Neal Stephenson’s Lamina1 Is Fighting for an Open Metaverse

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    Is a truly open metaverse possible?

    Cryptocurrency startup Neil Stevenson and his team Lamina 1 (L1) believes blockchain can help make that happen, and believes that one social media giant has embraced the concept. metaverse without understanding its true meaning or intent.

    Lamina 1 is a layer 1 blockchain protocol co-founded by: Stevensonan author widely credited with originating the term “metaverse” with his seminal 1992 novel snow crash. Peter Vesenesis an early cryptocurrency adopter and co-founder of L1 who contributed to the exposure of Ethereum’s early security vulnerabilities in 2016.

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    in an interview with DecryptionLamina 1 CEO Rebecca Barkin, who was previously an executive at augmented reality startup Magic Leap, shared L1’s vision of building an open metaverse powered by cryptocurrencies and how video games fit into Stephenson’s metaverse vision. Share what made an impact.

    “Neil’s long-ago vision of the open metaverse was inspired by games,” says Birkin.

    corporate control

    Barkin explained that Stephenson and L1 want to create an open, high-fidelity metaverse, so forget about floating. cartoon character without legs and “walled gardenGames that do not allow users to bring their assets into other virtual spaces.

    Barkin admitted that popular proto-metaverse games such as: roblox Such platforms are far from decentralized, as Roblox maintains full control over user accounts and locks purchased digital assets within its ecosystem.

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    “That’s part of what we try to avoid,” Birkin said of Roblox’s approach. “We need to build the right infrastructure under it.” [the metaverse] It allows interoperability and identity to move with you, and ownership of digital assets to move with you, rather than relying on companies to maintain your game, hold your identity, and hold your values. It’s for ”

    Barkin said Lamina1, which is preparing to launch its mainnet this summer, also has issues with Meta’s approach to the “metaverse” and VR.

    “Facebook used a term that didn’t make much sense to use when rebranding to Meta,” Birkin said. “We’re horrified that the term has been kind of pre-empted by companies that don’t share, or don’t share much of, the values ​​we wanted to encourage in the development of the Metaverse. A lot of them were frustrated.”

    It is worth noting that Meta has attempted to take an “open metaverse” position in late 2022. Mark Zuckerberg touted interoperabilitybut it remains unclear how exactly and whether Meta takes such an approach.

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    Meta also promoted a hardware-heavy metaverse approach that people didn’t want.

    “When they came out and pushed the vision of a world where we all wear headsets full-time to work, play and communicate, it was too far away,” said Birkin. rice field. “For most people, it was going really, really far, really fast. And the truth is most people don’t want to wear headsets all day.”

    building alliances

    But while an open metaverse is possible under capitalism, technology and gaming companies meta, Microsoft’s Xboxand sony playstation Do you promote exclusivity deals for major games and apps to drive product sales?

    Lamina1 says it works with companies such as HTC and Qualcomm, sharing its “open metaverse” vision. L1 announced this week that it will join the Qualcomm umbrella. snapdragon space XR developer platform, planning to collaborate with infrastructure companies croquet.

    HTC’s Biversewhich offers a lot of user-generated content. virtual experiencewas the main selling point of L1 when it started working with the XR hardware company. back in january.

    “They said, ‘People are not commodities,'” Birkin said of HTC. “And we’ve lost a lot of that in technology over the last 15 years.”

    Earlier this year, HTC announced It will use L1’s blockchain for “cross-world, cross-platform asset distribution,” allowing players to hold onto their digital assets and use them across multiple games and experiences.

    Now, Lamina1 and AI gaming company Interverse are developing HTC and XR sports experiences with a focus on “interoperable assets.” In the world of the 3D sports brand, the player can appear as the mascot of his eight different football clubs in Europe, for example the bald eagle of the Portuguese football club SL Benfica, Agia Vitoria.

    surreal experience

    Barkin also said that Lamina1 is working with metaverse company Mira to create experiences for users.

    “They are on a city scale, VR tourism, e-commerce, [user-generated content] We can embed games into these worlds with this framework they’re building,” Birkin explained, “and it’s all backed by blockchain.”

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    “What really got us excited about this is that we’ve been talking for a long time about photorealistic, high-fidelity experiences in VR and AR, and Neil was very enthusiastic about this as well. added Barkin. It’s been hard to reach that level. ”

    As Lamina 1 fights for an open metaverse with new allies such as Mira, Qualcomm, HTC, Interverse and Croquet, its Metaverse platform could rival the tech and gaming giants. However, as the metaverse takes hold, we’ll see if the spirit of its open ecosystem remains intact and is widely adopted by other builders.

    Editor’s Note: Headings have been updated after publication to more accurately reflect the content of the article.


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