I can’t edit the original post, so here it goes the complete proposal. Comments and grammar corrections are welcome!
Wearables, defining the economy of Decentraland
Before defining how the community can create wearables I think we should take a step back and try to define what kind of economy should take place in Decentraland.
There currently seems to be an implicit agreement that the creation of the different assets1, from land to wearables, should be regulated by a central body. I would like to question this notion.
It makes sense for a central government to manage the creation of land and passports, on the one hand space is clearly a finite resource, and on the other we do not want users with multiple overlapping identities.
But taking into account that Decentraland takes place in the digital world, where value is usually measured in direct proportion to the amount of content generated by its users, I find it disconcerting that attempts are made to regulate the creation of assets.
I also find it disconcerting that, while wearables are assumed to be a scarce element worthy of regulation, other elements such as the 3D geometry of a scene and its coding can be freely copied and distributed2 as if they sprang from a Star Trek replicator.
That is why the following proposal will assume that the economy of Decentraland is based on the assumption that “all digital elements are free to be distributed and monetized according to the wishes of the creator, and the value will naturally arise from their craftsmanship and how exceptional they are”.
Right now the only asset properly defined in Decentraland is “land”, I will go on with that notion and will assume the anything that is not land is not a Decentraland’s asset, but just a random cryptoasset like any other.
This implies that assets other that land can be freely created using properly configured contracts, and that Decentraland only needs to know how to read them and interpret them in world. For some assets to work properly, like wearables, they need to follow strict specifications.
Every asset should belong to a “class”, with a predefined set of properties according to its nature.
In this scenario the workflow for creating any asset is similar to publishing a Storefront in OpenSea.
- The user consults Decentraland’s documentation to learn the specifications for the contract according to the asset class she wants to create.
- She setups a way to store the metadata, for example using IPFS.
- She deploy her contract, and mint an NFT asset.
- On her Creator Dashboard (available to any user) she adds the contract address as a Brand.
- Decentraland automatically verifies the consistency of the NFT asset, and adds it to the inventory.
This steps allows her to own, gift and sell the asset. But it is not listed on Decentraland Market. So she do the following:
- On the Creator Dashboard she checks “Make Brand public”
- After a few hours the Brand is verified and listed on the Decentraland Market
Protecting the Market
Some of you might be asking What about the Rariy? Where are the collections? What happens with existing wearables? What if someone creates something ugly? I don’t know how to code a contract!
I propose that rarity should be something imposed by the creator (as always have been), is in her interest to generate the most value from her creations, so she will limit the mintage accordingly.
Collections will be also managed by artists, is a great way to create a cohesive narrative, many artist are doing that.
Existing wearables already meet all the technical requirements to be listed on Decentraland Market. About the value I expect it to be the same, or even increase. Also new Brands will take time to appear.
About ugly content I think some existing wearables prove that it’s inevitable, and there is still value on that.
Platforms allowing users to deploy and maintain a contract will appear, and they will also help to ensure the technical quality of the content.
- The NFT asset don’t meet the technical specifications: An automatic test will unlist it and warn the creator. The asset will be invisible to users.
- The NFT asset is Not Safe for Work: Will be tagged as such, and will be handled in the same way as NSFW scenes.
- The NFT is illegal: Will be tagged as such, and will be handled in the same way as illegal scenes.
Changing existing mechanisms for asset creation and distribution is hard and we are all exited by the idea of start creating and selling content. But I think starting in the right way is key to Decentraland’s long term success.
Wearables should not be the only class of community generated content, and a mechanism to specify and manage new classes (as animation, NPCs), is needed. Also, the technical specifications for this mechanisms should be discussed and developed with the community.
In my own opinion the bureaucratic regulation of content creation is not the best way to generate value.
1Although the current discussion is about wearables I won’t stop there, but I will talk about the creation of any kind of assets that might have value in Decentraland: 3D geometry, animations, avatars, scripts.
2I understand that wearables and scene elements are considered differently when storing and distributing them on servers and clients, but I think that’s not enough reason to make an economic distinction.