How Decentralized is Web3?

The term “decentralization” has become a significant and reiterated buzzword throughout the Web3 space as it is immediately paired with being favourable. Often, blockchain protocols, applications, and networks utilize the term to establish successful marketing tactics. This helps to attract capital and users to an ecosystem.

The problem here is that many of web3’s top projects are not fully decentralized. To investigate this, decentralization must be defined and separated from a distributed system. Many cryptocurrency protocols and Web3 projects are distributed – but not all are decentralized.

Defining Decentralization 

Decentralization refers to a form of organizational structure in which decision-making power is delegated from top management to middle or lower-sitting parties. In the case of Web3 protocols, decision-making power is given from founders and developers to the protocol’s supporters, users, node operators, and/or liquidity providers.

This differs from a distributed system. In a distributed system, the system itself is not concentrated but rather spread out across multiple locations and entities – most commonly nodes securing a network. This has nothing to do with decision-making, it just relates to the network infrastructure itself.

This is a very common misconception in many different projects’ functioning tokenomics and governance models. To achieve decentralization, it is not enough to simply distribute a portion of the tokens to the community or public. Those tokens must also carry an equivalent voting power to sufficiently give the community a respected voice within the Web3 project.

Investigating Core Web3 Protocols

To investigate which Web3 protocols are the most decentralized, it is necessary to measure the level of decentralization versus the level of distribution. 

Organizations/protocols can be rated in the following matrix:  

There are four key quadrants that emerge from the above matrix. They are:

  • Concentrated & Centralized
  • Distributed but Centralized
  • Concentrated but Decentralized
  • Distributed & Decentralized

Factors & Variables

It is important to acknowledge that the amount of variables necessary to accurately classify protocols is extremely high. Distribution relates to how accessible & widespread a project’s base asset is – generally its cryptocurrency or token. In this study, any entities that are not tokenized and rely on shares or privatization are classified separately as concentrated & centralized.

The more valuable a protocol’s market cap and the number of unique holders, the higher the reward level of distribution on the matrix.

Decentralization is much trickier as it combines multiple dynamic elements of a protocol, including:

  • Token Distribution – This relates not just to the number of unique wallets for a protocol but the number of unique, real-life holders of a project. Keep in mind that a single entity can control multiple wallets. So for example, Web3 projects that launched with pre-mined tokens for a group of seed investors, token distribution is naturally lower.
  • Governance & Decision-Making – True decentralization lies with the amount of decision-making power the average user has over a Web3 protocol. A key point to emphasize here – participation in governance is not sufficient enough by itself to make a protocol decentralized. For most protocols, token ownership is directly related to voting power. An unequal distribution makes for a centralized governance model.
  • Protocol Functionality – For many protocols, governance isn’t necessarily immensely important to functionality and the average user’s ownership of a token. If a protocol is immutable, meaning the core functionality cannot be changed through governance, it has a higher degree of decentralization versus a project that can be controlled entirely through a token.
Token Allocations for Web3 Projects – Messari

Classifying Web3 Projects by Decentralization

Web3 protocols can be broken down into one of three core categories. Those categories are:

  • Centralized
  • Decentralized
  • In the Middle


Projects that fall here are generally lacking adoption and protocol governance is typically highly skewed towards large holders (generally early backers). Many projects, such as a number of Layer 1 smart contract platforms, were initially funded through privatized token sales. This allowed venture capitalist firms, hedge funds, and institutional investors to obtain a significant share of the outstanding tokens of these projects prior to public launch.

Additionally, limits in governance typically go along with these private token sales. A popular form of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus is that of Delegated-PoS. This means that users holding a token can choose to be delegated through validators on the blockchain, generally being the largest token holders running nodes. This allows the majority of users to “participate” in governance but gives them little direct influence over the protocol.

This is similar to direct governance models that delegate voting power based on the number of tokens staked. So, the holders with the greatest amount of tokens (generally early backers, developers, etc.) have considerably more voting power than the average user.

There are quite a few Web3 protocols that fall into this category, including:

  • Solana (SOL)
  • NEAR Protocol (NEAR)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • MakerDAO (MKR)
  • Internet Computer (ICP)

Within the centralized category also falls centralized exchanges (CEXs) for obvious reasons. There is separation between Coinbase and other exchanges like Binance solely due to Coinbase not offering an actual token. 

Along with Coinbase are other corporations *& companies that utilize tall (centralized) organizational structures such as:

  • Coinbase
  • Apple
  • Intel
  • IBM
  • Meta
Example of a Tall Organizational Structure – ResearchGate


Web3 protocols that are more decentralized give the users more control over how they utilize the protocol and to what decision-making power they have over its functionality. The two assets here that are the most obvious are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin is the world’s first peer-to-peer electronic payment network and is secured through Proof-of-Work consensus requiring computational power to mine new bitcoins.

Ethereum is the world’s most highly distributed and decentralized blockchain smart contract network – the original Layer 1. With thousands of nodes participating in securing the network and thousands more applications already built on top of its blockchain, Ethereum is the best example within the crypto economy of a decentralized Web3 protocol.

