Vitalik Buterin, the infamous creator of Ethereum, has hit out at corporate attempts to build the metaverse by saying that they will ‘misfire’.
Buterin relayed such thoughts via an exchange on Twitter which he held with a couple of concerned community members. Firstly, and in response to user ‘Dean Eigenmann’s’ confusion surrounding the ambiguous definition of the term ‘metaverse,’ Buterin said: “The “metaverse” is going to happen but I don’t think any of the existing corporate attempts to intentionally create the metaverse are going anywhere”.
Twitter user Venkatesh Rao then responded to Buterin by hinting at the fact Web3 technology’s large barriers to entry inherently favours ‘large incumbents’ to take on the responsibility to build the metaverse. Buterin replied to such comments by saying: “My critique is deeper than “Metaverse Wikipedia will beat Metaverse Encyclopedia Britannica”. It’s that 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”.
As many will already know, Buterin’s, as well as many others, concerns for ‘corporate’ metaverse attempts come after Facebook explicitly signaled its focus on Web3 by changing its name to ‘Meta’ last year, whilst Sony and Microsoft have also expressed their interest in developing metaverse platforms. For Buterin, such efforts are premature, as they come without any foresight into what the masses actually want the metaverse to entail.
On the other hand, what will quite likely please Buterin is the fact that the likes of Animoca Brands, Alien Worlds, Dapper Labs, Decentraland, Star Atlas, and The Sandbox (which are all Web3 native companies) have formed an alliance called the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3). Such a consortium has the goal of establishing the standards of the inevitable interoperable metaverse that will eventually be with us, irrespective of how ambiguous it currently is.
Unlike Meta and its Web2-native companions, these companies are creating metaverse platforms that are based on what consumers want today, as opposed to developing platforms that are based on idealistic predictions.