A tech revolution has been ushered in over the past decade, setting the stage for transforming the online space as we understand it. A new iteration of the internet, Web 3.0 is envisioned – powered on blockchain technology and catalyzed by cryptocurrency and digital assets – with transparency, efficiency and decentralization as its driving principles.
On October 28, 2021, a gear was set in motion, and it is still turning. That day Mark Zuckerberg gave an hour-and-a-half presentation about his great project for the future: a virtual environment that he referred to as the “metaverse,” which he sees as “the natural evolution of the Internet.” To emphasize the gravity of his initiative, he closed his speech by announcing that his company would be known from that moment on as Meta. “Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company,” he said.
Discourse around the metaverse has grown considerably in recent years. The rebranding of social media giant Facebook to ‘Meta’ in 2021 indicates Silicon Valley’s heightened appetite for extending digital frontiers. The aftermath of COVID-19 and concerns of functionality in a post-pandemic world have also driven discussions. As virtual events gradually become the norm for global interface and networking, the conversation is shifting towards optimizing the remote experience. The digital transformation of business and networking environments – office spaces, event venues, exhibition centers, meeting rooms – is just one of the possibilities afforded by the metaverse and an immersion into extended reality.
The metaverse, for all its potential, remains uncharted territory for the majority. Valid concerns regarding market regulation, privacy, information gathering and accountability of digital gatekeepers are being raised. However, mainstream adoption in the mid- to long-term is likely to address these concerns, and discuss
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