Other projects that function with a high degree of decentralization – regardless of overall adoption – are the following:

  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • The Graph (GRT)
  • THORChain (RUNE)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Ampleforth (AMPL)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Polygon (MATIC)

In the Middle

There are a number of projects that fall right into the middle in terms of their level of decentralization. There are a large number of variables that come into play, making it more difficult to classify these projects wholeheartedly one way or the other.

The majority of these projects utilized private funding to get started but are building out decentralized functionality or assisting ecosystem development catering to decentralized functions for everyday users. Project age, overall adoption, and market dynamics all play a role in these projects.

Examples of projects in the middle include:

  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Axie Infinity (AXS)
  • Decentraland (MANA)

Final Analysis

Web3 projects have been placed on the original matrix above in relation to the following discussed factors:

  • Accessibility
  • Adoption
  • Token Distribution
  • Protocol Functionality
  • Governance Mechanisms

The following represents the Web3 matrix in terms of distribution versus decentralization:

Keep in mind that due to the extreme amount of variables, it is difficult to accurately gauge each and every project from the same lens. Also, the above matrix is not accurate to scale. Consider projects grouped together to be similar in terms of distribution and/or decentralization.

Overall, the majority of web3 protocols are working towards or actively contributing to the greater Web3/cryptoeconomic space. Some protocols are doing this in a much more decentralized way than others, such as Ethereum’s high rate of node participation versus Algorand’s more centralized governance mechanism

Web3 as a whole has a substantial number of actively contributing projects that hold appropriate levels of decentralization over the previous web2 iteration of the internet.

NFT Spotlight: REPLICATOR by Mad Dog Jones

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

NFTs come in a broad range of formats, from video clips to still images to audio clips. The most intriguing examples, however, are the ones that make use of the unique functionality of NFTs themselves. A good example is the REPLICATOR collection by Canadian NFT artist Mad Dog Jones (also known as Michah Dowbak) which takes full advantage of the power of smart contracts to offer some intriguing possibilities.

Originating with a short animated video clip of a photocopier, each entry in the collocation retains that central element but varies the surrounding environment. So far, so expected for NFT art. But tying in with the theme of replication, the smart contract contained within NFTs in the collection creates new NFT generations over time.

The project has seven distinct generations containing bespoke artwork, all with cyberpunk, dystopian stylings that neatly align with Web3 concepts such as the metaverse. The original piece was sold by art dealer Phillips for $4,144,000 In April 2021 and according to the artist’s site, so far 208 examples have been generated.

To avoid exponential growth where each piece could generate new versions indefinitely, Dowbak’s collection is capable of producing so-called jams (again referencing the photocopier central to the pieces) which result in unique artworks but also stop a generation from being able to replicate any further.

REPLICATOR by Mad Dog Jones
Image credit: REPLICATOR by Mad Dog Jones

The Collection

The animation in each piece tends to be relatively low-key, dedicated to producing an overall mood rather than drawing too much attention. Sometimes that can work against the piece’s favour, but it does ensure that the mood tends to be both intimate, thanks to the cramped confines and soft lighting, and unsettling, with an everpresent dystopian skyline outside.

The selection of a photocopier as the main subject of the collection is a pointed one, with Phillips noting that it’s a “nostalgic nod to a once-cutting-edge technology, now on its way toward obsolescence.” With that in mind, the collection reflects on the current ubiquity of NFTs – serving as a memento mori that nothing last forever.

Of course, it also ties in thematically with the concept of replication, as well as contributing to a 1980s aesthetic. “REPLICATOR is the story of a machine through time. It is a reflection on forms of past groundbreaking innovation and serves as a metaphor for modern technology’s continuum. I’m interested to see how collectors will respond as the work evolves and the NFTs in their possession continue to create new generations,” said Mad Dog Jones.

What this means is that the collection can include a narrative that reveals itself over time. In the original generation, we see a copy machine turning on and off in an office setting. In some of the collection, the looming threat of the outside has successfully crept in, as with a Generation 6 example in which the copier and the room at large have been destroyed and sprayed with graffiti. Most are much lower key, however, whether that’s a waste paper basket fire in Generation 3 or a lizard invasion in Generation 4.

The Background

This is not Mad Dog Jones first foray into NFTs, having previously worked on a collection known as Crash + Burn, which consisted of seven unique pieces. Accessing said pieces required ownership of five separate examples from a previous NFT drop. Once collected, they could be sent to the artist, who would burn them in exchange for an item from the Crash + Burn collection. In doing so, Mad Dog Jones rewarded owners of pieces from his first collection, which saw an increase in value thanks to the sudden addition of new utility.

