunities for professors to teach to students and to improve pedagogical support. However, studies already mentioned the danger of screens and social media for young people. Their social identity could be deeply modified creating isolation and behaviour alteration. European authorities and actors of health and digital sectors should open a conversation toward the use of the Metaverse for education and its impact on our children’s health.
“Tokenomics can be defined as the study of determining and evaluating economic characteristics of a cryptographic token. [The Binance report aims to understand] how various incentives affect the supply and demand of a token and, ultimately, its price.”
The report introduced the concept of Supply and Demand – the MOST important thing in Tokenomics. The report also covered the overarching foundation to different token aspects like , use-cases, allocations, vestings, and emissions. Also, it rightfully stated that protocols that don’t taper with their emissions after attracting initial demand via high APRs are not sensible. This Tokenomics Report pointed out niche token value-adds, such as that some crypto companies are self-classed as non-profits therefore selling tokens to pay for growth and ops is understandable. Covering FDV vs Market Cap well from perspective of investors, the report explained vote escrow well and went over its benefits and potential drawbacks to users.
In this report, the reader can get explanations around how a dual-token economy operates and the pros and cons of such a model, also pointing out that not all projects need a token. Brief conclusion – “without a good product, even an excellent token design and utility are of little value”.
PARIS, 31 March 2022 8AM EST. Metaverse Summit and Paris NFT Day announced a partnership focused on showcasing the expanding ecosystem at the intersection of Blockchain and Metaverse, with an initiative that supports the development, growth and launch of next-generation metaverse projects. As part of this engagement, Metaverse Summit will become a programming member of the Paris NFT Day, with representatives participating in curation and programmation during Paris NFT Day, as well as leading industry-specific insights.
“Through this initiative, Metaverse Summit and the Paris NFT Day are forming a deep collaborative partnership, which recognizes the value proposition Metaverse Summit presents for the blockchain industry.” said Yingzi Yuan, Founder of the Metaverse Summit.
“NFTs and metaverses are closely intricated to create the worlds of tomorrow, given that statement, Paris NFT Day and Metaverse Summit are glad to partner together to showcase the possibilities of the future digital worlds.” said Emmanuel Fenet, CEO of Chain Of Events.
About Metaverse Summit
Metaverse Summit gathers entrepreneurs, builders, investors and experts to explore and build the future of metaverse together. Metaverse Summit is set to explore and build the future of metaverse together. It gathers builders, entrepreneurs, investors and experts from Blockchain, 3D Creation, Virtual Worlds, Social and Digital Identity, Gaming, VR/AR, Web3 and beyond. The 2-days event during 16-17 July is a unique moment for the international community to meet in person, create new synergies, and develop projects. We believe that sharing and transmitting knowledge is the most sustainable way to develop the decentralized, fertile future of Metaverse. To learn more, please visit: www.metaverse-summit.org.
About Paris NFT Day
The shift from web2 to web3 is becoming clearer with NFTs allowing creators to unleash their creativity, coming up with disruptive business ideas. Paris NFT Day will gather the biggest players in metaverse, security, art, luxury, gaming, and sports to unveil the true potential of NFTs and how they will remodel tomorrow’s business paradigms. Paris NFT Day is more than a conference, it is a life-size experience allowing total immersion in the web3 universe. More information at https://www.nftday.paris/
Metaverse Summit, International Convention Highlighting Avant-garde Innovation and Creativity around Metaverse
Paris, France — March 31st, 2022. Metaverse Summit has announced its official event dates for its 2022 edition during July 16-17th.
Metaverse Summit is an International Convention Celebrating Technology and Creativity around Metaverse. Metaverse Summit gathers leading metaverse entrepreneurs, builders, investors and experts to explore and build the future of metaverse together.
Metaverse Summit community’s core value is through sharing and transmitting knowledge, which is the most sustainable way to develop a decentralized and fertile future of metaverse. Metaverse Summit is aiming to build a bridge between Web 2 and Web 3, and help individuals and companies to define their positioning and strategy in the future of technology.
Since its creation, Metaverse Summit has gathered more than 10 000 community members from across the world, with events being held in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Denver, Dubai, Shanghai, Los Angeles and more to come.
Yingzi Yuan, Founder of Metaverse Summit commented: “We are honored to host the world’s biggest Metaverse convention and festival in Paris, featuring key speakers, media attendees and partners. Metaverse gained tremendous traction during the past years, and are expected to see continuous growth in the upcoming years and beyond. We are here to facilitate the growth of different stakeholders in the industry, to help brands, startups, corporates find their place and strategy regarding metaverse.”
Metaverse Summit’s flagship event this year is a two-day festival during 16-17 July 2022 in Paris. The two day event will be a unique moment for the international community to meet in person, discover new synergies, and develop projects. With discovery and education highlighted as two goals, Metaverse Summit will provide a dedicated space for novices and veterans alike to learn from seasoned experts and foster connections within the worlds of technology, creativity and art. Bringing together enterprise and brands, developers, entrepreneurs, gamers, artists, investors, the event will enable unparalleled networking opportunities, providing greater insight into the projects, companies and talents that underpin the growth of the metaverse and its business opportunities.
