Facebook has been planning its entry into the metaverse for some time now – possibly even several years. But it is only recently that his ambitious plans for expansion have the concept made headlines around the world. The rebranding of parent company Meta was arguably the biggest and boldest letter of intent the company could come up with. Suddenly, major news channels were filled with explanatory articles and financial websites full of enthusiasm for investment opportunities in this new sector.
However, tokens such as Decentraland (MANA) and Sandbox (SAND) were widely circulated through the news, and a few days after Facebook’s announcement, the decentralized decentralized project The Sandbox received $93 million in funding from investors including Softbank.
But now that the dust has settled, is the company’s plans, formerly known as Facebook, good news for non-financial token (NFT) projects and crypto metaverses? Or does Meta have the potential to bring down this still nascent segment?
What is known so far?
Facebook hasn’t released many details about what to expect from its metaverse release. The ad video, featuring co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with his metaverse avatar, looked very shiny. However, there was little information on how things actually worked under the hood. But based on the precedent and what is known, a distinction can be made between what Facebook likely plans to plan and the existing decentralized metaverse projects.
Facebook has one form or another when it comes to the question of whether they will use a decentralized infrastructure based on their cryptocurrency launch efforts. Diem, formerly known as Libra, is a coin operated by a licensed network of central companies. David Marcus, who leads Diem, also confirmed that the project, as well as Facebook, are also considering integrating NFTs with Novi, a Diem-compatible wallet.
With all this in mind, it’s fair to say that the Facebook metaverse will have an economy centered around Diem coins, with NFT-based assets issued on the Diem-certified network.
The biggest difference between Facebook’s metaverse and cryptocurrency metaverse projects is that the latter runs on an open, unlicensed blockchain architecture. Any developer can come and build a metaverse application on an open blockchain, and any user can purchase their own virtual property and interact with virtual assets.
In monetary terms, one of the biggest benefits of a decentralized open architecture is that users can join and seamlessly roam between different gauges. Interaction protocols reduce friction between blockchains so that assets, including cryptocurrencies, stack coins, utility tokens, NFTs, loyalty points, or anything else, can be moved across the chains.
Thus, the most important question regarding Facebook’s plans is to what extent the company plans to make its metaverse assets compatible and metaverse assets compatible with other assets that have not been released by Facebook.
From a decentralized decentralized perspective, this does not necessarily sound like good news. After all, the global Meta user base is dwarfing the cryptocurrency. But there’s another way to look at it, according to Robbie Ferguson, co-founder of Immutable, a two-tiered platform for NFT:
“Even if [META] decides to develop a closed ecosystem, it remains a fundamental acknowledgment of the value that digital ownership provides and the fact that the most valuable battlefield of the future will be who owns the infrastructure of the digital universes.”