Image credit: Crash + Burn by Mad Dog Jones

The deployment of random chance means the collection also engages with the broader world of “aleatoric” or “aleatory” art whereby artists have embraced the role of random chance in their artworks. Randomisation is a prominent feature of the NFT landscape, as with the interchangeable traits that constitute the characters of the best-known NFT collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

It raises an interesting broader point about the artistic value of algorithmically-assembled pieces. While individual elements may have had plenty of thought put into them, their combination could produce an undesirable effect. That possibility has become an accepted part of the NFT market, with the masses of unremarkable and ugly examples inflating the price of the ones that are thematically coherent (although exceptionally ugly examples can become more valuable by virtue of that fact).

The Verdict

REPLICATOR is a good example of the possibilities afforded to artists who embrace the unique possibilities of Web3. Thanks to the power of smart contracts, pieces that would otherwise be experienced as fairly disposable art objects can be given utility that radically extends their lifespans.

NFT Thought Leaders Becomes Go-To Web3 Event GMW3 Live

As Web3 has grown during 2022 so has your favourite website Good Morning Web3 (gmw3), bringing you news, interviews and exciting feature pieces. Today, gmw3 takes another step toward becoming the prime resource for Web3 by welcoming influencer network NFT Thought Leaders to the brand. This will see the network and its international events program rebrand to GMW3 Live.

Co-founded by Charles Adkins and John Kraski, NFT Thought Leaders has been acquired by gmw3 parent company Admix for an undisclosed sum. The network became a leading NFT (non-fungible token) community, building a 30k strong following within the Web3 space, and hosting 20+ in-person events across the globe including Los Angeles, London and Amsterdam.

NFT Thought Leaders

Under the new GMW3 Live brand, it’ll continue acting as a resource hub for all things Web3-related as well as rolling out more events during the course of 2022. In conjunction with gmw3, there will be whitepapers, research, and technical deep dives to keep the community up to date.

“Networks are where ideas, plans, and deals are born. As part of Admix, GMW3 Live will leverage the extraordinary networking success achieved by NFT Thought Leaders and take it to the next level, says Adkins in a statement. “Our focus remains on putting people who matter together in an environment where business can flourish. In addition, we’re building an expanded content development team and will host a wealth of new market intelligence data and reports on the new GMW3 hub.”

As part of the arrangement, Adkins and Kraski will assume key roles at Admix, Global VP of Marketing and Director of Strategic Partnerships respectively.

“Charles and John are two of the most knowledgeable and well-connected people in Web3, who understand the transition from web2 and know how to on-ramp brands into the metaverse,” said Samuel Huber, founder and CEO of Admix. “We’re excited to supercharge the platform they have created and rebrand in under gmw3 to create the most important networking and knowledge resource in the space.”

To hear more about the announcement and the future of GMW3 Live join Sam, Charles and John for the live announcement on LinkedIn, starting at 9 am PST (5 pm BST) Friday 17th June 2022.

For all the latest updates on GMW3 Live events, you know where to come.

Disclosure: Admix is the parent company of gmw3gmw3 retains its editorial independence.

Bill Gates’ Take on NFTs: They’re Based on ‘Greater Fool Theory’

When it comes to technology and who people will listen to, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is high up on that list of influential thought leaders. He recently broached the subject of NFTs during a climate change event hosted by Tech Crunch noting his dislike of them due to his view that they’re “100 percent based on greater fool theory”.

Greater fool theory is a well-known financial concept whereby overpriced assets can still be sold at a profit if the seller can find someone (the fool) willing to pay a higher price, even in a market bubble. “Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” he remarked, in reference to Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), one of the most well-known NFT collections.

Gates went on to discuss what he preferred to invest in, saying: I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products.” Referencing both crypto and NFTs, he added: “I’m not involved in that, I’m not long or short any of those things.”

This isn’t the first time Gates has voiced his scepticism on the world of cryptocurrencies, noting the volatile nature of the industry. And that’s not unreasonable in the current climate. Whilst Bitcoin has hit highs of $64k in 2021, that’s now tanked alongside the rest of the industry, currently sitting around $21k.

Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape Yacht Club. Image credit Shutterstock

That’s seen prices of NFTs fall including those of BAYC and CryptoPunks in what’s termed a bear market. Prior to the overall market decline, cashes like Terra’s stablecoin UST and its native token LUNA have only added to cryptos’ woes of late.

NFTs aren’t going away anytime soon though, more and more keep cropping up. Some are tied to celebrities whilst platforms including Instagram have been experimenting with integration. Bill Gates isn’t going to be buying NFTs at any rate, but if you are then check out gmw3’s NFT Spotlight.

How VRJAM is Redefining Live Experiences in the Metaverse

If you’re like most of us, your favourite concert experiences were desperately missed during the pandemic. Artists also suffered significantly — according to an annual report conducted by UK Music, almost one in three industry-related jobs were lost during COVID-19. Employment in the sector also fell by a devastating 35%. 

