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Joel Dietz on Creating Ethereum, MetaMask and MetaMetaVerse | Ep. 164

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Joel Dietz, Founder of MetaMetaVerse, talks about founding several key initiatives in the cryptocurrency space (Ethereum & MetaMask), building your own metaverse, and how governments can benefit from the metaverse.

About Joel Dietz

Joel Dietz is the Founder of MetaMetaVerse and is a serial entrepreneur & intellectual historian who helped found several key initiatives in the cryptocurrency space, including Ethereum, MetaMask, the first smart contract educational channel, and the first academic work on cryptoeconomics. His research interests focus on the confluence of blockchain network topologies and swarm intelligence, especially how the principles undergirding decentralized organizations can be used to fuel global innovation. He also works on holonic philosophy, the evolution of jurisprudence, data-driven approaches to innovation, and smart city data architecture.

Joel Dietz gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • Founding Ethereum & MetaMask; stories from back in the day 
  • The future of the metaverse – what it will look like 5yrs and 10yrs down the road
  • Building your own metaverse via AI generators
  • Stories about Vitalik Buterin doing CrossFit 
  • Governments benefiting from the metaverse

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 

Ladies and gentlemen welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We are buzzing as always weather’s getting a little colder. We’re almost into the fall but the pod is buzzin as always, and we have another incredible guest on the pod. Today’s guest is Joel Dietz. Present day, he is the founder of MetaMetaverse. Joel is also a serial entrepreneur and intellectual historian who helped found several key initiatives in the cryptocurrency space, including Ethereum. Wow, never heard of it. Metamask ever heard of it again, the first smart contract educational channel and the first academic work on crypto-economics. His research interests focus on the confluence of blockchain network topologies, and swarm intelligence, especially how the principles undergoing decentralized organizations can be used to fuel global innovation. He also works on holonic philosophy, the evolution of jurisprudence, data-driven approaches to innovation, and smart city data architecture. Wow, I can barely read half those words there. Without further ado, I’m very pleased to welcome Joel Dietz to the Cryptonews Podcast. Joel, welcome to show my friend.

Joel Dietz

Oh, no pleasure to be here.

Matt Zahab

Joel, super pumped to have you on man, you have an absolutely bananas background. I got to start with Ethereum and MetaMask. These are applications pieces of software, very powerful that I use almost every single day. I couldn’t imagine navigating web3 without Metamask. When you and the team built this founded this, did you ever think that this would play such an integral part of web3?

Joel Dietz 

Oh, yeah, it wasn’t, you know, the first you know, working group Skype groups. And I think we talked about the flip bidding back then, you know, the day that the market cap of Ethereum would flip that a Bitcoin. So I don’t know why. But it just feels like there was on the day the white paper came out there were at least 20 or 30 of us that were convinced basically of this, this would happen. And we fed off of each other so.

Matt Zahab 

And can you walk me through like the process of creating? Let’s start with ETH, for example. What was that, like any crazy stories with Vitalik, any, any stories that you would love to tell, you know, 30 years down the road to perhaps the average Joe or Josephine wouldn’t be cognizant of?

Joel Dietz

Yeah, I mean, first of all, I’ll say that, you know, there were probably 50 people involved in the early days of Ethereum. And most of us were engineers by training. And most of the work that needed to be done to build Ethereum was the engineering side of it. So there was so much to be built. And I contributed a little bit, but mainly on the educational side, and kind of bring awareness and building some of the first channels to in that area. So and just in general, it was it was interesting, because sometimes you find something that is so intuitive to you, but then it’s actually kind of somehow hard to explain, you know, to other people. And I worked really hard on that. Because, you know, for at least a while I was the person spending the most effort on trying to educate people who were, you know, necessarily not as technical as some of the core Devs. That’s it.

Matt Zahab

That must have been nightmare fuel back in the day educating people on Ethereum. Like, what did that pitch even sound like? But what was the most of the one liner? What was the elevator pitch? How would you convince people that we created this, you know, bonkers cryptocurrency, and it’s gonna be the future.

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, as you probably picked up just from my scripts, I have a bit of academic disposition. And I suppose like to talk about it from the aspect of the nature of money and what money is, you know, and I often said, you know, that, basically, you know, Bitcoin was the first digitization of money, where you could basically transfer some value to one person. And then, you know, Ethereum was the first programmable money. So basically, if I have a token that represents a value, whether it’s a bottle of beer, or a crystal or a gold coin, but then I can put instructions inside of it and say, Okay, now go to Matt after 10 minutes, or now go to Matt after 10 minutes if Atlas says yes, and that sort of idea of building program logic into currency had basically never been done before. And that opens up a whole lot of different possibilities, including new types of organizations, you know, new types of funding DAOs and I could go on for a long time about DAOs, but usually don’t try to do that on the first conversation or at least first few sentences.

