A reimagining of society
The implications of an increasingly digital world
Snow crash comes to life
Neal Stephenson first coined the term ‘metaverse’ in his famous 1992 sci-fi novel ‘Snow Crash’. Thirty years later, the entire world is now aware of some vague idea of a metaverse and how this could come to uproot life as we know it - spearheaded by none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself. Why have we been so complicit in letting web2 dinosaurs try and shape the narrative that brilliant minds have worked so hard to bring to life?
If you’ve spent anytime on Crypto Twitter, you’ll realize soon enough that 90% of the accounts you interact with are anon. If an account isn’t anon, there’s an even higher chance they have an alt account to share their thoughts in a more unfiltered manner. Being anon is great, as I’ve said many times (like yesterday). The idea that we can function in a society of anonymous individuals - both good and evil - is something to be proud of. We’ve been able to build a meritocracy from the ground up, without the shackles of the real world that would otherwise hold us back. While an Ivy League diploma or ten years at a FAANG company might help, it certainly isn’t required in crypto’s current landscape.
I think that we’ve seen far too many on CT fall for the trap of what the metaverse could be or what it’s currently shaping up to be. Yeah, we see a lot of metaverse coins and these odd VR worlds, but what if the actual metaverse had been in front of our noses this whole time?
You’ll often hear people on CT talk about the fact that crypto is the best MMORPG ever created, despite the fact it’s just numbers on a screen and ponzis that make the numbers go up. When you’re anon, you can take on any persona you wish, just like in a video game. You can become a shadowy super coder, a philosopher of the future or a shitposter who simply likes to meme with their friends. The choice is yours.
As the years have went on and more have made their way into the fray of CT, we’ve seen innovation amongst anons. It’s a lot harder to maintain anonymity, whether this be your personal identity or your on-chain antics. It is my belief that most anons have at least one other account they use regularly, but this is probably an underestimation. There’s simply too much fun to be had in utilizing multiple personalities to accomplish different goals in the space, similar to how you can create multiple characters in a video game with varying skillsets or fields of expertise.
But let’s go deeper. Imagine if the metaverse was already here, and you were more than likely living in it this entire time?
“Of course it’s here” you might say, confused as it’s well known that games like Decentraland or The Sandbox are already live with a healthy player base and active buyers of digital land. Congratulations, you have psyoped yourself into believing the metaverse is something you need to see to believe.
Most who are entrenched in the day-to-day happenings of crypto are either already working in crypto in some capacity (think: DAOs or protocol building, among other tasks) or doing their best to “make it” so they can quit their 9-5 to go into crypto full-time. There are also those who fall somewhere in the middle, but it’s already apparent enough that crypto has given life changing money to tens of thousands of individuals through its short life span. Once you step into the developing world of web3, it’s very difficult to turn back, similar to how Silicon Valley was able to poach so much talent in the last two decades. Culture is everything.
We have a very high amount of individuals who are able to work remote while maintaining anonymity, all while earning salaries that would make project managers at Microsoft turn their heads in astonishment. It’s not uncommon to see someone enter crypto with a few thousands dollars and quickly run their bankroll up 1000x or more. This could be through trading (which has become increasingly difficult) or through building and interacting with the community, often receiving the big bucks just for being competent enough to write some code for a few protocols. Now imagine this on a bigger scale.
We’ve seen the world go digital due to a global pandemic, with tens of millions becoming comfortable on daily Zoom calls and hundreds of millions of students tuning into first period from the comfort of their beds. There’s no going back from this. Once the ball began to roll, the flywheel had taken over - we are entering a new paradigm of life and work.
Sure, we still spend most of our free time doing things like going out to restaurants or bars and meeting with friends at their homes. Idiots will say that there are going to be metaverse music festivals or grocery stores, with these activities replacing the ones we *previously* carried out on our own in the physical world. These were never meant for virtual reality or any other variation of the metaverse - the actual metaverse will be much bigger than that. After all, I know zero people who would consider going to Walmart in the metaverse an enjoyable activity, no matter how many fungible tokens you received for participating. Getting off topic here, so let me move on - hopefully you’re getting the bigger picture.
I realize it’s kind of difficult to synthesize my personal theories on the metaverse into paragraphs, especially when they’re not extremely concrete - yet.
As we continue to build up crypto into a world eating superpower of technology, it’s my belief all of us on CT will catch onto the game we’ve been playing. Yeah, Twitter is web2 garbage and centralized yadda yadda, but who’s to say this can’t become a bigger phenomeon than it already is?
Celebrities or doxxed individuals will make the mistake of trying to put on an NFT profile despite having their real identity in their username or bio. Let them view their fallacy on their own accord, they don’t factor into the bigger picture of the metaverse. There’s an entire world of anons securing financial freedom for generations to come, conducting all of their business through Discord, Telegram and Zoom calls. This will only grow bigger.
I like to picture a future where anyone from anywhere on the planet can acquire the knowledge and skills to succeed in whatever they choose. Whether this is a teenager watching MIT lectures on YouTube and becoming the next 100x dev to build the on-chain version of Uber or a disenfranchised 30-something who wants to put their coding skills to real use, the opportunities are now in place.
It’s tough to really understand what being anon is until you’ve actually taken the leap. The world of CT is a complete twist on our actual reality, one that we’ve slowly consumed ourselves in without even knowing it. Are we all video game addicts who enjoy seeing numbers on a screen go up? Maybe. But the truth is we’re early to the new world. One day this won’t be unusual. You won’t hear someone taken aback by the amount of money you can make writing about crypto protocols or writing code for a new AMM with a TVL of $50 billion - this will become normal.
Maybe we’ll end up with a nightmarish metaverse dominated by corporate interests. Or maybe, just maybe we can work hard to form a credible space that stands on the hard work of their accomplishments and talent. I don’t know about you, but I don’t look forward to shopping for cheese & meat with VR goggles on my head. I’m more than fine with working on a computer whenever I want, with the freedom to enter the physical world whenever I choose to. I hope you feel the same.
I apologize if none of this made as much sense to you as it did to me. The goal of this short write-up was to put some of my thoughts on paper and come back to it later, hopefully seeing some of it come to fruition by then.
Until then, I’ll continue to disassociate from reality on twitter dot com with millions of others anons, fighting to secure financial freedom from the comfort of my dorm room.