The ill-defined, but frankly overused term “metaverse” has found its way from obscure science fiction into the global lexicon frighteningly quickly. The metaverse is front and center of Web3 — which has a definition in need of ironing out too — but even in its vague state, it’s easy to identify problems. One such problem that has been present in all of Web3 so far is interoperability, and the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3) has it in their sights.
When it comes to crypto as a whole, many embedded in the industry would point to Bitcoin maximalists when they think of a narrow vision of the future, but they are far from alone. Since Ethereum ushered in the age of altcoins, we have seen people choose ecosystems and then become entrenched in them. This sort of tribalism is something I’ve written about for NFT Insider. However, many who work in blockchain gaming, in particular, have observed that Web3 cannot operate as disparate islands. Crypto has acted as a safe haven from borders and we cannot allow new borders to form arbitrarily in Web3.
To avoid repeating history and fencing off different communities from one another, Web3 needs to bridge between ecosystems. Many who have been active in the space and actively building in it have highlighted the importance of interoperability. This isn’t the first organization of its kind, with the Metaverse Standards Forum being created recently by the likes of Meta and Alibaba. However, given Meta’s history as Facebook, few were enthusiastic about them having a say in “standards”.
The Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3) DAO
We are incredibly excited to announce the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3. Multiple virtual worlds have come together to solve key challenges of the metaverse and preserve the freedom of information owned by users. Stay tuned for announcements on https://t.co/nd6KfRxsis
— Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (@oma3dao) July 21, 2022
The Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3, OMA3 for short, has been set up to secure a democratic and free digital world going forward. I see no better way of explaining what OMA3 is than quoting the organization itself:
OMA3™ is a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that operates like a consortium. Governance is guided by the principles of inclusiveness, transparency, and decentralization. The standards we create are guided by the goals of true ownership and real-time interoperability. We will build infrastructure to ensure the metaverse operates as a unified system where digital assets (such as NFTs), identities, and data are permissionless and interoperable for all and controlled by users, not platforms. Users will immutably own these assets and transfer them to any OMA3™ virtual worlds freely, without needing the platform’s permission.
Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3
Several key members of the OMA3 featured at The Global NFT Summit in London this week and helped to spread the word of the new consortium. The founding members list of OMA3 isn’t particularly long, but it is an all-star cast:
Animoca Brands: animocabrands.com
Alien Worlds : alienworlds.io
Dapper Labs: dapperlabs.com
Meta Metaverse: metametaverse.io
Star Atlas: staratlas.com
The Sandbox: sandbox.game
The organization is also open to new members, so if you’re working in or around Web3, it may be worth applying to join here.
It would be fair to say that something of this nature is required if the metaverse is to live up to the vision many of us have for it: an inclusive digital world. However, creating an organization to ensure that would undermine the decentralized nature of Web3’s foundations. A community-run DAO could be a solution to that problem, if and only if it is formed in a way that does not favor whales with regards to voting power.
For me, OMA3 has unquestionably the right vision for both the metaverse and the organization’s role within one. A place where digital assets, in particular, can move between platforms without friction and where users are in control of said assets, not the owners of the platforms. If it’s executed currently, OMA3 could easily become the spine of the metaverse, particularly for blockchain gaming seeing as its founders are titans in that space already.