Matt Zahab 

Oh, yeah. Well, we’ll get to DAOs later is still a very trendy topic and a lot of people are very, very much so butchering DAOs nowadays, where it’s still a almost completely centralized organization whole not a lot of autonomy either, but again, we’ll get into that. We’ll jump back into ETH in a couple minutes but I want to move over to Metamask. Metamask is just absolutely incredible. It’s one of the best things about crypto in my opinion. It’s so easy to house everything right from your browser or right from your mobile device. One of the best logos in the space to I have a kinship and love for that little orange Fox, what was it like building this application? Did you guys think that it would be something that people use every single day right now?

Joel Dietz

Um, it’s good question. You know, to me, it was kind of an obvious thing, basically, at DEVCON zero, that people would consume dApps primarily through the browser, I think I was the only person who thought that, but I managed to convince Vitalik. Obviously, influential, and who had some control over the dev grants program, and I also managed to convince Gavin wood. So that was basically the formal birth. And I guess, later on, Joe Lubin was convinced, maybe six months after that, or something. So the Yeah, kind of formal process behind that was just kind of I don’t know, somehow, somehow obvious to me. Now, you know, how to get from A to B. Again, like lots of engineering effort involved. Thankfully, I, my career has been as an engineer for the most part. So I, I can estimate that and know, roughly speaking, like what fits together. But yeah, I, as to the specifics, you know, we did kind of say that to the Y Combinator people in the in the interview, you know, that this was like a big thing. And Ethereum was a big thing. And smart contracts were a big thing. And they kind of were skeptical, you know, so it was it was kind of an uphill battle, even with these kind of, like, you know, reasonably respectable and smart VCs in Silicon Valley at the time, who, I guess didn’t take Ethereum very seriously, back in, I guess, mid 2015 or something?

Matt Zahab 

Probably a small regret on their end. What How did you convince Vitalik that Metamask would be so important than having a browser based extension? Would be the spot where most people would house all their ERC 20 tokens with that combo sound like because again, you what you just said, Joel, is you were like, Oh, it was, you know, so obvious to me, and I’m sure it was, you’re very switched on dude. But like, clearly, it wasn’t obvious to anyone else. But how did you had you? Had you pitch them? How do you close them? 

Joel Dietz

I guess I don’t know, kind of, like, I’ll say aggressive closing style. But I think I was also the only person at DEVCON zero who was doing like CrossFit in the morning. Like, basically, I went up every morning to, you know, do you know, my burpees and pull ups and stuff before the rest of everyone was doing their technical talks? And you know, there’s just a certain, you know, like, let’s go, let’s go kind of mentality that comes out of that particular like, performance fitness crew. And, you know, I guess I’ve been I know, somehow I’m ingrain that over time. And so I always try to push things forward at the pace that, you know, I wanted to, which often isn’t the pace that other institutions are ready to go, but actually, interestingly enough, Vitalik when he stayed at my house, and Silicon Valley, did CrossFit with us kind of exercises in the morning, so I guess a little bit of that exposure, and maybe it was even from the aspect of him having done that, that he was like, you know, whatever Joel is doing he’s probably serious about it. No. 

Matt Zahab 

Look, I I’m in I’m in no position to turn Vitalik he’s the GOAT but like, I can’t see him in his noodle arms doing CrossFit. Like.

Joel Dietz 

Interesting thing to see. I kind of wish I could do it honestly. And I didn’t expect him to like get up in the morning and come join us for our little CrossFit routine. But he did so props to Vitalik. 

Matt Zahab 

You know how viral that would go today that’s like him with his you know, with his hammer in his pants, the classic photo that went viral about a month ago. You know, the one I’m talking about? With his long present in his pants if that was a schlong if it was good for him. He’s got a healthy one. But yeah, you don’t know that what it went like that without that break the internet Vitalik doing CrossFit? Are you kidding me? And it’s like PJ’s are in a crazy Vitalik outfit was noodle arms.

Joel Dietz 

I really have some interesting things if you say goodbye, you know repository of photos and videos from that time period. I don’t know I mean, I didn’t really go back and search but. 

Matt Zahab 

That’d be a good NFT collection you know OG Vitalik NFT collection.

Joel Dietz

Oh, yeah. Good point. Yeah, for sure.

Matt Zahab

That could pop off while I’m I still don’t know why and this is quite perverse, but I’m just trying to picture what it would look like doing CrossFit. Anyways, back to show here. Metamask so many people have been asking about a Metamask token. Everyone wants it, you know, good old cheeky airdrops similar to you know, an ENS type AirDrop, where you buy a couple domains, and here’s a couple 1000 bucks, including love that that was incredible. Will we ever see a Metamask token?

Joel Dietz 

So I do have to clarify. So I haven’t been involved really in Metamask for five years or whatever. So and the way Joe Lubin tells this story, is he hired them the devs basically into consensus, and then they started rebuilding effectively the project a second time. So I don’t really have any involvement with it currently, and I wish them success in whatever they do. I do hope they, you know, whatever credit me appropriately with the tokens that are planning to issue and all of that, but not, you know, everyone has the same respect, I guess, for founders out there. So. 

Matt Zahab 

I mean, in your, in your opinion, Joel, like, do you think it would be good for the ecosystem to launch some type of governance token that would almost act as a DAO?

