Facebook's metaverse will ‘misfire,’ says Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin claims Meta is jumping the gun with metaverse innovation because “it is far too early to know what people want.”

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin doesn’t believe that any of the existing attempts by corporations to create a Metaverse are “going anywhere,” pointing to Meta as being one he believes will “misfire.” 

Responding to a tweet from Dialectic co-founder Dean Eigenmann, who believes venture capitalists may be wrong about what constitutes an ideal metaverse, Buterin said that while he believes “The metaverse is going to happen,” he doesn’t think any of the current attempts from corporates such as Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta are “going anywhere.”

The Metaverse is generally described as a highly-interactive 3D online world focused on social connection, with some looking to eventually be powered by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). 

Buterin’s comments come despite a number of successful metaverse projects recently being launched on blockchain technology like Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND). However, Buterin stated that its use cases are still not clear, adding that he didn’t think Meta’s attempt at creating a metaverse will be successful in its current form. 

“We don’t really know the definition of ‘the metaverse’ yet, it’s far too early to know what people actually want. So anything Facebook creates now will misfire.”

Meta has built a number of AR and VR applications, such as the Meta Horizons Workroom, a VR room for colleagues to connect and collaborate on ideas. Meta has also built first-generational smart glasses that allow users to connect to the metaverse by recording audio and video and being surrounded by virtual worlds.

Other critics are of the view that centralized metaverses such as those proposed by Meta and Microsoft may affect the decentralization of ownership of goods and services within those metaverses. 

On the other hand, metaverse developers like Decentraland and Sandbox have come together with several Web3 projects to launch the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3), which focuses on building more transparent, inclusive, decentralized and democratized metaverses. 

Related: 34% of gamers want to use crypto in the metaverse, despite the backlash

The Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF) also strives to build on these values and establish standards for a more open and interoperable metaverse. Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, Alibaba, Unity and Sony are among the 35 tech companies that became members of the MSF.

This reflects well Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to stakeholders in October last year, where he said that the Metaverse is the next chapter for the internet, adding, “We’re seen as a social media company, but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier.” 

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