Everything that represents value in the Zero Metaverse has a corresponding zNA – Zero Name Address. A zNA is a unique, human-readable, and scarce digital address that represents a portion of namespace on the zNS (Zero Name Service) protocol. It can represent virtually anything – including but not limited to digital identities, content, 3D assets, hardware, and/or virtual real estate.
For a deeper dive into the underlying utility and structure of zNS it is worth reviewing the recent Zine, zNS: Identity and Property in the Metaverse, as well as the original Zero Whitepaper and zNS GitHub repository.
The Metaverse > The Internet
It is likely that there will be many ways of indexing and addressing content in the Metaverse; zNS is one such attempt at just that. More than just a 3D reality, the Metaverse can be broadly thought of as the next version of the Internet itself. It is an abstraction layer that transcends and includes both existing and emerging Internet protocols (like Ethereum, IPFS, and BitTorrent), which is tightly coupled to the new experiential medium of AR/VR. Similar to how the web was fueled by DNS, HTTP, and TCP/IP, as well as the novel invention of the browser, the Metaverse will tightly couple Web3 protocols with an entirely new type of browser; one natively designed for immersive 3D experience.
In Zero, this 3D Browser is called zSpace, and our version of HTTP and DNS is called zNS. Every object, location, and tradeable asset in zSpace will have a corresponding zNA. A zNA is effectively virtual property on the blockchain that can reference any type of arbitrary content set by its owner. It is addressed using the protocol notation '0://'.
Similar to the 'http://' found at the beginning of your browser's address bar, zNS enables content across any Web3 or traditional Internet protocol to be indexed and linked to. Unlike 'http://', zNS is entirely decentralized, meaning that there are no central authorities that have dominion over domain registration once a domain is created. Everything is equally represented and governed by immutable code within the zNS protocol.
Similar to the web, entering your zNA into a zNS supported browser or application will redirect you to a zNA's associative content, according to the rules set by its owner, and whether that content is located on traditional DNS servers (i.e., the web), a blockchain, or a protocol like Ethereum, IPFS or zChain, Zero's peer-to-peer protocol. Unlike the web, once a domain is issued, by default it can never be revoked or altered in anyway by anyone other than its owner. Owners can be individuals, programs, or DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), creating a very large number of possibilities for how domains can be used.
Sovereign Programmable Property
Domains in zNS are by default sovereign, meaning that a parent domain does not have implicit control over its subdomains after they are issued, unless it purchases them directly. Once a subdomain is sold, its parent has effectively given over all sovereign control of that domain, as well as the capacity to sell additional subdomains further downstream in the domain tree (i.e., '0://domain.*.*.*).
zNS does however support the creation of programmable smart contracts called 'Stake Controllers'. A Stake Controller can enable a specific domain to set a custom set of permissions (essentially rules) for how subdomains are created and managed after creation. For instance, if you were to create a domain for your organization (i.e., '0://myorg'), you could create a Stake Controller that enables a certain administrator (perhaps a DAO or contract), to revoke membership of particular subdomains based on certain conditions and/or governance rules established by a smart contract.
Universes, Galaxies, Worlds
zNS utilizes the topology of 'Universes', 'Galaxies', and 'Worlds' to reference different levels at the top-end of the zNS namespace hierarchy. For example:
- Universe: '0://wilder'
- Galaxy: '0://wilder.guild'
- World: '0://wilder.guild.frank'
Unlike conventional DNS, which signifies a Top Level Domain (TLD) at the end of a web address (e.g., 'http://wilderworld.com'), zNS signifies TLDs at the beginning of a Zero Name Address (e.g., '0://wilder.guild'). In this instance 'guild' belongs to the TLD 'wilder'. A TLD in zNS is referenced as a Universe or 'root domain'. A domain at the secondary and tertiary level of a zNA is referenced as a Galaxy and World, respectively.
Similar to the deflationary model used in Bitcoin, there can and will only ever be a maximum number of Universes, Galaxies, and Worlds issued on zNS. Beyond Worlds (i.e., '0://universe.galaxy.world.*'), there are no limits to how many subsequent subdomains can be minted and sold. The following illustrates the simple math used to determine the maximum number of Universes, Galaxies, and Worlds:
- Universes: 210 -> 1,024
- Galaxies: 218 -> 262,144
- Worlds: 226 -> 67,108,864
These powers work elegantly; an individual Universe can have a total of 256 Galaxies and an individual Galaxy can have a total of 256 Worlds.