Joel Dietz 

Well, it’s so is it as you bring this up today, because I was just reviewing some of this legal paperwork that we had for Metamask. And, and other people were actually picking up on some of the things because we had a few different legal conferences, specifically around this topic back in like 2015, as to how to do like DAO collaborative DAO governance. And in fact, that original governance contracts of Metamask had this embedded in it. So there was like, a collaborative, you know, basically token voting system to decide how the project would evolve. And I think for certain types of community projects, it makes a lot of sense of baby to early when it’s an early stage. But, you know, Metamask is like, it could go in different directions. Obviously, it has an enterprise version of it. And I think, you know, having a private enterprise thing is great, frankly, you know, custodial wallets, all of that. But the, you know, the community driven things, I think there’s a point in kind of turning at least certain aspects of things over the community, once something reaches a certain scale. So I will be super supportive of Metamask, kind of going back in that direction, and maybe even returning to some of these original legal contracts. 

Matt Zahab

Interesting.

Joel Dietz

There’s a legal scholars, you know, from around the world that were really pushing this sort of integration between collaborative governance and DAOs basically, we call it’s called the DCO at the time, and it kind of got off the ground, but never like, fully with like, you know, a reasonable sized project.

Matt Zahab 

That would be the hardest AirDrop present day, whether I guess we’re an Opensea and Opensea or Metamask token that would break web three, in the best of ways possible.

Joel Dietz 

Well, yeah, I mean, who knows, maybe the current dev team of Metamask is still open and interested in those more, you know, collaborative side of things. I know that, that the consensus, as you know, organization has kind of gone in and out of it a little bit, you know, but there are hard things to do. So, you know, to pull off, like, appropriately. And it goes back to the DAO question you mentioned before, like DAO has become really centralized, it’s very easy to, you know, control things from behind the scenes. I think that’s kind of one of the things that people have said and some of the, you know, I don’t say like people blacken Ethereum’s reputation from time to time. But you know, the, the story of what’s actually going on versus like, what’s happening behind the scenes is, you know, sometimes it seems like there’s a bit of a gap there. So.

Matt Zahab 

You’re bang on there. That’s getting very interesting. Can we see what happens there? Let’s move forward and jump into your new project. MetaMetaverse. Absolutely popping off you once. Perhaps all in is the wrong word. But you’ve put a lot of eggs in this basket. What before we get into metal Metaverse itself? What tickles your fancy so much about the metaverse? Why? Why go all in on the metaverse and 2022?

Joel Dietz

Well, I like to say Metaverse is three different tracks, I think I explained is different from everyone else out there. So full disclosure, but one of them is you know, tokens web three, like all that governance, like that kind of stuff. Another one is like AR VR, like gaming experiences and stuff like that. And another one is basically the neuroscience of the brain and psychedelic research and all those things where we like tap into the brain and how it works and kind of get integrated at that level.

Matt Zahab 

Interesting. That’s I haven’t heard that take before.

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, no one, as far as I know, really explains it that way. But those are the convergence of interests that brought me into wanting to do things into metaverse. And it’s partially because I see Metaverse at some fundamental level even a philosophical level as like form of communication, where basically we go from a lossy form of communication, and on unreliable form of communication to something that is like highly upgraded and has a lot more visual density and other kind of like density associated with it.

Matt Zahab 

Okay, you just made my head spin here, Joel, and in the best of ways. Normally I would start with numero uno, but let’s go straight to numero tres. The psychological psychedelic, sort of all up in the brain that you talked about. Can you go into the depths on that? Like, are we talking neuro link, are we talking, you know, micro dosing psilocybin or LSD or other psychedelic compounds to tap into the metaverse like, Give me Give me your thesis on this, I’m very intrigued by this.

Joel Dietz

Yeah, so I just go back to communication or, you know, extended, you know, states of consciousness. But, you know, say you were able to visualize something in your brain, right, and you’re like, I want to share this with you, usually 99.9%, meeting our eyes together does not actually allow you to share the idea. But you have like this pink version of the Eiffel Tower in your head, and you really want me to see it, right. So now we could draw it, if I get communicated verbally, but if it’s something like you don’t know what the Eiffel Tower is, and I start saying, hey, it’s a pink version of the Eiffel Tower, like, it’s not going to get across, right, so and the more complex, the idea is, the more challenging it is for basically me to get it from my, you know, brain into your brain. And, and there are various forms of communicating. Now, psychedelics are kind of in that direction, but they’re kind of unreliable, like, you take a psychedelic, and I think the psychedelic, and we’re gonna have wildly varying experiences. And unless we spend a lot of time drawing them, it’s gonna be hard to see, you know, where they overlap. Whereas virtual reality, on the other hand, you put on a headset that I handed to you, you put it on, we’re gonna have basically the same experience, and be able to then communicate it afterwards or, you know, translate it into something. So, you know, I think that’s one of the benefits. And again, use something like neuro link, and, you know, we’re still digging into the kind of brain thing, but if I can do the same thing, you know, with a more direct kind of neuron based stimulus, or I’ve seen the ones that use, you know, facial muscles, and things like that, to do various control mechanisms. It’s accelerating, that basically, it’s allowing for more rapid and reliable communication about complex objects.