It’s easy to wonder: what if we’d been able to experience live concerts remotely at the start of 2020 (set designs, lights and all)? Better yet, what if said experiences allowed us to interact with artists in real-time — a feature not (so easily) allowed at typical gigs? After major artists such as Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X and Post Malone have used virtual concerts to increase their fan engagement within the last year, a rising startup is here to show us what the next step of this looks like.

gmw3 recently attended the exclusive platform preview of VRJAM, a ‘multiverse’ platform for music and live entertainment in the metaverse. With an upcoming launch date in the coming months, we were thrilled to be in the front row of a live show performed by record producer and artist DJ Junior Sanchez. We also had the opportunity to speak with Marc Daille, VRJAM’s Head of Marketing, to learn more about the company’s objectives and plans to release its technology this year.

How VRJAM works

According to their official website, VRJAM “empowers creators, platform owners and brands to effortlessly create inspiring immersive experiences that redefine fan engagement.” They’re hoping to achieve this “by making content beautiful, interactive and immersive.” Using blockchain technology, the company also aims to help artists more easily monetise their work by selling tokenised versions of concert tickets, merchandise and other assets on the platform.

How are the worlds created? According to Marc Wille, VRJAM’s Head of Marketing: “We first create a 3D model of a venue (if it also exists in the real world) using a laser scan technique. We then have a basic layout of the place and add in the details and specifics. This, of course, can be an (almost) exact copy of the real-world venue, but we can also add things or alter things. Our tech gives us limitless possibilities.”

Photo by © VRJAM –

VRJAM is also currently in the process of signing a series of well-known artists (who are yet to be named). Artists and record labels will have the opportunity to join VRJAM’s Creator Guild, which is a “rapidly growing network of creators and industry members driving the evolution of live music” in the metaverse. Members of the Creator Guild can create, publish and trade their work as NFTs, create and publish avatar concerts and live events, look for new ways to publish their music and more.

Additionally, the company has launched its own native cryptocurrency token — the VRJAM Coin. Recently, VRJAM raised over $2 million USD in a pre-sale of its VRJAM Coin (with a market cap of $50 million). Once the platform has officially launched, the VRJAM Coin will be listed on an exchange, which will enable anyone to buy and sell the platform’s native cryptocurrency. A blockchain ticketing feature is set to go live this summer (according to the company’s roadmap).

Artists and labels that join VRJAM’s Creator Guild will receive an allocation of the VRJAM Coin, which can be used for all transactions made on the platform. As more artists are poised to use the platform to sell their work as NFTs, tickets, merchandise and other products, the more the volume of trade in VRJAM Coin will increase — thereby stabilising its value.

An immersive street party

During the preview, I was seated at a pre-prepared station inside London’s Shoreditch House (equipped with my own table, laptop, customised avatar and Meta Quest 2).

After putting on my headset, I found myself (in floating avatar form) standing within what looked like a fun and busy suburban block, lit by the muted glow of overhead lanterns and streetlights. The streets were also dotted with various tables, drinks and discarded red cups, mimicking the appearance of a real-life street party gone right. A diverse and colourful crowd of in-game NPCs also materialised around my avatar, dancing and vibing in tune with the surrounding beats. 

The life-like avatar of DJ Junior Sanchez — who was physically located in Brooklyn, New York while donning a full motion-capture suit — appeared at his own dedicated set, equipped with strobe lights, laser beams and mock fireworks. The other attendees also joined the virtual space — also floating around the pavement as their own respective avatars. 

Photo by © VRJAM –

Throughout the course of the set, we were able to teleport around the block party and speak with the other attendees’ avatars as if they were actually beside us in real life. I said hello to some other industry professionals that I had spoken with (in person) prior to joining the live event. Luckily, I also got the chance to speak with company CEO Sam Speaight (who was physically situated inside his hotel room in Los Angeles).

Once DJ Junior Sanchez finished his virtual set, we were given the chance to ask him questions. I asked him: “Where do you see the metaverse in five years?” His response was that he believed it would become a ubiquitous part of our lives and take over the internet as we know it.

What’s next?

The COVID-19 pandemic can aptly be characterised as one of the darkest periods the music industry has ever seen. In addition to the aforementioned numbers, figures now reveal that live music revenues suffered by about 90% as artists were unable to tour or perform. Musicians have also since started standing up to leading mechanisms (such as music streaming platforms like Spotify) for clawing away at any last dregs of revenue they were able to hang onto.

Will platforms like VRJAM change this landscape?

“This is exactly one of the reasons we started VRJAM,” says Baille. “With big tech dominating the music industry more and more, artists are looking for different models to connect with their audiences and generate new revenue models. We are offering that. But we also allow artists to push the creative boundaries of their art and move into the virtual space. We strongly believe that in a more decentralised model like VRJAM is offering, artists [will] have more control over their art and over how and when they wish to monetise it.”

Photo by © VRJAM –

In the future, VRJAM also plans on creating more immersive event spaces in the metaverse. “Think about arenas, comedy clubs, whisky bars or underground dance locations,” Baille describes. “Also, here, the only limit is our imagination.”

VRJAM plans on releasing its tech to the public later this year. To stay up-to-date on what’s next and join the VRJAM community, be sure to join their Discord and Telegram groups and follow their Twitter page for more updates.

