Neal Stephenson, the author who coined the term “Metaverse” 30 years ago is launching a Metaverse-focused blockchain project called LAMINA1. He has also revised his vision for the Metaverse stating the experience is likely to be geared more toward flat 2D screens and rather than virtual reality or augmented reality tech such as headsets and lenses, as in the model posited by Meta and Microsoft. Stephenson is a popular speculative fiction author who explored the concept of a virtual reality world called the Metaverse in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash in 1992. Outside of writing the 62-year-old also served as the chief futurist for an augmented reality (AR) firm called Magic between 2014 and 2020. According to a June 8 announcement from OG crypto investor and former Bitcoin Foundation chairman Peter Vessenes, Stephenson and he have co-founded a new layer-1 blockchain called LAMINA1 that they hope will act as the “base layer for the Open Metaverse.” “A place to build something a bit closer to Neal’s vision — one that privileges creators, technical and artistic, one that provides support, spatial computing tech, and a community to support those who are building out the Metaverse,” Vessenes wrote, adding that the network will “probably” be carbon negative. Specific details on the project are sparse at this stage, however Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin marks a notable name on the project’s list of early investors. Commenting on what the co-founders’ roles will be at LAMINA1, Vessenes stated: “Neal brings his vision, wisdom, experience, and some core goals: helping get artists and other value creators paid properly for their work, helping the environment […] and seeing a truly Open Metaverse get built instead of seeing the Metaverse vision co-opted by monopolies.” Vessenes noted that he will be focused on getting the blockchain off the ground quickly as he works to get “the necessary governance, technology, node operators, IP partners, artists, business partners, and funds up and running.” Stephenson’s 1992 novel depicts the Metaverse as a virtual urban environment that is accessed via a worldwide fiber-optic network and VR headsets. There are themes of social inequalities, centralized control, and constant advertisements while the concept of virtual real estate also features in the book. Stepheson shared some musings about the Metaverse on Twitter earlier today, as he predicted that much of the Metaverse will be created for screens and not VR headsets. The assumption that the […]

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