OMA3 was first revealed in July this year but only officially opened shop on November 1, as announced at the Web Summit in Lisbon.
If the metaverse becomes a reality in the way it has been portrayed — an alternate world where users will spend most of their time in the future — it must come with regulations and its own set of rules. Moreover, since multiple players and companies are trying to bring us their version of the metaverse, we’ll likely have many mini-metaverses.
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Therefore, instead of a citizenship-like scenario, where you’re restricted to just one version of the metaverse, wouldn’t it be much better if users had the freedom to travel through the metaverses? This is exactly what several leading firms operating in the web3 space have set out to do by creating the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3).
In this article, we learn about the Open Metaverse Alliance, what it means for the web3 industry, and some of its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s get started!
What is the Open Metaverse Alliance?
The Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3) is a consortium of the leading web3 firms that have come together to solve the industry’s interoperability issues. In a nutshell, OMA3 aims to create uniform standards and ease access across all web3 platforms. The body will also explore intellectual property rights and other legal protections in web3.
OMA3 was first revealed in July this year but only officially opened shop on November 1, as announced at the Web Summit in Lisbon. Current members of the Open Metaverse Alliance include leading web3 firms such as Decentraland, Dapper Labs, Animoca Brands, The Sandbox, Alien Worlds, Yuga Labs, Upland, Voxels, Decentral Games, and more.
The consortium was established in response to the creation of the Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF). Announced in June 2022, MSF is another platform committed to building an open metaverse. Meta, Microsoft, and Adobe are some of the 35 tech firms that constitute the MSF. However, several OMA3 firms were not invited to join the MSF. As such, many in the web3 community doubt that MSF will build a user-owned metaverse in which assets can be freely carried between platforms.
Therefore, the OMA3 is looking to create specific standards that are common and resolute for the greater good of all. The OMA3 intends to be the authority that sets these standards and ensures they are followed.
It aims to do this by following these four key principles:
The showcased highlight of the Web3 world is decentralisation - where no entity holds enough power to dictate terms for another. This ensures that the metaverse is far away from the greedy flaws of Big Tech. As such, the members of the OMA3 will make sure that decentralisation never takes a backseat in the metaverse.
When so many firms are creating their metaverse projects, users naturally want to hop, skip and jump between platforms. This kind of interoperability works in two ways. Firstly, you should be able to be part of more than one metaverse.
Secondly, you should be able to bring your belongings wherever you go. For instance, if you have purchased a red Ferrari in one metaverse, the OMA3 would work to ensure that you’re able to drive it in every metaverse — making it an unrestricted and worthy buy.
We already spend more than enough time on web2 portals that have captured our hearts. One can only imagine how much time and how much of our attention the web3-enabled metaverse will capture. Therefore, every decision made in the running of the metaverse must be out in the open. Instead of slipping policies through the cracks, the OMA3 wants the metaverse to be a place where every policy, method and regulation is as transparent as possible.
Democracy is a tricky business, but it is somewhat made possible with the help of the blockchain. It basically implies that the metaverse will have the rule of the majority. Every major decision will be put to the poll, with arguments on both sides heard and a vote that decides if a proposal goes through.
The OMA3 is functioned by a DAO
The Open Metaverse Alliance will be run by a decentralised autonomous organisation - where no player holds absolute power. Every member would be allowed to vote on proposals at hand. The real importance of the DAO is that it will become the bridge between governments and the metaverse. For instance, if regulations need to be set in the metaverse, authorities can work with OMA3 to ensure they are applied, keeping everyone’s best interests in mind.
The One Drawback
While the intention seems good, the one big drawback with the OMA3 is that it doesn’t have Meta as one of its members. It is the one company with billions more in the bank than all the existing members combined and perhaps better positioned to bring the metaverse to the world.
Another drawback is that there is no real power with the OMA3. What will they do if a member doesn’t follow the regulations? What happens when a member quits if something is not in their favour? While the OMA3 works today, we might soon see government bodies with actual power replace the OMA3 (perhaps dropping out some of the decentralisation principles).
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