The metaverse has been a hot topic these days, and in our recent podcast, Raoul Pal defined it as “digital mobility.”
So what is it? Why is it so important? How will the meta universe appear? How does it relate to the real world and our identity?
And what is the role of Ethereum in this whole process?
Have a drink, fasten your seat belt, and let David explain to everyone what meta universe is.
The emergence of the meta universe
As the fanatical energy of the NFT grows, so does the dialogue surrounding the “meta universe”. Everyone is talking about the “meta universe”, but no one is trying to define it meaningfully.
This article provides an actionable proposal on what the metaverse actually is.
The “meta universe” will be a combination of many different layers and technologies, but all the components of the meta universe will adhere to a single shared source of truth.
The meta-universe will be composed of objects, and all these objects must know that all other objects exist. On this basis, we can create a ledger of all objects in the known meta-universe, as well as their shared interaction and story history.
Understanding the meta-universe requires breaking it down into its constituent parts, and then recombining it into a narrative about what “it” is.
Let’s take a closer look.
Build the meta universe from the bottom up
The meta universe is a new organizational structure in the digital age, but we have seen it before! Before we define the meta-universe, we need to define its previous iterations.
From a nation-state perspective
I recently read the book “Seeing like a State”, which explains what it is like from the perspective of a nation-state.
A nation-state is a unity composed of incentives and desires, which use internal people to realize these desires.
The nation-state is the central registry of all things worth registering in its field. The nation-state likes order, so it uses the order system to explain all the things it has power.
We have many phenomena of order that define our lives through the desire of the nation-state:
Social Security Number: 123-45-6789
Actual Address: 1234 Taylor Ave N, Unit #56
Phone Number: (123) 456-7890
Enterprise EIN Number: 123-45-6789
The serialization of people and entities within a nation-state helps the state understand its components. Once a nation-state accounts for everything it controls, it can also start taxing everything.
It’s not just about serializing people and their businesses.
According to the book “Seeing like a State”, the orderly state structure we currently have is based on previous attempts to calculate the value of land managed by tax officials. Traditionally, land will be evaluated and measured based on the yield of its crops, and nation-states will hire surveyors to correctly evaluate the value of the land based on the value of the crop that the land may produce. Good fertile land will levy more taxes than dry land because the central accounting agency wants to see fairness.
Early agricultural accounting systems mapped out the land and the types of crops growing on it. Potatoes are planted every 6 inches, which means that 1 acre can grow 120,000 potatoes, which will bring in $50,000 in taxes to the state government each year.
The nation-state has worked hard to ensure that it accounts for all the values it governs, because this will bring high taxes to the country.
This is how wild and diverse forests become an ecology of a specific type of plant. The forest becomes a grid of trees suitable for planting wood, and the wilderness becomes an orderly pasture with only one crop. The chaotic, unstable land becomes a grid of streets, and all streets have numbers.
Nation-states need to make things orderly and well-documented in order to optimize their ability to coordinate resources. The central registry of a nation-state needs to know all the valuable resources within its control in order to be able to properly extract taxes and develop the country.
The nation-state wants to be responsible for everything. This is good for the health of the defined system, but it comes at the expense of personal freedom. For tax purposes, nation-states reduce their owners and their property to a serial number, which is why they always oppose government over-expansion.
That’s because if the nation-state gets its wish, the long-term conclusion of the nation-state desire may be this:
Art is always ahead of human consciousness
The nation-state is based on central intelligence about its own state and the world around it.
It is seeking to “understand” the world around it and extract its resources.
This concept explains why nation-states often oppress indigenous cultures. It is difficult for nomads to pay taxes because you can’t find them in a specific place. The resources they produce and consume are vague and difficult to track because they are produced out of order. Nation-states do not know how to measure the value of commodities produced or consumed “in the wild”, that is, the “unaccounted for.”
Aboriginal culture is inherently unable to integrate well with nation-states. Indigenous peoples are more harmonious with nature, while nation-states hope to consume the chaos of nature and export orderly civilization. We see that nation-states restrict indigenous culture to smaller and smaller lands, because the aspirations of nation-states begin to revolve around non-nation-state cultural occupation and domination of the world.
This has become a major flaw in the current world social structure, and it is also one of the main sources of global social pressure and inequality.
If a larger and fairer human organization structure is to emerge, the cultural prejudice against the legitimacy of identities or objects in the field must be eliminated.