Metaverse Summit will launch NFT ticketing, building the world’s biggest Metaverse DAO and community. “Through NFT ticketing, we aim to consolidate the community of high-profile and highly engaged builders, investors, experts, leveraging the utility NFT to allow community members to participate in our future exclusive events, masterclass, workshops, and even early-stage investment opportunity in the metaverse sector.” said Yingzi Yuan, Founder of Metaverse Summit.
Presenting a complete mapping of the metaverse sector across Technology, culture, social and entertainment, Metaverse Summit includes four main tracks for its conference, exhibition and showcase:
SOCIAL & DIGITAL IDENTITY: Explore creator economy based social worlds. Create, socialize, and participate in a wide variety of new experiences.
WEB3 & DECENTRALISATION: Get acquainted with new forms of ownership and how to create, store, sale, protect and manage metaverse assets.
GAMING & REAL-TIME 3D: Learn how to establish persistent, real-time connections in immersive digital and three-dimensional environments.
MIXED REALITY & VIRTUAL WORLD: Merge real and virtual worlds to produce new environments in real time. Explore AR, VR, and other formats.
More than 200 key industry leaders are confirmed to speak at the Metaverse Summit conference including Sébastien Borget, COO and Co-Founder of Sandbox and President of the Blockchain Game Alliance; Julien Bouteloup, Founder of Blackpool Finance, Stake DAO & Stake Capital; Alan Smithson from MetaVRse; Hrish Lotlikar, Co-Founder & CEO of SuperWorld; Marco Demiroz from The VR Fund etc. Yingzi Yuan, Founder at Metaverse Summit is available for interviews.
About Metaverse Summit
Metaverse Summit gathers entrepreneurs, builders, investors and experts to explore and build the future of metaverse together. Metaverse Summit is set to explore and build the future of metaverse together. It gathers builders, entrepreneurs, investors and experts from Blockchain, 3D, real-time technology, fashion, art, virtual worlds, social and digital Iidentity, gaming, VR/AR, web3 and beyond. The 2-days event during July 16-17 2022 is a unique moment for the international community to meet in person, create new synergies, and develop projects. We believe that sharing and transmitting knowledge is the most sustainable way to develop the decentralized, fertile future of Metaverse. To learn more, please visit: www.metaverse-summit.org.
This is an article by Loic bardon, Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer, Founder PARIS SINGULARITY, originally published here.
When he presented his strategic vision for the future of Facebook (now Meta) Mark Zuckerberg threw a stone in the pond, or rather a tree in the forest. For those familiar with the Gartner hype cycle, Mark Zuckerberg may have pushed the Metaverse concept to the “peak of inflated expectations” phase. Since then, not a day goes by without discovering articles, a newsletter, an interview, Twitter threads, influencers posts, startups, conferences, Discord groups… throwing themselves at this topic like the next cake everyone wants a piece of.
The advent of a new story is never trivial, as Yuval Harari explains. The strength of Sapiens, our strength compared to other species, is our ability to collaborate on a very large scale: by the hundreds, by the thousands, by the millions and now by the billions. What makes this cooperation possible? Our ability to create and believe in intangible, fictitious entities, like countries or companies for example. As far as we know, Homo Sapiens seem to be the only species able to create a story about entities that cannot be seen, touched or felt.
Any group, regardless of its size, that believes in the same fiction shares the same rules and norms to overcome the same problems. Thus, when we collectively decide to change a story we relatively quickly transform behaviors. As we have done with slavery, monarchy, the place of women in society, capitalism, etc.
Actually, the birth of the first static version of the web, on Tuesday March 12, 1989, marks the beginning of a new story that transformed our relationship to time and space. Since then, social interactions, whatever their nature, are constantly increasing in number and frequency. No other species is capable of “connecting” 7.5 billion people.
The Internet IS this story.
And the first lines of a new chapter are being written through the concept of Metaverse for good, for bad and for ugly.
There is no consensus about what the Metaverse is
What the etymology tells us
The term “Metaverse” is a contraction of the Greek prefix meta and the Latin universum.
Let’s start with Meta. It means: among other things, change, going beyond.
Universum is itself composed of uni (“one”) and versum (“to turn”). Universum, or “united towards” represents both “all together” and “towards a common goal”.
Thus, the Metaverse could be defined as a common direction towards which we will move together, the characteristic of which would be that it transforms.
Simply put, it would be a matter of moving towards something that transforms.
What could be more difficult than defining something that transforms, a complex hyperobject in constant evolution, the result of an organic and chaotic process?
Why don’t we start by saying what the Metaverse is not?
What the Metaverse is not
Metaverse is not a revolution.
Actually, the history of technology shows that there is never a breakthrough. The perception of a technological revolution implies the convergence of many underlying and prior technological changes.
If for many the iPhone embodies the beginnings of the mobile Internet, this is because they did not perceive that all the necessary technological bricks were becoming mature enough. The iPhone arrived 10 years after the first BlackBerry, 8 years after the emergence of the Wireless Application Protocol (behind the first mobile sites), almost 20 years after the deployment of 2G and 34 years after the first cell phone call…
The Metaverse is not virtual reality. Just as the mobile Internet is not just an application.
The Metaverse is not a virtual mode either. Just as Facebook is not the Internet today.
The Metaverse is not a video game. Video Games like Fortnite offer a non-persistent experience and limit the number of participants (1 million simultaneous users of Fortnite are in over 100,000 separate simulations).
Finally, the Metaverse is also not a collection of technology tools like Unreal, Unity, WebXR or WebGPU.