NFT Spotlight: Color Block Party by Yener Torun

Please note that the following review is not an endorsement of purchasing the NFTs discussed, and the author does not themself own any of the collection.

Photography has become one of the cornerstones of the NFT space, ranking as a discrete category on the largest NFT marketplace OpenSea alongside collectables, music and virtual worlds. The attraction of NFTs to photographers is obvious. While there is a clear appetite for viewing photos (the most popular photo-sharing site, Instagram, sees 1.22 billion users per month), typically photographers are not paid anything for attracting views – instead needing to enter into partnerships and act as influencers. Other digital avenues like selling photos to stock photography sites do bring in direct money, but typically that’s measured in cents.

NFTs are shaking up the photography landscape by representing an avenue by which photographs can sell for significant amounts, thanks to the digital form of scarcity that NFTs have pioneered. And thanks to smart contracts, artists can also benefit from royalties for every onwards sale. With that in mind, we’re turning our attention today to an NFT collection known as Color Block Party from established photographer, Yener Torun.

Image Credit: Yener Torun

The Background

The Turhal, Turkey-born Torun is known for his flat, geometric compositions of minimalist buildings. Torun is a trained architect, having studied at Istanbul Technical University before starting a photography project in 2014 – his time studying architecture clearly an influence on the choice of subject for his photographs. Before selling his work as NFTs, Torun found success exhibiting his creation on Instagram, where his images have attracted 166,000 followers. His works have also been licensed by Google as official Android wallpapers.

Color Block Party is Yener’s first foray into NFTs, with the collection minted in September 2021. The collection of 30 photographs draws from across his portfolio, with most of his images featuring buildings from his adopted hometown of Istanbul. Yener’s collection is composed of work from the earlier part of his career, consisting of non-commercial photos published between 2015 and 2019 – a choice which he said is down to making the collection more coherent.

As he told The Modern Analogue, “It all started as a hobby, but within no time it became a passion. I finally felt like I had found something that gave free rein to my creative urges and helped me express myself through what I create – without any restrictions or the instructions and expectations of others. I let myself be influenced by all the things I like – music, painting, cinema, graphic design, popular culture, and even architecture itself. Then I turned those influences into something new and unique. Since then, I have spent a lot of time on the streets and on the computer honing my photography and editing skills to express myself in the best way possible.”

Image Credit: Yener Torun

The Collection

Thanks to the pastel colours, symmetrical framing and flat compositions, Yener’s works are highly reminiscent of the work of director Wes Anderson. A recurring theme in the collection is windows, their own uniformity reflecting and informing the buildings as a whole.

According to Yener’s description of the collection, “Yener’s compositions typically flatten space and emphasize lines and colours over depth. He transforms the urban landscape by reinterpreting architecture as geometric abstraction, creating an alternate reality by removing architectural elements from their original environment and repurposing them.”

It’s worth remarking on the fact that, while the images give off a distinct sense of spontaneity, they are highly edited, as the artist has revealed via before and after comparisons. He told the Guardian: “I increase the brightness and saturation to create a heightened sense of reality, which tricks the viewer into questioning what is real and what is not.” Alongside that is extensive digital recomposing and recolourisation, all to produce an effect that seems to return imperfect real-world buildings to an idealised design stage.

Image Credit: Yener Torun

Further asserting the sense that the point is not to valourise the buildings depicted within the photographs is the fact that no geographical information is contained within the NFTs themselves. Each image comes only with a short title, often a wry reference to what the photograph depicts (WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS for an example prominently featuring the colour yellow, for instance), though three go without a title at all. The overall effect is to transform these real locations into surreal and stylised glimpses of the urban spaces the majority of us live in.

The Verdict

The medium of photography in general is well suited to the digital world of NFTs. By serving as a more equitable means of buying and selling art, NFTs are bringing in established photographers as well as inspiring others to take up their cameras for the first time. Yener’s collection, meanwhile, is especially well suited to the culture of NFT art and its fondness for hyperreal, digitally abstracted versions of the world.

Metaverse Weekly: The Challenge of Interoperability

One of the key challenges to a fully functioning metaverse is that of interoperability. Within platforms such as Decentraland or The Sandbox, there is coherence between that of the virtual worlds, users, and external blockchain networks. This is internal interoperability.

However, the problem here is that external interoperability between world-hosting applications is less clear. For off-chain platforms and applications, this bridge is even less visible. There have slowly been partnerships and integrations between off and on-chain applications, such as Minecraft joining forces with blockchain applications.

This is only the first step towards true metaversal interoperability. There are some key barriers to achieving interoperability for the metaverse.

They are:

  • Technology – The precise applications and computer programming solutions necessary to unite on & off-chain platforms within a single, open metaverse. Exactly what computer engineering breakthroughs are needed.
  • Economics – Aligning the appropriate economic functions & incentives that attracts users to move across worlds through the metaverse rather than staying within base applications or platforms. 
  • Persistent Connectivity – Ensuring the metaverse is always open & accessible is vital to achieving a growing user base. The metaverse must have uptime like the internet today while remaining decentralized and open so that anyone in the world can participate.

