Robert Zaremba Blog

Regenerative Metaverse

What is the metaverse? We are hearing about it a lot. For the sake of this talk, metaverse is a virtual place where we live, work and play. It’s an Infinite Garden. Can a metaverse create a sustainable place to live work and play? Certainly yes if we apply regenerative approach. How to assure that a value is not extracted from the users (as in web2.0), but given to the users and the ecosystems?

Let’s start with the thesis:

Social, ecological and financial sustainability requires legitimacy and permaculture foundations.

Web2 is built on social connections, social phenomenas. It builds on our human nature to socialize. Web3 is built on decentralization:

  • Bitcoin is the first one, the beginning of the internet of value. The beginning of a new trust model, where we can transfer a value without a need for a trusted agent. It’s the biggest revolution since the inception on the internet: revolution on how we transact and how we connect.
  • Web3 a social phenomena.
  • However, blockchains doesn’t have a human-social aspects in it’s protocol!
  • To reach the Web2 adoption level, we need to build a sustainable social aspects, while preserving the Bitcoin vision of trust and disintermediation.

Metaverse from DeFi perspective

Metaverse uses DeFi to let people do their activities (work, play, transact). DeFi empowers users, it’s the most successful Blockchain use case today. It let us innovate at the speed of light. We often hear: “one year in blockchain is like 20 years in traditional finance”. Let’s reflect on the state of DeFi we have today:

  • DeFi provides an incredible market optimization. Instead of hosting an army of bureaucrats, bankers and empowered institutions, we make super efficient, smart contract based protocols to allow people and institution to transact in p2p without the intermediaries.
  • Smart contracts today is a cutting edge technology, prone to hack, with very complex or almost impossible recovery solutions.
  • “Lambo on Mars” lucrative opportunities attract people. Fear of missing out makes it easy to scam people.
  • DeFi is also a wild west magic internet money.

DeFi vs Hub-Spoke Traditional Finance

The DeFi of today is disrupting the centralization of the traditional financial world constructed in a hub-spoke model. Key economic centers of activity, such as New York and London, function as operational hubs for the financial services with concentrated power and wealth. The Hubs influence economic activity at spokes - regional centers or financial powerhouses like Mumbai or Paris that may not be as globally important as hubs but still function as nerve centers for their respective economies. Economic prosperity radiate outward from hubs to spokes and toward the rest of the global economy. Not only the operation is centralized. The wealth growth is centralized and preserved to few. DeFi unlocks the access to financial assets and lucrative investments. Currently at the cost of the regulations. However, does the DeFi of today provide a real, equal access to the financial instruments? Or only to tech savvy users, high risk early adopters and ‘financial degenerates’. Do we have any adoption rails? Does the DeFi preserve the social, human and ecological ecosystems? Unfortunately, DeFi of today is still prone for capitalism effects and wealth concentration. In this circumstances, Metaverse is not ready for a sustainable growth. In order to build an Infinite Garden, while preserving a more equal wealth growth and ecological and commercial sustainability, we need to reformulate DeFi and smart contract equations!

Infinite Garden Social Sustainability

We already know the receipt to build a social ecosystem: it’s a social graph. More importantly, we have already learned the traps and hazards of social systems: centralization, giving up the power to the service providers at the cost of our privacy, where a human is a product. We need Legitimacy. Legitimacy is a higher-order acceptance. We can measure it by observing how agents, (people and institutions), in a given social context, accept and play the rules and how the people enact with the system outcomes. System is legitimate if individuals and groups play the rules and if it has a well defined Nash Equilibrium. That means: the optimal outcome in the system is where it is not worth to deviate from the initial strategy. It’s not enough to have these scarce resources in short-term bursts - a project needs to optimize for long-term developer and talent attention. Legitimacy is needed to have any hope of succeeding - otherwise a project will simply be relegated to being a footnote in the crypto history books. Interestingly enough, we already have receipts for creating Legitimacy. Gitcoin provides community driven funding and support mechanism with a minority voters support. GitCoin is one of the first adopters of decentralized Proof of Humanity protocol. Bat network is the first experiment of rewording users for their attention and creating a loyalty network.

Infinite Garden Ecological Sustainability is achieved by building on Permaculture. Permaculture is a whole system thinking and embodiment that can create the next economy that will serve all of humanity. To use a buddhist analogy, it tells us how to “chop wood and carry water” work that remains after enlightenment. In this case, the enlightenment is gaining a whole-systems perspective. That work is permaculture. Moreover Permaculture is an essential part of larger sciences, philosophies, and social movements, but it’s not the whole story. It doesn’t encompass them, it derives from them. And, most importantly, permaculture gives us the tools we need to bring this new understanding of whole systems into the physical and virtual world. It’s very important to note that permaculture, by design, can’t sustain an unsustainable. Reducing waste or energy-use at a toxics manufacturer isn’t a viable design, because we know that we must take all the system yields into account. Toxic manufacture will still produce toxics. A planet-killing process can’t be reformed; it must be eliminated at a higher design level.

Regen Network - Platform for a Thriving Planet. Regen Registry allows land stewards to sell their ecosystem services directly to buyers around the world. It commodities the ecological work outcomes and creates a whole scale market for ecological credits.

It’s a time to take responsibility in our hands. We need to make the game rules to value the health of our social and ecological state.

The Infinite Garden is around us. We just need to look around, observe and sense what the mother nature build for us: the nature and humanity.