The Metaverse is a new experience whose potential is just beginning to be explored. It could be something incredibly positive, destructive, or something in between. As was nuclear power in its time. After about 40 years of work and the discovery of the large amount of energy that fission could produce, the first application was not a power plant but a bomb.
We are building the invisible part of the Metaverse.
Each layer has some good, some bad and some ugly.
The current “techlash” is an opportunity
If technologies are the “what”, humans are the “how”.
The Metaverse, in the right hands, could become a tool for a more equitable society. It could act as a mirror of humanity and shed light on dark areas, allowing us to correct the ills of our society through a feedback loop. Utopia you say? Yet, this is what we are currently experiencing through the problematic of the ethics of AI systems used by the web 2.0 giants.
The “techlash” continues to define the state of the technological world in 2021. Government leaders, who have traditionally been the gatekeepers of society’s protection from the effects of new innovations, are increasingly infuriated by the inability of traditional policies to keep up with the unprecedented speed and scale of change. Alerted by former actors of the attention economy like Tristan Harris, platforms that control Web2.0 are increasingly pressured to transform the systems they intend to rely on to build the Metaverse; whether by organizations like the US Federal Trade Commission or the CNIL (see Google Analytics). Increasing consumer demands and employee activism require more aggressive self-regulation.
This is why Twitter hired its biggest critics in 2020 to develop ethical AI. This is why Timnit Gebru (former Ms. Ethics Google) was “thanked” or why MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini’s remarkable work on algorithmic bias was highlighted in the Netflix “Coded Bias” paper.
Twenty years of experience to capitalize on to moderate Metaverse platforms
The social architecture of the Metaverse and the design choices are still ahead of us.
Researchers and designers of virtual worlds are increasingly interested in more proactive methods of virtual governance to address virtual groping once they occur of course, but also discourage such acts while encouraging more positive behavior.
These designers are not starting entirely from scratch. Multiplayer digital games — which have a long history of managing large and sometimes toxic communities — offer critical lessons for fostering responsible and successful virtual reality shared spaces.
Since 2003, for example, millions of people have gathered to work, play, and socialize in Second Life. Users can even create their own digital content and trade goods and services in the world’s currency, the Linden Dollar. Second Life is 650 million US dollars a year in transactions and a million people use it but above all 20 years of experience in the 2D Metaverse. On this subject, the video game sector is clearly ahead.
The most common forms of governance (warning, suspension or even ban) are currently based on users reporting. Given the size of virtual communities, these processes are often automated via algorithms, which have both advantages and disadvantages. They are reactive, rather than proactive. Moreover, automation leads to problems of false positives and negatives, or even algorithmic discrimination.
What about the self-governance practiced in the multiplayer game “League of Legends” for example that is a tribunal system? Due to lack of efficiency, this system was abandoned after a few years. However, it still exists under the name Overwatch in a game like “Dota 2” for example.
What about the Wikipedia moderation model ? Is it an ethical business model to ask voluntary members of the community to do difficult, time-consuming and laborious moderation work for free? “Wikipedia”, a non-profit organization, is not for everyone.
A multiplayer game like Everquest encouraged altruistic behavior by forcing players who died to return to the place where they died. In this way, players were implicitly but strongly encouraged to ask others for help in recovering lost items.
Couldn’t nudge, a concept theorized in the physical world, be integrated into the architecture of the Metaverse?
What if positive choices for the collective “paid off” more for the players? What if the Metaverse offered the possibility to monitor its “positive impact” score? What if the player was alerted when his score was below the average score to activate the social norm bias. Because if the underlying technologies have matured, so have the advances in the understanding of cognitive biases (which can be used to good effect)!
The Metaverse economy will benefit creators and “unbancarized” people
All the actors in the chain can also hope to get a piece of the pie and regain control provided that the Metaverse model is more decentralized than the social web is today.
For years, gamers have given video game giants like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft 175 billion dollars to play on a screen. They have seen the fruit of tens or even hundreds of hours of hard work to earn stars, pass a level, gain a power, and end up in the trash when the game is over.
But once again, video game players are ahead of the game.
In 2010, a nightclub in the Entropia Universe game was sold for $635,000. The virtual equivalent of Amsterdam was sold in Second Life for $50,000 in 2007. A 16-year-old won $3 million in prizes in the Fortnite World Cup.
Recently, Axie, which is at the forefront of this “GameFi” trend, has already generated over $2.5 billion in trading volume. About 35% of Axie Infinity traffic — and the biggest share of its 2.5 million daily active users — comes from the Philippines, where high proficiency in English, strong gaming culture and widespread smartphone usage have fueled its popularity. Axie has thus become the highest valued NFT collection to date.
Unlike the current buzz about “images” NFTs, gaming NFTs “act”, interact with other NFTs and can appreciate in value over time.
Imagine that you have earned KyratCoin by playing Far Cry 4 for a hundred hours. Because YOUR character, Ajay Ghale_xxx, is also an NFT, he is unique and impossible to duplicate. You own this character. Because you have played a hundred hours, your Ajay Ghale is better equipped, faster, better than those who have played only ten hours. Thus, you earn new KyratCoin faster the more you play. The value of your avatar is higher. You can sell your Ajay Ghale to another player if you want.If you’ve played well, your NFT is worth more than when you originally bought it. If you are not the only one in this case, then others have followed your example. As a result, KyratCoin has grown in value, and the Discord community has grown.