Blockers in Technology & Infrastructure

There are a number of areas, including both hardware and software, that must-see technological improvements or adoption of existing technologies that have not yet experienced widespread use in the market.

Some examples of components needing interoperability are:

  • Avatars / User Wallets
  • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) & Hardware Components
  • Storage & Database Solutions
  • Assets (currencies, securities, etc.)

Avatars / User Wallets

In a full metaverse, it would be extremely inefficient and troublesome if users had to create a new wallet or avatar for all the different worlds that they may want to participate in. For example, say a user wanted to buy land in Decentraland while maintaining a profile through an external P2E gaming title. Having two different identities could get confusing to maintain. Now consider having to create a new avatar for every single platform in a full metaverse.

Comparatively, the internet (web2) has suffered in part from this challenge. Users engaged on multiple websites and platforms must store login information for dozens of different accounts. Solutions like Facebook, Google, and email sign-ins have assisted users with this issue, but it isn’t perfect.

Cryptocurrencies have also had this issue in the past. Each user would have to store the information for various wallets compatible with each cryptocurrency each user wants to invest in. Now, solutions like Metamask have offered cryptocurrency users the ability to store many different cryptocurrencies in a single wallet – regardless of the number of different blockchain networks that user is engaged in.

The metaverse faces this issue as well, albeit it is more closely aligned with the adoption of cryptocurrency wallet technologies. A user should be able to create a single avatar linked to their wallet of choice to transverse the metaverse space.

APIs, CPUs, & Hardware

As platforms are developed, there are many different APIs powering different metaverse projects. External APIs can be utilized by different projects for different purposes and open source projects can work, learn, & build collaboratively.

Additionally, advances in computing power and ability are necessary to run a connected metaverse space. Advances in quantum computing have made headway in this area, helping to push forward major advances in rendering speeds & processing power. Modern computers simply are not sufficient enough to carry the load of such a demanding space.

Storage & Database Solutions

One of the most important parts of the metaverse is that of data storage. Centralized databases simply will not be appropriate for the metaverse as the freedom of data is extremely vital. Therefore, decentralized data storage solutions will be a major functioning part of a true metaverse.

Solutions to global file sharing and database storage have emerged in recent years. For instance, blockchain-powered storage solutions such as Filecoin or Storj have assisted the space in utilizing decentralized storage where users can exchange surplus storage space for a fee. 

IFPS File Sharing Functionality – ResearchGate

Interoperable Assets

This aspect of the metaverse is arguably the furthest along. Assets in this circumstance would refer to cryptocurrencies, collectables, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other currencies or securities that would have value within a digital space like the metaverse. This is integral to the purchasing and trading of digital LAND within the metaverse.

NFTs and cryptocurrencies have been at the heart of decentralized virtual world hosts so far for on-chain applications. Additionally, the creation of bridges between on and off-chain assets like Germany’s breakthroughs assists in the future interoperability between blockchain applications & external platforms.

Aligning Economic Incentives

While technological interoperability is arguably the most difficult aspect of metaversal interoperability, proper meta-economics also requires a high degree of interoperability. This plays directly into the ability for digital assets to have bridging potential to external applications.

Tech giants such as Meta (Facebook) building out their own metaverse spaces could split on and off-chain users if there is no way for digital assets to be converted into usable assets for Meta. In a way, this is the barrier between blockchain and traditional financial markets today in terms of the cryptocurrency market. It is worth noting that many big tech companies are adopting principles of Web3 technology, but it is only a start.

Additionally, users are generally considered to be rational thinking and opportunistic. This is extractable from game theory. If there is no incentive to participate in external applications, then users will never migrate out of their home apps. This obviously creates competition within the market to fight for capital and user growth, but it is not all necessarily on projects.

Should users ever choose to transverse the metaverse space between projects, it must be:

  • Efficient to move between applications
  • Affordable to the user in terms of fees
  • Have an opportunity cost that incentives dynamic movement across the metaverse
Average Monthly Internet Prices by Network Technology – New America

These three points are also true for attracting actual users to the metaverse in the first place, including that of individuals and organizations. Within capitalist economies, entities are profit-seeking. If there is a reasonable expectation that those entities can join & transverse the metaverse in a monetarily productive way, they will.

Accessibility & Durability of the Metaverse

For the metaverse to work and interoperability to remain a feature, the metaverse’s base functionality must always remain accessible to all users and have unlimited uptime. These same qualities can be applied to the modern day internet.

If the internet itself was not accessible or had catastrophic issues with uptime, the digital space would never work. Neither institutions nor individuals would invest time, money, or resources into something that is unreliable or inaccessible. Problems with accessibility can and do plague the internet geographically. 

Map of global internet usage – Our World in Data

Some areas of the world – like parts of the United States – simply do not have the infrastructure required to have reliable internet access. This is something that the metaverse will also face, just at an elevated level due to the higher demand it requires in terms of infrastructure capabilities.

