The North Star
As we are trailblazing towards the future, we imagine a sustainable reality where travel and consumption are virtual, a place where nationality, gender, race or ethnicity no longer confine you, but instead are choices for you to make. In this new reality, everyone shares similar opportunities as they explore a global market of virtualized experiences and products.
Creation and consumption of virtual content aren't new. Streamers have become overnight celebrities, dominating platforms like Twitch and Youtube. Between 2018 to 2021 their numbers have tripled. Over 15k active streamers are active each day on YT and Twitch combined, totaling over 2.4 million hours watched a month. Online Gaming has become a major, multi-billion dollar industry. It introduced many new frontiers for creativity and monetization, ranging from Minecraft pixel art and virtual concerts on Fortnite to NFT communities on The Sandbox. Together these frontiers have collectively been termed the Metaverse.
The term Metaverse is derived from a combination of Meta (meaning beyond) and Universe. Throughout this paper, we define the Metaverse as: "a paradigm shift in human interaction and the next step in the computing revolution where social media and gaming merge into interconnected, interoperable virtual experiences." Sometimes the Metaverse is used interchangeably with the term Web3.0. We prefer using the term Metaverse because it emphases a much broader domain than the technologies alone.
To further clarify this distinction, when we perceive the Metaverse through the lens of a story about computers that originated from the Silicon Valley hippies in the '60s and was continued by cyberculture in the 90s, we can see that it at its core a social rather than a technical phenomenon. In the 60s, Steve Jobs created a market of digital products with zero variable production costs, limited not by resources but only by creativity and effort.
Neal Stephenson expanded the digital narrative in the ’90s with the concept of the avatar as a digital manifestation of higher dimensional humans, kickstarting a wave of fictional worlds such as The Matrix and Ready Player One. The question in these stories is always the same: what is reality, and who is in control?
We believe the Metaverse is the next frontier for computing, the internet, and humanity. We know that if we are to build a new reality, we need to do it right. We believe that the right one is a Metaverse:
1) created by artists;
2) financed by businesses;
3) governed by the community.
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