As some of you might know, I have been working on a Web3 Real Estate Game called Metablox – preserving our most important memories onto the blockchain.
Below is Part I from our Whitepaper 2.0, which includes our longterm vision. Later on I will also post Part II (Product), Part III (Game Design), and Part IV (Technology and Team) here for your convenience too.
Also, join the Metablox.co Discord to be part of our Journey!
Own real world places as NFTs, powered by real life memories.
Welcome to the Metablox White Paper! This is a comprehensive, living document about our product. Before we get started, here are some useful links:
- Join our Discord
- Follow the founders on Twitter: Jun Loayza and Yu-kai Chou
- Read our blog
Our mission is to preserve humanity’s most important memories.
Our vision is to build a meaningful bond between the metaverse and the physical world by anchoring real-life memories and virtual assets to real-world locations that are owned by people.
|Authenticity||We aim to be comfortable in our own skin, to proudly be who we truly are. Furthermore, we accept that we are flawed and welcome feedback from our Neighbors, which is why our White Paper will live on Google Docs, giving everyone the ability to comment on it and give us feedback.|
Memories are a medium to be authentic. Memories are what make a place meaningful, which is why the Blox on Metablox are powered by memories.
|Growth||Blox in Metablox must have lasting value, they must grow in value in order for Neighbors to benefit from the appreciation. And this growth of the asset doesn’t come from just squatting on it; rather, the most valuable assets will be those where the owner has worked hard to level them up. In Metablox, a Blox will grow in value as the owner unlocks Memory Slots and adds new memories. |
The Core Value of Growth extends to our Discord, where we believe in the growth of the individual. This means not only in game growth, but personal and professional growth as well.
|Impact||We aim to make a positive impact on our Neighbors by valuing the offline – the real world experiences where we create memories. While many fun, engaging Web g3 games hook a player into the world and create triggers for daily active use, we aim to motivate our Neighbors to go out into the real world and make new memories. |
In practice, this means focusing on making memories as meaningful as possible and deprioritizing efforts that are pure game-like in design for the sake of entertainment.
|Community||Metablox is not a me vs them; instead, Metablox is a place to join with fellow neighbors in preserving the most important memories in your community.|
Some methods to accomplish community:
Communal power ups: Communities in Metablox can join together to benefit all Blox in the area. For example, if all Blox in a ZIP Code are Minted and have a memory, then all of the Blox get a boost that increases their MetaRent.Generational memories: Each Generation of Blox ownership has a cap to the number of levels it can increase. In order to level up further, a new owner must take over and add a new Generation of memories.
What is Metablox?
Metablox is a Web3 platform where users can own representations of real-world places as an NFT. Watch the What is Metablox video.
|💡 In Metablox, a Blox can be owned as an NFT. However, this does not mean you own the block or properties in real life.|
Mock of V1 of Metablox, aiming to launch in February 2022
For example, the founders of Metablox (Yu-kai and Jun) ran a startup called RewardMe out of their startup home on 2011 California Street. In Metablox, Jun can purchase the entire block of where that address resides.
What opportunity is Metablox aiming to capture?
We believe that memories are important to humankind. With the advent of Web3, there is an important opportunity to help people own their memories and anchor them to real-world locations, building community and opening up opportunities in the metaverse.
But can’t we just upload pictures to Google, Facebook, or Instagram to save our memories?
This is true. You can upload all of your pictures to a tech platform. But, what we aim to accomplish with Metablox is different:
- The tech platforms owns your photos — you don’t
- The tech platforms are a way to store and archive ALL of your photos, not just your most important memories
- The photos can be searched by location, but it doesn’t belong to the location
Wait. So are you going to build the blockchain equivalent of Google Photos?
We are not in the business of competing with Google Photos or any other platform to store photos (like Dropbox).
Instead, our mission is to tie your most important memories (only a few photos that mean the world to you) to a place that you own so that your memories will live on for generations.
But why not just use Instagram and search by location?
Instagram does have the functionality to search by location, but the product is inherently different.
