This newsroom covers financial innovation and the future of the internet, so it’s important that we experiment with the technology we document. In recent months we’ve started staking our own Ethereum 2.0 validator and we’ve launched $DESK, our own ERC-20 token.
Now, during Consensus 2021, our biggest event of the year, we’re pushing into virtual reality.
We’re debuting “Long the Metaverse,” a VR exhibition featuring dozens of crypto artists at the heart of this financial movement, in collaboration with producer Godfrey Meyer and curators Annissa, Justin and Decryptolorian of the $WHALE community.
The exhibition, hosted on Mozilla’s Hubs browser-based virtual platform, features 25 artists, accompanied by live-streamed interviews from CoinDesk’s studio. Every day during Consensus, we’ll host 30-minute roundtable talks in the metaverse, or virtual world, accessible via PC browser or VR headset, to discuss the artworks and the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT).
Long on the metaverse
The metaverse is a concept coined by the sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash.” It is a persistent virtual environment combining physical and augmented reality. Think Second Life, but vastly expanded and housed on a blockchain.
The gallery of NFT artwork will stay open for the next month, but this permanent virtual space is designed to live on well beyond the conference itself.
NFTs, which reached the mainstream this year, are building blocks in our understanding of how digital and real identities converge. We see the metaverse, meanwhile, as a further extension of the crypto ecosystem.
We’ve already seen how virtual worlds like Decentraland have opened up real jobs at virtual casinos, regardless of geographic location. These new virtual opportunities come at a time when physical jurisdictions are competing like never before to attract talent.
If the internet made the world flat, the metaverse will make us multiversal.
It’s a dimension yet to be fully explored, but we hope to continue pushing the needle, and this exhibition is our start as we integrate virtual reality as a staple of Consensus experiences for years to come.
How to access the metaverse
Curator and host Godfrey Meyer, or Boomboxhead, will interview the crypto artists from the exhibition. The roundtable chats will all be viewable in the metaverse, and Meyer will livestream the Monday and Thursday sessions on his Twitter page.
There are three NFT virtual environments – Room 1, Room 2 and Room 3 – where up to 24 users at a time can join and interact with each other via avatars. If those fill up, users can also create a private room – and have the gallery to themselves.
The galleries can be accessed by PC browser or VR headset. For the best viewing experience, use a gaming PC or a high-end GPU.
See the full Consensus 2021 agenda.
Group 1: Monday, May 24 | 1-1:30 p.m. ET
Group 2: Tuesday, May 25 | 2:30-3 p.m. ET
Group 3: Wednesday, May 26 | 2:30-3 p.m. ET
Group 4: Thursday, May 27 | 1-1:30 p.m. ET
Consensus 2021 is our big-tent virtual event. Register here.