Some gamers currently consider that gaming NFTs is just a new way for gaming companies to earn more money. However, just take a look on Reddit and you’ll find people more or less officially selling characters they’ve raised in a game like World of Warcraft for example… Black market has existed for years. Axie’s NFTs are an interesting illustration to follow. Under the guise of the principle of scholarship, actors finance scholarships of sorts. They own NFTs which they “rent” to guilds they own. In a way, the players borrow the NFT and pay back this loan by giving up a part of the cryptocurrencies earned by playing the game.
Eventually, online and ephemeral experiences have also served to extract behavioral data, the same data used by tech giants to identify patterns and sell us products and services, the same data that made them become the biggest market capitalization in the space of a few decades…
Open source Metaverse could already be an utopia
After interest in these open source metaverses waned, the tech industry spent a decade obsessing over capturing our attention through free, addictive services from which it “indirectly” derives immense value. This is the internet that the metaverse has inherited.
In the early 90’s, when Neil Stephenson wrote his book “Snow Crash”, the Web was still a mess, each piece being connected only by the “magic” of servers. Novice developers build rudimentary Web sites using HTML and HTTP. Then, web browsers like Mosaic and Netscape were born to solve the problem of sorting and aggregating information.
The Metaverse, as described by Stephenson, is a three-dimensional digital street with virtual real estate, where users’ avatars can stroll, party and do business. The architecture and interoperability between all the players in this 3D cyberspace is managed by a company called Global Multimedia Protocol Group.
In the early 2000s, a flurry of open source Metaverse projects emerged to solve the problem of assembling virtual worlds. Unfortunately none of these projects ever took off.
By the mid-2000s, it became clear that the value was no longer in building individual websites but in creating information sorters, channels, aggregators and publishers — open enough to adapt to user-generated content, but closed enough to reap huge profits. Thus was born web2.0. For nearly 30 years, cyberspace has been in the hands of fewer and fewer technology giants. Promising new players emerge, compete with each other, are bought out and end up becoming real black holes called GAFA.
Is a story where giants like Microsoft, Facebook, Epic Games, Apple, Niantic, Nvidia, etc. decide to collaborate to build the metaverse under open source standards from which no one in particular would make billions really credible?
Why would they partner to create a metaverse when they have already spent decades and billions building their own?
If Big Tech’s growth goes on, there will be multiple Metaverse. Each will be interoperable within a proprietary and controlled ecosystem of a tech giant, in the same way that Apple is. Users like the homogeneity of Apple’s proprietary operating system, the ubiquity of iMessage. And Apple, presumably, likes the 30% commission it can charge developers who sell iOS apps through its App Store.
Who wants a metaverse built in the manner of Web 2.0?
New open source metaverse projects are trying to fight the inevitable to redistribute ownership of the Metaverse.
Play-to-earn may kill the core gameplay loop
Once again, the video game industry is ahead of the curve. Games have always been at the forefront of the notion of digital ownership.
The gaming platform Steam can be credited with standardizing the concept for games, and maybe for other media like movies.
Collecting items of randomized rarity and distribution is one of the main “loops” in many games. Usually the player kills a monster and then gets a better weapon, which allows him to kill a tougher monster, which allows him to get an even better weapon, etc. Moreover, collecting “skins” (i.e. different outfits/permutations of the game character) is one of the most common types of microtransactions in games.
NFTs are designed to dynamically adapt to various rare items with permanent, trackable, and open value. But the way NFTs are currently being discussed in games is in great danger of falling into the trap of killing the core gameplay loop by giving in to the sirens of quick financial gain.
This mechanism has already been tested to some extent. Developers of games with a “loot loop” have long had a problem with players being labeled as “farmers,” who acquire and accumulate game currency and items and sell them to players for real money, against the game’s terms of service. The solution was to set up “auction houses” where players could use real money to buy items from each other.
Unfortunately, this solution had an undesirable side effect. As noted by Jamie Madigan, a well-known game psychologist, our brains are designed to pay special attention to unexpected and beneficial rewards. While much of the joy in some games comes from an unexpected or random reward, easily acquiring a known reward via real money degrades the perception of the reward and thus some of the enjoyment of the game. This raises the question of the sustainability of the success of blockchain games like Axie Infinity.
It has indeed quickly generated enthusiasm around the concept of “playing to win”. Players can potentially earn real money by selling either resources or tokenized characters earned in a blockchain game environment. So what is the main driver for players? Do they care enough about the core of the game itself rather than the potential market value of NFTs or the potential to earn money while playing?
More fundamentally, if real gains are the goal, is this really a game or simply a gamified micro-economy, where “farming” as described above is not an illicit activity, but rather the basic mechanism of the game?
Thus blockchain games face several gameplay problems that fall under the psychology of games. Not solving them will probably prevent them from a massive adoption.
Games can be seen as the training wheels of the metaverse: the ways we communicate, navigate, and think about virtual spaces are all based on mechanisms and systems coming from games. Early adopters of a “metaverse” will be gamers who have honed these skills and feel comfortable in virtual environments.
Yet many brands and marketers who haven’t really done the work to understand games are trying to quickly seize an opportunity that probably won’t materialize for a long time.