Map of broadband access in the US – Federal Communications Commission

Additionally, centralized ISPs provide a barrier to entry for users wishing to access the metaverse in authoritative parts of the world. Corporations, governments, and other centralized entities can’t have immediate control over access or durability of the metaverse for it to remain truly open to all. The fight for net neutrality was indicative of this for the internet despite it being repealed in 2018 and never re-implemented.

Interoperability would ensure that even when individual applications or protocols go down, users within the metaverse will still have access to all other applications, guaranteeing that the space will always have some form of functionality.

Final Analysis

A fully interoperable metaverse is still many years away. Advancements are needed in many different aspects of the metaverse, including:

  • Technology & Infrastructure
  • Economics
  • Accessibility

The largest barrier to the metaverse resides in the ability of the world to innovate and upgrade infrastructure, something that will be costly moving forward, especially for end-users. The crypto economy has helped to provide missing economic incentives, helping to fuel such a mass interest from external organizations surrounding the metaverse.

Market Analysis Report (Metaverse) – Grand View Research

In a perfect world, the metaverse will end up being an open-source, highly durable base layer of what would essentially be the three-dimensional internet. Websites and applications would come to life in a highly connected, interoperable space. 

According to Citi Financial, the metaverse economy may be worth up to $13 trillion by 2030. So, while a true metaverse is potentially years to decades away, there is a sizable amount of investment and interest happening right now to add to its progress.

Always Sunny Star Rob McElhenney Unveils Web3 Writers Initiative Adim

When comedians launch a project that’s very different to their usual stuff it’s hard not to wonder where the expected joke might lay. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney’s latest endeavour, a new Web3 entertainment-tech company called Adim.

Co-founded by McElhenney, Chase Rosenblatt, Melissa Kaspers, Spencer Marell, and Richard Rosenblatt, Adim wants to make it easier for writers to connect and collaborate whilst owning a greater share of the output. So the team are utilising a Web3 model to build a community of storytellers that anyone can join. All aided by a $5 million USD seed round led by Chris Dixon, general partner at a16z crypto.

You simply head to the Adim website and apply to become a member. If accepted you’ll have the chance to join Creator Rooms to participate in workshops that’ll create stories, characters, and narrative universes under the mentorship of established writers like McElhenney and Keyonna Taylor.

100 applicants will be chosen initially and once a Creator Room has concluded, all participants will receive a Core Character NFT that details their ownership of what was created. The NFTs will be non-transferable as they will also grant the owner rights to royalties or revenue shares when projects use the characters.


“Every beloved character throughout TV, movie and gaming history has been imagined and brought to life through collaboration,” said McElhenney, who also serves as Co-Chairman, in a statement. “Adim is building for the next evolution of these groups – communities of creators, writers, artists, designers, developers, fans and friends working together to create and own a new generation of content.”

“By combining traditional creative development practices with web3 technology, we are building a new model and value network for creators and collaborators, giving people ownership of the characters and content they create,” Rosenblatt adds.

This is another innovative use of Web3 technology and principles, adding a new level of utility to the NFT concept. For further updates on the Adimverse project, keep reading gmw3.

Ryu Games Announce Flame, Aims to be the Steam of Web3

The rise of Web3 gaming has not been without its problems, from expensive NFT buy-ins to lacklustre titles to play. There’s also the problem of where to go and find these kinds of videogames in the first place. Ryu Games aims to solve that problem with Flame, a Web3 games store and marketplace that’s about to launch its beta.

Rick Ellis CPO Ryu Games
Rick Ellis CPO Ryu Games

When it comes to PC gaming, Valve’s Steam platform is the de facto marketplace all PC gamers go to and that’s exactly what Ryu Games wants for Flame. And to do that its going in the right direction by hiring former Steam founder Rick Ellis as the company’s Chief Product Officer (CPO).

Bringing with him a wealth of experience across console, PC and mobile gaming development, when it comes to Web3 gaming Ellis remarked in a statement: “Games that use NFTs and crypto are in their infancy, but their potential has already drawn millions of gamers to play these sometimes very simple games. The past few years have seen incredible advances in reducing blockchain’s negative environmental impact and lowering the cost of transactions. Meanwhile, serious game developers are heads down building the first generation of AAA titles built around open economies.”

“The last missing piece before mass adoption is a user experience to launch these games, he continued. “The technical and UX challenges Flame is solving are going to bridge the gap between gamers everywhere and the next internet — one that is owned by the users and not central authorities.”

Flame Web3 platform

Flame will serve not only as a Web3 videogame store and marketplace, it’ll encompass a multi-chain wallet and game launcher to help simplify the whole process – which up to know has been a little fragmented.

“The fact that millions of people are fighting through the friction and pain of onboarding to play crypto games and using NFTs is a testament to how fundamental a shift in blockchain tech can be to human-technology interaction,” adds Ross Krasner, CEO of Ryu Games. “For the first time, people truly own digital assets and can interact in permissionless systems. Gaming is always first to adopt new technologies, and to me, Flame is the last missing piece before Web3 games are just ‘games.’ We’re thrilled to bring on Rick, who built Steam, which today had almost 30 million concurrent users. To put in perspective, only about 3 million people have ever interacted with an NFT.”

