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Web 3.0 Tech

INTRODUCTION TO BLOCKCHAIN AND METAVERSE

Written by : joel nzoda on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

GOALS

    • Define blockchain
    • Characterize a blockchain
    • Usefulness of blockchains
    • Web 3.0 and the Metaverse
    • NFT or non-fungible tokens and their usefulness

BLOCKCHAIN 

Developed from 2008, blockchain is, first and foremost, a technology for storing and transmitting information. This technology offers high standards of transparency and security because it works without a central control body. More concretely, the blockchain allows its networked users to share data without an intermediary.

Source : https://www.jlconsulting.fr/media/BS_20190614_BlockChain.png

CHARACTERIZE A BLOCKCHAIN

In practice, a blockchain is a database that contains the history of all exchanges made between its users since its creation. Its main characteristics are:

    • The identification of each part is carried out by a cryptographic process

    • The transaction is sent to a network (or storage “node”) of computers located around the world.

    • Each “node” hosts a copy of the database in which the history of the transactions carried out is recorded. All stakeholders can access it simultaneously

    • The security system is based on a consensus mechanism of all the “nodes” each time information is added. Data is encrypted and authenticated by “data centers” or “miners”. The transaction thus validated is added to the database in the form of a block of encrypted data (this is the “block” in blockchain)

    • Decentralized security management prevents transaction tampering. Each new block added to the blockchain is linked to the previous one and a copy is transmitted to all the “nodes” of the network. The integration is chronological, indelible, and tamper-proof.

Source : https://www.economie.gouv.fr/files/files/2019/infog-block-chain.jpg

USEFULNESS OF BLOCKCHAINS

The blockchain represents a major innovation that is used in particular in the banking sector. Indeed, historically, blockchain technology was developed to support transactions carried out via cryptocurrencies/crypto-assets (including bitcoins which are the most well-known form) and which have the main characteristic of not depending on an organization centralizer (like a central bank) and to be international.

But its use is not limited to cryptocurrencies. Many fields and sectors of activity, commercial or non-commercial, public or private, already use the blockchain or plan to do so in the years to come. The uses of blockchains and other technologies include:

    • In the banking sector, technology opens up the possibility of validating transactions without the intermediary of a clearing house, which should make it possible to certify transactions in much shorter timeframes. The blockchain can also promote the sharing of information between competing players in a financial centre while respecting the secrecy of their commercial data and, in doing so, facilitate the management of common structures or instruments by reducing contact costs and administration fees.

    • In the insurance sector, the contribution of the blockchain is due, for example, to the automation of reimbursement procedures and the alleviation of certain formalities at the expense of companies and their customers, provided that the assumptions and conditions of compensation and damage are clearly established.

    • In the logistics sector, the blockchain has two interests:

    • ensure product traceability, as well as the memory of the various interventions on a production and distribution chain.

    • reduce formalities and create the conditions for cooperation between actors in a sector, particularly in terms of information exchange. This use could also find an application in the agri-food sector for food traceability, particularly interesting in the event of a health crisis.

    • In the energy sector, by authorizing the exchange of services and values outside a central management body, the blockchain potentially creates the conditions for implementation on a more or less large scale depending on the technical capacities of local networks. production, exchange and resale of energy to balance supply and demand at all times, which is a major constraint for electricity networks in particular.

But many sectors are potentially affected by the use of blockchain technology: health, real estate, luxury, aeronautics, etc.

Using blockchain has many benefits, including:

    • The speed of transactions thanks to the fact that the validation of a block takes only a few seconds to a few minutes.
    • Security of the system, which is ensured by the fact that the validation is carried out by a set of different users, who do not know each other. This protects against the risk of malicious intent or hijacking, since the nodes monitor the system and check each other
    • The productivity and efficiency gains generated by the fact that the blockchain entrusts the organization of exchanges to a computer protocol. This mechanically reduces the transaction or centralization costs existing in traditional systems (financial costs, control or certification, use of intermediaries who are remunerated for their service; automation of certain services, etc.).

WEB 3.0 AND THE METAVERSE

As conversations began to shift from Bitcoin (BTC) to other larger crypto projects such as Ethereum network upgrades and central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, media coverage would suggest that widespread adoption of crypto is already well advanced. But it is clear that the majority of people do not know what it is.

The Metaverse (in English) or Métavers (in French) is a generic term for technologies that make it possible to create an entire (virtual) digital universe like our real universe. This universe can be extremely detailed and include a wide variety of different worlds, often also called virtual environments. People can join this Metaverse using different technologies and interact with each other. However, instead of being present in person, the user creates an avatar which is their representation in the Metaverse.