Metaverse could be like web2.0… but even worse
A recent experiment at the University of California at Berkeley already shows that synthetic human faces have become so convincing that they fool even experienced observers…
When you ask people to name main technologies of the metaverse, they usually name virtual reality headsets, blockchain or even 5G. But the underlying technology that will shape our experience is AI. Indeed, the metaverse will probably be filled with artificial agents controlled by AI that look and act like humans.
They have access to data about our personal interests and beliefs, habits and personality, while monitoring our emotional state by reading our facial expressions and vocal inflections. Actually, they will even have more information than in a web2.0 world to engage us in “conversational manipulation,” targeting us on behalf of paid advertisers without us realizing they are not real.
Since these AI agents will look like anyone in the metaverse, our natural skepticism about advertising won’t protect us.
And the UGLY
The Metaconomy (economy of the Metaverse) could be a trojan horse to implement a deeper surveillance system
When we make payments using bank accounts and credit cards, we make a deal: convenience in exchange for the fact that our transactions will be visible to the companies involved. Every transaction leaves a trail.
In China, the authorities have invented a concept of “controllable anonymity” for the digital yuan. If participants in transactions are anonymous to each other, the central bank can “un-anonymize”. Helping people who don’t have bank accounts “sounds like a very nice idea, but what if the end result is a system of monitored bank accounts? You can get very good privacy for digital payments, says Ari Juels, a cryptographer at Cornell University who has studied digital currency models for central banks. But it’s not clear how much privacy governments will allow and how much privacy compromises efficiency and security.
And unfortunately we don’t live in an altruistic world.
Investors and bankers deeply disagree about how cryptocurrencies will eventually take hold, but their extreme volatility makes them an increasingly important investment. While bitcoin, ethereum and other digital currencies are gaining acceptance on Wall Street, an ever-increasing number of new, untested currencies are endlessly emerging. Some of which are so dubious they are literally called “crap currencies”. With technical failures and sudden price swings, there’s no guarantee that these tokens can be converted to cash. And in the crypto-currency world, it’s also considered a rite of passage to be scammed at some point.
Ingenious players created a bank in EVE Online in 2009: the E-Bank. They created an account system similar to what already existed in real-world central banks. They made loans, paid interest, had a CEO, a board of directors and were extremely well organized. Then the CEO stole 200 billion ISK (EVE’s currency) and exchanged it for over 6,000 Australian dollars.
This may suit wealthy investors who can handle the risk, but could leave market players vulnerable, especially in developing countries.
Government-backed currencies still dominate the world today. If private digital currencies begin to compete with national currencies, it could make some of them more volatile. Almost 200 years ago, something quite similar happened in the United States. In 1830, 90 percent of the U.S. money supply consisted of privately held bank bills. When Facebook declared that we could buy Libra (a project that collapsed) using local currencies, the fear of the price volatility that private currencies caused in the United States in the 1830s resurfaced. At the time, the unpopularity of the system influenced the government’s decision, a few decades later, to replace it with a national banking system. Out of this chaos came the dollar and its domination. The value of a currency is stable as long as its issuer is credible. The political instability in Venezuela in recent years has contributed to the loss of value of its currency against the dollar. By analogy, if a large company were to issue its own cryptocurrency today but its business model declines, or if people begin to doubt the future viability of the company, then this would certainly impact people’s desire to hold this cryptocurrency.
So some countries, including China and Sweden, are testing versions of this state-owned cryptocurrency idea. The Bahamas has already launched a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, which they call the Sand Dollar. Nevertheless, there are still many details to be worked out.
Who oversees the digital currency?
How is it connected to private banks and payment services?
Which people will want to use it?
Another problem is that digital payments have a hard time staying private.
The Metaconomy is still quite useless and inaccessible to a large number of people
The NFT market volume is said to exceed $700 million, and OpenSea is headed for a $100 billion valuation in record time. Ethereum blockchain-based marketplaces seem to be emerging as a strategic infrastructure that will support metaverse economies, but for now, NFTs are missing something crucial: utility and connected economies.
Digital assets are bought and sold. Thus, it is a speculative market with little real use. To create functional economies in the metaverse, owners should be able to do something concrete with their goods. For example, if I buy a recently minted painting, I would want to be able to furnish my virtual home with it. Right now, all I can do is admire my purchase on OpenSea or another site and give the URL to everyone.
This problem will remain for a number of years while the industry agrees (or not) on standards and interoperability. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, estimates that we will have to wait at least another 5 to 10 years. This delay could kill the emergence of the metaconomy.
Moreover, the promise of blockchain-based exchanges and the proliferation of different altcoins that power them should mean that transferring the value of goods and services across different metaverse will be easy. But we are still very far from that.
Different virtual worlds are being created, with their own proprietary token-based economies. There is no real connected exchange of value or assets to other worlds. My plot of land in Decentraland may be completely worthless if I want to trade it for a Land in The Sandbox for example. Similarly, the mechanics of buying, selling, and trading through existing platforms require a certain level of understanding of cryptocurrencies and the use of Metamask, for example. Altcoins need to be converted to Etherum or Bitcoin for example, and then back to altcoin of another metaverse in order to be traded — each time incurring fees.
We are still in the early stages of a functional exchange market, as accessible as fiat, but one that excludes a large number of people who want to participate in the metaverse but do not understand how metanomics works.