Matt Zahab 

How far away are we, from this becoming a reality, like, you know, like you and I being able to stare into each other’s eyes, and me being able to know that you’re thinking of a pink Eiffel Tower.

Joel Dietz 

Um, I think as well as thank you know, that they exist, but it’s not like widely distributed, you know, and there’s various forms of getting there. But I would say that I could guess like, maybe 15 years to a consumer product. So like, within our lifetimes, would be my guess. And even then it’s probably likely to be like a high end consumer project. Yeah. But there’s probably some low level versions that will be there much sooner. You know, for example, like, if I can use my patiently, just saying, Not non hand motions, whatever else, and I have some pre loaded things, you know, in like a version of Google Glass or whatever the next kind of version of that is. And then I can basically toggle and say, hey, you know, this is, from the set of ideas I have, and communicate, I think we’re gonna get there much, much quicker. But it will be like, let’s say, a more limited vocabulary where I have, you know, like, right, there’s like, all these games, you know, there’s like, 10 common commands that everyone uses it over and over again, I think we’ll kind of see like, that version happened, the quickest, probably. 

Matt Zahab

Okay, so that was number three. And again, you blew my mind there. Number one was, you said, the tokens and the sharing of information and financial assets, right? And tying those two together? How does one and three, how do they intertwine?

Joel Dietz 

Um, well, basically, we’ve got this meta URL system, it’s to address like, basically any type of experience. So it could be something and effectively, right now, it was what works for any kind of Euclidean space, which basically means like all of normal physics, and spaces in the physical Earth, or faces and different metalverses, but anything that’s sort of like a 3d space, we can address it basically. And we can create a unique string URL, basically, that applies to that space. And, and we can basically extend the same concept of space into other types of experiences, like smells and pheromones and more difficult to, like, visualize their C version of it. And the benefit of this basically, is making it accessible and universalizability effectively, so we can, you know, communicate about the same things, if that makes sense.

Matt Zahab 

Like, how, how would you tie an address to a smell.

Joel Dietz 

Um, that’s, you know, among the more tricky things, you know, but basically, you know, once I have this concept of this URL, string string, I mean, sometimes it’s not that different from like, what IPFS has and things like that. Um, Then I can basically drop a payload in it. And then to specify, you know, right now for we do this already, basically for what rendering engine is needed to render the experience. So we support natively Unreal Engine five, which is the best one for kind of visual assets, and then the file type, you know, and, you know, basically anything that is a smell, or pheromone, or whatever else would still have the concept of a rendering engine, we’re only a certain type of machine basically, that can take that, you know, let’s say, let’s take a slightly simpler example, like you are going into a space in a Metaverse, you know, called Sandbox, Decentraland, you know, one of our kind of meta verses on our platform. And there, you want there to be a blue mist, right? So misters are a technology that exists, right, you have misters, they, they’re connected to current audio visual systems. And, you know, you can push a button on a, you know, standard mixing board and get your login, you know, whatever, smoke smoke machine to start puffing up smoke. So all you need to do basically is take that same technology is already developed, and integrate it into the localized version of it. So instead of just being like, I push the button and the smoke comes out into the whatever, DJ booth, you know, venue, I basically walk into a space, let’s say in Sandbox, and then boom, like all those blue smoke starts like pouring over my, you know, little home office. And that is actually not that hard to build like that technology all exists, it just kind of needs this little glue in between. And the glue in between basically goes from a 3d spatial experience all the way to the you know, spectrum of all of these other that’s a non visual experiences that people are having, and don’t necessarily have an easy way of cataloging right now.

Matt Zahab 

So your digitizing experiences. 

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, I think that’s great way of describing it. Yeah. making them accessible, making them universalize usable. 

Matt Zahab

Yeah. Crazy.

Joel Dietz

I’m like the Aristotle of experience.

Matt Zahab 

Wow, so many different things. I want to ask you, but y’all, we don’t have enough time. Geez. Okay. I want to it seems like, again, reading your bio lurking your Twitter. You love history. Like you, you have a huge history Boehner, I can tell I’m a history guy myself nowhere. I know 1,000,000th of what you know, most likely, but how does your knowledge of history impact the decisions you make present day? Because it seems like a lot of what you do present day, just from hearing you speak watching and listening to you from other interviews, you know, lurking your Twitter lurking a lot of the content that you’ve released online, I can’t really piece it together. But it seems like your love and passion and knowledge of history has a lot of impact on your present day thinking. Can you try to explain that? And my apologies for throwing words in your mouth is a difficult question. But how does that impact you today?