Source : https://i0.wp.com/stylistme.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Metaverse-guide-tuto.png?w=1280 HYPERLINK “https://i0.wp.com/stylistme.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Metaverse-guide-tuto.png?w=1280&ssl=1″& HYPERLINK “https://i0.wp.com/stylistme.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Metaverse-guide-tuto.png?w=1280&ssl=1″ssl=1

However, the Metaverse doesn’t just want to be a massively multiplayer open-world gaming platform (RPG MMO). It is already beginning to be a virtual space where people work, earn money (by spending it), meet people, and invest in real estate. In short, where you can live another life.

Technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are important levers for the Metaverse, as they will help create an incredible sense of immersion in another’s skin and in another universe. However, there is one project that may well facilitate mainstream adoption of crypto: Web3.

To better understand the evolution of these two technologies, an illustration between Web2 and Web3 as support for the Metaverse.

Source: https://i0.wp.com/stylistme.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Web-3.0-evolution-Internet.jpg?w=1024 HYPERLINK “https://i0.wp.com/stylistme.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Web-3.0-evolution-Internet.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1″& HYPERLINK “https://i0.wp.com/stylistme.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Web-3.0-evolution-Internet.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1″ssl=1

NFTs (NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS ) AND THEIR USES 

NFT are the three initials of Non-Fungible Token, which translates to non-fungible token. That doesn’t necessarily make things any clearer. Therefore we must detail the notion of “non-fungible”.

For example, bitcoins or €100 bills are fungible. Even though each note is unique, it will have exactly the same value as another €100 note. The first mined bitcoin, no matter what platform it is on or who owns it, is the same value as a recently mined bitcoin stored in another wallet.

Conversely, works of art or concert tickets are non-fungible. Something that is not fungible cannot be replaced or divided. It’s unique. They are objects of the same nature, but which have their own characteristics and their own usefulness.

We talk about “tokens” when they are digital units, which are exchanged with blockchain technology: 3D visuals, objects in a video game, or even a piece of land in a fictional universe.

The NFT can therefore be defined as follows: it is the digital title of ownership of a non-fungible token. NFTs can be classified into different categories according to their nature and usefulness:

    • collectibles: a collection of digital objects, or a work of art for example.
    • metaverses: virtual worlds.
    • online gaming tokens.
    • utilities: they provide a service to their owner.

Some NTFs may belong to more than one category. They are traded on online marketplaces dedicated to NFTs, connected to the blockchain.

                                                                                                           The value criteria of an NFT: This young technology has a future ahead of it, but it could lead to some abuses. Many investors seek to speculate on this trend which, although it is a resounding success, is still very volatile and full of scams. The vast majority of sold works and NFT projects will never have value, simply because no one wants them.

Some NFTs have artistic value: They are works valued independently of the fact that they are digital, in the same way as a painting in a museum. The blockchain does not have a preponderant role in the evaluation of their price, it is simply the art market. Overall, price is defined by what an artist’s fan is willing to invest.

The value of an NFT can also depend on its usefulness: Becoming a member of a club, meeting other holders or the artist himself, being more powerful in a video game, acquiring and showing a certain social status, etc. .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

My name is Joel Nzoda Consultant in Digital Marketing, Junior Blockchain Developer, Junior cyber Security Consultant and Expert in blockchain technologies. I hope I have been able to bring value to each other, I remain attentive. Discover my activities on social networks.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/boschdigital I Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/nzodax

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Medium: https://medium.com/agencedigitalenzodax I Tiktok: https://tiktok.com/nzodax

Tumbr: https://tumbr.com/superexpertdigital I Email joelnzoda@gamail.com I Whatsapp: +237693241257

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Web 3.0 Tech Art Tech

How Web3 could help Local Artisans retain the heritage of their Art  

Written by : Ajit Padmanabh on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Introduction

There is a palpable sense of skepticism in many with regards to the promise of inclusivity in Web3. Many believe that all talk of decentralization is a mere hype and is not implementable.

When one looks at the Metaverse players across various layers and that the metaverse market is projected to be worth $12Tn by 2030, the values of pay-parity, equity and inclusivity need to be lived in and by the Metaverse players. 

Are there companies working on inclusivity and equity in places like Africa and economically backward countries?

Are there real possibilities to generate revenue and employment for the deprived or underprivileged classes of our society, with Web3 technologies? 

The internet had made similar promises in the beginning and the utopian dream died within years of its inception. If we look at the internet today, there are pockets of improvement in revenue generation in rural and tribal populations but largely, it has skewed more, making the privileged a little more privileged.

 Hence, considering the promise of Web3 in decentralization and self-sufficiency in revenues, this article attempts to provide scenarios across various layers of Metaverse as depicted below, to make this utopian ideal a reality. 

The Artisan Community and Indian Craft

As an ancient civilization that has birthed many cultures and has seen numerous migrations and invasions, India has a rich heritage in the field of arts.

