The EU’s Leaked Metaverse Strategy Proposes Global Regulatory Governance Rules

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Pixabay

The race to build the perfect virtual ecosystem, popularly termed the metaverse is taking shape with huge technology-driven companies at the fore. 

However, regulators within the European Union (EU) have warned of a possible monopoly at the detriment of smaller companies that can lead to its creation without core European values. 

A leaked draft document shows the Commission’s drive to innovation-tailored regulations for the future of the virtual world. As the draft notes, if the metaverse is to be successful, it requires global governance for its security. 

Virtual worlds bring unprecedented opportunities in many societal areas. This technological shift also involves new forms of global governance.”

The document, whose release date is slated for July 11, seeks to amend legal obstacles to create new corporations modeled after decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to govern activities on the metaverse. 

Key areas the Commission cited include health, education, and culture as it moves towards a community-driven “web4.” For these to be achieved interoperability has to be adopted across all levels.

Per the drafts, the next generation of the internet will “be shaped as an open, secure space, respectful of EU values and rules,” as international collaboration on technology standards, identity management, and censorship will be encouraged.

The Commission will support the creation of a technical multi-stakeholder governance process to address essential aspects of virtual worlds and Web4 that are beyond the remit of existing internet governance institutions,”  the document reads.

Users, corporations, and regulators

In terms of providing key regulations around digital assets-related spheres, the EU has led the race leaving other jurisdictions in the dark.

The Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) drafted to regulate cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and digital asset exchanges is a key example as it is hailed as the landmark industry regulation while the United States executives continue to bemoan a lack of regulatory clarity. 

The new metaverse document aims to strike a balance between the community, firms, and regulators. On the part of users, freedom and interoperability are stressed while maintaining data privacy, protection, and tightened regulation around gender-based laws. 

The Union also plans to roll out “sandboxes” to test smaller projects under its rules and a Virtual World ToolBox in Q1 2024. 

For companies, the strategy promises web3 hubs specialized in gaming, virtual reality, and related technology coupled with striking partnerships with notable companies to create the development of the metaverse roadmap across the jurisdiction. 

A major challenge making rounds in metaverse spaces has been the fear of enclosed “wall garden” networks springing up as the sector grows. The EU states clearly that it would continue partnerships with firms to create an open web 4.0. 

Recall that Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg also noted that an “interoperable metaverse is better for everyone.”