Decentraland backs Blender
Dear Bankless Nation,
The 2020s will be the decade of Ethereum.
Yet it’ll also be a decade defined by the fight for the open metaverse, lest we cede our ground and totally give way to the Facebooks and Microsofts of the world.
The good news? We’ve glad tidings on the open metaverse front this week. That’s because Decentraland just became a Patron supporter of the Blender Developer Fund, the highest level of support possible!
Blender is a popular open-source suite of 3D modeling tools, and the Blender Developer Fund helps to steward the software. The open metaverse will depend on open tools, so Decentraland’s support here is a big advance in the right direction. Let’s dig into this awesome development for today’s Metaversal.
Decentraland backs Blender!
What is Blender?
Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite.
The software, which was downloaded +14 million times last year, has become pivotal to the workflows of 3D creators from around the world and is the main open alternative to Autodesk.
Suffice to say, Blender’s tech has already been used widely around the young metaverse and will continue to be foundational for metaversal creators for years to come.
What is the Blender Developer Fund?
Maintained by the Blender Foundation, the Blender Developer Fund uses donations to fund core Blender developer efforts and community initiatives.
The fund provides various membership levels for donors, with Patron status being the highest echelon of support possible.
Currently, the fund counts among its Patrons major brands like AWS, AMD, and Facebook. Decentraland is now the first decentralized virtual world and crypto-native project to have become a Blender Patron.
Why did Decentraland support Blender?
Decentraland DAO has a considerable treasury, and the group’s members approved to use a portion of those funds to become a Patron level supporter of the Blender Developer Fund. An abridged timeline of the donation sequence is as follows:
- Open metaverse expert and Decentraland community member Jin read the a16z article We Need More Open Source in Gaming.
- Inspired by that post and by his own work around virtual worlds, Jin proposed on Nov. 3rd that Decentraland DAO make a donation to the Blender Developer Fund.
Jin’s call to action:
“This is an opportunity to support the infrastructure that millions of content creators use for creating, optimizing, and converting avatars and worlds … In my opinion it is also a powerful PR move for the crypto industry to make regarding the open metaverse … The Decentraland logo can sit above Steam (which recently banned crypto) and Google (which centralized much of the web).”
- This initial proposal was unanimously approved and then quickly superseded by a new one seeking to expand that donation to a “Patron” level sum. Decentraland DAO also approved this updated proposal.
- At this point Jin connected Decentraland DAO with the Blender Foundation to complete the donation, and Decentraland Foundation, which supports the Decentraland project, agreed to match the DAO’s contribution as well.
- On Dec. 6th, the Blender Foundation formally announced Decentraland’s arrival as a Patron supporter. Voila!
Why it matters
This Decentraland donation is good for multiple reasons. First off, the support will help Blender further support its developers and creators, which is great in and of itself.
Then in a political and pragmatic sense, open metaverse projects will absolutely need to lean on and increasingly support open tools if they’re to offer real foils to centralized “closed gardens” like Meta. Open tools will be the foundations of our metaversal freedoms, and we must take care to foster them.
Also, sometimes in life the big power move is to put your money where your mouth is, and Decentraland just did this in a big way with regard to the open metaverse. Their donation to Blender is a beacon and rallying cry to all other crypto-native VR projects, i.e. let’s go big when it comes to the big picture!
That said, I would love to see more crypto-native projects supporting and fostering relationships with other open-source projects like Blender and beyond going forward. In this regard, Jin has been a tremendous inspiration so far. Support him and others like him. This is how we win the long game versus those who couldn’t care less about an open metaverse.