From the perspective of an agreement
Encrypted economic systems can manage a large number of responsibilities previously assumed by nation-states, while preserving the right of individuals to express their wishes to the world around them to the maximum.
Ethereum is a new country, a country that exists in the cloud. It is bottom-up, not top-down mandatory.
Although the participation mechanism is different, we see that Ethereum also promotes similar functions of the nation state.
Ethereum also likes things that are ordered and serialized. In fact, if you want to store anything on Ethereum, you must comply with the laws of EVM.
Want to settle a transaction on Ethereum? You need an Ethereum address.
Want an identity on Ethereum? You need an ENS domain name.
Want to deploy a token? You need a token contract address.
Want to buy NFT? Your specific Ethereum address will need to interact with a specific contract address, so Ethereum can know which part of the ledger to update.
Ethereum is a protocol for serializing objects into the meta-universe. You can initialize the state of the NFT by deploying the smart contract information to Ethereum.
Ethereum does not need to hire a land surveyor or the Ministry of Finance. It does not require humans to understand the value of resources in its field.
Ethereum knows: address location, number of ETH, number of tokens owned, and value of tokens owned
Since Ethereum is an Internet protocol, it will never knock on the door for taxation. An important improvement of Ethereum as an organizational system is its cost-effectiveness in keeping the ledger active. By eliminating its own material demand for maximum tax extraction, Ethereum only charges the minimum tax (such as transaction fees) required to maintain the system.
Taxes are paid by those who actually pay public fees for members of the new Ethereum nation: those who protect and update the global ledger.
Object persistence in the meta-universe
No matter what the meta-universe is, it needs the object to have permanence.
Objects found in the meta-universe must show characteristics similar to those in the real universe. Objects in the meta-universe must collide with other objects in the meta-universe. If they cannot collide, are they still objects?
Meta-universe objects must know each other’s existence. In the digital world, this can only be achieved when all objects are known by a single source of truth for all known items in the meta-universe.
Nation-states assign numbers to objects found in their domains, while individuals assign numbers to objects they create on Ethereum. The “tokenization” process manifests the object into the meta-universe and makes all other objects in the same plane of existence “know” the object.
A universe was born.
This is the role of Ethereum as a new country. Register all objects and make them interact.
In DeFi, we call it “Money Lego”, but in NFT, we call it “Meta Universe”.
When humans needed to record the ownership of objects in the real world, they invented “writing”, and this invention began the process of recording history.
The “meta universe” will arrive through a similar process. First, we record the items that exist in it on a common ledger, and then we will build a digital civilization around this single source of truth (we call it the meta-universe).
A general ledger is the basic framework of the meta universe.
Identity is an object
Like all previous organizational systems (religion, nation-state, etc.), Ethereum is made up of people. But so far, it has been difficult for Ethereum to really know who constitutes it.
Our human soul and human identity are not things that can be serialized and added to the blockchain. This is something unique to the real space layer, and it will always be.
The nation-state does not care about the human spirit. They will give you an 8-digit social insurance number, and then move on. Your identity is given to you by the nation-state. In addition, it expires every 6 years, if you do not go to the nearest licensing department to update, you will face consequences.
In the meta universe, you choose your own identity.
The Ethereum address is free for everyone, and it is not possible to link the address to one person alone. I personally use more than 50 Ethereum addresses, many of which are shared with others.
Although my personal activities are mainly limited to a few addresses, all the interchangeable ERC20 tokens through these addresses do not actually link a specific identity to that address.
Currency and other fungible assets are designed to eliminate the link between the owner and the unit. Currency should be a public utility without any political color. It does not hold prejudices and does not accept any information from the entities that use it.
ERC20 tokens flow in and out of the wallet smoothly because they are interchangeable, and once they are mixed with other tokens, they lose any form of traceability.
My Ethereum address holds ETH, UNI , AAVE , MKR or any other ERC20 token…just like thousands of other Ethereum addresses. Non-differentiation, non-uniqueness. In fact, I can sell all the tokens from one wallet and then repurchase from another wallet without any connection between the two wallets.
With the launch of privacy tools like Aztec, I can even send ERC20 tokens from address A to address B without having to associate the two addresses, making these addresses useless for establishing identity.
