Place/Date: - June 7th, 2022 at 5:00 am UTC · 8 min read
Due to the dual stimulation from underlying technologies including software, hardware etc. and the COVID-19 pandemic, metaverse has gained high popularity after nearly a year of hype. Referring to the development history of the Internet at the end of the last century, the following stage is bound to focus on “racing on various tracks” within the industry when the underlying and conceptual preparations are ready. In fact, fierce competition has already begun: Putting the competition among smart wearable device manufacturers and chip companies on the hardware track aside for a moment, the focus here is on software applications that are more closely connected with customers. Last year, Axie opened the door to GameFi; Facebook’s rebranding to Meta unfolded the imagination space about SocialFi…From a business perspective, most entrepreneurs running into the metaverse at this stage aimed at one thing — scrambling traffic portals. For every user with normal social attributes, gaming and social sectors are obviously most attractive, way ahead of other ones.
For the reasons mentioned above, Discord, a Web2 community platform that perfectly combining gaming and social elements, is placed high hopes on as a huge traffic portal into the metaverse. Analyzing the development history of the Internet for comparison, Discord does have many advantages:
1) Discord has become the battle position for most crypto projects. A quick search will reveal that there are thousands of communities of interest related to gaming, cryptocurrency, content creation, entertainment, investment etc. in it. The superstar projects with top popularity, like StepN and Axie, all set up their own subcommunities in Discord with millions of members, remarkable activity and richness within communities.
2) Discord’s first-mover advantage and product advantage. According to public media data, since founded in 2015, Discord’s users have rapidly increased by several orders of magnitude; By the end of 2021, its MAU has exceeded 150 million and user engagement is relatively high with its daily call time reaching 4 billion minutes. The growth of young users since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has been more impressive, making Discord a favorite of capital. At one point, Microsoft offered to buy Discord for $12 billion.
3) Discord’s unique product design, combined with gaming and social elements, is one of the significant reasons supporters believe it will be the gateway to the metaverse. Discord’s product design focuses more on closed and private social paths than open platforms for the public like TikTok and Instagram, while it’s more open and feature-rich than peer-to-peer messaging tools like Messenger and WhatsApp. Between choices of being open and closed, Discord has found a very comfortable middle ground, thus attracting more and more users from gaming space and beyond.
From the standpoint of Web2 communities, there’s no doubt that Discord’s progress since its inception was impressive enough to give it the strength to reject Microsoft’s $12 billion acquisition offer. But what about scaling up to the Web3 world? Is Discord really suitable as a portal into the metaverse? Not necessarily.
Let’s keep reviewing the evolution of the Internet industry for answers. In the Web1 era, Netscape, Yahoo and Google were the dominant players, while most of them were forgotten in the long history eventually in the era of Web2 – except Google, which continued to take the lead relying on its powerful innovation ability – giving way to upstarts like Twitter, Facebook, Alibaba, Discord (as topic here) and others rising with Web2 technology and ideas. A fact can be noticed from the historical experience: Under the new wave of industrial revolution and in front of the cutting-edge forces, all the accumulated power like monopoly status and user size of oligarchs in the previous era often will not become a sharp weapon for them to fight in the next era, which is more likely to be shackles in the long run instead. The internal core logic is that to win the competition in a new era, you must rely on the values and business ideas growing in sync with this era, which means that portals with the crypto industry’s native genes are required in the coming metaverse. Following this logic, Discord is clearly incompetent.
The next question arises: Given that Discord can’t be the gateway to the metaverse, why are so many crypto projects and early experience of metaverse now clustered in the Discord communities? This exactly reflects the awkward situation in the current transition from Web2 to Web3. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the metaverse. However, both projects and users need a “base” as the platform to carry information generated during the continuous process of gaming, communication, improvement etc., and Discord with relatively better using experience naturally becomes the “base”. Partly due to inevitability of technology and product design, it is more of a historical accident. For people still need a new portal rooted in Web3, such as MOJOR, a NFT-based Web3 community platform, committing to bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3 by building a community platform which truly belongs to Web3, thus seamlessly and efficiently solving community problems and improving the governance efficiency of community managers.
It is obvious that in order to meet the higher demands of users based on experience in metaverse games like Axie, a portal to the metaverse should at least provide the following functions:
1) With identity autonomy, registration is exempted from audit and identity verification, avoiding personal privacy leakage from the source;
2) Personal Web3 addresses can be seamlessly connected with community IDs to open up access to two high-frequency scenarios: financial transactions and social networking;
3) All members contributing to community development are allowed to participate in community governance equally and have full ownership of the contents they contribute to the community;
4) With nature of decentralization, this portal is not affiliated with any organization or individual, and is not controlled by any power brokers.
The aforementioned MOJOR project just possesses all the above features. The young project has already raised $2 million in seed funding at a post-investment valuation of $20 million shortly after its launch, hailed by many Web3 veterans as a potential rising star to be“Discord in the Web3 era”. Why does a startup catch so much attention?
MOJOR with various capabilities allows users to use their Web3 addresses (such as MetaMask) to communicate and trade directly with other users, and even create their own channels and social circles without having to sign up with a phone number or email address on Web2 communities like Discord, greatly improving the security and autonomy of personal identity privacy; Meanwhile, MOJOR users can use Web3 addresses to contact and trade with other users without complicated page jumping, providing convenience for users and reliable guarantee for the safety of their assets. On a technical level, MOJOR stores user data in a distributed manner with strong end-to-end encryption without collecting or storing any user information except wallet addresses, while users can create a community server and own the server NFT to take charge of their own community. In general, a series of product designs advocated by MOJOR that directly connect users’ social circles with Web3 addresses not only fit the spiritual core of the metaverse in terms of values, but also completely get through the connection paths between multiple practical and high-frequency scenarios such as digital asset storage, social networking, gaming and financial investment, finding a near perfect combining site for various aspects covering protecting personal information security, improving social experience and increasing efficiency.
Finally, according to the ecological construction plan and development roadmap published by the team, the next missions of MOJOR include: To take a deep dive into the multi-dimensional crypto communities including NFT, DAO and GameFi, providing more new features and intelligent bots that meet needs of the communities and changes in the industry; To open API for attracting more developers to actively participate in the new Web3 communities, jointly building the traffic portal to the metaverse, together maintaining and improving the new Web3 social network protocols; To launch project incubation funds in the future to support more DAOs and Web3 startups. If the above planning can be smoothly carried on as scheduled, it will undoubtedly be a vital leap for the development of Web3 and the metaverse. Once the feasibility of this business model created by MOJOR is verified in the market, it will definitely attract more followers to engage in the battle over the portal to the metaverse. As for whether community platforms like MOJOR can eventually replace Discord as the true portal to the metaverse, the answer won’t be far away.