Instead of using moderators to shadowban users à la Twitter, the metaverse could offer a mechanism operable across blockchains incentivizing us to police fellow users ourselves.
For all the hype around the metaverse, it is easy to forget it is still in its infancy. While the term has only recently entered the broad public consciousness, its impact on how we interact with technology is already expected to be deeply consequential. McKinsey & Company estimates that annual global spending within the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030 across domains as broad as gaming, social, fitness, commerce and remote learning.
The question of how to define and build technology with such broad capabilities is in flux. While a number of games — such as Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft — have been hailed as early examples of successful metaverse platforms, a more holistic approach would see unrestricted interaction for players across these games. Interoperability between metaverse platforms is one key component that should be considered.
A new way of socializing
While only recently entering the public lexicon, the metaverse is not a new concept. The term was originally used to describe a fictional break from reality in Neil Stevenson’s Snow Crash. The popularity of digital entertainment surged massively during the pandemic. From games like Among Us to services like Netflix Party and Zoom, the opportunity to socialize virtually was highly appealing to many during a time of deep isolation.
These changes have fundamentally reshaped our ideas of how we socialize and work together, with enduring habits formed in connecting and collaborating virtually — an important factor accelerating engagement with the metaverse. Virtual experiences such as Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert have made positive steps forward in developing in-game socially immersive experiences. However, a multi-platform hypersocial virtual experience has yet to reach the market.
Moderation versus censorship
Freedom, community and collaboration are all defining characteristics of the metaverse. Achieving this requires infrastructure that can support the transfer of sensitive metadata across different blockchain protocols, metaverse platforms and gaming ecosystems in a blend of social media, crypto wallets and decentralized applications. So, before an interoperable metaverse introduces new business models and cross-platform capabilities, the issue of multichain identity and moderation must be addressed.
Decentralization brings with it the opportunity to experiment with community-led tactics, incentivizing certain behaviors and allowing the collective to dictate its own preferences. PubDAO, a publishing collective launched in conjunction with Decrypt, provides a good example of how these structures can function. Significantly, it makes a clear distinction between moderation and censorship. Pubbers are like-minded individuals, writers in this case, who get screened, onboarded and integrated into the culture of the community.
Scaling this model up to billions of people creates problems, as individual screening is unfeasible. Legacy social media is plagued with this issue, deploying shadow banning and other censorship tools to deal with the issue. A common solution proposed by Web3 advocates involves algorithmic detection and incentivized moderation to counteract abuse, and yet this fails to account for the nature of a multichain metaverse.
Even when done transparently and equitably, far too many abuses would slip through the net. Using the same machinations of the infamous Tornado Cash mixer, the laundering tool of choice for 52% of nonfungible token (NFT) scam proceeds prior to being sanctioned, one would be able to hide the origin of abusive messages in the name of free speech. Even if the perpetrator got doxed on one chain, they could hop to the next. This is not the type of metaverse anyone wants to inhabit.
NFTs make users trackable across chains
The potential solution lies in moving moderation tools upstream. Twitter has trialed such a process with success. By providing warning prompts prior to publishing tweets, 9% of users were encouraged to cancel their posts. Overall, the study concluded that there was a 6% reduction in offensive tweets as a result of this mechanism.
Implementing a metadata standard and infusing it with decentralized identifiers (DIDs) could provide an avenue for ethical moderation, one that does not impose on privacy but ensures accountability. Such a multichain technical standard would ensure that tokens minted on any chain can be traced back to their origin within the metaverse. NFTs could be infused with verifiable credentials, enabling platforms to afford privacy to their users and define the terms in which these rights would be forfeited.
More importantly, at a time where cybersecurity is an increasingly greater concern, a metadata standard would afford individual users more protection. Data breaches in gaming are notoriously common, with more than half of frequent gamers targeted by hacks, according to a 2020 report from Akamai. The wealth of victims and the prevalence of in-game microtransactions make a lucrative target for cybercriminals. On top of that, users tend to use the same password across accounts, making credential stuffing a serious issue with the potential to percolate across industries.
While certainly not a panacea, an interoperable standard would go a long way to consolidating individual security needs. Web3 is set up to accommodate an identity system that removes the need for sensitive data to be stored on centralized servers, making it harder for hackers to access. In the event that personal assets are compromised, a metadata standard imbued with DIDs would enable traceability across the multichain metaverse.
