POD: The First Database for Metadata

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January 12th, 2022

As the metaverse expands, so do the challenges in working with data across multiple chains, locations, and platforms. The ability to organize and work with metaverse data -- or metadata -- will be critical for both developers in their efforts to create better digital worlds in Web3. 

For the metaverse to scale and decentralized apps to function seamlessly, there needs to be a secure and reliable third-party data collaboration platform.

The Public Onchain Database (POD) is here to meet those needs, being the very first comprehensive database for metadata. POD will be the fundamental infrastructure for data collaboration in the metaverse that will serve developers, projects, and users alike. We want to provide sophisticated and useful data solutions for metaverse applications built across various blockchains.

From data collaboration tools to robots and automation, POD is creating a rich data ecosystem for metaverse and Web3 users.

Everything in the Metaverse is Data

There’s no denying that 2021 was the year of the metaverse. Facebook rebranding to Meta -- along with Microsoft and Nvidia announcing huge plans for the metaverse -- signaled a huge moment for tomorrow’s virtual communities. 

David Baszucki, CEO of Roblox, shares his vision of a metaverse that encompasses almost every facet of human existence. Roblox is just one example of how the metaverse is exploding in both users, activity, and data generation.

“We think of it as a human co-experience category that supports people coming together to socialize, to learn, to play, someday to work to experience entertainment and amazing brands,” Baszucki says.

And while the traditional definition of metadata comes from Web2, referring to large data sets, the term now takes on an entirely new meaning. Metadata can now be known as any data form or object within the metaverse. Anything from a player’s gender in GameFi, their height and hair color, or parameters of attack and defense are now within the realm of metadata.

The Difference Between Traditional and Blockchain Data

As we shift from traditional, centralized Web2 data to Web3 data in the metaverse, it’s important to consider the distinctions between the two to understand how POD functions as a solution.

Traditional data is highly centralized and controlled by a third party. Whether it’s a social media corporation like Twitter or a backend database such as Oracle, traditionally centralized data is at a higher risk of being changed, stolen, or deleted. And if you want to access or use centralized data, you typically have to pay for it. 

Metadata, on the other hand, is specific to Web3 data in the metaverse. It’s on-chain, decentralized, publicly available for use. Metadata is easily shared and stored on the blockchain or via smart contracts, not on any single backend device. This makes it more secure and less susceptible to alteration, theft, or deletion.

If someone wants to change on-chain metadata, they’re required to follow strict guidelines in addition to being voted on by the community. Metadata is, therefore, more open, flexible, and interoperable. And it’s completely managed by users, not a centralized authority or entity.

The Three Pain Points of Metadata Management

Any object in the metaverse can be considered metadata. An address, identity, transaction, or NFT all comprise various forms of metadata. And while all these data sources help make the metaverse a rich experience for users, it presents challenges for those wishing to organize, view, or work with metadata.

Here are the three key metadata pain points that POD helps solve: 

Hard to Find

On-chain data are scattered in contracts on different networks. It's not yet possible for contracts to obtain all data from one single common data environment. To access certain data elements, a system must establish peer-to-peer communication directly with the contract that stores it.

Hard to Relate

Due to the non-relational storage, it’s hard to trace the relationship between two entities or associate entities with their metadata. As a result, it’s a real challenge to classify and make sense out of on-chain metadata.

Hard to Utilize

Each network or app is unique in the way it transmits data, which means its APIs, data encoding methods, and access control may not be compatible with those of others. Thus, the process of data management and usage is not yet automated. Data from different sources have to be pre-processed before they can work in tandem.

Why We Need a Metadata Database

To solve the problems of current blockchain data, POD was developed as a neutral third-party data middleware with innovative features by providing key functionalities and developing the full potential of metadata.

Here’s a list of benefits that POD enables for both data providers and consumers:

Benefits for Data Providers

  • Increase data searchability and conformity
  • Specify data relationships
  • Realize NFT composability and edibility

Benefits for Data Consumers:

  • Quick access to data from various chains
  • View and retrieve data by categories
  • Easy data collaboration

With this robust feature set and benefits, POD will make working with and organizing metadata more streamlined and efficient for all Web3 metaverse stakeholders. In fact, POD is already working with partners in multiple areas of business and the metaverse including Decentralized Finance (DeFi), GameFi, NFTFi, SocialFi, and others.

Looking to the Future

POD enables data collaboration for on-chain data and associated metadata by allowing users to search, define, classify and manage. POD acts as a middleware that bridges different contracts and blockchains, making data defined and stored in POD available to contracts and users across all networks. 

As we gradually establish cooperation with more blockchain networks, POD will evolve into an open and trustworthy unified data infrastructure that empowers data communication throughout the blockchain world. We expect to see more UGC and data interactions. 

Looking ahead, we hope to bring different parties together and establish a collaborative dialogue to inspire the decentralized community. Together, we can arrive at an agreed-upon data collaboration standard in an organic, bottom-up manner. This standard potentially includes, but is not limited to: major data categories, major data attributes, data storage solutions for different purposes, and transmission interface design. 

Users can leverage this standard to seamlessly work with data from any network. Simultaneously, users will still have the freedom to tailor the standard practice according to their own businesses and needs. It’s part of POD’s vision to drive the establishment of consensus in metadata collaboration and become a critical part of Web3 infrastructure for data collaboration. We’re uncovering and unlocking the value of blockchain data and networks, propelling the Web3 data collaboration ecosystem to new heights.

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