The Pavia Metaverse- Cardano's Decentraland or something more?
Metaverses have been all the rage over the past year. The idea of a virtual world where people can interact is nothing new; online MMORPGs have been around for years. However, the concept of having true ownership is what sets metaverses built on the blockchain apart. Players can own virtual plots on these metaverses and are given the ability to create and build whatever they wish to on their particular plot. While some monetize their plot of land by creating and offering interactive play-to-earn games, others use their plot of land to create free immersive experiences or set up a virtual office or store of their real-life business.
This degree of player-driven control seems to have attracted many famous brands and personalities to invest heavily in the metaverse concept. This seems especially true for Facebook, which has rebranded itself as 'Meta' to champion the vision of a metaverse. While many metaverse projects are in development, the most popular metaverses such as Decentraland and Sandbox have been built on Ethereum.
In this article, we've decided to explore a metaverse built on the Cardano blockchain – Pavia. This particular project recently won the 'Best Virtual World' award at the 2022 NFT Awards and also saw its virtual land prices soar in the past month even as the broader crypto market fell. Why? Let's find out!
What is Pavia?
Pavia is a metaverse built on the Cardano blockchain. The project is named after an Italian town called Pavia, which is the birthplace of Gerolamo Cardano. This is interesting because Gerolamo Cardano is an Italian mathematician, whom the Cardano blockchain was named after.
The project is still at its very early stages of development and is yet to deliver a testable version of the metaverse. The project follows a 3D art style and has a total of 100,000 land parcels which have been sold in three phases. However, at this stage in development, while landowners can view the position of their land parcel on the Pavia Map, they cannot visit or deploy any content on their land parcel in-game. Pavia also aims to be an interoperable metaverse so that its residents can explore the broader metaverse ecosystems within or outside of Cardano.
Pavia is managed and owned by Pavia Corp, a legal entity registered in Seychelles. Its legal office is located in the Czech Republic. Pavia Corp is run by a decentralized global team with the conscious exception of the USA. The project claims to have had no funding from any Venture Capital investors. Notably, while the project has a list of team members, the real-life identities of most of the team remain undisclosed at the time of this writing.
According to the website, the CEO and COO of the project are Morgan David and Paul Manuel, respectively. Morgan, the CEO, who remains 'pseudo-anonymous' (anonymous but not really) at the moment claims to be an investor with 5+ years in the blockchain & cryptocurrency space and comes from a UK legal & compliance background. While Morgan is a firm believer in decentralization, privacy, and anonymity, he has recently allowed the public to verify his identity through his website. The website links to the UK High Court Enforcement Officers website which lists Morgan as one of the 50 High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO) in the UK.
Paul, the COO, who is one of Pavia's public faces is a seasoned technology executive and business growth specialist with seven years of experience in game services and cloud tech. Paul's profile seems impressive with having worked at Unity Technologies, and Multiplay and also founding his own web 3.0 based gaming startup called NueReality.
Since the Pavia Project is still in its infancy, the project's ecosystem is in a state of conceptual development and addition. As it stands now, the team plans to develop the below listed specific components for the ecosystem.
This is the first and most fundamental component of the Pavia Ecosystem. Pavia has a total of 100,000 land parcels which were sold in three different sale phases. On the Cardano blockchain, these land parcels are minted and sold as NFTs (cNFT). Each parcel has a unique coordinate that indicates its position on the Pavia map.
The first two land sale phases of 29,000 and 31,000 land parcels happened in October and November 2021. After witnessing an unprecedented level of interest in the land sale, the Pavia team decided to hold a whitelist campaign for the third land sale of 40,000 land parcels in February 2022. The whitelisted land sale is currently in progress, with almost all land parcels successfully minted and purchased at the time of writing.
Similar to the Sandbox, adjacent land parcels can also be grouped to form 'Estates' in Pavia, provided there is at least a minimum of 9 adjacent land parcels arranged in a rectangular or square shape to form an estate.
Where to buy land?
Currently, the floor price of Pavia land parcels sits at around 400 ADA. Users can purchase land parcels at jpg.store and tokhun.io. Always keep in mind to cross-verify the policy id of the cNFT given on the official project website before making any purchases.
