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f(Metaverse)=Web3.0

 

051C8AA8-BE99-4FBD-81E1-F3E0648C6D3A-10299-000005572287C932Author: Liu Qiushan (author of “Metaverse: The Road to Infinite Games”, chief researcher of Bytom Team)

Whatever value the metaverse develops in the future, the value function will always be equal to Web 3.0.

The metaverse, is the buzzword of 2021, and is known through the two events of Roblox listing and Facebook changing its name to “meta”, which conveys to the world the direction and values of the “first generation metaverse” – a 3D immersive virtual world with direct sensory experience as the core feature. In just one year, the global industry, capital and financial markets have undergone a radical logical shift: countless Internet companies have transformed into metaverse platforms, capital madness layout metaverse market, and the concept dividend has been splashed in the stock market and crypto market. 2021 not only opens the prelude of the metaverse concept, but also opens the door to the wealth effect of metaverse. All this seems to indicate that the metaverse will be an information technology revolution.

Revolution, first of all, originates from the concept. To judge whether a concept can eventually become a revolution, it needs to have a continuous hype cycle and be successive, with the effect constantly amplified. Obviously the metaverse is still in the first stage. And at this stage, almost all the global Internet companies started to think about whether to lay out the metaverse, just like the previous cloud computing. The development of information technology is most afraid of stagnation at the border, as in recent years, industry and capital are hysterically looking for opportunities, trying to introduce negative entropy, and even if there are no opportunities, they want to create something unreal out of it. That’s how the metaverse came to be. At first, the metaverse was only thought of as being within the fields of games like Roblox, as a way to give open game systems greater valuation and space for future growth. But later it got out of control: social platforms think themselves as needing virtual worlds to change human interaction, industrial production activities needed to build a digital twin to speed up output, entertainment activities were no longer satisfied with the traditional two-dimensional Internet interface, and all of humanity’s aspirations for a cyberpunk future continued to grow. The metaverse has become a “collection of intersections” shared by other borders after it has got out of control, converging all the major circles of the Internet at one time. We are not going to talk about whether the metaverse is useful to them now, obviously it still depends on the future practice of the respective industry practitioners for many years, maybe as we go on, some fields will automatically withdraw from the metaverse category, just like the booming “Internet Plus” and “Blockchain Plus” of that year. The road of these is not be suitable for all the “contestants” after all. However, for competitive athletes, it is important to cultivate internal skills day after day, but the world-class track under the spotlight is a scarce dream, so whether they are champions or eighth, they will try their best to give it a try.

 

At this stage, the metaverse is more like a product launched by major Internet companies, with no clear infrastructure, no solid evolutionary path, and no imaginative ecosystem prototype, many of which only make a 3D virtual activity space and then come to a screeching halt and fall into confusion. Roblox, on the other hand, has gone further and further into its own defined Metaverse, unconcerned with what the other guys think and just making its own game world. Therefore, the metaverse cannot just stay at the “3D presentation layer”, otherwise it is no different from making a template, but has to go deeper into its logical core, further abstracting it into an idea, a protocol, a more universal basic architecture. Just as the Internet originated from the TCP/IP protocol, the metaverse needs a “protocol origin”. Since then, the metaverse seems to have become abstract again.

If the metaverse is set on building a 3D world, its protocol base should be mainly graphics, such as how to make the unreal engine more revolutionary, but this vision is still small after all, even if this is what is envisioned in Snow Crash, but the times are progressing and so are the ideas, if it is set on building a virtual life, it seems to turn itself into a “hodgepodge”, from social to office, from documents to videos, which is not cool enough, then if we are bold enough to elevate the metaverse to the level of the whole Internet infrastructure——in fact, after decades of development, the Internet is almost equal to the real world (real universe), and people’s real life almost revolves around the Internet, so the “meta” of the metaverse is not so much beyond the real universe, but more precisely beyond the Internet, so people will hear the sounds of “next generation Internet”, the true spirit of the metaverse lies in the “next generation Internet”, also called Web 3.0.

First of all, it is important to know that the mature paradigm of the Internet today is called Web2.0, and as early as 2006, Jeffrey Zeldman, the king of the World Wide Web standard and the pioneer of Web design, realized that although the Internet under the Web2.0 architecture has a very high linking efficiency, especially in establishing human interaction, it also tends to breed Internet business oligarchs and cannot really give the value of the Internet to users.Then he used this as the core argument for the first time to propose a more ideal Internet architecture – Web 3.0. Unfortunately, due to the limited practice of the era, he was unable to provide a viable architectural solution until the successful practice of Bitcoin in 2009, which brought about the landmark technology paradigm, blockchain.

