Facebook’s Metaverse “Will misfire”: Vitalik Buterin

Facebook’s Metaverse “Will misfire”: Vitalik Buterin
Facebook’s Metaverse “Will misfire”: Vitalik Buterin

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Buterin has said that he doubts that any “existing corporate attempts” to create a Metaverse will succeed.

Buterin not convinced by Meta’s Metaverse

All companies making efforts to build the Metaverse today will fail in their endeavors, Vitalik Buterin has said.

The Ethereum creator shared his perspective on where the nascent space might be headed on Twitter early Sunday, saying he thinks companies trying to create the Metaverse are unlikely to succeed. While admitting that he believes the Metaverse is “going to happen,” he added that he doesn’t think “any of the existing corporate attempts to intentionally create the metaverse are going anywhere.”

Arguably the most notable corporate player to show interest in Metaverse to date has been Meta, Facebook’s parent company which rebranded as part of a shift to embrace Metaverse late last year. Buterin name-checked Meta in his criticism of the companies that entered the space. “Everything Facebook creates now will fail,” he wrote in response to a tweet, arguing that Metaverse-focused companies are likely to fail because “it’s way too early to know what people actually want.”

Buterin has become known for his outspoken personality as his public profile has grown with Ethereum over the years, although he often uses his Twitter account and blog to discuss Ethereum’s technology and how decentralization can affect the world. Although he has commented on NFTs at length in the past, noting that he was surprised by the 2021 boom and examining the speculative side of the market, he has rarely discussed the Metaverse.

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The next generation Internet

Although still a vague concept, the Metaverse is widely used to refer to a next-generation Internet where users will be able to work, play, and connect with others within immersive virtual worlds. It is believed that Metaverse will include elements of augmented reality, virtual reality and blockchain technology. Hit MMPORG releases like Fortnite and Runescape have been described as early examples of Metaverse worlds, but in recent years, crypto-native titles like Decentraland and The Sandbox have found success in embracing the Metaverse space. Both games allow players to own plots of digital land and explore virtual worlds. They also include their own tokens, which crypto enthusiasts believe will be key to Metaverse in the future. NFTs are also often discussed alongside space, as they can be used to represent online characters, virtual land, or other in-game items, giving players real ownership of their assets.

Several major companies announced Metaverse games as the crypto bull run peaked in 2021, with the likes of Adidas and Coca-Cola acquiring digital land, dropping NFTs and holding their own virtual parties. Metaverse hype peaked when Zuckerberg announced Meta, and the firm has indicated it is ready to double the space on several occasions since, including sharing plans to support NFTs on Facebook and Instagram. Zuckerberg said the company’s Metaverse arm, Reality Labs, would sink $10 billion into the space after the announcement, and it later reported an 11-figure loss in 2021. This year hasn’t fared much better, with Meta revealing its first revenue drop and a $2.8 billion loss at Reality Labs in its second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. In other words, based on the numbers, the company still has a long way to go to prove Buterin wrong.

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Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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