Apr 17, 2023

Lamina1 is a metaverse-focused, layer 1 blockchain, the brainchild of science-fiction author Neal Stephenson and blockchain expert Peter Vessenes.

Video transcript

This week. Coin is taking a closer look at how 19 cutting edge projects are tackling problems in crypto around the world as part of our projects to watch program at Coindesk consensus and to be featured at our consensus event next week, uh joining us now to dismiss to discuss is Lana one, Ceo Rebecca Bar and welcome, Rebecca. Hi, nice to meet you. Thanks for having me. You're most welcome. So, Laminar one is the brainchild of science fiction author, Neil Stevenson, a real favorite amongst many in the crypto industry. Uh and a another long standing player in the, in the uh Bitcoin and Blockchain Space uh Global box chain expert, Peter Vienna. Um it was first teased in June um as the foundation for an open metaverse. Tell us how things are going now. What in that, in that six month, few more months now, a nine month period. How's it? How's it gone? Yeah, it's been great. I mean, you know, it's funny, I we, we joke that we've been through basically two, you know, cataclysmic market events in the last six months since our founding. But I gotta say we, we really went heads down with the team and said, you know, late last year and said, let's really focus on building and let's focus on the community and what the community really needs and not being the creative community. So we released te uh on January 17th. Um and we grew organically, it was pretty astounding to about 40,000 now in our discord community, really, really active group, super passionate about what they're doing. Um And a lot of them, which I think is super interesting identify as being either novice or beginners um when it comes to crypto. So we're seeing about 400,000 transactions so far just on the test net for the uh o on Blockchain and about 40,000 wallets globally, I think more, more than that now. But um we launched our early access program with about 13 partners across gaming infrastructure and tooling um our ecosystem funds. And uh one of the things that was super exciting was we did an E uh EVM quest recently and like, you know, with test net, you know, that that stuff is kind of gonna go away eventually, right when we reset for, for beta and to move on. But we had over 500 creator submissions of original NFTS just to be part of that sort of initial pack to mint on, on the Blockchain. So it's been really, really exciting for us and I, I'm, I'm kind of humbled by, by the level of passion around it. So you took, you describe it as an open metaverse. So what does that mean from Lana's perspective? How do you, you know, ensuring that this is an open, not controlled by the company? What is the structure? Yeah. So I mean, what an open metaverse means to us is that as, as the internet sort of continues to evolve towards these spatial uh persistent 3d experiences, um We wanna make sure that we're giving creators the best tools to not only predict fidelity because that's really important to them uh in delivering really high quality creative experiences, but to encourage interoperability between those experiences similar to the early days of web two. Um to ensure that we're, we're structuring for royalties payments to advocate really for ownership and agency for creators and consumers. So it's not while gaming, we, we really think is leading the way there. It's not just about gaming. Um We want the best storytellers in the world to see the utility of Blockchain beyond, beyond the volatility of, of crypto at times and really keep them focused on what they do, which is being great creators. And we just saw so much movement and so much investment, um you know, from young people and adults, right? But just the amount of time we spent and engaging with online social experiences and we've just given up a lot. I want to give us little access information and content entertainment. But in the process, we really gave up um a lot of our, our autonomy and our ownership. So we really want to see that return to both creators and consumers and that's what we're fighting for. Well, it sounds like focusing on giving the tools for creators now. Um How about, you know, the, the public, the users themselves? I mean, I think there's a lot of a diverse set of opinions about what the metaverse actually is, right? I mean, and uh you know, so, so how do you see mainstream adoption happening? What is the way to get to people um in terms of their conception, misconceptions or the way they understand what this is all about? Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, look, I've been an emerging tech for a long time and, you know, at first at the early stages of a project, there's a lot of jargon and there's a lot of us sort of justifying to each other in small communities, why a new technology is important. But when it really starts to cross the cross the threshold is when the use case becomes so strong that you don't have to explain it to anyone. And some of those, I think we're starting to see some early ones with not only kind of like if you could imagine Fortnite, but without the walls or if you could imagine um even with the people at uh Coachella, the innovation team at Coachella is doing uh to bring NFT ticketing to concerts, like people are going to see music, they're investing in music, they've always invested in music. So those are the types of projects that I think are gonna bring people along. But we're pretty sober about the fact that we really need to drive a rally. I mean, it's, it's going to take a real movement because essentially the, the centralized players across, um you know, the platforms that, that really own every piece of the sort of life cycle of how you engage with hardware and software and entertainment at this point. Um As well as the studio system, the label system, I mean, they're not incentivized to change anything. It's been that way for a long time. So they will come around if there is a cultural movement around the best storytellers and, and you know, the, the Beyonce's and the Taylor Swift and the Web two, you know, a, a game game design companies, um they will come along if they have to, but you cannot inspire a cultural movement unless you're really, really authentic about um your pursuit of it. And I think that we have that in Spades, um especially with Neil uh an IP creator at the, at the helm. Yeah. And, and like you see a lot of these projects sort of Anno announcing big name, celebrities and sort of brand partnerships and so forth. Is that part of your road map? Um or, or do you sort of sort of approaching this from a more organic pro uh position. I think we, we know that you need those big tent pole uh artists because that's how you get sort of global mainstream um understanding of what the problem is that we're trying to solve. I mean, when, when Taylor Swift or Beyonce points at the, the problems with the ticketing industry and, and how artists economics are broken that really helps push along the mainstream. Um So we know that those are important, but I think there's a ton of really high quality projects that are coming from the ground up to really change the industry itself. And there are real problems there, like on the music side, there's DRM, there's, there's um IP and there's real enforceable royalty payments, which right now we don't have. And I think most people don't really realize that they're not actually enforceable those, those smart contracts and at least they're not being enforced. So that was a big revelation for us and Neil and I both went wait, I'm sorry, what, how do, how do we, how do we fix that? Exactly. So I think it's, it's gonna take really high quality design um and product and what we feel like is really important is vertical focus. You know, like John Riccall used to talk about the valley of disappointment and this sort of life cycle that emerging technologies go through. I think that we're kind of in that, that moment where the technology was delivered, it was delivered with a lot of excitement. It wasn't quite ready for mainstream. Um At least not outside D and now we're applying real vertical focus to say, how do we design this product in a way where we can get um broader audiences to see the utility of it and to actually use it. And that means abstracting it away from how kind of painful it is right now to use. Yeah. And, and you were um you've been in this position now since January, you were previously an executive at Magic Leap, which of course was unwearable Aug reality platform of that kind. How do you see A R uh if, if at all uh merging into this technology? Oh, I do for sure. I'm pretty bullish on that. Um I think that like, you know, right now the hot trend is, is A I, right, it was like a safe position to switch to. But the bottom line is that there's this whole new crop of foundational technologies that are going to be really important in how the internet continues to evolve. A I is one of them A R is one of them. I think we're block. What Blockchain really brings to A R is the ability to and we've talked about this for years and A R how to create this like really seamless intersection between digital and physical and you know how you create those links between um like live attendance at events and uh you know, local listenership or local participation. Um How do you kind of really delicately stitch uh those those different sort of worlds together between digital and physical? And I think Blockchain has a lot of opportunity to do that, particularly what we're hearing brands talk about is leveraging it for, for loyalty programs coupled with, you know, of course, smart contracts and things like that. So I do think that for um for A R and you'll start to see too like the amount of money that we spend on, on fashion and skins and things like that in digital spaces. Like you, you're gonna want to be able to bring that into uh you know, other types of other worlds and different types of experiences. And so while that's a little further out, uh these foundational technology are gonna be critical across all of it. It's, it's for us, it's not very, we don't think about the medium that you're gonna use to access the metaverse as much as just that future state of the internet and all of the different entry points that there will be. And what are those technologies that are underlying from, you know, from A I to Blockchain and smart contracts, et cetera? Ok. Well, thank you, Laina one, Co Rebecca Bar and we will, we will see you at consensus in Austin. Um And to all of you make sure you register uh for consensus at consensus dot Coin dot com.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to coindesk.consensus.com to register and buy your pass now.