This deflationary model provides three core benefits to zNS domain holders:
- Native Revenue Model: Given that subdomains can be directly minted from a parent domain, owners can set a 'stake fee' that is denominated in a community designated Zero Dynamic Token. A Dynamic Token in Zero is a special type of bonding curve token used to facilitate commerce, which is interoperate and tradeable (i.e., liquid), irrespective of a token's daily trading volume. Upon minting a new subdomain, the stake fee is taken and locked as long as the domain is active, removing tokens from supply, and in turn creating a deflationary effect for all token holders. This is a natural and intrinsic revenue model for all domain holders that will increase in value overtime as more content is indexed, traded and linked in zNS.
- Land Value Appreciation: Universes, Galaxies, and Worlds have a maximum amount of land (outlined below) that can be created in zSpace, Zero's 3D virtual world engine. This creates a deflationary effect for land owners inside the Metaverse, which should lead to a healthy appreciation of land value overtime.
- Prevention of Sybil Attacks: Given that namespaces on zNS cost real money, this supports in preventing identity attacks at particular namespaces. For instance, if it costs money to create a zNA, it will be significantly more expensive, and therefore harder for bots and malicious actors to take control of zNS namespace. This is particularly useful for peer-to-peer system like zChain, where there is no central authority of trust that can distinguish authorized from malicious traffic.
Tightly coupled with the Universe, Galaxy, and World topology is an associated fixed amount of virtual land that can be issued and owned within each Galaxy. Given that individual Worlds will vary in scope and size, Galaxies are a natural place to set the upper limit of the total amount of virtual land available for a given region of the Zero Metaverse. This creates variability and diversity in the potential design of individual Worlds, reducing homogeneity.
Virtual land issuance within individual Galaxies is based on the 'Provinces', 'Parcels', and 'Lots' typology. The following specifies the 'maximum area' for each World:
- Lots: 1/8 km2
- Parcels: 8 lots -> 1 km2
- Provinces: 8 parcels -> 8 km2
- Worlds: 8 Provinces -> 64 km2
The maximum area of land that can be issued within an individual Galaxy is 1,800 km2; roughly the area of the state of Alaska. Each World can have a maximum area of 64 km2; roughly 1/4 the size of Manhattan, or 3/4 the map size of Grand Theft Auto 5 . Once all of the Worlds within a Galaxy's aggregate issued land reaches a total of 1,800 km2, no additional land can be minted in that Galaxy, irrespective of whether or not an individual World has hit the maximum area outlined above.
There are maximum total of 262,144 Galaxies, meaning there is a total maximum available land area of 471,859,200 km2 in the entire Zero Metaverse. Including water, the total surface area of Earth is ~510,064,472 km2 (5.1 x 108 km2 ) . Thus, the surface area of the Zero Metaverse is ~93% the size of our actual earth. Given the relatively fixed population size of Earth and total number of current and future Internet users, we think the Metaverse being roughly approximate to the size of Earth makes sense.
Perhaps the most deflationary mechanism of all is time itself. Irrespective of our position in the world, we share a similar amount of time in this reality. For this reason we have chosen to use time as one of the key deflationary mechanisms inside the Zero Metaverse. I.e., IRL, property value that is close to urban centers tends to be more valuable than property that requires a significant commute time to places of interest within a society.
Unlike other decentralized Metaverses, portals in zSpace can only taken between Worlds. Once you are inside of a World you must commute from point A to B. This means that transportation systems within a particular World will need to be robust, plentiful and innovative. This will be a key differentiator between Worlds, as well neighborhoods and individual land parcels. This constraint also creates a meaningful downstream economy for transportation services and methods (such as cars, jets, helicopters, boats, hyperloops, scooters, hovercrafts and so on). We believe that commute time and quality will have a significant impact on a particular World's land value; potentially more so than the Metaverse maximum area hard cap itself.
One additional deflationary mechanism is the capacity for land owners and developers to move particular land parcels into a state of 'conservation'. This action effectively removes all commercial use for that land area, as well as the capacity to resell that land area in the future. This transaction is one way, meaning that once an area is marked as conservation, it can never be reverted.
We've discussed a number of key ideas related to how property works in the Zero Metaverse. We've introduced the notion of sovereign programmable property in the form of the Zero Name Service and its associated Zero Name Addresses (zNAs). We've outlined the structure and scarcity of zNS's core network topology – Universes, Galaxies, Worlds – and we've shown some of the mechanics for how virtual land can be minted and maintain scarcity within regions of virtual spacetime.
Soon we will begin to announce the first auction of virtual parcels and lots in the Zero Metaverse, as well as give a sneak peak of a number of the virtual Worlds and cities being designed and built right now.
In a time of limited mobility in normal reality, we could not be more grateful for the opportunity to create something entirely novel; without constraints and without limits.
To Infinity & Beyond,
- A special thanks to the amazing digital artist @Justin – https://www.behance.net/justin – and for his image utilized in the cover herein.