Vitalik Buterin is optimistic about Metaverse but added that he doesn’t think “any of the existing corporate attempts to intentionally create the Metaverse are going anywhere.”
He said there was no real definition of Metaverse yet as it is still too early to know what people want. This was followed by a dig at Meta, formerly Facebook, which is trying to monopolize metaverse as it did with social media.
“So, anything Facebook creates now will misfire.”
Meta has already been in hot water over its monopolistic behavior. Global regulators and policymakers shot its big cryptocurrency ambitions in flames, resulting in the company dumping the project.
Last week, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint to block Meta’s plans to buy another Metaverse-based company. “Instead of competing on the merits, Meta is trying to buy its way to the top,” wrote FTC Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman.
The social media giant was attempting the acquisition of virtual reality firm Within and its popular VR fitness app, Supernatural.
Buterin’s comments suggest that Meta/Facebook is attempting to monopolize the Metaverse trend without actually knowing what it is or what people want. If its ambitions come to fruition, a Facebook-based Metaverse is likely to be a dangerous place for people that value their data privacy and online safety.
In all likelihood, it will be another tool for the company to bombard people with advertising while allowing spammers and scammers to infiltrate the Web3 virtual world as they do on its Web2 platform.
Whether it is the Meta platform, or a more crypto-aligned one that is heavily VC backed, there will still be concerns of centralization and profiteering.
Venture giants such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)n poured hundreds of millions into Metaverse projects over the past year or two.
This usually grants them swathes of governance tokens giving them more control over the direction of the platform than those that use it and make up the community.
Whatever form the Metaverse takes, it is more likely to be a Blade Runner-esque world of incessant advertising and corporate control rather than the free, open, and decentralized virtual realm we’re hoping for.