Search by Haight Ashbury, San Francisco on Instagram
- Core product matters: The core product of Instagram is the recommendation feed of photos/videos that may interest you. The search-by-location feature is definitely not part of the core product.
- Who can post matters: On IG, anyone can post a photo anywhere; on Metablox, only Blox owners in that community can root a memory to that place (anyone can submit memories for the owner to approve). This makes NFT ownership and memory-posting more meaningful.
- Quantity of uploads matter: On IG, you can post as many photos as you want; on Metablox, you are limited by the number of memory slots available to you.
But what’s to stop me from using Metablox like Dropbox or Instagram?
A lot actually.
- Adding memories on Metablox is a gradual, deliberate action. When you mint a home, you will have access to memory slots. In order to get more memory slots, you need to use MetaRent.
- In order to add memories to the blockchain, you need to spend ETH, MATIC, or USDT. This will be used for the gas fee (we’re building on Polygon, so we expect the fee to be minimal).
As you can see, these mechanics make it impossible to use Metablox to store all of your photos; it emphasizes the most meaningful ones that are worthy to be remembered decades later. This is a similar mentality to spending a small amount of money to making physical photo portraits that can be stored in a home.
What makes an NFT on Metablox valuable?
We encourage you to be skeptical of any and all Web3 projects and do your due diligence before investing.
Let’s explore what makes an NFT on Metablox valuable.
Scarcity makes it valuable
Scarcity makes things valuable. Bitcoin has a hard cap of 21 million Bitcoins. A Birkin bag can cost more than $250,000.
Likewise, blocks are scarce. It takes a lot of time and money to build an entire block, and buildable land is finite. Each block is also truly non-fungible, having its unique shape, size, location, and stories that come with it. There is only one such block that is like this one, which makes it inherently scarce.
Birkin bags are so hard to get that they can re-sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As more and more people purchase an NFT on Metablox, the available supply decreases, increasing the value of the asset. In addition, Metablox will introduce mechanics where the base price to mint a home increases when certain thresholds are met.
As Metablox is focused on long term play and lasting value, Metauhblox owners can feel the safety thatwwthat the supply of Metablox NFTs will not be arbitrarily increasing massively over the next 1-2 decades like fiat currency.
Furthermore, each property is divided up into five different tiers. There will only be 100 Tier 5 Blox within a region, making them more scarce than others.
Meaning makes it valuable
One of my favorite memes from back in the day was success kid. The child from that meme is all grown up now and sold it for 15 ETH (worth about $60,000 as of December 2021).
He was able to sell it for such a high price because that meme held so much meaning for a lot of people.
Similarly, places have meaning. The Painted Ladies and Lombard Street are iconic places in San Francisco that hold meaning to thousands of people locally and potentially millions of people globally that have toured the city. The more popular a place is, the more in-demand that it will be, potentially increasing the value of Blox in that com humunity.
Memories give meaning
Jun’s first apartment in San Francisco was in the Mission near 26th Street and Guerrero. Jun and his wife have so many fond memories of that place and community:
Jun proposing to his wife at Dolores Park
Memories give meaning to Jun’s home and that entire community in San Francisco.
And it follows that millions of people have memories in San Francisco, giving even more meaning to communities from the Mission, to the Haight, to the Presidio.
But why should I care about the memories of other people?
First and foremost, people care about the memories of others. This is why products such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat exist. Users are essentially capturing their memories and sharing them with others.
But not all memories matter — it’s only the meaningful ones that matter.
What determines if something is meaningful?
- The person is meaningful: Friends, family, celebrities can be meaningful to individuals.
- The place is meaningful: Think of landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Eiffel Tower.
- The event is meaningful: Music festivals, gatherings, proposals, birthday parties, or even protests.
- The time is meaningful: Where were you when X happened? You can replace “X” with significant moments in time such as 9/11.
Ok, so people care about memories. But why do they add value to a Blox?
This is a very important question. Let’s break down types of users and reasons why they would buy a place on Metablox.
