I interviewed Omar Rahim, Ex-Binance Director - turned Earth 2 advisor, about all things Earth2.
To start off, how did you hear about Earth2, and what drew you into the project instead of other platforms?
I've been tracking Earth2 since around April last year. Being involved in the industry, I always try to keep my finger on the pulse of the web3 ecosystem. There's a lot of noise, but Earth2 was intriguing for a number of reasons. Firstly, they were achieving organic growth without making huge PR . Secondly, every time I spoke to the team, all they talked about was how they wanted to create a metaverse which was both owned and built upon by its community through collaboration and creativity. This was a huge positive signal for me.
Finally, Earth 2 built its concept using real world geographical locations to represent areas inside the metaverse which made absolute sense, it makes understanding the visual layout of the metaverse that much easier and everyone can understand and digest this approach easily.
Could you share some broad plans for the Essence crypto?
Details are still being finalized for Earth 2’s cryptocurrency model. This is a decision that has taken months of careful planning, and work has been focused on leveraging the benefits of blockchain and Web 3 for our community. The Earth 2 team has always been very careful not to jump on the bandwagon of introducing pointless tokens or NFT drops. In all of our conversations about moving to a crypto-model, the priority has always been on the value of decentralisation and integrating crypto assets that provide utility to the Earth 2 player experience. We've all seen the announcement of the collaboration with Polygon, which I think is a very smart move. Polygon is a powerful scaling solution that is focused on growing practical applications for crypto within Ethereum’s ecosystem, and I'm very excited about the plans the Earth 2 team have!
What do you think you’ll bring most to the Earth2 project?
I've been lucky enough to have a unique vantage point in the crypto industry. I've seen countless projects operate in this space and have a good feel for what makes a successful project. For me, being able to guide the team in executing their crypto strategy is what I'm looking forward to the most. I hope having this experience will be invaluable to the Earth2 team. My advice will be pretty simple: focus on the game-playing experience for users. Crypto should enhance the player experience, not the other way around.
What do you envision Earth2 will be like at the end of Phase 3 – and what feature are you most looking forward to?
Above all, I am looking forward to Earth2 achieving its vision of creating a metaverse which is both owned and built upon by its community through collaboration, creativity , utility, sustainable growth, and player engagement and rewards .
Other projects in the "metaverse" space seem to forget that - the game-playing experience should be absolutely central to the project. I've lost track of how many conversations I've had with similar projects who forget that the game needs to be good in the first place! I really think there is a huge opportunity in the PvP aspect of the metaverse, and this is an area that I would love to see develop as the game grows.
Earth2 plans to have both decentralised and centralised features on their platform – do you think this is a good move?
I think in general decentralisation is a game-changer, in terms of putting the power into the hands of our community. Unfortunately, there are very few applications that are fully decentralised - and I don't think that is a bad thing at all. Certain aspects will continue to be centralised, which is important for players to be able to have faith in the whole game. It ensures the platform will be robust and operates in a secure manner. Decentralisation is a journey, and I think the Earth 2 team gets that.
A metaverse not unsimilar to ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Ready Player One’ has been promised by Earth2 – how will they pull this off and reach their goal of a fully immersive Metaverse?
Yes, this is the first thing that comes into the minds of people when you say metaverse because of the huge cultural impact of films like the Matrix, and more recently, Ready Player One. Personally, I love both films and do think it is inevitable that we will spend more and more of our free time in the virtual world. The steps to achieving this will of course take time, and come in stages. Much as our journey in "web2" has done over the last 20 years. This time around it's going to be different. Users are much more aware of the power of the crowd. This is why having a core team that really prioritises the game is so important to understand.
How can E2 compete with much larger brands such as Meta/Facebook?
I personally feel that the metaverse should absolutely not be allowed to be hijacked by web2 companies that have spent the last 20 years monetising their user base mercilessly. I feel incredibly strongly about making sure the metaverse is decentralised. We have already forfeited so many of our freedoms to "Big Tech", to lose the metaverse to these companies would be a mistake in my view. Earth2 doesn't necessarily have to compete with Meta/Facebook for example. There should be more of a choice due to a higher degree of awareness today. I believe there will be several companies serving different purposes in the metaverse, and I hope Earth2 will absolutely be at the heart of that metaverse world.
Pineapple or no pineapple on pizza? It has been the most widely debated issue in the Earth2 community.
This is truly one of the great philosophical debates of our era. At the risk of upsetting half the people reading this, I'm definitely a no pineapple guy. I mean, its fruit! Pineapple has no business being anywhere near a pizza...I think its the sweet and salty combination that just doesn't work for me! Then again, everything seems to be "salted caramel" flavoured these days...maybe I've been missing out!
Responding to my questions about his previous business venture EnergiMine and the enquiries surrounding it, Omar replied:
Unfortunately any time a project fails it’s referred to as a “scam”. Entrepreneurs by their nature take risks, try their best to make projects work and there are a whole host of reasons why they don’t work out. In this case we were just way too early with our concept, and the market was not ready. As they say, being early is the same as being wrong.
There are always those that want to throw mud at failed projects. That’s fine, we live in a (mostly) free world - but whilst I am disappointed that we weren’t able to make a success of that particular project, all entrepreneurs have both successes and perceived failures in their history. I’ve never tried to hide my association with the project and indeed was able to secure a very senior role at the biggest company in crypto after it.
Another interview with Omar will be published post the release of Earth2’s Whitepaper and Roadmap. Stay tuned for the upcoming Shane Isaac interview.
Please post suggestions for the Shane and Omar interviews in the comments below.