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Metaverses, Decentraland, and Metaversal Education :: with Josh Vitulli

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Josh Vitulli (https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-vitulli-71926415/) and I dive deep into metaverses, specifically the Web 3 metaverse Decentraland (https://decentraland.org/). We talk about how Josh’s design and urban planning background led him into the metaverse space, how he does training courses on Decentraland via his project Metaversal Education, practical considerations for how to get involved, other metaverses, NFTs, avoiding high gas fees on Ethereum, and the future of entrepreneurship in Web 3.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).


1:32 - General tee-up about the conversation and what we’ll be talking about, why it matters, and why it’s fun.

1:56 - Josh introduction, background, and journey thus far.

5:08 - What is design? How does Josh define it? Why does the question matter or not matter?

8:23 - Web 3 is turning the internet upside down (esp re: identity and data control).

9:20 - The icelandverse - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enMwwQy_noI 

9:31 - How can Web 3 builders design Web 3 applications to encourage good behavior? Is this possible?

14:32 - What is the metaverse? What is Decentraland? What’s up with the Facebook announcement? What is Josh excited about re: metaverses. // OG Metaverse in Snow Crash: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash 

17:44 - Who are the main players in Web 3 metaverses? Are they interoperable? // (https://decentraland.org/ // https://www.sandbox.game/ // https://somniumspace.com/ // https://www.cryptovoxels.com/ // related: https://enjin.io/ // (all not interoperable -- yet)

19:49 - The story of Josh’s current project on Decentraland // Currency Metaversal Education on Eventbrite → https://www.eventbrite.com/e/metaversal-education-tickets-208829152617?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

24:58 - How does someone get into Decentraland and interact? Go to https://play.decentraland.org and jump in.

26:24 - MANA as an ERC-20 (fungible) token. How much does it cost to buy an NFT like shoes in Decentraland? How does it work to convert between Ethereum / Polygon?

28:23 - Polygon chain. What is it? How does the technical details work? A metaphor to foreign currency.

30:00 - Decentraland community accepting other currency besides MANA as ERC-20 on Ethereum.

30:44 - In Decentraland you can transact in any cryptocurrency you want.

31:23 - What is Polygon? Why is it cheaper than Ethereum? https://polygon.technology/ // Difference between sidechain vs. rollup.

33:20 - How can people find Josh and his project? Metaversal Education: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/metaversal-education-tickets-208829152617?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch // Find Josh online as PossumDynamite. // Coordinates in the Metaverse (-58,28) (-59,30) // Corporate strategy consultancy. Follow along on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-vitulli-71926415/ 

35:56 - Did Polygon fix the gas fees problem? What can you do with Polygon? Why doesn’t everyone use Polygon because it’s too expensive?

37:01 - More detail into the technical specifics - going under the hood - how did Josh get his physical setup in his LAND?  (There’s a standard Decentraland “Builder”)  How can a land owner do more sophisticated things?

38:50 - Decentralized servers in Decentraland, accessibility and technical details.

39:33 - Voice and UX details when introducing people into Decentraland, and their roadmap into mobile.

41:39 - Would Josh switching his scene be real-time in the browser? Can you kick people out of your land? Can you have a door/key and restricted access?

43:38 - Problem if everyone around Josh built a wall around his virtual property.

44:33 - Maybe even urban planners are needed to help organize Decentraland

45:23 - What’s the vision / future of Josh’s project? Where are they heading toward?

48:37 - For the future Web 3 product managers listening in, besides what we’ve already talked about, what do PMs need to know about Web 3 metaverses and Decentraland in particular?

51:20 - For Josh: Why not form a DAO? Create their own mechanics for his project…

52:24 - Last words // where can people find Josh online? https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-vitulli-71926415/