Joel Dietz 

Well, I’ll give one very clear example that relates to the world of crypto, you know, my first response when, you know, reading about Bitcoin back in whatever 2010 was to get a bunch of books about the history of financial systems and markets and how they developed. And I probably read, you know, a couple dozen of them before deciding what to do. And I wouldn’t say my sense of market timing has always been the best, by the way, or maybe like a good historian, maybe not always the best entrepreneur when it comes to hitting the market at the right time. But I basically decided that, you know, it was very similar to what happened when the stock markets were created. And that, you know, cryptocurrency is a lot like equity. But when people first started putting numbers in, you know, Mississippi company shares on paper, people just kind of made up valuations for it, and, you know, pumped them and then, you know, did some other kind of like nasty things as well behind the scenes, you know, where they basically create the fake value companies, and then, you know, whatever shot the journalists or whatever it were basically trying to say, like this company was actually this, like, everyone’s this literally happened, the King of France, you know, basically loved the Mississippi company, because it bailed him out of his own debt. And he wasn’t respected by the aristocrats at that point. But the problem was at the Mississippi company was like, all the people were dying in the swamp, and they would write back letters to France saying, Hey, we’re dying in the swamp, like nothing, there’s no gold here. But did you promise us blah, blah, blah. And then the king of France basically said, like, don’t print those letters. So no one in France could find out what was really going on in Mississippi. So it kind of creates this, you know, crypto economics, so it’s all about incentives, but it can create a skewed sense of incentive sometimes where the king of France was like very incentivized, basically to prevent anyone from figuring out what was actually going on in Mississippi. So, I have been really bullish about crypto and blockchain and the kind and overall idea of crypto economics, but slightly less bullish on the first implementation of it, which I think sometimes the, you know, incentives need to be calibrated, right. And just one core thing that’s part of that, too, also a lesson from history is that people don’t care about money that much like it’s it, they care about it, but not the only thing they care about. And people want to get to a certain level of wealth maybe and, you know, obviously, some people really like showing off their wealth, other people, it doesn’t really matter to them. But the, you know, it’s not the core consideration of everyone on this planet. And they, at some point, like live life in a fuller sense and giving, you know, other things. So another kind of cool story, if I, if I’m allowed to go further, is actually in one of these old Bitcoin lists right now, where I was laying there cheerleading some of the stuff in the Ukraine, I’m actually very actively involved in supporting Ukrainians on the ground through kind of various means. But I personally believe that, you know, the healthy political system, and thing is when people are actively involved in supporting each other people who value freedom, basically. And that’s the only way that freedom survives, is by you know, people coming together to support freedom. And, you know, it wasn’t not everyone was agreeing with me, let’s just say that they were silent. There were, you know, obviously, some voices, but, you know, other people like Curtis, Dr. Van, who you may know, is quite well known for, you know, his stuff and Irbid and popularizing Bitcoin stuff. Basically, the camo the opposite opinion saying, supporting Ukraine as a bunch of feel good ism, and it doesn’t matter. And let’s just let those people go and sit on our Bitcoins, you know, you know, differences of opinion, basically, but serious ones, and they affect, you know, our future political reality, and including which one we live in personally, you know, do you live with people who love freedom, and are willing to pay for it? Or do you live with people who want to sit on their Bitcoins, and you know, a deal with the rest of the world as little as possible?

Matt Zahab 

Very, very well said there. I absolutely love, one. I’m a big story guy. And the king of France and Mississippi Corp. is it Mississippi Corp, Mississippi?

Joel Dietz 

The company I think very French name you know, read it in French. Can’t say. 

Matt Zahab 

Mississippi company, that’s such a good story and one that will stick with me so thanks for telling that. Yeah, any couple more questions on history for a sec? Because that was a great little spiel there. What are your favorite resources to learn? Are you like Dan Carlin Hardcore History guy, what’s the best spot to get some good bite sized nuggets on history?

Joel Dietz 

Whoo. Um, you know what I just fell in love with recently. It’s kind of it’s like intellectual history. But these graphic guides for among other things, there’s like I just read a graphic Guide to lecan I read a graphic guide to Hegel, I read a graphic guide and Nietzsche prep guide on Nazism. I read a graphic guide on like, you know, whatever, four or five other topics, and they all presented the topics quite clearly and give you like pointers to go and other things and they’re all free on Kindle Unlimited, so I was, yeah.

Matt Zahab 

Interesting. I was just gonna ask Where can I find those Kindle Unlimited, okay, shadowed Amazon. Lovely Joel. We’re gonna take a quick break give a massive shout out to a response to show PrimeXBT. You guys know I love PrimeXBT. I’ve been using them for almost two years now, as they offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders that demand highly reliable market data and performance. Doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a vet, you can easily design, customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. PrimeXBT is also running exclusive promo for listeners of the Cryptonews podcast. Use the promo code CRYPTONEWS50. That’s CRYPTONEWS50. All in one word to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Again, that is CRYPTONEWS50 to receive 50% of your deposit relative to your trading account. Now back to the show with Joel who’s been dropping absolute knowledge bombs and alpha bombs left right and center. Joel, this has been an absolute treatment. Let’s keep us in here. Back to the metaverse for a sec. Potential the metaverse it’s 2022. It’s been around for a couple years. Last year was probably the first year where we really saw things take off mind you there still aren’t really any true metaverses that are fully playable at the moment. I know Sandbox has the alpha out. I know Decentraland is playable. I know there are experiences in both of them but it’s not good enough to get the masses in what is the potential the metaverse What do you think the future looks like next year? A couple years down the road. 2030 Give us some hot takes here.

