Published on August 2, 2022
Even today, the public perception of Metaverse is video games, virtual reality experiences, still emerging technologies, social applications for holding meetings with glasses and headphones on. But for those who envision wider business opportunities, it is a new El Dorado for tomorrow; and we envision selling financial services there as well.
But we are also beginning to envision a long-term vision of the Metaverse, as a new virtual world that will converge with the real world we know to create a whole new world that will transform us all.
This is the exercise carried out by the Deloitte China teams in a report with science fiction overtones.
This new world has four dimensions.
First Dimension: The Metaverse, a mirror that simulates the real world
It models the real world into ten elements: the environment, people, objects, institutions, societies as well as economic systems, business production, individual production, civilization and governance.
In the virtual world of the metaverse we will find the same ten elements.
But it goes further, because Metaverse also allows you to create a virtual world with the same ten elements, but completely new.
It is the second dimension.
Second dimension: a native virtual world
In fact, Metaverse will make it possible to create people, objects, environments that will be completely virtual. And also new rules and forms of governance.
We will meet avatars of people from the real world, but also completely virtual people, without a correspondent in the real world. Ditto for objects: NFTs are original virtual objects.
For organizations, there are DAOs ( Decentralized independent organizations), decentralized models, without a single leader, who are governed by rules laid down in blockchainand quite different from real organizational models that still work with more centralized models.
Third dimension: the real world
The real world will eventually be an integral part of the Metaverse world, as it will have facsimiles of the elements of the real world there: our avatars, for example. And what creates value in the Metaverse is generated by the interactions between the real world and the virtual world: we can buy in the Metaverse and get objects and products in the real world. And the other way around.
Fourth dimension: convergence and interactions between the real and virtual worlds
By giving the possibility to go from one world to another, we create a new world.
It is the degree of convergence and interactions between these two worlds that will be critical, and all the more so at the time, as some imagine very soon, when there will be more interactions in the virtual world than in the real world .
At the first level, the virtual world will replicate the real world with identical rules.
But then we can imagine that new rules of governance will arise in this new world. With the question unresolved: who will rule the Metaverse? Humans or artificial intelligence? States or companies? Not so obvious at a time when tech companies already have more data on populations than states.
New communities, even societies, will be created with the Metaverse, which will be completely independent of the states. With new avatars, rules and currencies.
Those who dream of a new Metaverse envision it as one in which the privilege of centralized power will weaken or disappear. With the DAOs and the new hybrid communities, no governmental entity, no country, will be able to exercise control. Not easy to tax.
But the interactions go even further and raise new questions: who will control the security of information, data and integrity as well as privacy?
This Metaverse will also consume a lot of network and data storage as well as energy. Who will regulate all this and how will it be compatible with the quest for carbon neutrality? How should the necessary infrastructure be built and operated?
It is rather paradoxical that it is the Chinese teams from Deloitte who are asking themselves all these questions.
Will this new world be invented in the East?
Another aspect of geopolitical warfare that we have yet to measure all dimensions of.
War of the Worlds version 3.0?
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