Metaverse could be one version of the future of the Internet within… at least ten years
If the Metaverse were an iceberg, the visible part would be a new type of experience. While the invisible part would be: social interactions, new business models, devices, communication networks, new individual behaviors, new communities, new uses, killer apps, brands, gaming, physical and virtual hardware… Therefore, the metaverse concept is a combination of several technologies such as augmented reality, the Internet of Things, 5G, artificial intelligence, space technologies, blockchain… All of them being at the service of immersion in what some people qualify as the future of the Internet. Many of these technologies have been slow to mature, but they are approaching the minimum level of performance to make it a success.
For example, most virtual reality headsets still need to be connected to a PC or game console to achieve the processing power and communication speed needed for smooth and immersive experiences. With ever-faster processors and high-speed wireless communications on the horizon, better visual resolution and wireless experiences should emerge in the next few years.
Instead of looking at the news, you could be right in the middle of the news. Instead of learning the history of ancient Egypt or Greece from books, you could immerse yourself in it virtually, travel through the universe and interact directly with the avatars of the people of the time. Instead of watching a basketball game on TV statically, you could turn your head 360 degrees as if you were there. Instead of attending a virtual conference located on the other side of the world in a passive way, you could then go and meet the other participants and exchange with them on the subjects you are passionate about.
Today, augmented reality remains a niche market regarding the small number of use cases. The blockchain has enabled the launch of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the last few years. It would allow virtual goods and identities to be purchased and transferred seamlessly between various platforms making up the Metaverse. New blockchain applications, such as NFT fever, are increasing the adoption of the technology and could launch a new kind of creator economy…
While some brands are already rushing to grab the pie, widespread adoption will not happen for several years. Indeed, the necessary technologies still have a way to go to optimize their functionality, usability and cost. One semiconductor company has stated that a truly immersive metaverse would require 1,000 times the computational efficiency of today’s state-of-the-art processors.
“When a tree falls, you hear it; when the forest grows, not a sound.”
What if the Metaverse was just a tree when the web3 grows without a sound ?
Metaverse Summit gathers builders, entrepreneurs, investors and experts from Gaming, 3D, VFX, VR, AR, Web3 and beyond. Pre-register here.
Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ethereum Rio (ETHRio) is planned to be a “gateway for international blockchain projects in the Latin American region.”
With a goal to make Rio de Janeiro a regional Web3 hub, ETHRio hopes to build a successful place for communities to meet, serve as a starting point for blockchain projects and connect with an international network.
Based in Las Vegas, NV, NFT.Land will be sponsored by TokenSmart and take place at Caesar’s Forum. Here, like-minded individuals from across the world — including artists, collectors, developers and entrepreneurs — can gather to discover and share knowledge on NFTs.
A non-profit conference, DeFiCon will take place this March in Brooklyn, NY. Here, all innovators and crypto-enthusiasts are invited to hear from “top protocols, investors, activists, creatives, builders and more.”
All proceeds from DeFiCon will also be donated to charity, all while also helping to unify the crypto community within one space.
Based in Dubai, UAE, ETHDubai invites all passionate devs and contributors to join over anything related to Ethereum, DeFi, NFTs, EVM scaling, gaming and decentralisation/community-related projects. Attendees can expect to see great speakers, workshops for both experts and beginners and a surplus of awesome social events.
This March, NFT | LA will combine immersive metaverse integrations, a large conference event and LA’s energetic nightlife scene to create “one integrated conference experience.” With a panel of over 50 confirmed NFT, Web3 and culture pioneers, it’s expected to be one of the largest NFT events of the year.
The 4-day event will also be split into three respective settings — a daytime conference event, a nighttime event and a metaverse event for those who can’t make it IRL.
With The Sandbox listed as one of its co-editors, Non-Fungible Conference is poised to be one of the biggest European NFT events this year. This highly-anticipated 2-day event will allow spots for up to 1500 attendees, over 100 talks and panels and 4 content tracks.
Attendees can also attend various talks, panels, workshops and experiences that will “bring together artists, projects, platforms, collectors and investors from the global NFT community.”
Located in Portland, OR, ETHPortland brings together ETH folks from the Northwest. This year’s event will feature a large panel of speakers from Coinbase, Hummingbot and other reputed crypto/NFT platforms.
This year marks the first edition of Paris NFT Day at Station F — the world’s biggest startup campus in Paris, France. This event is “community-oriented to spread the word, help educate and onboard newcomers”, in addition to serving as a place for those in the NFT community to meet, exchange ideas and build friendships.
As the flagship event of Paris Blockchain Week, the Paris Blockchain Week Summit will bring together more than 3000 attendees, 70 sponsors, 250 speakers and 100 media partners.
This 2-day event will feature sessions about leveraging blockchain, traceability, digital governance, international regulatory cooperation and much more. It will also feature renowned speakers from top blockchain and digital asset companies, where industry leaders will share stories and insights on the market and its future prospects.
Also based this year in Amsterdam, devconnect is a week-long, in-person gathering featuring independent Ethererum events. The event’s focus is on depth-first gatherings, rather than size-focused events — with an overall aim to bring the Ethereum community together through more close-knit, small-group sessions. These events will be hosted by a range of leading experts in these domains.
Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the Alliance Summit focuses on the next wave of innovation in the crypto gaming community. This event aims to bring the community together, calling on all creators, builders and operators to “ideate, share knowledge and collectively envision” what the future of crypto gaming will look like in Web3.