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, to be perfectly honest, I don’t spend that much time on the other metaversus BMZ because I have like an obsessive personality and I like perfecting our own kind of product as much as people as as possible. And I’m a gamer so it’s like the fusion like gaming you know and all these things is very exciting to me, but it also kind of raises the bar a little bit as far as what gamers are used to when it comes to experiences. But I will give some, you know, little bits and one of them as, like, I think we’re gonna, we’re gonna have a little for sure, I hope someone else is working on the same thing or maybe we work together but procedurally generated manner versus where you can like basically go in and the similar to what you can do in like mid journey or some of these AI things and say, I want a Metaverse that has, you know, three planets and, you know, a starship and whatever, or, you know, Star cruiser and this other thing, and then it will kind of spin it up for you. And then you know, I mean, kind of there’s like, similar thing like squiggles or whatever some of these generative art projects, but like the 3d immersive, interactive, you know, kind of version of those things. And of that working right now that I built, and this is like, why don’t go out sometimes, because I’m like, here like.

Matt Zahab 

That is bonkers. So walk me through that. I literally I type in what I want, or I would do a couple lines of code. And the AI generator was the metaverse AI generator will spit out a Metaverse based on what I want. 

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, exactly. So and we have this cool, like practical ideas. So basically, like, you know, you have a planet inside your Metaverse, and you can subdivide that planet and sell real estate on your planet. You can build cities, you can like keep going, you know, and we support, you know, whatever, uploading all the content to IPFS or wherever you want to store it. We’re on our own servers, but you know, you can design the whole metaverse.

Matt Zahab 

So so so this is this is a side project of yours, which is essentially the Shopify of metaverses.

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, I guess you could call our platform like the Shopify of metaverses like, we’re gonna make it really accessible for people to get their own technology there. And, and, you know, in theory, anyone can put all their own content in there. But we wanted to give people the option of basically pre populating their Metaverse with some kind of content. And, you know, originally was just like, here’s a planet or whatever, here’s a floating island or something like that. But then I got, you know, I would say, carried away by my own idea of what we could do. And I’d actually, I basically, I was sitting with a professor at Harvard, whose name was Peter super who invented gnomic, which is like this super old school like gaming category where you win points basically, based on the, how you change the rules of the game. So it’s like, a super nerdy game, basically. And, and he had the idea basically, of taking it and turning it into this like, Conway’s Game of Life on steroids. I don’t know if you know, you know, Conway’s Game of Life? 

Matt Zahab

I don’t, I don’t.

Joel Dietz

Anyways, it’s like this. Basically, it was used as a screensaver on all the supercomputers back when they were first building the first version. And it’s the simple rules basically, for changing the cells that are alive and die. And usually a 2d grid, although there’s, you know, 3d and sort of multiple dimensional versions available. And it looks cool. And it’s kind of has these like life forms, basically, that are kind of evolving in front of your eyes. So it’s very cool to look at. But no one kind of took it to like the next level basically, where it could be like fully interactive, and you could like insert your own algorithms and see how these things evolve in this kind of 3d space and gotten one Scott going. I was like, this is super cool.

Matt Zahab 

So you’re a perfectionist. I can just tell once you once you start you dial in and there’s nothing stopping you.

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, so there’s probably again this like it’s some kind of weird thing I have this extra I mean, I learned Mandarin when I was young, you know and it took so much time of copying these you know, characters and stuff like that. But you know, after I got through that, I basically felt like I could do that like enough persistence, you know, you just kind of keep on going keep on going and then maybe that CrossFit stuff on top of it also means that you like really put yourself into something once you’re once you’re in the middle of it so yeah, and I mean, I love this kind of stuff too. Like the comp is gaming that got me into programming you know so with that and so when I get the confluence of these two things coming together I just like I light up I get so happy.

Matt Zahab 

Folks for those listening and who aren’t watching this Joel has literally been smiling while speaking for this, you know, for the last 36 minutes. So it’s an absolute treat to see someone so fired up about, you know, passionate about something they do. Joel, let’s keep an eye on Metaverse is here. I know you guys are helping a lot of businesses come in and you know, create their own do their own ish within the metaverse which businesses in particular can benefit the most from the metaverse. 

