IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
Everything you need to know about the Open Metaverse
Wed, 13th Apr 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Has anyone else had that feeling lately? The troubling creeping sense that the internet is being used against us? It's a disturbing thought.

One of the century's greatest inventions, designed as an open platform for creativity and communication, is now being wielded by a small number of global corporations hungry for your data and your dollars.

It's not a new feeling. Anyone involved in the Web 3.0 movement has always had reservations about the current iteration of the internet. But until very recently, the tools to break the tyrannous hold of the tech giants existed only as whiteboard sketches and passionate discussion.

Enter the age of the Metaverse.

Decentralised, trustless, community-owned and secure, the Metaverse has quickly presented itself as the real solution to realising a better internet.

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is the next evolution of the internet and the digital economy. It's not one thing, but rather, it's many things grounded in two principles:

  1. An immersive internet experience: The internet as it is, operates within many interconnected but separate siloes. The Metaverse removes the boundaries between the major categories we currently engage with, e.g. finance, gaming, social media, and commerce, creating a single experience that encompasses all the current features of the internet.
  2. Ownership: The Metaverse is defined by users having control over their assets, data, and transactions. Using open source code with open standards gives ownership back to users and control back to communities. It's a tug away from the mega-corporations that currently control almost all of the digital tangible value in our lives. In the Metaverse, users own their content, identity, data, avatar and any intelligence that sits behind processes and can take them between applications at will.

How is the Metaverse linked to Web 3.0 and blockchain?

Web 3.0, also known as the decentralised web, is a new iteration of the internet based on blockchain technology. It envisions an internet where people control their own data, and exciting creative content is open and available to everyone using a decentralised, community-driven system.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the Metaverse is the natural UX of Web 3.0. It offers an appealing, gamified and tangible way for people to interact with a decentralised, blockchain-powered internet.

If it's so community-driven, how come Mark Zuckerberg is all over Metaverse?

The Metaverse offers a blend of the newest technologies alongside a much-needed return to community-driven communication, creativity and fun. It is the death knell of big tech's exclusive ownership of value on the internet. So naturally, all of the giants are clamouring desperately to own the Metaverse before the revolution totally undermines them.

Rather than pursuing an open, decentralised Metaverse, big tech is looking to simply expand their own tightly controlled assets, locking everyone into their offering and charging what they like for it.

What is the 'Open Metaverse'?

With big tech already crawling all over the concept of the Metaverse, the communities actually pursuing an open source movement have had to define their niche. The open Metaverse (or the true Metaverse) is the genuine article, not to be confused with organisations like Meta who are simply making a walled garden extension of Facebook.

What's a blockchain bridge, and why are they important to Metaverse?

A blockchain bridge, often known as a token bridge, is a connection that allows the transfer of tokens and/or arbitrary data from one blockchain to another. What this means in practice is that two or more blockchains with different core protocols can interact with each other and interoperate securely and quickly. The bridges rely on one chain proving ownership of a token (or numerous tokens). They then relay this information to other connected blockchains, which can then be used to perform actions on another chain.

This is groundbreaking for Web3. It is the realisation of a technology that will allow a network of connected blockchains, each offering its own strength or speciality and all working together in a secure, decentralised state. Essentially it enables an internet that doesn't require the ownership of centralised servers that are controlled by a single person or entity. Instead, data is stored on a network of decentralised blockchains which are anonymous, secure and community-driven.

Bridging technology allows the open-Metaverse true scope. Metaverse content can now exist across multiple blockchains, utilising features from each to give their communities excellent experiences and the ultimate decentralised freedom. For example, chains with low gas fees act as a Layer 2 solution on top of bigger chains to increase scalability and efficiency.

How is CENNZnet helping to drive the Metaverse?

In case you can't tell, we are stoked about the development of the Metaverse and Web 3.0. Our focus has always been about enabling easy onboarding of users to web3 technology. CENNZnet has been optimised to allow developers to build user-friendly applications that can merge the user experience boundaries and enable people to own their content, identity and data.