The inherent neutrality of the ERC20 token is a wonderful attribute. It is necessary to establish a fair and open global financial system, but it cannot yet establish what is needed for a cloud digital nation.
This is where the non-fungible token (NFT) comes in.
My Ethereum address contains Cryptopunk #1118, which is unique. Since there is only one Cryptopunk #1118, NFT is an on-chain object and establishes an identity chain between all the Ethereum addresses it contacts.
What Ethereum cares about is not the address itself, but the objects in the address.
ERC20 will not associate an identity with an Ethereum address, but ERC721 will do anything for it. As a true metaphysical being, people can travel through the meta realm and interact with the objects they encounter during their travels.
NFT is specific, so ownership of NFT illustrates a specific taste.
This is my NFT wallet on OpenSea :
There are many wallets on the network, but this one belongs to me. No other wallet hosts this specific collection of artificially generated objects. NFTs began to form an identity shadow behind the private keys that controlled them.
NFT PFP avatar movement
When people add NFTs to their social media profile pictures, it becomes very easy to understand the person behind the address.
The ENS domain name has the same effect. In fact, ENS has made great progress in adding an identity layer to the ENS domain name itself, rather than just adding a human-readable name to the Ethereum address. I hope ENS will play an important role in aligning the identity with Ethereum.
ENS addresses are also NFTs, and they contribute their own unique identity layer on Ethereum.
Serialize humans on Ethereum
Ethereum will not assign you a number when you are born and give you your identity like a nation-state.
Instead, you choose your identity on Ethereum.
Ethereum doesn’t know that you are a specific person, and it doesn’t care. However, when you purchase an NFT, especially when you use it as your Web2 avatar, you are choosing a specific NFT from the millions of existing NFTs as the digital representation of your digital self.
I chose Cryptopunk #1118 from the contract address 0xb47e3……3BBB. As a representative of my human taste and human spirit, I chose to assign the attributes of Cryptopunk #1118 to a random Ethereum address.
I chose the address of Ethereum and confirmed its identity. In turn, Ethereum realizes that there is a specific identity, and it shapes Ethereum by instantiating specific identity attributes within an Ethereum address.
Due to the association of specific objects in the Ethereum metaverse, the Ethereum address is unique. It comes into contact with a specific set of unique NFTs, and those non-homogeneous interactions distinguish it from all other Ethereum addresses that exist in the meta-universe. It has its own traceable path and its own unique story to tell.
Only when it has embarked on its own path can it make all the difference.
At this point, I need to add plant pictures to the article.
NFT is how humans become identifiable objects of the state of Ethereum. Not the country of Ethereum, but the storage state of the Ethereum virtual machine.
Strange, they use the same word!
The Ethereum identity has subverted the way we perceive under the nation-state model. On Ethereum, we choose our identity. Ethereum does not give us an identity in the form of eight digits, but asks us: What recognizes us?
During the Renaissance, individuals emerged from the top-down oppressive religious tyranny. We saw the transformation of art from two-dimensional outlines and primitive perspectives to three-dimensional representations and photorealistic styles.
I believe that Metaverse provides a similar paradigm shift in terms of identity attributes, and we are on the cusp of the transformation of identity from 2D to 3D.
In the physical world, our identity is largely related to our physical form. In fact, nation-states use skin color, eye color, hair color, gender, and height to register your property in its central database in order to track you.
Check your ID, everything is there.
The physical characteristics of your human form have nothing to do with Ethereum. Ethereum cannot know your skin color and will not care. Nothing prevents some people with certain physical characteristics from choosing a digital representation that is completely different from the DNA they were given at birth.
The practice of mindfulness teaches individuals how to separate their mind from their body and become more aware of their internal processes independent of their physical processes. Your human form is overlaid on your human spirit. Although these things interact, they are also different.
If given the opportunity, in theory your human spirit can choose a different container.
Separation of mind and body?
Digital meta-universe representation
After the debut of pppleasr’s “Fortune” magazine cover, I participated in CryptoPunk because of FOMO.
This cover quotes many encrypted Twitter figures, including Crypto Dog, Loomdart, Banteg, Tetranode, Santiago Santos, Cobie, etc.
As an encrypted Twitter figure, I am very disappointed that I did not appear on the cover. Every crypto person has a chance to be a part of crypto history, but obviously I will never be included in this artwork, my Twitter/social media avatar is my humanoid photo.