Joel Dietz 

Um, I think probably I don’t know sir No, no think of like a government you know, as a business but I did read apologies network state. I think it’s definitely in like kind of right direction of kind of evolution. And in general, I’m a fan of his writings. And I think that basically and when we got this actually inbound, I gave a talk at the World Government Summit before about metaverses and I basically said, like, governance needs to be fun. Like, it needs to be engaging, like you need to actually have some something for people to do. And especially if you’re going after, like, civic engagement, how can people engage more, you know, and be like, like Metaverse, like, I think, for people to have actual and control over and help evolve. So I think that’s going to be maybe the biggest thing overall meant might take a little bit longer to go, you know, because, you know, governments aren’t necessarily known for, like, doing things quickly. But, you know, I think people like biology will help with their own kind of micro governments. And I think there’s, you know, a lot of other things, too, real estate is kind of an obvious one, like, and I’m, I’m a huge fan of, in general, take your 2d architectural rendering, and turn it into an interactive experience, you know, if you want to sell something, it’s maybe like, you know, not obligatory today, but it probably will be in five years where everyone will be used to like wanting to go on a virtual tour of the apartment or booking before they do it. And you want to be on the front end of that curve. And interestingly enough, like in my little weird break between like my version of web3 today, and what I did web3, and like 2014 2015, I built some, you know, virtual reality demoing, you know, real estate, demoing apps and stuff like that. So.

Matt Zahab 

That’s, I always think of Airbnb, whenever I think of this magic, how cool it would be to walk through the place you’re about to stay at, or would potentially choose to stay up for booking. And then just like the actual real estate, you’ve talked about, let’s say you want to buy a rental home somewhere or a vacation home, and you can’t fly across the world to go do that. You’re there. Yeah, it’s no different than what sort of COVID is done to, to the job, you know, industry in industry, wrong word, but marketplace where it’s like now, every single job in the world, most of them, you don’t have to be in person. It’s global. It’s pretty decentralized, and the talent pool has gotten infinite, the times bigger and same thing can happen with that. Very interesting point there. What do you think is the right time for most businesses to jump in? Seemed like last year was sort of the just because of the FOMO. There was so much feel like it slowed down a little. Yes, there are still bigger companies like Starbucks Polygon announcement, which is massive. But what do you think is when you think is the right time for these fortune 500 companies to start joining the party and getting on the dance floor? 

Joel Dietz      

Well, apparently, they you know, all are to some degree, and they’re aware and they have plans and stuff like that. At least that’s what the I think ladies PwC Survey said. But you know, there’s a good reason to do an activation in like a name brand metaverse. I think Sandbox is the first people, you know, when people go to these days or Decentraland. But there’s also a huge reason to go where the users are, which is more than like a Roblox thing. And Gucci. And some other people have done that. And then, you know, there’s a whole another reason. And you mentioned this earlier to go where the visual quality and quality of the experience is going to be the highest. And I think that’s where we plan to kind of differentiate, and then you know, kind of use that obviously to grow our user base and everything else. But I just, I have been kind of out in space, but I do love voxel art and stuff like that. But yeah, I don’t like it all the time. Once you’ve gone through the, you know, triple A gaming experience and cinematic virtual reality experiences, it sometimes feels a little bit underwhelming.

Matt Zahab 

Yeah, it’s, it’s tough. It’s just, it doesn’t seem I can’t really put a finger on it. It’s so qualitative, you know, but it’s just it’s tough to grasp and conceptualize living in a world with such you know, outdated visuals and art. Whereas just like you said, these triple A gaming studios have it’s real, like I saw gameplay footage for the new FIFA I think this week I saw it, it literally looks like the freedom game. And then there’s, you know, again, nothing against Sandbox or Decentraland or anything like that. They’re all incredible companies but just doesn’t do it for a lot of people. And that’s it for a lot of the people who aren’t in crypto I feel like that’s one of the biggest nags at the moment is that they’re like we can’t be living in some world with watercolor you know with Pixlr but it is what it is to teach the wrong job. Joel, this is an absolutely incredible man you have just literally taught me so much and put a smile on my face this whole time. There’s a segment on the show called the hot take factory and I feel like you could make an absolute living in half being the hot take factory give me some Joel Dietz takes doesn’t have to be crypto related can be health, wealth, happiness, nutrition, you name it. I know you have a bunch of them, let them fly. I want to hear some. 

Joel Dietz 

Oh, well, I think you know Uh, you know, rest in peace to God Save the Queen, all that but I do think the world is ready for, you know, some new kind of like royalty basically like, I think there’s an interesting thing of the European royalty and what they use to serve the role they used to serve. And then you know, someone was like torn apart during communism, a lot of stuff was basically stripped away a lot of the things and then when democracy took over, so to speak, I don’t know, they just kind of, they didn’t actually adjust itself that well, and Eastern Europe. So I’m very actively following the things that are happening in Ukraine, because I think Ukraine is potentially going to be able to establish a new kind of political and social model around some of these things. So and it’s also like a history buff thing, but you get the combination of new political systems military history, like all this stuff, kind of happening there, and a hawk hot pocket, I personally will be in Kyiv. Basically, as, as soon as I can be, I do have some other obligations here. But we have a lot of developers there and a great stuff on the ground. So very excited about that. Um, and I don’t know, I just, the possibilities are always mind blowing to me. And similar what you said before, but like, there’s certainly the delicate, you know, effort of weaving different kinds of technology together. But I love that I’m kind of, you know, a little bit on the architect D kind of side of things. And another just really cool thing, like, I think Stephen Wolfram new work is amazing. I don’t know if you know much about him, but I think he’s maybe the greatest or if not one of the greatest physicists of our time, and including on this kind of multi computation thing. And his more recent book on the fundamentals, kind of theory of physics, I think, is just potentially extremely groundbreaking, I was really blown away by his concept of the ruli ad and how we do some of this modeling. So if you want to get to like the super, you know, I’ll say nerdy, esoteric, complex side event. I mean, read about that, and engage, we’re actually going to bring on a roulette fellow to work between us and the Wolfram Institute on some of these topics. Because, so, so fascinating. And we’re going to open up a whole lot as week somebody who’s like, rethink some of the concepts in physics, that I think we’ve like, overly accepted. Yeah, including potentially simulating them in virtual environments, which is also very exciting. 