1. A user who has memories in a specific Blox
This user can buy the Blox on Metablox and add their memories to it. Memories help a Blox level up, giving a myriad of utility and benefits to the owner.
2. A user who has memories in a community, but not a specific Blox
This user can buy a Blox in that community in Metablox and add their memories. Many of the most meaningful memories happen in a community, church, school, park, and other places where people gather.
3. A user who has no memories in a city
Imagine that you live in Japan and have never traveled to San Francisco, but you believe in Metablox and want to buy an NFT because you believe the value will go up. In this case, you may choose to purchase the following places:
- Places that are significant: the Painted Ladies in San Francisco for example
- Places that are near a landmark: the Blox where Lombard Street in San Francisco is located
Homes on Lombard Street in San Francisco
- Places owned by people of significance: the Blox where Mark Zuckerberg’s home is located in for example
- Places that have a vibrant community on Metablox: the better the community, the faster those Blox will level up, and the more in-demand that they’ll be
|💡 If you don’t have any memories, then how can you level up the Blox? |
We aim to build Metablox as a supportive community that helps each other grow. For this reason, anyone can submit a memory to a Blox; however, only the owner can approve or reject the memory.
|💡 Why would someone upload a memory to a place that they don’t own?Everyone in the community benefits: Just like in real life, the neighborhood impacts your property value. If all Blox in a community are owned and have at least one memory rooted in each of them, then all Blox in that community get a Neighborhood Bonus.People who submit memories can receive some MetaRent: If you don’t own the address, but submit a memory that is accepted and rooted by the owner, then you can get a MetaRent reward (Bounty).|
4. A user who wants to own multiple Blox
The more Blox that you own, the more MetaRent that you can collect. In addition, communities will be able to customize characteristics and attributes of the community. For example, a community may vote for the name of the community, a cover memory, or vote for a community slogan. The more MetaRent that you have and spend, the stronger your vote.
To further expand on the use cases, we believe there will be four types of Neighbors that will use Metablox.
The Nostalgic Neighbor
The Nostalgic Neighbor will buy Blox on Metablox because it has meaning to them — they have memories in or near that community and they want to preserve those memories forever on the blockchain.
The Museum Curator
The Museum Curator takes pride in crafting a narrative, a story, an aesthetic with their collection. People collect comic books, NFT art, items on their Pinterest Board, and in Metablox, Neighbors will collect memories.
- The Museum Curator buys many Blox in a community. They take great care to collect meaningful memories from people that have either lived there, or that have traveled to that location as a tourist. Similarly to how some people collect sets of NFT artwork, the Museum Curator will collect the best memories in a community and preserve them forever on the blockchain.
- The Museum Curator may unlockbuys a landmark, like the Golden Gate Bridge, and can becomes the sole curator of what memories will be added to this landmark. Landmarks will have the highest volume of memories, and will likely have some of the most meaningful memories from people around the world. As the Museum Curator of a landmark, you can single-handedly determine what memories will forever be tied to the most valuable places in Metablox.
The Real Estate Mogul
The Real Estate Mogul seeks to buy as many Blox as possible in order to buy the most valuable places in Metablox (landmarks).
By buying up Blox (even though they don’t have memories in them), the Real Estate Mogul can amass a lot of MetaRent in order to unlockbuy landmarks — the most valuable places in Metablox.
The Neighbor Collective
Real Estate Moguls will have the most MetaRent; therefore, won’t they own all of the landmarks?
Individual Neighbors can form a Collective to band together and outbid a Real Estate Mogul.
For example, I can team up with 24 other Neighbors to form a Collective (a Collective has a max of 25 Neighbors). We each bid 1,000 MetaRent for the Golden Gate Bridge. Although my individual contribution of 1,000 MetaRent is not enough to outbid a Real Estate Mogul, together, our Collective is 25,000 MetaRent strong.
|💡 Who owns the Landmark in a Collective: The Collective owns the Landmark (the Landmark is not fractionalized). The Landmark is stored in the wallet assigned to that Collective. Neighbors in the Collective can vote to make a decision about what to do with the Landmark.|
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