One company seeks to make the metaverse all interoperable, we speak to the Co-founder of this company about his pioneering project.
The metaverse is an ongoing project that has just begun to show its true nature. There are many types of “metaverses” out there with some projects already well-defined and enjoying years of success. With so many different metaverse projects out there some users can feel pulled in multiple directions, what happens when they want to take their journey to another world per se? At this moment most metaverse adventures are enclosed to the specific environment that the user has logged onto, but what if that could be changed?
The Metalinq landing page starts with a simple statement “The Metaverse Will Be a Multiverse.” The company is building a layer-3 protocol that will enable all of the metaverse projects to work with one another. The main goal of the project is to bring forth standards and create interoperability between the metaverses.
The team working on this project is a blockchain studio named Indorse and it has years of experience when it comes to the blockchain. The team is co-lead by Gaurang Torvekar, a gamer at heart, avid reader, and metaverse dreamer.
The concept of the Metalinq project was formulated in the second quarter of 2022 with a backing from Coinsillium which also backed Indorse in a seed round in 2017. The team was then introduced to Outlier Ventures and Mr. Torvekar describes that as a match made in heaven. Both teams have the same vision and the partnership has created an intense program that has seen Gaurang and his team grow considerably.
Solanews recently was able to speak to Gaurang and as we spoke we could tell the amount of enthusiasm and excitement he had for the project. Below is that conversation, we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed speaking to him about Metalinq!
Hi Gaurang, could you please tell us about your crypto and blockchain background? When did you start being active in crypto and when did you start focusing on NFTs and Metaverse?
I have been working in the crypto industry since 2015. I was writing Smart Contracts since Ethereum was on the Testnet! I have been heavily involved in the community in Singapore and used to co-organize Ethereum Singapore Meetup back in the day!
Regarding NFTs, I have been actively involved since 2020, and we started Building projects in the NFT space in 2021 at Indorse. I have been a big fan of NFTs and Metaverses, and I believe that they are going to fundamentally change the way a lot of things are done in the gaming and fashion industries.
Why do you think Metaverse has become a prevalent topic not only in blockchain media but in mainstream media as well?
Although it was Facebook/Meta which brought the topic to the focus of the mainstream media with its re-branding, the Metaverse as a concept has been around for a long time! The book Snow Crash first introduced the concept back in the 1990s! There are some amazing players in the space currently, like Decentraland, Sandbox and Voxels, which are at the forefront of this innovation. Still, before that, games like Second Life sowed the seeds for this phenomenon to become what it is today.
In your view, what are the pros and cons of blockchain-powered metaverses?
Blockchain-powered metaverses truly give back the ownership of assets to individual users. Unlike Big Tech giants such as Meta and Microsoft running Web2 platforms on a business model founded on controlling and profiting from user data with all the risks this centralised model entails, the blockchain-powered metaverses empower the end users via independent ownership of their data and assets. Thanks to blockchain, in-universe assets like LAND, wearables, art, equipment, etc.. are minted and sold as NFTs and truly owned by the users.
The biggest problem with these metaverses is that there is no interoperability! To truly unlock the potential of blockchain and create a trillion-dollar industry, interoperability is of the utmost importance.
What do you see as major challenges of the fast and global adoption of metaverses?
Apart from a lack of interoperability, another major thing hampering the wild growth and adoption of the Metaverses is the lack of engaging content. While this space has huge potential, the graphics, content, and games seem mediocre. When non-technical people and non-gamers enter a metaverse, they get lost and don’t quickly know what to do there. Hence, I feel that the biggest challenge for global adoption is to build enticing and entertaining activities and adventures inside the Metaverses!
Metalinq aims at driving inter-operability between multiple metaverses built on different blockchains, arguably one of the major challenges faced by blcokchain-based metaverses. How will Metalinq help solving this challenge? How long before the first Metalinq practical application/showcase?
Metalinq is creating a new standard for interoperability by introducing something we like to call “Meta NFTs”. This new breed of NFTs will act as proxies for their derivative NFTs, which would be the actual NFTs in each metaverse. Metalinq will integrate at the NFT standard level across various L1 and L2 blockchains, thus creating a cross-platform and cross-chain link and enabling interoperability.
Metalinq is focusing on a first use case of “wearables”. You equip your avatar with digital attire and accessories on your avatars as you start your adventures in the metaverse. These wearables help you to showcase your uniqueness and let you be whoever you want to be. The metaverse offers an opportunity to become an unlimited version of yourself and go beyond what can be done in real life. After cracking the wearables use case, we will focus on in-game assets and in-game economies, which is our holy grail!
What are the necessary steps/ elements for the successful development of metaverse-driven economies?
Firstly, there needs to be engaging content such as games, competitions, events, etc in the metaverse. This will drive a lot of people to spend more and more time in the metaverse. At the same time, there needs to be a link or a bridge between the metaverses so that the users can freely travel from one platform to another, and use their assets, equipment and other resources across platforms.
Apart from these fundamental problems, making the UX and onboarding easier for people to get the next billion users is crucial. Users should be able to use the familiar web2 and web3 UX paradigms while entering the Metaverse.
What are the main applications in the Metaverse you believe will drive growth and adoption?
The first few applications would be engaging games, art exhibitions and events such as music concerts and trade shows! After that, it is also very important for the metaverses to embed VR and AR applications to create immersive experiences for the users.
Do you see Web3 and Metaverse as having tied destinies, feeding off each other’s successes or do you see each evolving separately?
Web3 and Metaverse are each massive technological phenomena that will change the world as we know it! Going forward, both of these technologies will continue to evolve on their own. However, when these two forces combine, we can see the next multi-trillion dollar industry that would be as big as the invention of the internet itself.
While metaverses will always be a part of web3 and will continue to shape how it evolves, they will be just one of the pillars of web3. Apart from the metaverse, we already have several other important components such as Defi, NFTs, and social Dapps, and we expect many more will emerge in the next few years.
Blockchain and crypto are fast changing sectors, how do you and Metalinq keep up with this fast pace?
The crypto industry is well-known for keeping practitioners on their toes! It is impossible to know and be an expert on everything that goes on! It is very important to choose an area, a sub-sector, and focus on it, thus honing your expertise, go deep and to try and understand what problems you can solve.
Do you concur with institutional reports forecasting multi-trillion value creation by the Metaverse industry by 2030?
Absolutely! If you look at companies like Meta and Microsoft betting on this industry, that alone is enough to get it to a trillion-dollar valuation. Add to that the intersection with web3 and blockchain, and this valuation does not just seem imminent but inevitable!
Do you see risks and/or opportunities of major corporations moving in the Metaverse, Meta of course but also possibly Microsoft, Google or Amazon in the future?
Yes, Big Tech will move into this space, whether we like it or not. We believe that it will be a multiverse, where we don’t just have one metaverse that rules them all, but a variety of metaverses which exist in parallel. That is the reason Metalinq is betting on the interoperability between these!
Please feel free to share your vision about the future of blockchain and Metaverse as well as Metalinq’s and your contribution to the industry.
The future will be a multiverse with several leading metaverses existing in parallel. While there would be a handful of metaverses that will attract a majority of users, there will also be many smaller, niche metaverses catering to multiple use cases – from art exhibitions to music concerts to games, fashion and sports. All aspects of our lives, including our daily jobs, have the potential to move to the metaverse.
Please share links for our readers to find more information about Metalinq.
We Thank Gaurang for his time and are extremely excited for what he and his team are preparing for the world.