There is significant conversation and confusion around the term ‘metaverse’ and its relationship to ‘Web3’ practices like the use of blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens (not to be confused with Web 3.0, W3C, or “semantic web,” which are unrelated to “Web3”). These technologies can be viewed as heated and controversial topics, with strong opponents and proponents.
A considerable segment of the metaverse community is excited about what these technologies can do. But understandably, other groups, especially those previously harmed by using these technologies, are unwilling to invest any time in an organization that does not have a clearly defined stance to not develop or promote it.
The Open Metaverse Foundation (OMF) is part of the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering innovation through the use of open source technologies. Our community is made up of a diverse group of metaverse users, developers, academics and content creators who hold a wide variety of opinions on Web3.
We, the OMF community, want to clarify our stance and scope related to these issues.
What the OMF will not do
As part of the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization, the OMF will not offer products or services for sale. As such, we will not create any kind of payment service, cryptographic currency, blockchain or otherwise.
We will not promote or build integrations with any cryptocurrency or payment platform, which we view as outside the scope of the OMF’s goals, and would, therefore, distract us from our core focus. Our technical projects will leverage open source licenses and, as a result, there may be downstream opportunities for other communities to build downstream integrations (as is the case with any open project), but this will not be the focus of the OMF.
This also extends to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), smart contracts and other methods of tracking digital ownership of assets with financial value.
What the OMF may do
The OMF may create APIs and standards for platforms to make use of to allow users to pay and trade in the metaverse. We see this as an important feature and critical to the success of the OMF. These systems will not be made for the purpose of promoting Web3, but rather, to allow any third-party platform, including traditional payment providers, to provide these services in a way that best serves the users of the metaverse.
We may also create APIs and standards for the tracking of object ownership backed by third-party providers. As with payments, this will not be made for the purpose of promoting NFTs or smart contracts, but rather, to be used by any service that wishes to provide this functionality.
For example, this may include video game developers who have their own inventory systems and may want to integrate their systems with the metaverse and other service providers.
Our community cares deeply about empowering users and preventing the negative effects caused by consolidation. We believe that we can achieve these goals without enforcing the use of specific technologies on users.
Some of the systems we build may, as a technical detail, involve the use of technologies that resemble blockchains or other Web3 systems. We keep this option open purely from a technical point of view and we want our users and community to hold us to this commitment. If we start building a system that you have concerns about, we want you to make your voice heard so we can correct our course.
How to make your voice heard
At the Open Metaverse Foundation, we strongly believe that our mission relies on a large, diverse community of contributors, users and others to provide feedback and guidance, debate key issues, shape our direction, and keep us on the right track. We encourage you to become part of our community and participate!
We welcome your comments and input on these topics and make your voice heard. The heart of our community lives on Discord and Slack and we encourage you to share your thoughts and comments as we tackle tough—and sometimes, provocative or contentious—topics.
In this case, we have created a “debate” channel for discussing the social and technological aspects of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 where we invite thoughtful, respectful discussion on these topics. While these topics may be heated and controversial, we ask that all debate remains respectful, enforceable through our community’s code of conduct. If ever you feel you cannot safely enter these community channels, we want to hear from you—please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that debates on the technical merits in Focus Interest Group (FIG) channels should be kept to directly relevant work.
You can also share your thoughts and ideas by creating content in other places, such as through videos, articles, and social media threads, and follow the development by joining our mailing lists.
We look forward to tackling these challenging topics together on our shared path to an open metaverse!