Data standards will dictate the evolution of the web, so it is important that we get them right. Interoperability is easier to set up from the outset than retrofitting it in. By learning the lessons offered by the development of the internet, we can together build a revolutionary metadata standard that fosters a positive, shared techno-social experience on Web3.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.blockchain crypto pandemic crypto
Crypto in everyday life including travel documentation and visas
The global financial crisis in the past year or so has resulted in a spike in crypto adoption around the world. Cryptocurrencies have shown great potential…
The global financial crisis in the past year or so has resulted in a spike in crypto adoption around the world. Cryptocurrencies have shown great potential of being an effective solution for inflation despite the effects of the current macro environment.
More and more people ranging from financial novices to professionals and institutions have jumped onto the crypto bandwagon over the past few years.
Crypto in most facets of everyday life
A few years ago, it would be laughable to imagine a world where different cryptocurrency platforms would become household names. But all that has changed and crypto platforms especially crypto exchanges are increasingly partnering with popular brands around the world. An example is Crypto.com which had the famous home of the Los Angeles Lakers renamed to “Crypto.com Arena” before later being named the Official Sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Cryptocurrencies are also increasingly becoming a valid medium of paying for goods and services. Crypto service providers have started offering debit/credit cards in partnership with Visa and MasterCard thus allowing users to use their cryptocurrency holdings in paying for everyday items.
Retail shops and service providers are also started accepting cryptocurrency payments solidifying cryptocurrencies as a valid form of currency.
Crypto in the food and beverage industry
For example, in the UAE, food and beverage giant 7 Management has made it possible for customers to pay with crypto at all of their locations throughout the country. It currently accepts payment with major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, BitcoinCash and Ethereum, although it will most likely expand the list in future.
Countries like Australia and the USA have also seen coffee shops and cafés accept cryptocurrency as payment besides accepting mainstream payment methods, such as cash, debit cards, and credit cards like Visa or Mastercard. Some even employ the concept of cryptocurrency as inspiration for their Menu.
Crypto Coffee, a local café in Brisbane, Australia, for example, derives the names of their menu items from different crypto coins. Its menu features items like the BTC Chipotle Chicken Toastie and Doge BLT.
Crypto in the travel industry
The travel industry is one of the industries that has benefitted most from crypto payments with many travel companies and agencies now accepting the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment while travelling in certain countries.
Earlier this year, 1inch Network announced a partnership with the famous Binance-backed online travel agency Travala.com. Travala has been at the forefront of accepting crypto payments with the latest being the acceptance of Shiba Inu (SHIB). The collaboration is a huge step towards boosting crypto use in the travel industry since travellers can now book with different types of cryptocurrencies. Travala.com joined Destinia, which is another widely known booking service that has been accepting BTC payments since 2014.
With the growth of digital nomads and the reopening of borders now that the brunt of the pandemic has passed, there have been a lot more open discussions about the future of travel in general. However, the economic meltdown that has majorly affected the tourism and travel industry has most countries looking for new and innovative ways of inspiring tourism and spending.
Crypto in travel documentation and visas
While using cryptocurrencies when travelling has become more mainstream in the past few years, travel documentation still has a long way to go in fully adopting the use of cryptocurrencies as proof of income.
Currently, the UK government states clearly that Bitcoin is not an accepted form of currency when it comes to proof of income. In the US, although some financial sectors are slowly beginning to allow virtual currency as proof of income, crypto acceptance in applying for visas or ESTAs is a bit slow. In Schengen countries, the general consensus is that currently, only fiat bank statements are reliable proof of income.
A representative of the European Commission, Laura Bernard, confirmed that traditional bank statements were still necessary, but added that since visas are processed on a case-by-case basis, that there truly wasn’t a rule that fits every single person’s situation. This implies that virtual assets might be useful in grasping the full picture.
Marc Piercey, one of the heads of the New Zealand Immigration Department, recently mentioned that there is technically no actual ban on using cryptocurrency as fiducial proof, but did indeed say that ultimately it is easier for visa applications to use fiat-oriented methods of proof.
In general travel documentation and visas still have a long way to go when it comes to the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.
The post Crypto in everyday life including travel documentation and visas appeared first on Invezz.cryptocurrency bitcoin ethereum litecoin crypto btc pandemic crypto
Research: After September bloodbath, historically bullish Q4 could ease the pain
Since the beginning of the year, the traditional financial market has been on a steady downward spiral.
The post Research: After September bloodbath,…
Since the beginning of the year, the traditional financial market has been on a steady downward spiral. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seems to have acted as a spark that ignited the problems that have been piling up since the beginning of the pandemic, devastating most assets in its way.
According to data from Bloomberg, almost $60 trillion has been wiped out from the total market cap of U.S. equity and fixed income since February. The current drawdown exceeds the market downturns seen at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008.
