Despite the crypto bear market we’re in today, the metaverse ecosystem is still thriving. Venture capitalists (VCs) continue their funding, and developers continue building. Yet, many metaverses remain as separate “silos” from other projects. In other words, there is no single governing set of standards for metaverses. To solve this problem, on 22 July 2022, the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3) was born.
We are incredibly excited to announce the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3. Multiple virtual worlds have come together to solve key challenges of the metaverse and preserve the freedom of information owned by users. Stay tuned for announcements on https://t.co/nd6KfRxsis
— Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (@oma3dao) July 21, 2022
Introduction to OMA3
So, what exactly is OMA3? Simply put, it is an alliance comprising the 12 teams below.
If you’ve been around in the crypto metaverse space, these teams should be familiar to you. OMA3 was set up by Animoca Brands, a VC firm known for investments in gaming, NFTs and metaverse projects. Then, they expanded to having more metaverse project members. These include prominent projects like Sandbox and Decentraland.
OMA3 exists as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). This means that decisions made for OMA3 are voted on by community members. There is no central authority making these decisions.
Now, why is there a need for an alliance? I will summarize the answer in 1 word – Interoperability.
Metaverses Need Interoperability
For every major industry existing today, there must always be a regulatory body. Let’s use an example below to show why this is important:
- Imagine Airport A uses Technology X for guiding pilots to land their planes.
- But, Airport B uses Technology Y to guide pilots to land.
- Now, imagine yourself in the shoes of a pilot. Your plane is only compatible with Technology X. What if you had to land in Airport B? You could be flying in blind. That is dangerous.
To solve this problem, the United States has a regulatory body known as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They provide guidelines to airports globally to ensure they can cater to all plane landings.
With the FAA, all planes are interoperable with all airports globally, with a standard set of guidelines.
Now, imagine the “airports” to be metaverses and “planes” to be metaverse users. As users, we would want to navigate freely amongst different airports while keeping our information safe. OMA3 hopes to achieve this goal for our virtual land, digital assets, ideas, and services.
Impact of OMA3 on the Metaverse Sector
On its own, OMA3 can only bring about positives to the metaverse sector. Apart from interoperability, other benefits include:
- Standardization – OMA3 provides a set of guidelines for all metaverses to follow. With this, all metaverses will grow with interoperability and ownership in mind. This provides users with a positive and safe experience when they interact with the OMA3 ecosystem.
- Ownership – OMA3’s guidelines enforce metaverses to adopt user-centric designs. Simply put, projects have to ensure users enjoy a decentralized, permissionless product. While doing so, their identities remain safe and preserved.
However, it can be confusing for metaverse projects when there are multiple sets of standards to follow.
A “Competitor” to OMA3?
Indeed, OMA3 is not alone. There is another regulatory body hoping to develop its own metaverse standards as well. This organization is known as the Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF). As of today, MSF comprises 1,200 members. This means that the MSF is larger than OMA3 by 100x.
If the Metaverse Standards Forum is full of web 2.0 companies, then OMA3 (Open Metaverse Alliance) is one for web 3.0 organisations. Like the former, it aims to develop metaverse standards while 'preserving' the right for users to own their information. pic.twitter.com/dIexkln4Rd
— Tom Ffiske (@TomFfiske) July 23, 2022
With this, wouldn’t OMA3 be seen as a little isolated island, while MSF governs most of the mainland? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. For now.
If OMA3 were to achieve success, it must proceed with a collaborative spirit. Indeed, OMA3 was born with good intentions for users. Rather than trying to compete with MSF, they should reach a consensus with MSF as much as possible. This will reduce conflicts of projects not knowing which standards to adopt. Only then will OMA3 help to promote interoperability, standardization, and ownership for its users.
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