The current revolution in decentralized and distributed technologies is providing a much needed sanctuary for people around the world. From money exchange, marketplaces, communication, identity and more, the growing wave of distributed apps is allowing us to connect directly in more and more ways.
That is a great, gigantic step in human civilization, but we still have to contend with the real world, with it's arbitrary boundaries, borders and rules. The Internet is completely neutral, so in theory, it shouldn't care where you happened to be born, how much money you have, what your class or race is or any other attribute, as long as you have the means to connect to the network.
With the current advances in VR technology, hand in hand with these P2P ideas, we're on the cusp of something truly truly groundbreaking. What if we could connect the dots between these innovations, allowing us to have an incredibly immersive 'reality' where we can live in a brand new sovereign space, owned by the whole of humanity. Finally a real Sanctuary. A place where people can meet, communicate, trade goods and services, play games, learn together, consume entertainment together, work, collaborate, and so much more. With decentralized and distributed technology, this could be the first time in human history that we'll be able to do all that in a truly private and peer to peer way. Entire new economies and modes of being could grow out of such a system.
It'd literally be like creating our own version of the Matrix, but instead of enslaving humanity, it could potentially set us all free.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
The beautiful thing about virtual reality is that it doesn't have to follow the same rules as normal meatspace. It could be totally abstract, as if visualizing our inner thoughts, or if you prefer it could be like an approximation of the 'real' world (if your computer could handle it).
Imagine entering the space with it's gigantic, impossibly tall lobby area where you see thousands of floating avatars going about their business, some real, some AI. Each room or area could have a different purpose; one as a marketplace, another with communal cinema rooms, lecture halls, meeting areas, communal web browsing, it's almost endless. Things like text and voice chat could be available at all times, with the option to have real P2P private communications at the click of a button (or gesture). You'd have your cryptocurrency wallets built in so you could buy goods and services instantly, as well as earning money with plugged in interfaces to backends for Storj or Maidsafe type apps.
Or it could be an entire sovereign city-sized space like TRON. You could build your own structures as long as they adhered to the various protocols and you could plug in various P2P apps, creating custom user experiences in this 3D world.
How awesome would it be to feel like you're right there with all your friends from around the world? Then on top of that to do it in a totally P2P way so that you have no gatekeepers and snoopers watching what you do.
WE HAVE PIECES ALREADY
A lot of the apps needed to plug in to the background of such a world are either already here or in development. You have bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allowing commerce and trade, marketplaces like Open Bazaar and Bitmarkets for permissionless trade, smart contracts with Ethereum, distributed file sharing through BitTorrent, decentralized communications for both encrypted voice, video and text, distributed namespace and identity through Namecoin, private browsing through Tor, as well as complete P2P re-workings of the internet with projects like Maidsafe.
The key would be to create compelling, immersive and interactive front end user interfaces to these apps. There's the potential to re-imagine how we interact with computers - and each other.