The future will not be one metaverse owned by a single actor that responds to traditional control rules, but rather many interoperable metaverses.
Antonio Gambardella – Director of Fongit
Metavers has become the buzzword for journalists and investors. Facebook led the way and recently announced that it is rebranding itself dead. The company claims in the process that the metaverse is nothing less than the future of the internet.
Microsoftin turn, made a similar announcement during his presentation to the company.
Earlier in the year, Epic created the game It is an electronic gameraised $1 billion in an initial round, illustrating investors’ interest in immersive online experiences.
If it is not necessarily related to the illusion or virtual world Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR)He will definitely benefit from these technologies. Before using VR headsets, we’ll use our phones to access these new online worlds. In fact, we have immersed ourselves heavily in metaverses since the beginning of the 2000s. We think of virtual worlds like second lifewhich still has a community of 200,000 fans, but also in Maine Craft or at roblox game. Today, the latter achieves a sales volume of one billion dollars, and its capital is 70 times its income in the stock market.
More and more immersive worlds
Metaverses have two core characteristics: collaboration and co-creation within an active and committed community. As a rule, their strength is proportional to the intensity of the relationship between members of the community and are often associated with recreational activities that can be monetized. But why talk about it only now? Is there anything new in the way Facebook handles the metaverse?
Facebook will try to develop its users in its own world. New virtual and augmented reality technologies, along with increasingly sophisticated human-computer interaction devices, will surely make the alternate worlds being created more immersive. In the end, these spaces will remain closed and hierarchical worlds in which the Facebook of the planet will continue to impose its will.
Towards a decentralized hierarchy
However, the real leap towards Web 3.0 will only come about in these virtual spaces by resorting to a decentralized hierarchy where all players have the same level of information. Where everyone is important but not necessary. By adopting technologies like blockchain, the metaverse will realize its full potential based on digital trust and interoperability.
“Facebook’s attempt at its original intent to nearly bring us together will likely fail.”
So blockchain applications such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will facilitate the buying and selling of goods within the metaverse, opening up unprecedented business opportunities. More importantly, these tradable tokens will eventually allow us to move our identity and digital assets between the different worlds of metaverse. For example, a split sword in Roblox will be able to transform into a rare outfit when ported to Fortnite. This same costume can then be resold to allow access to a superstar virtual party. This smooth transition between different platforms has already been described in science fiction books such as “The Virtual Samurai” and “Ready Player One”.
Multiple interoperable metaverses
Web 3.0 will be a decentralized network and will see platforms like The WhatsAppAnd SignalAnd tik tok where Twitch Follow each other with chapters. Despite the potential short-term commercial success, Facebook’s attempt at its original goal of bringing us together will likely fail nearly as well. The future will not be one metaverse owned by a single actor that responds to traditional control rules, but rather many interoperable metaverses. The value, created by the community, will be attributed to the individual who can use and monetize it as they please, while respecting their own identity and the identity of their digital relationships.
* Director of the Fongit Foundation, Geneva for Technological Innovation
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