FOMOLAND is set to be one of Europe’s biggest NFT events this year. Based at the Hotel Sempachersee in Nottwill, Switzerland, this exciting event will bring together leaders in the NFT creation and technology space — all within the heart of the metaverse.
This May, spaghettETH welcomes “developers, entrepreneurs, creatives, PAs, regulators and newbies” into Italy’s first dedicated Ethereum event. This event looks forward to bringing together the Italian crypto community, allowing both speakers and attendees to build “new bridges for a decentralised, more efficient and transparent future.”
Located in Split, Croatia, BlockSplit brings together blockchain startups, developers, researchers, investors, marketeers, designers and more. With spaces for up to 300+ participants and 30+ speakers, attendees will have the opportunity to experience insightful talks about blockchain technology, both technical and non-technical workshops and other fun, collaborative opportunities.
Based in sunny Palm Beach, FL, Permissionless (in partnership with Bankless) will be an event to remember — with an assemblage of yachts, food vendors, refreshments, bar crawls, street parties and other exciting ways for those in the wider community to meet, celebrate, exchange ideas and create lasting memories. Here, some of the biggest names in the industry will speak on topics ranging from the metaverse, NFTs, gaming, institutional adoption and much more.
The conference will be organized into three separate tracks to serve a diverse mix of builders, developers, artists, gamers and investors.
Based in Gabriel Loci, Prague, Czech Republic, UTXO.22 is an open community cryptocurrency conference that will take place this June. This exciting 2-day event will feature 50+ lectures, 100 hours of content and spaces for up to 1000 visitors.
Organized by the Institute of Cryptoanarchy, the ETHPrague hackathon will take place in idyllic Prague, Czech Republic. The aim of this event is to “tackle challenges that will arise in the next decade”, under the belief that Ethereum will play a major role in solving them.
Based in Montreal, Canada, Ethereum Montreal (ETH Montreal) aims to “help build a strong, collaborative community of developers and entrepreneurs.” The event hopes to focus on building decentralised applications, demos and presentations of Ethereum projects, as well as hackathons and critical dialogue about blockchain technology and its future potential.
NFT.NYC is an event you won’t want to miss. Cited as one of the first “major” NFT conferences in the world by the New York Times and TIME Magazine, it may just be the event to splurge on attending in 2022.
NFT.NYC will include spots for up to 5,500 attendees and 135 sponsors — including industry leaders such as OpenSea, Coinbase, Polygon and many more.
ETHNewYork will host the greater Web3 community of New York City. More details TBA.
ETHSeattle (8 July)
This July, ETHSeattle will take place in Seattle, WA. Upcoming speakers include the COO of Sandbox, the Head of Growth at ConFund, the Founder of Gitcoin and many more. More information TBA in the coming months!
Based in Barcelona, Spain, ETHBarcelona aims to combine “art, altruism, activism and blockchain.” The event is currently accepting applications from sponsors, speakers and volunteers. Additional details TBA.
Paris is the place to be this summer. Located at the Maison de la Mutualitie in Paris, France, the fifth iteration of the Ethereum Community Conference will take place this July. It is the largest annual European Ethereum event, with the main focus on technology and community.
Attendees of this non-profit, 3-day event can expect to increase their knowledge through a long list of conferences, workshops and important networking and learning opportunities.
Set to be held later this summer at the Paul & Mildred Berg Hall at Stanford University, the first annual DeFi Security Summit seeks to unite the crypto community to learn more about DeFi — a “merging suite of applications for decentralised asset management over blockchain technology.”
Cited as one of the world’s premier tech conferences, Web Summit 2022 will be held this November in Lisbon, Portugal. Partnered with 200+ sponsors, Web Summit allows up to 42,000+ attendees, 850+ investors and 1,500+ startups.
This year, several industry leaders in the crypto, NFT and blockchain spaces are set to attend. Notable speakers from last year’s event include Nicolas Cary (founder and CEO of Blockchain.com), Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, actress/comedian Amy Poehler, Black Lives Matter co-founder Ayo Tometi and many more.
ETH San Francisco is touted as the world’s largest Ethereum hackathon, providing an opportunity for attendees to “work alongside the developers, industry experts, advisors and companies who are making the infrastructure and applications that will power the new decentralised web.”
This 2-day event will also feature speakers from leading platforms such as Coinbase, Ethereum Foundation and many more.
Metaverse Summit is hosting a Metaverse Party during EthDenver with 300 participants! A special shoutout o our sponsor who made this fabulous party possible — Kiyomi.
Kiyomi, is the metaverse wallet ✌
It’s the portal to immersive experiences with NFTs. Kiyomi is the wallet to display and play with your NFTs in the real world. Craft beautiful collaborative NFT experiences in augmented reality, and create anything from dedicated mini-apps for collectors, or perform unique geolocation NFT drops in Time Square, or ETHDenver directly from Kiyomi.
OpenDive Technologies is a R&D firm focused on all things blockchain, gaming, immersive telepresence robotics, and open source infrastructure. Co-founded by Irvin Cardenas, a researcher in the field of distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence and robotics. He has over 10 years of experience researching and developing distributed ledger protocols and over 12 years of experience in immersive reality technology. In 2012, Irvin co-founded Decentral Bank, one of the early bitcoin-blockchain startups that developed blockchain-based financial services, and worked with tier-1 financial institutions. Formerly, Irvin led Goldman Sachs’ Blockchain Strategy group and has advised various Fortune 500 companies and blockchain startups. Presently he’s an advisor to Metaplex — Solana’s NFT Standard and Foundation, and is a PhD candidate at the Advanced Telerobotics Research Lab.
