Running on the Ethereum blockchain, METIS is a Layer 2 rollup solution for dApps, games, and more which is controlled by a DAO.
Okay, that was a lot of “Web3” buzzwords, let's quickly explain what all that means.
What does METIS actually do?
As a Layer 2 solution, it attempts to address the scaling issues that Layer 1 protocols have (e.g. Ethereum). This can be done in multiple ways but the way that METIS chooses to tackle the issue is through optimistic rollups.
This approach groups together — or rolls up — transactions,generating something called a SNARK (making it smaller and easier for the blockchain to process).This can then be broadcast back to the base layer. The optimistic rollup will use a virtual machine (a decentralized computer running the Ethereum blockchain) to migrate information between Layers 1 and 2.
METIS was created by forking a project called Optimism, they quickly created a virtual machine and launched the METIS token.
Essentially, they're a platform that allows developers to build their project(s) on the METIS Ethereum virtual machine while keeping costs AND learning curves low.
One key product METIS offers is the collaboration framework called DAC (decentralized autonomous company), an evolution of the DAO. This adds a hierarchical system (owners, admins, executives, etc.) where each role will be given different powers within the DAC. They've also implemented payroll, communication, and task management systems.
What is the METIS name about?
If you google "Metis", you'll find a whole load of stuff that isn't crypto. The obvious choice is to google "Metis crypto" next, isn’t it? Wrong! Metis has quite an interesting bit of lore behind it which directly applies to its crypto counterpart. Let me explain.
According to Wikipedia : "Metis, in ancient Greek religion and mythology, was a mythical Oceanid nymph, one of the daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys."
Most notably, Metis helped Zeus free his siblings from Cronus' belly. Once Zeus was crowned king, he married Metis and they had a daughter together — Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
When pregnant with their next child, Zeus heard a prophecy that Metis' next child will be more powerful than Zeus himself. Angered by the idea, Zeus … uh… *checks notes*... swallowed her whole? His dad would be proud!
Okay, that's a lot. How does this quirky (for the lack of a better word) story apply to crypto and Layer 2 solutions? Glad you asked!
It's about what Metis represents
Sure, this is a cool story and all but (fortunately) there is no big bad man eating babies in crypto… unless Cronus = gas fees. So, why “Metis”?
The founders of this project chose the name due to what Cronus represents, rather than a baby-related metaphor.
David from the METIS team told me, "In Greek mythology, Metis was the Titan of prudence, good council, planning, advice, deep thought, craftiness and wisdom. We think it is [a good] match to our philosophy, so we use Metis as the brand name."
So, does Metis reflect what the founders planned when they chose the name? Yes!
Prudence, deep thought, and planning because METIS would rather take a calculated approach than rush and break things.
Good council relates to their focus on evolving the DAO format with the DAC. Sure, the DAO may have helped create a web3 council for projects but the DAC has evolved it to a good council.
Advice and wisdom represent the way that METIS intends to nurture the community and help them grow in the space.
Finally, we have ‘craftiness’ which often has negative connotations with it (I'm thinking Swiper from Dora the Explorer). However, by this, they likely mean resourceful. According to CrunchBase, the project has only raised $1 million in two rounds of funding. Despite this, they've climbed to be the 290th biggest crypto by market cap. For comparison, Layer 2 solution Boba Network has raised $45 million in one round of funding and is over 50 spots lower than METIS. Sure are crafty with their funds.
What does the METIS logo mean?
Well, as we've covered Metis was a Greek mythical nymph and it's safe to assume that the METIS logo is her.
Interestingly they've opted to make her slightly ginger despite her often being depicted with black or brown hair. This could just be an oversight or a nod to Vitalik Buterin's mom, Natalia Ameline, being a key component to this project (yes, I was shocked too).
It is also important to note that Metis is wearing a laurel wreath. Most depictions we found of her show the mythical nymph wearing a golden helmet. However, we did find one painting of her holding a laurel wreath — not wearing it.
Wearing a laurel wreath symbolizes success, victory, and triumph. But why?
It all starts with another Greek myth, this time the god Apollo was in love with a nymph called Daphne but she wasn't interested. To avoid him, she turned herself into a laurel tree… way worse than a tinder date ghosting you! Apollo was heartbroken and embraced the tree; the leaves of the laurel wreath come from that tree.
Okay, that doesn't sound like success at all, if anything, quite the opposite. The connotation of victory comes from the Pythian Games (an ancient athletic and music festival) that was held in honor of Apollo. If you were victorious in the games you were crowned with a laurel wreath — bringing the meaning of success with it. We continue to see this tradition in the modern day with events like the Olympics.
So what does this mean for the METIS project? They aren't here to take part, they're here to take over. Previously, Metis had great influence but eventually the nymph came to her death but not this time. As a crypto project, she will succeed in reaching her vision, aims, and goals. She wears the laurel wreath as a reminder to all other Layer 2 projects that METIS is the one who will come out on top when it's all said and done.
… or at least that's what I guess they're trying to say.
Note: We tried approaching METIS for their official take, but didn’t receive any responses yet! We’ll keep you updated when we hear back!