No Blockchain: No Metaverse

The Metaverse is essentially a virtual space. We are no strangers to virtual spaces constructed by computers, networks, and algorithms. When the first electronic computer was born in 1946, the virtual space appeared like a shadow. The Internet that appeared at the turn of the century has made every ordinary person of us realize that the virtual space is a vast world, where there is a lot of potential.

The virtual space has developed to this day, with some new features, so that we want to give it a new name: Metaverse.This is like naming the era of the explosion of species as the Cambrian in geology. The term “Metaverse” comes from science fiction writer Neil Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Avalanche”, which has a virtual space called “Metaverse”. The Metaverse in the novel is born out of the real world, but also parallels with the real world, interacts with each other, and is always online.

The new era of virtual space named after “Metaverse” has two new features: the first is the rapid progress of perception technology, and the second is the breakthrough of blockchain technology.

Look at the first feature first. Perception technology transforms computer-generated content into form, so that people’s eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind can perceive it, so that it can be received and understood by people. Conversely, perception technology can also more conveniently transmit a person’s will to a computer through language, actions, expressions, ideas, etc. The advancement of perception technology is gradually bridging the perception gap between humans, carbon-based creatures, and the silicon-based world.

The second feature is more important and more essential. The successful application of blockchain technology has changed the paradigm of economic activity in virtual space. Economic activity must be based on rules that are mutually agreed upon and followed by the participants. In the traditional economic ecology, such rules need to be established and maintained by reputable institutions. However, with the support of blockchain technology, a group of ordinary people who do not know each other can find another way to build and manage a credible ledger based on algorithms, thus providing the underlying logical basis for asset confirmation and asset transfer. A variety of economic activities have been launched.

It is foreseeable that in the future, the Metaverse project will form two major genres. One school emphasizes the application of perceptual technology, the other school emphasizes changes in economic models. The school that emphasizes perception technology will use cool special effects as a selling point, and the school that emphasizes the change of economic model will practice the concept of Web 3.0, and return project benefits and governance rights to users to a greater extent. Generally speaking, a Metaverse project will have both, just with a little emphasis.

It should be noted that although the Metaverse is a virtual space, it does not exist independently of the real world. Human beings are the link between the Metaverse and the real world. The main body of activities in the Metaverse is virtual users, but each virtual user is associated with and controlled by a natural person or legal person in the real world, referred to as “real person”. That is, virtual users of the Metaverse are avatars of real people in the real world. Of course, a real-world real person can have multiple incarnations in the Metaverse. It can be seen that the activities of virtual users in the Metaverse are essentially the activities of real people in the real world. Therefore, the current mainstream view holds that the economic logic, ethical norms and legal system of real people in the real world should in principle apply to virtual users in the Metaverse, that is, to the real people behind virtual users.

How far is the prosperity of the Metaverse industry from us? Recall that 35 years ago, China’s first email “Flying over the Great Wall and going to the world”. Today, 35 years later, the Internet world has been deeply integrated with our real world and integrated into one. From germination to prosperity, the Metaverse, a new era of virtual space, will evolve at 10 times the speed of the old Internet world. Based on this, we might as well say that in the world, the Metaverse industry will emerge in three or four years.

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