How Coinbase thinks in regards to the Metaverse

How Coinbase thinks in regards to the Metaverse

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

These days, everyone seems to be speaking in regards to the Metaverse.

Primitive Metaverse platforms are promoting digital land for millions of dollars. Billions extra are being invested in Metaverse startups. And Mark Zuckerberg lately renamed his entire company to replicate a concentrate on constructing the Metaverse.

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

Recently, 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 believed the presentation was effectively carried out, so I’m sharing many of the slides right here.

Defining the Metaverse

At Coinbase, our excited about the Metaverse has been closely influenced by enterprise capitalist and author Matthew Ball (you could find his work 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 shall be about digital possession inside an open, decentralized surroundings.

The Metaverse is the distant evolution of Web3. In its most full kind, will probably be a collection of decentralized, interconnected digital worlds with a completely 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).

To illustrate this, right here’s how some present platforms stack up in opposition to our definition of the Metaverse:

Elements of the Metaverse

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

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

But in contrast to at this time’s web, there received’t simply be one Metaverse. There shall be many Metaverses, and so they’ll be interconnected. That’s why will probably be necessary for any Metaverse to be trustless — that means individuals can work together instantly with out going by means of an middleman — and permissionless — that means anybody can take part with out authorization from a governing physique.

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

Who’s constructing the Metaverse at this time?

While we are able to’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 remains to be very a lot in its infancy: emergent and but to be outlined. That’s its magnificence too. There’s a heavy concentrate on gaming, largely as a result of it’s straightforward to monetize. But we’re starting to see glimpses of what the long run would possibly look like.


Identity determines who you’re, what you’ll be able to entry and do, and the way you’re represented throughout the worlds of the Metaverse.

In the Metaverse, our identities should embody a straightforward login, a singular ID, an avatar that represents us, metadata that follows us, and attestation so we are able to show who we’re. Here’s the place every of these items stands at this time:

Where 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 concept behind our work with ENS, which makes it doable to create a singular username NFT that resolves to a pockets. Eventually, this can enable customers to hold a singular ID throughout completely different worlds within the Metaverse.

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


At the tip of the day, this isn’t about increasing our enterprise or making a living. It’s about constructing a essential piece of the Metaverse ecosystem, and serving to crypto develop in the appropriate means.

We 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 ascertain their id and achieve entry to these worlds in a means that’s easy, trusted, and decentralized.

If we succeed, it would enable the Metaverse to succeed in its full potential — and hold it free and open to everybody.

How Coinbase thinks about the Metaverse was initially printed in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, the place individuals are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.

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