Experts from every industry will come together. Share ideas with others in your field, meet your future business partner, or seek advice from people who’ve done it all before.
Metaverse Summit brings together the people, organisations and companies redefining the future of creativity and technology.
We welcome the project builders and startups who are tackling the big challenges facing industry today.
4 Metaverse Tracks
Mapping the metaverse needs transversal knowledge across technology, culture, social and entertainment. Throughout these four tracks of Metaverse Summit, you will have a comprehensive overview of all you need to know to be part of the future.
SOCIAL & INTERACTIVITY
Explore UGC-focused social worlds users and businesses can explore, create, socialize, and participate in a wide variety of experiences.
WEB3 & DECENTRALISATION
Explore digital ownership and how to create, store, sale, protect and manage digital assets, such as virtual goods and currencies, as connected to user data and identity.
GAMING & REAL-TIME 3D
Explore how to establish persistent, real-time connections in immersive digital and often three-dimensional simulations, environments; and technologies used to access, interact with the Metaverse.
Mixed reality is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations, physical and digital co-exist and interact in real time. In this track, we’ll talk about AR, VR, and other format of virtual worlds.
Metaverse Summitis set to explore and build the future of Metaverse together. The summit will gather builders, entrepreneurs, investors and experts from 3D, VFXGaming, VR, AR, Web3 and beyond.
The two day event will be held 16–17 July 2022, a unique moment for the international community to meet in person, discover new synergies, and develop projects. We believe that sharing and transmitting knowledge is the most sustainable way to develop the decentralized, fertile future of Metaverse.
Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs.
The big-box retailer filed several new trademarks late last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods.
In a separate filing, the company said it would offer users a virtual currency, as well as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
The big-box retailer filed several new trademarks late last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products. In a separate filing, the company said it would offer users a virtual currency, as well as NFTs.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed the applications on Dec. 30.
Source: Gerben Intellectual Property
In total, seven separate applications have been submitted.
A spokesperson from Walmart didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Source: Gerben Intellectual Property
“They’re super intense,” said Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney. “There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here.”
A report from CB Insights outlined some of the reasons why retailers and brands might want to make such ventures, which can potentially offer new revenue streams.
Launching NFTs allows for businesses to tokenize physical products and services to help reduce online transaction costs, it said. And for luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, NFTs can serve as a form of authentication for tangible and more expensive goods, CB Insights noted.
Gerben said that as more consumers familiarize themselves with the metaverse and items stored on the blockchain, more retailers will want to create their own ecosystem around it.
According to Frank Chaparro, director at crypto information services firm The Block, many retailers are still reeling from being late to e-commerce, so they don’t want to miss out on any opportunities in the metaverse.
“I think it’s a win-win for any company in retail,” Chaparro said. “And even if it just turns out to be a fad there’s not a lot of reputation damage in just trying something weird out like giving some customers an NFT in a sweepstake, for instance.”
In April 2021 Meta announced the new avatar style and demonstrated how could be integrated into the metaverse with the release of Meta avatars within Epic Roller Coasters, PokerStars VR, GOLF+, Synth Riders, and ForeVR Bowl. The Meta Avatars SDK adds social presence to your experience with expressive and customizable avatars. The avatars come with hundreds of different outfit and physical features. Since the release of the avatars in April Meta has made a series of updates both in regards to the overall asset quality and user choices. Meta is currently further developing it’s options with the key message of providing full cultural representation within the metaverse.
Users can configure their Meta Avatars via an editor included in the Oculus platform so that all apps can represent them in a consistent and authentic way. Stopping users from having to constantly re-create their virtual selves and focusing on a consistent metaverse virtual persona.
What is the Meta Avatar SDK?
The SDK is much more than the Meta avatar style. Meta Avatars are built with developer needs in mind to power all kinds of experiences in VR. Meta Avatars interpret hand tracking, controller tracking, and audio input to drive highly expressive Avatar models. Custom IK algorithms help make sure that the avatar’s body positions and facial expressions are as realistic as possible, and these algorithms will improve over time. Developers also have the ability to override body positioning and facial expression data provided. This allows developers to offer completely unique meta avatar mechanics within their desired application.
The intention of Meta Avatars is to enrich social interaction. Optimizing for multi-user experiences has been a fundamental goal. The system locally estimates the avatar’s pose and allows it to be streamed to other participants using your choice of networking stack. This approach reduces the amount of computation effort required, and accommodates the need to override the system’s default avatar facial expression and body position in a manner that is authoritative in the experience. Allowing developers to create natural multi-user experiences whilst simultaneously maintaining performance.
What’s Included in the SDK?
The Meta Avatars Unity plugin includes prefabs, scripts, and assets that allows convenient access to all available functionality, along with several samples including:
Single avatar mirror scene
Custom hand poses
Loading custom avatars via Meta’s web API
The SDK contains 32 sample avatars that are available for use during development and are freely available for use in shipping products. These sample avatars are representative of the quality of the custom avatars users can create, and can also be used as presets for NPCs. Users who don’t want to customize their own, or to represent users on platforms without a Meta login like SteamVR.