Craft as a term was historically limited to “goods worked by hand” but now includes a broader canvas – all things art, like Music, Dance, Painting, Sculptures, Textiles etc. Even if we limit Indian craft to “Handicrafts” across states, the variety in art form and media is unparalleled. 

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) is a nodal agency for promoting exports of handicrafts from India to various destinations of the world and projecting India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier of high-quality handicrafts goods & services. 

The Handicrafts exports during the year 2021-22 was Rs.33253.00 Crores (US$4459.76 Million) registering a growth of 29.49% in rupee terms & 28.90% in dollar terms over previous year1. While the growth is promising especially from a tourism perspective, this may have a miniscule impact on the overall rating of India as the Vishwaguru

Revenue Generation for Artisans, while preserving the Art Heritage 

The fast-paced Digital Age is only going to get faster with Industry 4.0. With technologies like VR/AR, 3D-Scanning and 3D-Modeling, 3D-Printing as well as Web 3.0 constructs (and buzzwords) like the NFT, Metaverse and Blockchain, the craft Industry has all the components aligned for that leapfrog moment. 

A lot of artisan communities and tribal art communities in India are now extinct and some on the verge of extinction – this is a challenge that uniquely presents itself to us as an opportunity if we leverage the technologies mentioned above. 

Industry 4.0 terms Technology as a driver of change, and not merely an enabler. We should look to harness this driver for Indian Craft and the numerous communities associated with it.

There is a need to look at Indian Craft holistically, including all forms of fine art and performing arts, compounded by technology and tourism. We Illustrate these possibilities by taking the famous Channapatna Toys from Karnataka, as an example. They are protected as a Geographical Indication (GI) under the World Trade Organisation administered by the Government of Karnataka. 

Channapatna Toys could be put up on an artisan marketplace in the Metaverse. The artisan would be able to directly engage in selling goods in 3D and voice-interact with consumers worldwide. With technologies like 3D-scanning and 3D-printing, consumers worldwide would be able to see, touch and feel these products via Haptic technologies and also view the story of the artisan behind it.

Such multi-sensory experiences are disruptive and could help consumers in accelerating their buying decisions, something the Internet has not been able to achieve. 

Consumers will not only get to pick up local artisans’ produce but also engage with them and know more about our culture, traditions and heritage from their standpoint. The same product, once digitized, could be converted to limited edition NFTs during special seasons. The underlying financial technology could be powered by Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) or Blockchain, keeping the transaction decentralized, bereft of middle-men. 

Imagine the access for the artisans to the entire Indian Diaspora across the world and imagine the ease of access and purchase for the consumers, at large. This will also help the Artisans transfer knowledge to the next generation, a large number of who are looking for better economic opportunities in cities. 

As mentioned earlier, this is the main reason why India has lost a lot of tribal and native art. With metaverse and ancillary technologies, the hope is that we will be able to reverse this trend and preserve art heritage for posterity while making it economically viable for the artisans at scale, something that is unknown and unprecedented in today’s times.

Early traction in such technology-driven soft power can certainly propel India onto the world stage and make traditional Indian artisans global celebrities, giving them the much needed recognition and respect.    

Conclusion 

Indian Heritage and Culture is multi-layered, with each layer having the capability to catapult India’s soft-power quotient. One could experience it through ancient monuments, scriptures, textiles, crafts, music, dance, food, sports, folktales and many more. 

There is a need to look at each of these layers from a Technology and Tourism standpoint, the intent being to preserve and propagate Heritage and Cultures of the world, including the most backward communities.

If deployed across other art-forms like paintings, pottery, sculptures, textiles, and even artists like musicians and dancers, Artisans worldwide have tremendous potential to earn from a global market without boundaries. 

References:

  1. https://indiaeducationdiary.in/piyush-goyal-union-minister-of-commerce-industry-consumer-affairs-food-public-distribution-and-textiles-govt-of-india-graces-handicrafts-export-award-function-as-chief-guest-and-gives-away/ 

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Food Tech Web 3.0 Tech

A Paradigm Shift is Possible in the Metaverse Experience

Written by : Ajit Padmanabh on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Only if these 2 technologies become a reality!

There is no doubt about it – Metaverse is the next Internet and is here to stay for a couple of generations, if not more. It is also a natural evolution from today’s 2D Internet to be able to experience the Digital Universe in 3D! With today’s technology advancements and research, if we can plug 2 technologies into the Metaverse, it would be a limitless opportunity. 

What are these 2 technologies, you ask? Sensory technologies involving Olfactory and Gustatory systems. In simpler terms, Smell and Taste, respectively. With the pandemic having affected many people with the loss of sense and taste and they having reported a loss of interest in life owing to the sensory loss, it makes sense to build these technologies for the Metaverse.  