The Pavia Map is the visual representation of the Pavia Metaverse. Players can visit the map to see the position of their plot in the overall Pavia Metaverse. Using this feature, investors can make strategic decisions on buying a specific parcel of land at a particular price. There is also an inter-land messaging function in development that landowners can use to message other landowners on the map.
If you look across the Pavia website, you will notice six types of plots on the Pavia Map. They are Land, Sand, Sea, Deep Sea, Mountain, and Forest. While the land parcels being sold are only the light green plots called ‘Land’, the other five plots will be public spaces. While there is no official confirmation, there is some speculation that some of these public plots might see some sort of public utility and experience being built on them.
Pavia Compatible Assets and VR
Like any metaverse project, it is important to add experiences on top of the purchased land cNFTs. These experiences are user-generated and can be in the form of 3D models and scenes such as a virtual store, game experience, zoo, buildings, etc. It can be anything that the user wants to build. In Pavia.io, these are known as Pavia Compatible Assets (PCAs). The team plans to have a player-built asset economy that can be traded on the marketplace in the future. They also plan to provide early public access to the v1 of the official PCA building tool in the near future.
Currently, users can build 3D models of PCA using modeling software such as Blender, Maya, 3Ds Max, or a mixture of a few if they wish. These assets will be deployable on Pavia as long as creators follow the guidelines in the official document that can be found in the pinned messages of the Pavia discord channel.
More importantly, one of the best long-term goals of the project seems to be its focus on VR experience for its metaverse users. Pavia Corp will finance the build costs of the in-game VR experience. They also plan to showcase their initial efforts in early 2022 (or earlier if possible) by showing you the ‘Pavia Plaza’. The Pavia Plaza is the central hub where users will spawn when entering the metaverse.
Pavia Smart Contract Marketplace
Pavia also plans to build an independent on-site marketplace to facilitate trades of Pavia Compatible Assets (PCAs) and Lands in the Pavia ecosystem. The marketplace is currently being developed in partnership with cnft.io. This partnership with cnft.io aims to build an engine for their marketplace that will lower transaction costs.
Avatars refer to the appearance of the user within its metaverse. Pavia has partnered with readyplayer.me to create its user avatars. This partnership plays well into Pavia's vision for an interoperable metaverse. This allows users to use their avatar across multiple applications and games, not just the Pavia metaverse. The avatar creation feature is currently available to users. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the platform offered to create an avatar by uploading a photograph of my face. It's safe to say I was impressed by the likeliness of my avatar with my IRL picture. The clothing and customization options available on the platform was also extensive.
One of the exciting things about Pavia seems to be its long-term goal of interoperability. The Pavia team has hinted at the possibility of traveling between the metaverses. It is worth noting that they seem to have purchased land at both Decentraland and the Sandbox. Pavia Portals aims to be the plot of land in different metaverses, allowing users to travel between other metaverses through the Pavia Portals land located in those metaverses.
PAVs – Digital Pets
#PavsnotPets. That's the tagline of this new and hyped announcement from the Pavia team. While much detail is not known, it seems like Pavia will have creatures known as Pavs that users can catch and domesticate. What happens after that is unknown, but with the way things seem to be playing out, one can speculate that we might see something similar to a Pokémon-inspired metaverse. Maybe?
Pavia Community Forum
One of the core missions of Pavia is to be a community-driven project, which is exactly why the Pavia Community Forum exists. Users can post improvement proposals called Pavia Improvement Proposal (PIPs) on the community forum.
The Pavia token is the native utility token of the Pavia metaverse. While it remains to be seen how the token would be used in the ecosystem, we can speculate that it might be used as the primary currency in Pavia's on-site marketplace once it goes live. In addition, the token could also be used to monetize gaming experiences built on the land parcels of the metaverse.
The total supply of the PAVIA token is 2 billion tokens. The token was minted in December 2021 and distributed in the following manner:
Community Airdrop- Around 25 percent of the total supply of Pavia tokens was airdropped to land parcel holders from the first and second land sales. The snapshot for the airdrop was taken on 16th December 2021. The airdrop rate was 8,333 PAVIA per land parcel in the wallet at the time of the snapshot.
Liquidity and Utility- Around 25 percent of the tokens are allocated for liquidity and utility measures. These tokens will be slowly released into the ecosystem through different programs such as play-to-earn gaming, public sales, and liquidity offerings through DEXs.
