A science-fiction buff would tell you that Neal Stephenson first coined the word Metaverse in his widely acclaimed 1992 novel, Snow Crash, where people escape the dystopian reality to explore online spaces as digital avatars of themselves. The Metaverse not only mirrors the actual world in all of its three-dimensional complexity but also stretches our existential and creative foundations.
In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would undergo a significant transformation and position itself towards building virtual reality platforms. He said, "We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a Metaverse company." Other tech giants have also expressed an inclination towards working on similar lines.
Does this mean centralized implementations of Metaverse could still allow interoperability and openness? Does this mean another age of web autonomy will be owned by a handful of companies?
The other end of the spectrum has pioneers who champion an open ecosystem of builders that is owned and governed by the community itself. Blockchain technology provides the perfect backbone for a decentralized and interoperable Metaverse where individuals can have genuine ownership of digital assets, and value is shared by all who are contributing to the network.