There are no humans in pppleasr’s images…only digital representations.
This is the point.
The inclusion of this historical artwork standard requires a digital, non-human identity representation.
Other parts of the meta universe (Loot??)
Identity is the first thing to reach the meta-universe, but once we have established ourselves, the next thing is what we want. When humans evolved from nomadic hunter-gatherers to agricultural settlers, we began to collect things.
Similarly, once we can create the meta-universe, it’s time to collect items!
Just this week, on Ethereum, we saw some brand new things attracting a lot of attention and energy.
Loot was created on August 28. A total of 8000 Loot bags were minted, each of which has 8 different items, each with a different degree of rarity.
On OpenSea, these Loots look like this:
In the past, NFTs were all about specific JPEGs, and the NFT generative art or NFT PFP movement has always revolved around purchasing specific JPEGs related to Ethereum culture.
The JPEG standard is only a specific appearance layer on the object, and does not actually contain any appearance information about itself.
Therefore, when you buy a loot, do you buy a JPEG with a list of items?
The JPEG on OpenSea is just a description of this token, not the token itself. These Loot tokens have properties to create a set of objects and give these objects unique properties.
OpenSea has not been updated to present the attributes of these objects, but sites like 0xInventory.com can express the relevant attributes of Loot.
The 0xInventory.app website uses attributes embedded in the token to change the appearance of its front end. These changes are primitive and simple, and the text that identifies the object has changed color according to the degree of rarity.
The changes that 0xInventory.apps brings to the world are only superficial changes. It only illustrates the attributes of the tokens themselves, whether they are rare, epic, legendary or ordinary. But this is the first step that tokens must take when expressing their attributes in the meta-universe surrounding them.
Today, your token will change the color of your own text on the website.
tomorrow? Metaverse displays specific digital objects into your hands and changes the available options.
What exactly is unlocked by the Loot project?
There may be nothing. This is brand new and no one knows that anything that exists for 4 days (at the time of writing) has immeasurable risks.
But since the Loot project was born, derivative projects have been launched, and they “add” value to Loot’s meta-universe corners.
Although the perspective of this meta-universe is completely unstable, there is a precedent for this model of determining how the meta-universe develops. This new model pushes expression to the surface, while value and utility are more deeply embedded in the Ethereum protocol.
Some people have noticed the potential behind this model. By embedding tokenized attributes into the deeper layers of the technology stack, you can optimize the largest selection of appearances while establishing a single source of truth for object attributes in the meta-universe.
This helps reduce the complexity and development costs of developers, while providing users with freedom, creativity and expressiveness.
Someone has developed a “ability score” contract and created “statistics” that can be granted to these Loot holders. They are basically RPG attributes, which are common in traditional games.
This project has nothing to do with the original Loot team, it is only initiated by like-minded participants who want to add additional features to the Loot ecosystem.
Loot holders can cast’Realms’, which are some kind of generated maps that can theoretically imagine the universe around Loot. It is not clear how it will interact with the aforementioned objects.
The meta universe will be rendered on the periphery.
Ethereum cannot determine the appearance of the metaverse, it can only accommodate the valuable objects it hosts.
The “meta universe” cannot be determined by a single source of truth, which is fundamentally inextensible. Instead, the meta-universe will be presented locally based on a set of local rules and attributes. However, although the meta-universe will be presented locally, the valuable objects in the meta-universe will be universal and interoperable.
Make up the meta universe
No matter what the meta-universe is, it will assemble itself as an emerging structure.
There will not be a specific creation moment or place, but the meta universe will slowly appear around us. The meta-universe will be a composable universe, the objects of which are shared and interactive.
In order to become more immersive, the meta universe will have to behave more decoratively. The calculations required to generate the decoration layer on the meta-universe will not come from the “blockchain”, which is technically infeasible. More realistically, the meta-universe will be presented by parameters determined by the local rules of the relevant meta-universe. The Fortnite meta-universe will follow Fortnite rules, Axie will follow Axie’s rules, and Decentraland will be embodied by Decentraland’s rules.
What makes all these parts “meta universe” is the shared registry of meta universe objects. Just like SMS and TCIP, the meta-universe will be built on a protocol for identifying objects.
If it is important in the real world, it can be represented by serialized objects in the meta-universe.
