The ‘Open Metaverse’ envisages a metaverse that comprises multiple, interoperable virtual worlds, each created and governed in a decentralized way by different individuals or entities. The ‘open’ aspect refers to the commitment to ensure that control and ownership is distributed among users rather than being centralized in the hands of a few powerful entities.
However, the founder of Outlier Ventures Jamie Burke spoke to Telo News to warn that, “the Open Metaverse is at risk of being at best diluted and subsumed into a centralized and permanent Web 2.5”. Web 2.5 refers to a transitional phase between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, where elements of the decentralized, user-centric Web 3.0 technologies start to be integrated into the more centralized, corporate-dominated Web 2.0 structures.
Burke outlined the challenges ahead for the Open Metaverse:
1. The increasing centralization of technology can stifle innovation and competition.
2. The emergence of monopolizing forces could reduce diversity and competition, thereby threatening openness and inclusivity.
3. There is a risk of losing the open-source nature of Web3 without constant vigilance and defense.
4. Platforms aiming to enjoy Web3 benefits without disrupting their existing business models could lead to a skewed adoption of Web3 principles.
5. Government concerns about digital property rights and sovereign agents advocated by Web3 could lead to restrictions, potentially hampering the development of The Open Metaverse.
Burke believes that an open-source, decentralized, and tokenized future is possible, “but requires a commitment and understanding from builders to keep to its principles”.
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