Flame isn’t available at the moment, with a beta launch on the way. And it hasn’t yet revealed what titles the platform will offer or some of the finer details regarding how it operates. But it’s certainly looking to benefit from Steam’s ban on blockchain games and NFTs.

However, Flame isn’t the only one looking to explore this section of the growing Web3 market. Last month saw the reveal of LootRush, a similar Steam-like platform that had just secured a $12 million seed round. And then there’s Kongregate, the browser-based, Web2 gaming platform that’s turning to Web3.

As gmw3 receives further updates regarding Flame, we’ll let you know.

Top 7 Most Popular Ethereum Metaverses

A swathe of platforms have sprung up in recent times to offer users the opportunity to play, interact and even own spaces within virtual worlds known as metaverses. With new metaverses appearing all the time, it’s useful to know which are garnering the most attention, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the biggest metaverses running on the Ethereum blockchain. We’ve ranked our choices based on all-time volume, using data from OpenSea’s virtual worlds category taken on 24 May 2022. With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look!

7. Arcade (17,931.15ETH)

We begin with a 2D metaverse, Arcade. Its stated purpose is to provide unique homes in the metaverse for existing NFT collections. The experience supports land ownership as well as using third-party NFTs as in-game avatars. The project is a spin-off from the developers of the Apes vs Mutants game, which let owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club collections compete against each other using their avatars.

6. Worldwide Webb (24,338.63ETH)

Like Arcade Land before it, Worldwide Webb is a 2D experience. The platform describes itself as an interoperable MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) metaverse, claiming to have 80,000 users. The Worldwide Webb platform allows users to buy land as well as build and customise apartments upon that land. Unlike some other metaverses on this list, however, it also includes features of a play-to-earn game, with users earning NFT items and coins by playing minigames.

Thanks to its 2D nature, the experience also supports players using their NFTs as avatars via partnerships with a host of NFT collections – the most recent being The Doge Pound.

Screenshot of

5. Voxels (24,954.87ETH)

Voxels (formerly known as CryptoVoxels) is a metaverse accessible by browser that offers users the chance to explore a dense, interconnected city. New land parcels are sold on the platform’s primary market each week, with secondary sales on OpenSea. Unlike most other entries on this list, instead of just selling basic plots, Voxel parcels include buildings and are sold with street addresses like “Apartment at 3 Wright Street”.

4. Somnium Space (26,400.59ETH)

Despite the metaverse often being conceptualised as a virtual reality experience in the public imagination (just look at the likes of Ready Player One, for example), Somnium Space is the only VR metaverse on this list. That dearth of VR experiences might be because of the conflict that stems from proprietary ecosystems such as Meta’s offering rubbing up against the desire for decentralization that lies at the heart of metaverse platforms.

Nevertheless, Somnium Space achieves fourth position by enabling users to experience a virtual world much more tangibly than other entries on this list. Players are able to buy virtual land and populate it with objects they build or buy in the form of tokenised in-game items, or equally just explore land owned by others.

3. NFT Worlds (48,302.73ETH)

NFT Worlds is one of the hardest-to-grasp metaverse offerings. Describing itself as a multi-metaverse, the project actually consists of 10,000 virtual worlds, each of which is realised using Microsoft’s smash hit open-world building and survival game Minecraft. NFT Worlds is at pains to state that: “NFT Worlds is in no way associated with, endorsed by, or a partner of Minecraft, Mojang, Microsoft or any related parties”, however.

Each world can have different rules and objectives decided by the owner, from focusing on building worlds to play-to-earn games in a range of different genres. Popular worlds include the Meets Metaverse, which is focused on social networking, and first-person shooter battle arena The Mothership.

2. The Sandbox (151,630.28ETH)

Coming in second place (far ahead of the previous entries on this list in terms of sales volume) is The Sandbox. Known for its distinct voxel style, the Sandbox is potentially the most well known of the current range of metaverses, thanks to partnerships with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, who has created an experience on The Sandbox known as the Snoopverse. The platform offers its own software for creating, rigging and animating voxel-based NFTs to be used in-world and sold on the Sandbox’s marketplace, which uses the platform’s native SAND token.

1. Decentraland (162,628.98ETH)

While The Sandbox is hot on its heels, Decentraland currently stands as the most popular metaverse by volume. Users of the platform are able to purchase plots of land on the open market, within which any kind of experience can be built. The versatility of the platform has resulted in many different approaches – from PwC buying a plot of land to act as a hub for its Web3 advisory offering to Millennium Hotels and Resorts launching a virtual hotel.

The native currency of the platform is MANA, with which you can also buy and sell land assets. The platform supports wearable NFTs which are dropped in limited-edition collections and are fully tradable by the community. And unlike some other examples, Decentraland lives up to its name by being fully decentralized and operated via a DAO – with members voting on the shape the metaverse will take going forwards.