The meta-universe may start with many different and incompatible islands. These independent islands will only identify certain specific objects related to this corner, and the only connection with the rest of the meta-universe will be through deep connection structures such as Uniswap or OpenSea. Many projects are only related to specific areas of the meta universe, and they will be connected through the underlying liquidity layer of ETH, Uniswap and OpenSea.
But just as DeFi is slowly migrating from different applications to a single general financial structure, Meta Universe will stitch itself together through a similar currency Lego mechanism.
The meta-universe will grow by adding larger and more seamless components to the center of asset and object recognition. It will slowly manifest as a combined alternative dimension of digital existence.
Ethereum is the economic foundation of Metaverse
The details of how the meta-universe behaves will depend on the unique rules of a particular corner or niche. However, one thing is certain, the meta universe requires:
- A central asset registry;
- One-tier financial application;
- An economic engine;
This is Ethereum.
It is a token registry, it is a combination of DeFi applications, and it is a native currency and economic system.
At the beginning of this article, we elaborated on the desires of a nation-state and hinted at how its physical properties establish material desires in the land it controls.
An encrypted economic system like Ethereum is a stepwise improvement of the relationship between individuals and the social organization structure provided by Ethereum. Ethereum does not turn humans into a harvesting farm, but a public product system that optimizes the extraction of minimum value.
Ethereum is not optimized for rent-seeking, but charges based on the size of the object (in terms of data) and the complexity of its interaction with surrounding objects.
All economic systems we have seen in history have some kind of taxation system, and all systems need to maintain self-protection. The more the economy can fund its own protection, the better the civilization.
EIP 1559 levies a tax proportional to the use of Ethereum. The more data you put on the chain, the more fees you pay. Ethereum does not impose taxes on wealth or income, but on your consumption of public goods: block space.
With the expansion of the meta universe, more and more objects will arrive in the block space of Ethereum, and some of these objects will continue to interact with other objects on the chain. This requires Ethereum to update the state to update the surrounding meta The state of the universe.
The vast majority of object interactions in the meta-universe will be performed through rollup (in a hostile environment) or through a trusted database (in a friendly environment). But even if layer 1 transactions become cheaper and more efficient, this will be largely offset by the Cambrian explosion of metadata objects and object-to-object interactions.
Due to Ethereum’s monetary policy, Metaverse will no longer be a friend of cheap gas prices, which creates a safe flywheel around the ecosystem. As the metaverse becomes larger, Ethereum will become more secure, thereby making the metaverse itself more secure.
ETH is meta universe currency
The meme “Art is priced in ETH” was created during the NFT boom in the winter of 2020, when everyone noticed that all NFTs were priced in ETH.
Of course, the art of encryption is just the beginning. Naturally, Metaverse will start with highly valuable speculative works of art, and then develop into a more powerful and intertwined ecosystem.
Although the meta universe is in its early stages, it will be isolated and separated. The only unity of the meta-universe will be the underlying financial layer, namely DeFi, which establishes a common economic foundation among all sub-regions of the meta-universe.
The first shared aspect of the meta universe will be ETH, which is a common currency that unites all isolated islands in the meta universe into a single liquid asset. Although objects inside Axie Infinity cannot yet interact with objects inside Gods Unchained, they can all be bought and sold via ETH, allowing the value of Axie Infinity to pass to Gods Unchained or any other part of the meta universe.
Currency is the first thing that connects the meta universe, and ETH is currency.
The picture below has been very popular recently. On the surface, it illustrates the nature of the excessive hype of the term “meta universe” and how non-descriptive it is that it actually doesn’t explain anything.
This is just a hyped word, and everyone wants to be consistent with it.
I think this is a meme on the surface, but it is actually much deeper than what it reveals.
All technologies are developing towards a unified subject. The meta-universe will construct itself, and it will beckon to those who are closest to helping it achieve this goal. The meta universe is an object calling out to the surroundings. It wants to be built, it only needs humans to build it.
The NFT boom started with JPEG, but before the establishment of the meta universe, we must pass more file formats. When it comes to how this will unfold, your guess is as good as mine.
I can only leave you with the lessons we learned time and time again in the crypto process:
- Work fairly;
- Leaders are important;
- Before we figure it out, we will blindly rush into something;
I look forward to exploring the meta universe with you. It seems that we have only recently discovered a large number of unexplored new areas.
Let’s build some cool things.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/ethereum-will-become-the-currency-of-the-metaverse/
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