Although many wish it would the concept of the metaverse isn’t going away. One way or another the future iteration of the internet is starting to form just over the horizon and the feeling in tech circles is that whoever’s able to capitalize on it early will make lots and lots and lots of money.
If recent news is anything to go by they’d better be prepared to lose lots and lots and lots of money on the way. Now if there’s one company that has gone big and by big I mean pretty much all in on the metaverse it’s that headed by the remarkably lifelike Mark Zuckerberg. So much so that it is now known as meta or as everyone still calls it facebook. Meta facebook is betting the farm on the metaverse basically being the biggest thing since the internet but bigger though it’s not been plain sailing since the company made its well-publicized pivot last October.
In just the last few days it’s been revealed that not only did meta’s metaverse division lose nearly three billion dollars in q2 this year but also that the federal trade commission FTC has stepped in to block its planned acquisition of the VR app developer within. Now within is the company behind supernatural the most popular VR fitness app in the space. The FTC argues that meta’s acquisition is meant to stifle any rival development and move quote one step closer to its goal of owning the entire metaverse. The future of the metaverse is by no means decided but we should be deeply wary of allowing it to be shaped by massive corporations like meta and others.
Any corporate metaverse would serve the needs of the corporation that built it ahead of the needs of its users, who would ultimately be milked for profit above all else. Happily, it seems like much greater minds than mine and mike’s are in accord with this idea. As yesterday Vitalik himself waded into the fray writing on Twitter that quote anything facebook creates now will misfire.
Like Zuckerberg vital also believes in the inevitability of the metaverse but happily also argues that corporate attempts to shape it will fail. This is where all of us come in because only by pushing for a decentralized alternative to meta’s metaverse can we hope to counter the ambition of Zuck and other members of his billionaire gang.
Blockchain and crypto are pointing the way here because with projects like the sandbox, decentral, and others we’re seeing that such alternatives are in fact being built. The question now is whether they can gain the sort of traction to enable them to out-compete whatever the engineers at meta and elsewhere are working on because they are definitely hard at it. The metaverse is not everyone’s cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination but it is the future one way or another. I don’t know about you but I’d rather live in our version of the future than mark Zuckerberg’s any day of the week.