Facebook’s ‘Metaverse’ Plans Meet Optimism and Scorn from Crypto Fans
The Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has gone public with his ambitions to transform his social media giant into a “metaverse company,” a move that could potentially have an impact on the firm’s Diem stablecoin plans.
In an interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg claimed that “a good vision for the metaverse is not one that a specific company builds,” but rather one that has a “sense of interoperability and portability.”
The Metaverse is explained as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet.
“You have your avatar and your digital goods, and you want to be able to teleport anywhere. You don’t want to just be stuck within one company’s stuff. […] I believe that in order for this to work really well, you want it to be very portable and interconnected.”
He added that he envisaged an “embodied internet,” that was not centrally run, but rather operated by a number of different players in a “decentralized” manner.
Per Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson affirmed that Zuckerberg “did not believe the metaverse was something one company could build or govern alone.” Instead, the spokesperson noted “it’s a collaborative movement that must take developers and creator communities into consideration to be successful.”
Metaverse proponents have long speculated about the kind of role crypto, in-game currencies, other digital tokens, blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could potentially play in the future development of the space.
And while global regulators have already forced Facebook and its Diem (formerly Libra) partners to ditch their wider global stablecoin plans in favor of a scaled-down version, the social media giant may already be eyeing a new prize as metaverse architects search for a dominant digital currency for use in the space.
On Reddit r/CryptoCurrency sub, some expressed doubt, with one quipping that Facebook was fast becoming irrelevant as it was now largely populated by “toxic Boomers yelling at each other.”
Another opined that the metaverse bid would “ultimately fail” as “the next generation of the internet isn’t going to be running on Facebook.”
But not all were naysayers. One Redditor claimed that Facebook “has the best devs in the world and the largest team in the world working in [virtual reality] by far,” adding:
“They are so ahead of the game that I have no doubt they will control the first major mainstream metaverse and with their pockets will have exclusive deals [with musicians and movie-makers].”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Miko Matsumura, the founder of the Evercoin crypto exchange, and a General Partner at Gumi Cryptos Capital, also urged caution.
One positive-minded crypto enthusiast claimed that the move was inevitably a “big deal” for the world of NFTs, the Ethereum blockchain protocol that most NFTs are launched on and “crypto in general.”
But Matsumura wrote in response that “there isn’t a ‘The Metaverse’ that I want anything to do with.”
“A single monolithic metaverse means a monopolist. We want a multiverse. A single metaverse is an impediment to human freedom. We need alternative places where we can escape to if the ‘main one’ turns out to be a scam.”