Matt Zahab 

I have heard him before but Joel, that is so far above my paygrade like, I’m, I’m not even in that arena, like I, you know, I got my grade 11 physics after that it was, you know. I’m good.

Joel Dietz 

I will say from my side, I basically didn’t study physics formally. It’s kind of like the sad thing in my head, but I have a lot of respect for people who, who did. I love education, and I love children’s education specifically, and how you learn concepts, you know, that and physics, I think, is one of those things that lends itself well to being kind of reimagined in virtual environments, because you can learn the rules of physics, you know, by experiencing them and you know, how cool would that be? I don’t know. I’m just whenever I think.

Matt Zahab 

Give me good resource if I want to, if I want a little physics reading, where should I start? Or what YouTube videos or podcasts like literally for beginner like I’m talking high school level physics I need to start right from square one right from minus one kind of thing. What’s a good place to start? 

Joel Dietz 

I’m putting us back because I know what Stephens like latest things are, but I don’t really know what is the most easy we’re gonna get going but what maybe read his article Stephen Wolfram’s article on games. And because he put that out recently, and it shows, even with kind of relatively simple games, like Tic Tac Toe, how you can model all of the different permutations of that game. And then the implications of kind of modeling that which, you know, is very interesting. Maybe I’ll write something on that myself about how that relates to like, the multiverse or concepts like that, because. 

Matt Zahab 

I’d love that.

Joel Dietz 

I’m, oh, did you watch Arrival by any chance that film Arrival like a sci fi film these like aliens show up. And then basically, humans have to coordinate to like, figure out what their messages are, you know, without blowing up each other. And then actually design the language that the aliens used in that film. So that is actually a very good like, kind of approach point. Because it’s, it’s kind of interesting conceptually as well. Like, include your question like, if aliens are communicating to us, what language would they use? And you know, how would they basically trying to be introducing to us.

Matt Zahab 

He’s thought of that. Wow, crazy. Joel, I want to go back to the New World royalty for a sec. Who would it be and what country could potentially be the new world royalty?

Joel Dietz 

Um, I don’t. Exactly. I am a huge fan. No memes. I know it’s a side topic. But I do think that like, we sort of catapulted you know, memes into this, you know, new I don’t know, financial and social identity. And education.

Matt Zahab 

It’s powerful people, people get it right away, it makes them laugh, it hits them hard sticks with you, love them, keep going. 

Joel Dietz 

And just along those lines, I hope was kind of like, you know, some thought experiment in my mind, but I would hope that the new form of you know, royalty, so to speak, would actually be kind of in this meme sphere, you know, where it basically like, is not so serious. Maybe I just don’t want it to be serious, but I don’t know. I like I like memes.

Matt Zahab 

Yeah, I love that. Joel, incredible episode, man. I’d love to have you on for round two. I need on for round two, because we just scratched the surface here. I can tell that you have so much more to give, and I would love to get that out of you. Thanks. Thank you so much for coming on. Before you go. Can you please let our listeners know where they can find you? And MetaMetaverse, online and on socials. 

Joel Dietz 

Yeah, Metametaverse.io My Twitter is @JDietz. And yeah, Joel Dietz My name is gonna Google me I guess. 

Matt Zahab

You got it, Joel. Thanks again, man. Absolutely incredible episode, you absolutely crushed this. And next time I’m in Dubai, I will hit you up. I would love to go to dinner and actually get to meet you in person. But until then, wishing you the team all the best. And looking forward to the next time. 

Joel Dietz 

You should come to our Metaverse arcade. We’ll have it set up by them. I’m actually doing all that stuff right now. While their desk is like all these controllers and stuff. 

Matt Zahab 

Oh wow, amazing. Yeah, thanks again. Joel. Appreciate it. 

Joel Dietz

My pleasure. Take care. 

Matt Zahab

Folks. What an incredible episode of Joel Dietz. Founder of MetaMetaverse also did some incredible work on Ethereum Metamask, the first smart contract educational channel and tons of academic work on crypto economics. Joel brought the heat this episode this was absolutely incredible. I loved it. I really hope you guys did too. I’m sure you did. To the team love you guys. Thank you so much for everything. Justas my amazing sound editor. You’re the GOAT love you bro. And for listeners, you guys are the best. Keep on growing your bags on staying healthy, wealthy and happy. Bye for now and keep in touch.

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