Neal Stephenson (the coiner of the term “metaverse”) publishes a white paper on building the open metaverse. He explains how Lamina1 is building a metaverse for humans


The term metaverse (contraction of meta-universe) was first coined by Neal Stephenson, an American science fiction writer. In his novel Snow Crash (French title: The Virtual Samoura), published in 1992, Neal Stephenson decided to launch his own metaverse. he obviously decided to make it switch to reality. The speculative fiction author has teamed up with crypto pioneer Peter Vessenes to launch Lamina1, a Tier 1 blockchain designed to give creators the tools they need to launch their own projects into the metaverse.

At a time when the metaverse proposed by Mark Zuckerberg is widely discussed, it is worth remembering that the billionaire is not the inventor of the term. Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in his novel Snow Crash (1992). Today, as the metaverse moves from science fiction to reality, the author is back as the founder of Lamina1, a new company that aims to create the framework for an “open metaverse”: in other words, a more aligned metaverse. with the basic vision of web3, and which prioritizes independent creators over companies.

Neal Stephenson’s “METAVERSE”

Many marketers have probably never heard of Stephenson, but most of them have already heard of the metaverse: a still ill-defined virtual space generally described as the next step in the evolution of the Internet. and which is based on blockchain technology, making it (at least in theory) completely free of the top-down control that has dominated the flow of information in the age of Web2.

Unlike Snow Crash (and the various visions of the metaverse promulgated by companies like Meta), Lamina1 does not offer a long-term forecast for the future of the metaverse. Rather, it aims to provide the basic tools technical and creative developers need to bring their own projects to life. Although I’ve been the “metaverse guy” for over 30 years, I feel uncomfortable trying to predict or dictate what the metaverse will be or should be, because the way technologies evolve in the real world is that people find uses for them. The best we can do at this point is to contribute infrastructure and provide tools that the people who are going to build the metaverse will find useful… I’m quite looking forward to being surprised, says Stephenson.

He quotes author William Gibson, who is often credited with inventing the cyberpunk subgenre: The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Things. Interestingly, “The Street” is Stephenson’s name for the main thoroughfare of the metaverse in Snow Crash. Yet many companies, spurred on by the promise of huge potential profits, have tried, some would say prematurely, to find street uses, creating hype about the metaverse as if it had already arrived. You can tell when someone says “we’re building a metaverse” or “our metaverse” that they don’t quite understand the basic concept. There is only one metaverse: the metaverse, Stephenson explains.

Lamina1 is far from the only one trying to build an open metaverse. In July, a group of top Web3 brands—including The Sandbox, Dapper Labs, and Decentraland—united to form the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3).

The purpose of this effort

As the name suggests, Lamina1 was designed as a Tier 1 blockchain, meaning it will be able to establish its own rules and validate its own transactions. Bitcoin and Ethereum are also Tier 1 chains. As Stephenson describes, the advantage of creating your own blockchain is that you can make technical decisions based on your own goals, rather than simply following someone else’s system.

The purpose of this commitment is to correct the “sins” of the past. The paper says Web2 ushered in a period of rapid innovation and unprecedented access to entertainment, information and goods globally. Streamlined tools and ease of use have brought creators and innovators to the web in droves to create
showcase, engage and transact with their customers.

Owning and controlling this growing ecosystem of personal content and data has become a critical and lucrative endeavor for large enterprises. Consumer behavior, recorded on the company’s centralized servers, provided constant insider insight into how to monetize human emotion and attention, Lamina1 said.

“Pchs” included:

  • digital disruption, followed by corporate opportunism, has reset the value of creative intellectual property and adversely affected the creative process;
  • Agencies and intermediaries derived income from producers;
  • Data has been harvested, sold, trivialized and abused;
  • Turnips and convenience were exploited;
  • Family photos have become session bait for an insatiable advertising model.

At its best, Web3 envisions a better world through thoughtful redesigns of our online lives that introduce stronger defenses of our interests, freedoms and rights, the company said. Just as Web2 thrived on the maturity of tools and services that offered ease of use for creators and consumers, the open metaverse will benefit from open protocols for payments and data and a set of interoperable decentralized services to support virtual worlds. Lamina1 will be the focal point for an ecosystem of open source tools, open standards and enabling technologies designed and developed in collaboration with a vibrant community of creators.

We are creators. We are builders. We are passionate about Lamina1’s potential to change the way we create and edit the next generation of content, and we share the needs and interests of our fellow Open Metaverse enthusiasts. “We invite you to join us in building the most powerful network of creative people on the planet,” the company said.

Stephenson co-founded Lamina1 earlier this year with Peter Vessenes, an early and influential crypto pioneer who serves as the company’s CEO and chief cryptographer. On August 25, the company announced that it had hired Rebecca Barkin, creative strategist and product expert, as president. Barkin and Stephenson had met while working at Magic Leap, an augmented reality company that released its first headset in 2018. Barkin, who says he was brought on board in part to bring order to chaos, really explodes , describes Lamina1 as being purpose-built – built to enable experiences in the metaverse with a focus on things we know are important, such as data storage, on-chain interoperability, identity, commerce, etc. quality and ease of use. By focusing on these elements, we can really contribute to the growth of a real community.

Barkin also emphasizes, in her opinion, the need for the Web3 community to reflect on the past and learn from it in order to build a better future: lack of knowledge at the start of the Web2 era and give a lot of that power back to creators and consumers… There is a cultural movement towards agency and ownership… We want to be a part of that. We want to be the leaders and say look, you have a lot to offer the world and we will be where you come to do it, she said.

Source: Lamina1

And you?

What do you think ?

Also see:

Facebook changes its name and is now called Mta. Zuckerberg hopes that a billion people will be in the metaverse within ten years

60% of the French believe that the metaverse is above all a means of entertainment, only 15% favor their Facebook account being associated with digital profiles in the metaverse

The metaverse puts users’ privacy at risk, far more than mobile apps, headsets and smart glasses will be able to harvest a huge amount of data

Leave a Comment