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Connecting Metagalaxies with Ethereum 🌌

Ethereum and NFTs can prove pivotal in actualizing an open metaverse!
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster Jul 29, 20213 min read
Connecting Metagalaxies with Ethereum 🌌

Dear Bankless Nation,

With Facebook’s latest earnings call indicating the social media giant is going all in on the metaverse, those of us building and using the underground metaverse today have a huge wake-up call on our hands.

By underground I mean an open, user- and community-driven virtual universe as compared to something like Facebook’s presumable conception of the Metaverse, which would undoubtedly be gated, siloed, and beholden ultimately to Mark Zuckerberg’s final decisions, so no real metaverse at all.

All that said, Ethereum’s constellation of virtual world projects aren’t the only meaningful projects in the underground metaverse, yet this constellation’s shared and neutral economic infrastructure — Ethereum, NFTs, etc. — offer interoperability possibilities that are among our best bets to connect the wider metaverse ourselves and stave off Facebook’s centralized dominance.

Accordingly, I think the name of the game now is racing to interconnect metagalaxies via Ethereum before Facebook achieves too much metaversal power. Allow me to explain 👇


Connecting Metagalaxies 🌠

Someone I love to follow for all things metaverse (and I recommend you doing the same!) is Jin, an extremely knowledgeable VR/AR specialist currently building out the Webaverse project.

“The Street” in the Webaverse.

This weekend when Jin tweeted out a repository jam-packed with awesome metaverse resources, I wasted no time in going down the rabbit hole and surfed through many of the links for a couple hours.

I eventually stumbled back to the original thread and found a presentation titled “Solipsis: A Decentralized Architecture for Virtual Environments.” Prepared by a group of researchers back in 2008, the introductory section (drafted by metaverse pioneer Will Burns) offers a most insightful framing of the metaverse, namely that it’s fundamentally composed of content, metaworlds, and metagalaxies.

Will Burns & Frey et al, 2008.

So that clicks, we can readily understand Ethereum-based VR projects like Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and so forth being part of the same “metagalaxy.” But what’s next? How do we move from disparate metagalaxies to an interconnected web of metagalaxies, i.e. the metaverse?

Will Burns & Frey et al, 2008.

Well in the aforementioned presentation’s intro, Will Burns said that for the metaverse to come to life would require a “set of protocols to provide interoperability.”

Almost 15 years later as Ethereum and NFTs are blossoming and opening up new rails for digital ownership, it seems clear to me these technologies are such economic and cultural interoperability protocols, ones that can help interconnect metagalaxies in ways that have never been possible before.

My grand point with all this? We now have the 21st-century tools we need to build up a true metaverse, a metaverse by and for the people and outside of the direct control of corporate behemoths like Facebook.

As Ethereum and NFTs are neutral technologies, the faster we can expand them to other metagalaxies to foster interconnectivity, the better chances we have at resisting Facebook’s invasion and seriously empowering metaversal users and communities for decades to come!

Action steps

  • 🐪 Read Jin’s The Street Messengers post, which centers on “what the ancient Silk Road teaches us about connecting the metaverse.”

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William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

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William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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