Why Sensory Technologies

You may be familiar with the reductionist philosophy. It’s the practice of analyzing and describing a complex phenomenon in terms of its simple or fundamental constituents, especially when this is said to provide a sufficient explanation. 

Quoting few examples from Britannica1, the ideas that physical bodies are collections of atoms or that a given mental state (e.g., one person’s belief that snow is white) is identical to a particular physical state (the firing of certain neurons in that person’s brain) are examples of reductionism.

With advances in neuroscientific research in the last century, there is an existence of what is known as Cortical Homunculus. A cortical homunculus is a distorted representation of the human body, based on a neurological “map” of the areas and proportions of the human brain dedicated to processing motor functions, or sensory functions, for different parts of the body. A 2D representation of the sensory homunculus is shown below. 

Fig.1 A 2D Cortical Sensory homunculus

All signals are received by the primary sensory cortex in the brain. The amount of cortex devoted to any given body region is not proportional to that body region’s surface area or volume, but rather to how richly innervated that region is.

Areas of the body with more complex and/or more numerous sensory or motor connections are represented as larger in the homunculus, while those with less complex and/or less numerous connections are represented as smaller.2 You’d notice that the significant amount of brain-processing is accorded to sensory functions, including those of taste and smell. 

If we are to look at the proposition of Metaverse being an alternate universe and where you are expected to spend considerable amount of time, it has to be capable of attracting your attention not only visually or aurally (as is the case with the 2D internet of today) but as a multi-sensory experience involving haptics (touch), olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) technologies as well.

Hence, it is critical to understand and invest in these sensory technologies and ensure that the promise of Metaverse is realized in entirety.

A Sneak Peek into Multi-sensory Prototypes and Ongoing Research 

A lot of research and development has gone into haptic (touch) technologies with many commercially available solutions as well. Since the solutions are fairly established, we will focus on research into olfactory and gustatory technology.

Olfactory Prototypes and Research

As far as olfactory technologies are concerned, considerable research is being performed on classification and extraction of scents so as to define the exact sense stimulus in the brain which then can be simulated using ergonomic hardware. 

According to Judith Amores, a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, whose work is focused on scent and virtual reality – “People don’t really appreciate the sense of smell,” she said. “It’s actually so important, it’s so unexplored, and it’s so powerful.”3

OVR Technologies, a Burlington, Vermont-based startup, is one of the few companies developing this technology for Virtual Reality. While reproducing real-world odors with chemicals is challenging, it opens up new possibilities in nostalgic experiences as odor is associated with memories. With earlier 5D systems, scent technology had certain issues, namely the mixing up and lingering of scents long after the experience. This is being fixed with AI-driven algorithms that trigger various odors and control their intensity, duration among other parameters. 

 Lastly, there is research on olfactory-powered deaddiction programs in Virtual Reality, which could prove to be a panacea in the Metaverse. Closer home, research into olfactory is ongoing at various institutes including IIT, Jodhpur.

Gustatory Prototypes and Research

Research into gustatory prototypes is in its early days. The idea is to simulate taste in the physical world first and then look to replicate it in the virtual world. The “lickable screen,” called the “Norimaki Synthesizer,” uses five different gels, each corresponding to the five tastes the human tongue can distinguish between — salty, acidic, bitter, sweet, and umami. 

By weakening and strengthening these five different tastes through the use of electrical currents, the device can reproduce any “arbitrary taste,” according to the research.4 “Like an optical display that uses lights of three basic colors to produce arbitrary colors, this display can synthesize and distribute arbitrary tastes together with the data acquired by taste sensors,” said Homei Miyashita, researcher at Meiji University, Japan. 

In a recent development, A team at the Carnegie Mellon University, a private institution in Pittsburgh, US, have made it possible for users to feel the virtual world in and on their mouth, without making physical contact. What the user can feel are tactile sensations such as drinking from a water fountain, wind on the face.5 Project Nourished, a VR food start-up, has been experimenting with technology to trick taste buds and promote sustainability.6

Conclusion

Metaverse is here to stay and become an integral part of who we are. Multi-sensory metaverse, in its complete form, will not only make it real and immersive but will also open up new industry verticals hitherto unknown as of today. A paradigm shift is also possible in Hospitality, Travel & Tourism and Entertainment industries with such technologies.

There is huge potential to be at the forefront of research and commercialization of such technologies in India – Tasty food for thought for investors and research institutes across the country!

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/reductionism
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortical_homunculus 
  3. https://www.wbur.org/news/2022/03/14/virtual-reality-smell-ovr-technology
  4. https://futurism.com/the-byte/device-simulate-any-flavor  
  5. https://www.cnbctv18.com/technology/ultrasound-vr-device-lets-users-touch-and-feel-in-mouths-vr-kiss-13378502.htm

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