Project Development and Ecosystem- Around 30 percent of the tokens are allocated to developing the project and ecosystem. For example, this could be in the form of incentivization programs for PCA creators and game developers.
Pavia Team and Advisors- Around 20 percent of the tokens are allotted for the Pavia Founders, Team, and advisors. The tokens are vested and will be distributed according to a schedule that will be released by the team soon.
The Pavia token is currently trading at 0.081 ADA or 0.09$ per token. The token reached an all-time high of 0.18 ADA per token on Jan 18 before steadily declining down to current levels. However, this is expected as the token currently does not hold any utility until the initial version of the metaverse or the on-site marketplace is launched.
Where to buy Pavia tokens?
Pavia’s most notable partnerships are with cnft.io and readyplayer.me. The partnership with CNFT is to develop an engine for their on-site marketplace to keep transaction fees to a minimum. The partnership with readyplayer.me is to ensure their Avatars are interoperable and can be used across many applications. Pavia also recently acquired ‘CardanoKidz’, a popular NFT project on the Cardano blockchain.
Even though the project is in its early development stage, it has a clear roadmap laid out for the current year. The goals of the roadmap are split into four quarters.
Q1- We are already midway through the completion of Q1 of the roadmap. So far, the team has already completed the liquidity provision to Cardano DEXs and started developing PCAs and user-generated content. The team has also begun work on creating the in-game experience of the Pavia Plaza. The final goal of Q1 happens to be the final land sale which is almost done at the time of writing the article. The team seems to be well ahead of schedule in their goals for Q1.
Q2- The team has five goals for Q2. These goals seem to focus on releasing the Pavia Ecosystem's key components, namely the PCA builder tool, the in-game marketplace, the PAVIA tokenomic model, and finally, a limited-edition airdrop 'Pavs' to landowners.
Q3- This quarter's goals seem to be focused on testing and deploying the in-game functionality of the metaverse components. This quarter will see the team test out the PCAs by deploying them at scale onto land parcels and testing out the functionality of Pavia Portals. The quarter ends with announcing the date for full deployment of the metaverse.
Q4- This quarter's goals seem to be one of refining the experience of the users of the Pavia metaverse. The team plans to refine the tokenomic model based on past data and experiment with integrating the Pavia metaverse into the wider metaverse ecosystem inside and outside of Cardano.
One of the recent controversies which seem to have some from the Pavia community in a state of panic is the virtual disappearance of 'Cardano Buzz'. He was the project's CMO and also one of their public faces. This panic was spurred by the sudden disappearance of CardanoBuzz's Twitter, YouTube, and other social channels.
However, the Pavia team has quelled rumors by tweeting that Cardano Buzz has officially left their team, and they are planning to bring in a new CMO. They had stated that CardanoBuzz had left the project after completing all contractual obligations.
The main gripe from some of the community seems to be the team's pseudonymous nature. The team seems to have responded positively to the community as shortly after the incident both CEO and COO revealed more details about themselves. Paul Manuel, the COO, has completely doxed himself after the incident revealing his identity on Twitter and LinkedIn. Morgan, the CEO, has also revealed more details about himself and has allowed the public to verify his identity and credentials by providing access to his publicly verifiable position as an Authorized High Court Enforcement Officer (AHCEO) in the UK HCEO website. The team also plans to reveal more identities slowly through their 'Meet the Team' podcast planned for 2022.
The subject of pseudonymous identities in the crypto-space remains a hot topic. Just last week, the identities of the Bored Ape Yacht Club founders were doxed by the Buzzfeed team. This particular move by BuzzFeed was met with much debate from both sides of the conversation.
The Pavia Project certainly brings a new dimension to metaverses with their specific focus on metaverse interoperability. While there are some concerns regarding the founders' pseudonymous identities, most of their community seems to be unbothered on the matter. Their roadmap looks promising, but it remains to be seen whether Pavia can achieve all their goals without delay, especially considering the metaverse's plans to be interoperable with other projects.
If this article has piqued your interest in the project, I would suggest reading through their website and roadmap once again on the official website. The goals and plans of the project might have changed depending upon the passage of time since this article was published. The Pavia website also has helpful tools that community members and investors can use to scout for land on the open cNFT marketplaces. I find this particular tool by 3DKiwi to be very useful for beginners to get started sorting through the lands on Pavia.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.