Bitcoin hasn’t been immune to the macro factors that have been devastating the tradfi markets. After the collapse of Terra (LUNA) in June, Bitcoin failed to recover and has been on a turbulent path of brief upswings and sharp corrections.
However, Bitcoin’s lack of upward momentum could be short-lived. September has historically been the worst month for Bitcoin — it failed to close the month in the green since 2016. Last month, Bitcoin closed the month at -3.1%, well below its monthly average of -5.01%.
October, on the other hand, has historically marked the beginning of a bullish quarter for the cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin’s monthly average close standing at 26.39%. It has also historically been the second-best month for Bitcoin, as it posted an accumulated total increase of 369.5% since 2009. The entire fourth quarter also saw historically positive closes.
A September bloodbath is a recurring theme in the world of traditional finance as well. Since 1946, the S&P 500 posted negative year-to-date returns in the third quarter 23 times. Out of the 23 negative third quarters the S&P 500 saw, around 70% were followed by a fourth quarter with positive returns. During a year with midterm elections, this number rose to 89%.
If both markets continue their historical patterns, we could see the pressure decrease as October closes and a comeback of positive returns. However, with global macroeconomic factors continuing to worsen and putting more pressure on both markets, there’s an equally high probability that these patterns could break.
The post Research: After September bloodbath, historically bullish Q4 could ease the pain appeared first on CryptoSlate.bonds pandemic sp 500 cryptocurrency bitcoin
GameFi could be the answer to unemployment for some: Aussie game studio
The executives say traditional jobs are increasingly at risk through factors such as automation, but GameFi can provide a viable alternative to earn a…
The executives say traditional jobs are increasingly at risk through factors such as automation, but GameFi can provide a viable alternative to earn a wage.
Australian-based Web3 game studio Ninja Syndicate’s CEO and founder believes GameFi could usher in a new era where users can earn a living wage through blockchain games.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, founder John Nguyen and CEO Alex Dunmow say that traditional jobs are increasingly at risk through factors such as automation.
According to the game developers, blockchain games can and are playing a vital role for people to earn a living in the digital world through play-to-earn (P2E) and move-to-earn.
The process often requires significant work, but Dunmow says many mainstream triple-A games already feature “grinding for hundreds of hours,” though the assets “provide no value for the player.”
In GameFi titles digital assets can come in the form of nonfungible tokens (NFTs): Users can then take them to a marketplace and sell them for fiat currency or crypto, essentially earning a wage through gaming, argued Dunmow:
“NFTs can give you the technical ability to take ownership of a game asset out of the control of the publisher of the game.”
One of the best examples Dunmow has seen of people making a living through GameFi was a 2021 report about a community in the Philippines who turned to NFT gaming during COVID-19, which was now causing a shortage of workers in low-paying jobs as they could earn wages playing blockchain games instead:
“I saw the whole situation as a positive, a group of people who were likely being exploited in their low-paying day jobs, have found a way to earn wages in the Metaverse.”
Dunmow and Nguyen say the negativity around NFTs and blockchain in gaming present a challenge, but through their games, they hope to “subtly educate people about the benefits of NFTs.”
The game studio has been developing a set of blockchain games under the Supremacy World ecosystem, which involves building, fighting and mining resources within a fictional dystopian world where factions use giant mechs to fight for territory and power.
Supremacy will eventually combine four games, a battle arena that is already out, a first-person shooter (FPS), an MMO and a real-time grand strategy (RTS) game.
Through the series of four interoperable games, the executives said they are creating an ecosystem where players have “sovereign ownership” over their digital assets and can use them in whatever way they want, explaining:
“What interoperable boils down to is being able to share digital assets between games.“
However, Nguyen noted that this interoperability also can also extend to “other game worlds, DeFi and PFP collection.”
“Supremacy will give people who own an NFT, whatever it may be, in-game assets in our world,” said Nguyen, adding that they recently were given a chance to design a custom mech skin for a user based on his Bored Ape Yacht Club brand NFT, noting that he can now connect his ape and claim his custom skin based on his NFT.
Although given the time and resources required, Dunmow acknowledges they won’t be able to custom design something for every user, but he says it shows what is possible.
Dunmow said that at the heart of their game, they’re still trying to build a “fun game” which he believes is vital to the industry’s survival, adding that, “attracting players from outside the crypto space is crucial, especially in bear markets:”
“You make a fun game that has blockchain elements and attracts mainstream players; you are now disconnected from market forces, and you'll be able to survive any recession.”
On Oct. 5, Ninja Syndicate announced a new deal with NFT minting and trading platform Immutable X allowing them to build on Immutable X’s layer-2 ecosystem, joining projects including Illuvium, Gods Unchained and GameStop.blockchain crypto covid-19 crypto
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