At The Metaverse Insider, we had the pleasure of interviewing Sandy Carter, the respective COO and head of business development at Unstoppable Domains. Responsible for covering communications, business development, marketing, and legal functions, we were excited to explore what Sandy had to say about the importance of digital identity in this new iteration of the internet.
The significance of digital identity in the Metaverse
It is becoming ever clearer that digital identity is becoming more and more important in today’s day and age. Sandy notes that the recent shift in focus from technology to people-centered experiences highlights the critical role of individuals’ digital identities in the metaverse. In Web 3.0, digital identity travels with individuals and is not tied to any specific platform. This means that users own their digital identity and all the data associated with it.
“If you put people at the center of the metaverse, the first thing you have to work on is your digital identity, and how that associates with your avatar.”
Sandy explains that digital identity comprises a domain identifier, linked to a crypto wallet, an avatar, and different tokens or digital assets that identify the user. The domain identifier is unique to the user, such as Sandy.NFT or Sandy.polygon and is linked to a crypto wallet – allowing users to transact with it.
The avatar is also an essential aspect of digital identity; it represents a part of the user’s identity and brand, and people want to have the same avatar across different platforms within the metaverse. The avatar is an expression of one’s personality and interests, and it plays a vital role in building an identity within our digital and virtual worlds.
Furthermore, these digital assets can take the form of wearables or badges that represent a user’s interests or accomplishments. For instance, Sandy mentions a Nori badge that showcases her interest in the environment, as it ensures that everything, she does is carbon neutral. These digital assets enable users to build a more comprehensive and accurate representation of their identity and personal brand within the metaverse.
Is digital identity becoming more important than physical identity?
As younger generations show increasing interest and concern for their digital identities over their physical, interpersonal identities, companies like Unstoppable Domains play an essential role in streamlining the process of creating and safeguarding digital identities. The demand for a secure and trustworthy platform is crucial in today’s market.
Sandy describes a recent encounter she had with fashion designers who are designing for the metaverse, discovering some interesting takeaways:
“It’s more valuable on your resume to say that you design fashion in the metaverse than you design fashion in real life.”
Sandy met a designer who previously created digital designs and now converts them into NFTs and wearables for the metaverse. The conversation highlights the shift in mindset towards the metaverse, where designers are now prioritizing digital creations and leveraging the opportunities presented by the metaverse to showcase their talents.
Unstoppable Domains aims to empower users by giving them control over their data through the digital identity profile. This profile allows users to decide what information to share when to share it, how much to share, and for how long. By putting the responsibility on the user, it gives them the freedom and power to protect their data and secure it in a more powerful way.
Sandy told us about an example of a situation where she bought a t-shirt at a show, and afterward, she received many emails trying to upsell, cross-sell, and resell her more goods. If this had been a Web 3.0 app, she could have opted out of having her email or any personal information shared.
How is Unstoppable Domains encouraging individuals to move towards Web 3.0?
There are various methods to help make it easier for Web 2.0 users to transition to Web 3.0 – and Unstoppable Domains definitely follow suit. One of the ways they’re doing this is by offering a search bar that uses AI to help users find a digital identity they like – meaning that users can search for a specific name or keyword, and the search bar will return suggestions for available domain names that fit their criteria.
Unstoppable Domains also offers a simplified purchasing process. Users can purchase their digital identity using a credit card or PayPal, without the need for a crypto wallet. This makes it easier for Web 2 users who may not be familiar with cryptocurrencies or the process of setting up a crypto wallet to get started with Web 3.0:
“We make it really easy for you to kind of take that first step into this Web 3.0 world.”
For companies, Unstoppable Domains provides support and guidance on how to approach and adopt Web 3.0. This includes sharing best practice case studies and offering advice on how to transition to the new paradigm. It is essential to make the transition to Web 3.0 as easy as possible for encouraging mass adoption. The more people that join the Web 3.0 community, the faster it will grow and become more mainstream.
What can we expect from Unstoppable Domains in the next five years?
Sandy discusses the future of digital identity and how it will evolve over the next five to ten years. She believes that the digital identity platform will continue to develop and change as more data is stored within it. For instance, land deeds for both metaverse and real-life buildings are already being considered for storage in digital identities. The California DMV is looking into creating car titles as NFTs, and healthcare startups are exploring the possibility of storing healthcare data within digital identities.
Furthermore, Sandy points out that a major issue with healthcare data is that it is often siloed, and doctors do not have access to all of a patient’s records. However, storing healthcare data within a digital identity could provide a solution to this problem. Additionally, education data could also be stored within digital identities, with the possibility of schools issuing diplomas as NFTs that are immutable and cannot be changed. This would help to prevent cases of people falsely claiming to have attended a certain school.
Sandy also believes that data appliances will become commonplace in homes, allowing individuals to manage their own data easily. Although some people may be skeptical about the idea of having a data appliance in their home, it is widely believed that it will become as normal as having a refrigerator.
Overall, Unstoppable Domains envision that digital identities will grow in importance and store more critical information about ownership, deeds, health, education, and more. This is an important time in the metaverse adoption process; the role of identity is often overlooked in the evolution of the internet. However, if digital identity is developed with the proper safeguards, it can alleviate concerns about data privacy and security. It is evident Unstoppable Domains is on the right track.