 

In the past decade or so, blockchain has developed decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ether, also known as the “world computer”, and iterated on them to create a huge and rich variety of protocol markets, application markets and currency markets, from the underlying currency and system to the upper layer of services and life. It is an all-encompassing virtual social system that is completely self-contained. The interaction between people, the logic of building applications on it, and the value feedback system after the applications are generated all seem to be completely different from the traditional Internet architecture. For example, in this decentralized network, people and people are de-trusted and activities are censorship-resistant, so it is more convenient to pass money (or money) and other substances, not just information; then again, the business form on it is no company, the most powerful must be the agreement, decentralized agreement, agreement to generate value, value back to all participating users. In short, the new generation of network that emerges with blockchain as the underlying architecture has completely got rid of the traditional Internet’s definition of business logic.

In the past decade, subject to the limited development of blockchain technology and ecology, although people imagined how to replicate all the applications or company forms of the Internet based on this kind of world computer, they mostly ended up with failures, such as the difficulty to replace the large-scale computing power, efficient linking ability and convenient service experience of the Internet. Until 2020, people were surprised to find that “decentralized finance” (called DeFi in the industry) really landed on decentralized networks, and it was also the first time for world computers such as Ethereum to realize major applications, giving rise to a market worth hundreds of billions of dollars, though mainly for pure financial applications. The evolutionary path people had been searching for decades seemed to have appeared. The evolutionary path that people have been searching for ten years seems to have emerged. In 2021, the decentralized network is completely beyond the boundaries of financial applications and extended to the real world and real things, bringing about the explosion of NFT ecology. Around NFT, more and more people can collaborate, create, develop, govern, produce, and communicate in the decentralized network, and further begin to give rise to DAO (decentralized autonomous form), social, virtual worlds, and other application forms more similar to the current Internet. In this great process, the “world computers” no longer stick to the single and lack of blockchain technology in the past, but focus more on how to build a better service experience, such as the most famous feature – “connect wallet”. It can be said that today’s decentralized network has formally challenged the traditional Internet architecture with the declaration of “We are Web3.0”!

The Web 3.0 storm officially blew from the crypto world to the mainstream world with a brilliant speech by Brian Brooks to the US Congress, which could be described as a proclamation to the world that Web 3.0 is a movement around the issue of web ownership. In 2006, although people aspire to a better Internet, but can not give the solution. Today Brian Brooks is telling the world that the vision that was once possible can be realized through blockchain (the world’s computer) and elaborates on the laws of token-driven network value transfer, as exemplified by Ethereum Network ownership is in the hands of all users who hold tokens. Web2.0 has TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, Linux and other human glory, while Web3.0 promotes blockchain, protocols, smart contract and other tools of affirmative movement, at the underlying logic, the noble mission of human pursuing openness, freedom and equality remains unchanged. The greatest significance of the retrospective is how to re-empower the buttom layer to realize the greatest value. Only when the bottom layer obtains the greatest value, any commercialized form on it (such as the much criticized walled garden of Internet application) will not turn against the customer and monopolize the value of the whole network. In Web 2.0, it was the most difficult for the bottom layer to maximize value, and without value maximization, there was no maximum value, and the whole network’s endorsement was monopolized by the upper commercial trust, while in Web 3.0, a value maximization movement from the bottom layer, the output is the unshakable logic of value reshaping.

So in this sense, Web 3.0 has become a kind of banner of the times, and its mission is very clear, and it no longer remains in slogans and ideas, but has a practical underlying architecture, a kind of protocol, and also has preliminary applications on the ground, and is proven to be able to build a prosperity and diversity comparable to the Internet, and is an ecosystem that can grow continuously.

Finally, let’s go back to the perspective of metaverse, it seems that the superficial meaning of the title of metaverse is not so important, metaverse is no longer the “Metaverse” in “Snow Crash”, nor is it just the “Meta” in the Internet world. The metaverse is more like the beginning of a new era, and the core of this new era is carried by the more concrete Web 3.0, and it has really arrived.

 

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