Governing the Metaverse: The Linux Foundation creates the Open Metaverse Foundation

The Linux Foundation has just announced the formation of the Open Metaverse Foundation (OMF), whose mission is to create a collaborative space for different industries to work on the development of open source software and standards, “for an inclusive, global, vendor independent and scalable Metaverse”. The foundation tackles a subject whose potential for development is enormous. Although initiatives such as Metas, seem to mark time, they face the enormity of the task and the difficulty of structuring such a large and complex area to be developed.

There is so much to do, and it is precisely in this technological space that the Linux Foundation positions itself. This is to promote the development of technologies and standards so that these advances make the metaverse more immersive and realistic, giving users a smoother experience. The fund also targets specific use cases, such as promoting the emergence of decentralized platforms and blockchain-based solutions, and enabling new use cases for the metaverse, such as digital ownership and control of virtual assets.

Organized into core interest groups

To do this, the Open Metaverse Foundation is organized into working groups, called Core Interest Groups (GIFs), that allow for a “focused and distributed decision-making structure on key topics”. GIFs provide targeted resources and forums to identify new ideas, complete work, and onboard new contributors. They consist of members from specific disciplines who are committed to advancing projects or developing technologies in their field and to ensuring that ownership of the code for each identifiable subset of the projects (e.g. GitHub.org , repository, subfolder, API, test, issue, RP) are processed and managed. OMF’s eight core interest groups are:

  1. Users
  2. Transactions
  3. Digital assets
  4. Simulations and virtual worlds
  5. artificial intelligence
  6. Network
  7. Security and privacy
  8. Legal and political

The foundation announces that many “leading” open source organizations and communities have joined the founding members, including ChainHub, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Futurewei, GenXP, Guangdong Digital Industry Research Institute, Hyperledger, LF Edge, LF Networking, among others . These players intend to bring their expertise, tackle initiatives covering the most critical topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and edge computing, digital assets, transactions, identity, networking, simulations, security, etc.

The Metaverse, a platformization of the real world

When you think about it, Metaverse is nothing more than the “platformization of reality” that promises to drain a portion of the business being done in the real world. The Linux Foundation intends to influence the technological development of the metaverse, as it has done by promoting open source. It has helped democratize the use of free software, leading to the development of a wide variety of software applications that can be used for free by businesses and individuals. By offering a neutral platform for collaboration and development of new technologies, it has helped to create a number of now essential open source projects, including the Linux kernel, Kubernetes and Hyperledger, which have become essential technological building blocks in the ICT sector.

Since there are currently no universally accepted standards for the metaverse, everything remains to be done. It’s a matter of not leaving the field open to private firms rich enough to develop their proprietary metaverse. Market fragmentation that would delay rapid adoption and induce longer standardization cycles. In fact, several companies and organizations are working to develop standards for various technologies in the metaverse, such as virtual reality, avatars, and digital rights management. In addition, several industry groups, such as the Virtual World Education Roundtable, are working to establish guidelines and best practices for the development and use of the metaverse.

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