The future of the virtual world and Virt-U
Crypto Finder sat down with Daniel Doll-Steinberg from Virt-U and Blockchain Smokers to chat about the virtual world.
Virt-U is a blockchain-based economic platform for the virtual gaming world, whilst Blockchain Smokers helps startups move to the blockchain.
Mr Doll-Steinberg discusses the future of the virtual world, how it will impact the real world and how Virt-U is here to help.
Interview from Blockchain Week London on 23 January 2018.
Read the transcript
I'm Daniel Doll-Steinberg. I'm from Virt-U and Blockchain Smokers.
So Virt-U is an economic platform for virtual world gaming. So we've been through three iterations of computer gaming so far, which is disc, so initially people put their product in discs, then they moved to download and then after download you had free-to-play, which meant in-app purchases, which was really spearheaded by Apple and the App Store.
And each iteration has led to the previous model becoming extinct. I mean you still have people in spaces but the companies change.
We're now moving to a new generation of gaming which is virtual worlds, multiplayer games. The problem with multiplayer games is they require tens of millions of users to monetise a platform and it's very expensive to build a monetisation platform for these products. So we're building a monetisation platform for this generation of gaming. So similar to the platform of disc, will download or the App Store, this will be a mechanism that all developers can plug into and instead of requiring millions of users, they can operate on a much smaller number of users, be much more specific because we take away all the pain and costs of developing.
Do you have your own native currency?
So we have a token. The token is used for registering assets within the game and within the world and for building up assets within the world and transferring those assets within the world, but also offering services within the world. We see a world where you know the current world is quite crowded. You know, if you looked in the stats from yesterday from I think it was Oxfam. 82% of the wealth went to 1% of the people. And you've got people like Mark Zuckerberg trying to get a billion people into virtual worlds over the next few years, you know, the reason he likes that is there's opportunity in those worlds.
So what we're building is a mechanism for people to actually work in a virtual world. So in the future, you might be a virtual world architect or you might have an agency that's bought a lot of spaceships and you rent them out to people and then you need insurance companies to insure those assets. If you start owning land and registering land in worlds, you then, because you own the land, you monetise it and you improve it. So that's what happened in Europe. You know a thousand years ago, people were able to own land so they sort of specialised in farming and then people created different industries. This platform we're building allows the same mechanisms to operate in the virtual world.
So it's not just games as we would understand, it's the gamification of professionalism?
It's the gamification of professions because the virtual world, the games, will be a new economy, and they will be areas where people spend a lot of time. If you look, there's a movie coming out by Steven Spielberg in March called Ready Player 1. It's all about people spending lots of time in virtual worlds, and they use it as escapism from the real world because it's a dystopian future, it's not so great.
But the reason Mark Zuckerberg and people Iike that are interested in this is they see that the generation that's coming up can't get into professions because there's not enough space. They can't do what our great-grandparents did and explore the world or set up industries that didn't exist. It's just that opportunity is being reduced. And therefore, if people are creating very lifelike worlds where people spend a lot of time, those worlds aren't like old games where if you want to build a house you just say "I'm putting a house here". You have to find someone that can design a house and it might be on a high-density, you might like working and playing in high-density worlds, then you need someone that understands how to build a house in high-density worlds.
Is it a platform people come to you and they operate on the platform? Or you farm it out and people use it for their own means?
Yes, so they use it for their own means. So if I'm a game developer, I can build a game for low digit millions, so two, three million. The problem is building a monetization engine for that is incredibly expensive, 10, 20, 30 times as much . We provide a plug-in that allows a game developer to build their world then plug into our platform, and that allows them to operate with their players and start registering assets.
Every time players register assets, the game developer gets money for that. Every time they trade assets, every time they offer a service in it. And that's the way the game developer can operate. I didn't even know Spain had a game development industry, but last year 90 game developers went out of business in Spain. It's now our national crisis.
And it's because more money's going into gaming than ever, but it's going to less and less players, which means the innovation in gaming is starting to reduce because you're not getting these small teams building cool games and building, you know, which you had 20 years ago. That's why we evolved so fast in the gaming industry.