EXCLUSIVE: Polygon’s Brian Trunzo On The Future Of The Metaverse
The Metaverse Lead for Polygon Studios sits down with NFT Insider to share his thoughts on Web3, Polygon’s long-term plans and the future of our digital selves.
If one word has dominated Web3 this year, it’s metaverse.
One sidechain in particular has become a favourite of both established and brand-new Ethereum-based metaverses alike – Polygon.
In an exclusive for NFT Insider, Brian Trunzo, Metaverse Lead at Polygon Studios, sat down with John to talk the past, present and future of the metaverse – and what Polygon is doing to drive it forwards.Polygon Studios is the gaming and NFT-focused arm of Polygon.
John: The term “metaverse” is one that the community often finds difficult to define. What does “metaverse” mean to you?
Brian: Generally speaking, the metaverse is the natural evolution of today’s internet, a much more decentralized — but simultaneously unified — virtual ecosystem that comprises countless different platforms.
On a granular level, the metaverse is a significantly more fleshed-out version of the internet. Today’s disparate games, text chats and forums, databases, online catalogs, news outlets, timelines on social media platforms, and so on can be transformed into full-fledged, interactive, and interconnected 3D virtual spaces within the metaverse.
Essentially, decentralization can help morph the internet into a giant “massively multiplayer” world where people can participate in real economies.
In line with this vision, Polygon Studios is constantly expanding its metaverse and Web3-focused initiatives and partnerships, such as with Decentraland and The Sandbox, to help build the decentralized future of the internet.The Sandbox is one of the leading Web3 metaverse projects.
Polygon is synonymous with the biggest virtual worlds in Web3 today, namely the aforementioned Decentraland and The Sandbox. What are Polygon’s aims and goals, both short and long-term, when it comes to the metaverse?
In the short term, we’re facing “crypto winter,” so bearish sentiments are especially pronounced. For Polygon, however, this is a great time to continue building, developing, and trialing various metaverse applications that will be paramount in shaping the future of Web3.
At the same time, market downturns — which are nothing new in the world of crypto — often help weed out unprepared projects that might have relied on hype and promises of perpetual growth too much. Polygon and other platforms with proven track records, strong treasury, and ample runway for two to three years can avoid downward pressure during bear markets and continue their expansion.
As for our long-term goals, they remain the same. Among other things, we focus on creating an efficient and accessible, composable network of Web3 and metaverse platforms. Helping toward that goal is the fact that many prominent specialists from Web2 are looking to switch gears and shift to Web3 projects.
Over the past year alone, for example, Polygon’s headcount has grown by 400% — and we continue to hire aggressively, constantly signing high-profile specialists with experience at major Web2 companies such as Microsoft, EA Studios, Amazon, NASA, Meta, YouTube, and others.Polygon’s team has grown by 400% in the last year, including hiring the former Head of YouTube Gaming, Ryan Wyatt, as CEO.
Cross-chain interoperability is a hot topic at present, and cross-metaverse collaboration naturally follows. Is this an area Polygon Studios is looking to explore? How feasible do you see such interactions in the future?
Interoperability is a crucial element for the metaverse and one of the biggest selling points for Web3 gaming. You can’t create composable worlds without a unifying standard. As such, creating an interconnected network of various metaverse platforms is among Polygon’s main priorities.
To get traction and see mass adoption, the metaverse needs to be as seamless and enterprise-ready as possible. This isn’t feasible when there are obstacles or barriers to entry. Similarly, companies and businesses need efficient and consolidated frameworks to enter the metaverse and onboard their customers to Web3. This is exactly what Polygon strives to achieve.Polygon have forged partnerships with many world-leading companies, including leading payments gateway Stripe.
From a macro perspective, how do you think the metaverse will factor into our future?
In the most optimistic and best-case scenario, the metaverse would comprise numerous separate platforms and could essentially factor into almost any part of our daily lives in the future.
For one, the metaverse can offer users infinitely more ways to communicate and interact with the virtual world and each other. Beyond 3D chat rooms, games, and enhanced social media platforms, this also includes experiences that were hardly possible before, including virtual “tourism” and real-time concerts of your favorite bands.
The metaverse can also present numerous new opportunities for brands and businesses to attract and interact with their audience. Instead of traditional commercials and product placements, companies can provide full-fledged “experiences” for their customers, ensuring long-term engagement in the process.
Moreover, cryptocurrencies allow making the metaverse’s economy fully digital — as opposed to legacy e-commerce that largely sees Web2 platforms as nothing more than just an “interface” for traditional finance transactions. Similarly, unique digital assets such as NFTs can bestow users with verifiable digital ownership over their digital items in the metaverse.
Ultimately, the metaverse is primed to become an integral and inextricable aspect of our future.
To hear more from Brian, tune in to this week’s episode of the Mint One podcast, where he will be making a special guest appearance!