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How Coinbase thinks in regards to the Metaverse


By Brian Armstrong, CEO and Cofounder, & Alex Reeve, Identification Product Lead

Today, everyone seems to be speaking in regards to the Metaverse.

Primitive Metaverse platforms are promoting digital land for thousands and thousands of {dollars}. Billions extra are being invested in Metaverse startups. And Mark Zuckerberg just lately renamed his total firm to replicate a give attention to constructing the Metaverse.

The time period “Metaverse” will not be new. It was first utilized by creator Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash.” However as expertise improves, and we spend extra of our lives on-line, extra persons are beginning to consider what’s subsequent — and the way the longer term would possibly revolutionize each the digital and the bodily world.

Just lately, our staff put collectively an inside presentation in regards to the Metaverse, who’s engaged on it, and the way crypto will assist make it actual. I assumed the presentation was nicely executed, so I’m sharing many of the slides right here.

Defining the Metaverse

At Coinbase, our occupied with the Metaverse has been closely influenced by enterprise capitalist and author Matthew Ball (you’ll find his work right here). Like Matt, we outline the Metaverse as:

The way forward for the web: A massively-scaled, persistent, interactive, and interoperable real-time platform comprised of interconnected digital worlds the place individuals can socialize, work, transact, play, and create.

The earliest model of the web, Web1, was about accessing static internet pages. Web2 is about interactive, social experiences inside closed ecosystems. And Web3 might be about digital possession inside an open, decentralized atmosphere.

The Metaverse is the distant evolution of Web3. In its most full type, will probably be a collection of decentralized, interconnected digital worlds with a totally functioning financial system the place individuals can do absolutely anything they’ll do within the bodily world.

Importantly, the Metaverse is not the identical factor as gaming (an exercise you are able to do throughout the Metaverse), or digital actuality (a means of interfacing with the Metaverse). It’s additionally not the identical as Web3 (a distant ancestor of the Metaverse).

For instance this, right here’s how some present platforms stack up towards our definition of the Metaverse:

Parts of the Metaverse

Whereas the total Metaverse is years away, it’s going to relaxation on a basis that’s being constructed proper now.

Just like the web immediately, the Metaverse will depend on {hardware} and infrastructure, instruments and requirements, and regulatory frameworks — most of which haven’t been absolutely developed but.

However in contrast to immediately’s web, there received’t simply be one Metaverse. There might be many Metaverses, they usually’ll be interconnected. That’s why will probably be necessary for any Metaverse to be trustless — which means individuals can work together straight with out going by way of an middleman — and permissionless — which means anybody can take part with out authorization from a governing physique.

To attain this, the Metaverse will depend on blockchain to switch id and possession throughout digital worlds, attestation to confirm them, and fee rails that enable individuals purchase, promote, and earn revenue inside a decentralized financial system.

Who’s constructing the Metaverse immediately?

Whereas we will’t construct something near the total Metaverse but, completely different firms and organizations are experimenting with completely different components of it. Most fall into three classes:

The Metaverse ecosystem continues to be very a lot in its infancy: emergent and but to be outlined. That’s its magnificence too. There’s a heavy give attention to gaming, principally as a result of it’s straightforward to monetize. However we’re starting to see glimpses of what the longer term would possibly look like.


Identification determines who you might be, what you possibly can entry and do, and the way you’re represented throughout the worlds of the Metaverse.

Within the Metaverse, our identities must embrace a simple login, a novel ID, an avatar that represents us, metadata that follows us, and attestation so we will show who we’re. Right here’s the place every of these items stands immediately:

The place Coinbase comes in

At Coinbase, we need to assist pull all of the items of id collectively — primarily creating an id on-ramp into the Metaverse.

That’s the thought behind our work with ENS, which makes it doable to create a novel username NFT that resolves to a pockets. Finally, this may enable customers to hold a novel ID throughout completely different worlds within the Metaverse.

We’re additionally engaged on expertise that can let you buy your avatar, outline and preserve your public profile, and set up belief. And we’re engaged on options like Check in with [Eth/Coinbase], which might enable customers to signal into each app within the Metaverse.


On the finish of the day, this isn’t about increasing our enterprise or getting cash. It’s about constructing a important piece of the Metaverse ecosystem, and serving to crypto develop in the correct means.

We all know that the Metaverse will exist, and we all know will probably be a collection of interconnected digital worlds. Our objective is to make it straightforward for anybody to determine their id and acquire entry to these worlds in a means that’s easy, trusted, and decentralized.

If we succeed, it’s going to enable the Metaverse to succeed in its full potential — and preserve it free and open to everybody.

How Coinbase thinks in regards to the Metaverse was initially revealed in The Coinbase Weblog on Medium, the place persons are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.

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