HomeChallenges That the Metaverse Faces in 2023

Challenges That the Metaverse Faces in 2023

What challengers are present in the metaverse? What do developers and businesses need to overcome in order to make the ‘vision’ a success

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Mark
Updated: January 16, 2023

The Metaverse promises lots of great things once it becomes fully operational. You can see this in the early prototypes of big brands like Samsung, Roblox and Gucci. Based on its New York hub, Samsung’s virtual headquarters is one example of how the Metaverse could look, feel, and work.

However, in its early phase, it is not without its challenges. Like all software, early versions have glitches that the developers need to rectify before the final product is launched. This is normal but is also vital to the success of the technology. It’ll take a few more years before a Beta version, so to speak, could be unleashed upon the world’s eager populace.

Let’s look at the various hurdles developers are trying to vault over as they labour to create the first iteration of the Metaverse. These difficulties are grouped into four categories: Security and Data Integrity, Financial Processes, Product Ownership, and Regulation.

Security and Data Integrity in the Metaverse

There’s no denying that, right now, the Metaverse is a free-for-all environment with only rudimentary security policies in place. Most of these efforts at securing the virtual world are based on existing methodologies developed with the Internet, and are constantly evolving. However, the Metaverse needs a new approach at data safeguarding and is still a work in progress.

One of the biggest concerns right now is identity theft. Experts think that the early VR headsets coming into the market are vulnerable to cybercriminals’ hacking and access. Unlike Trojans and viruses on the Internet, cyberattacks on the Metaverse can do more than just wreck hard drives or slow down computers.

For instance, hackers could tap into virtual reality headsets and plant ransomware. This malicious software can dupe users into entering vital data that their creators can then hold for ransom. They can threaten the user into using these data to damage their identities, which they’ll only stop in exchange for payment.

For experts, this vulnerability is due to the immersive nature of virtual reality. There’s no way, at least for now, that somebody exploring a 3D virtual world will know when they’re interacting with a potential security threat.

Financial Processes & the Metaverse

The Metaverse is heavily influenced by the writings of Neal Stephenson, who described the digital world in detail in his novel Snow Crash. One of the defining attributes of Stephenson’s Metaverse is decentralization, which requires a new system of banking and financing that’s free from third parties that could result in long transaction times.

Enter cryptocurrency, a separate innovation based on the Internet, has also been gaining traction in past years. 

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and many others eschew middle-men like banks and other financial institutions when handling transactions. Instead, the technology uses peer-to-peer systems to verify payments, which are then posted on a public ledger called the blockchain.

However, cryptocurrencies are not without their pitfalls. For instance, their values are very volatile. Because of speculative trading, bitcoin especially suffers from drastic drops and rises in its price. To become a trusted currency within the Metaverse, these digital coins must first achieve a degree of stability that fiat currencies have. 

In other words, there needs to be a system of regulation of at least the price movements of cryptocurrencies, despite this being contrary to the concept of decentralization.

Interoperability between Metaverses

Right now, there are various iterations of the Metaverse available. Roblox is at the forefront of these. Previously an open-world game where people can explore and build communities, the company has since committed itself to further the Metaverse’s development. It is, after all, the best example that embodies Snow Crash’s description of the virtual world.

Roblox became Walmart’s choice of platform when it decided to launch not one but two mini-Metaverses. Gucci also picked Walmart for its first foray into the virtual space, in which it sold a digital version of its Dionysus handbag for an unbelievably high price!

Microsoft itself is not to be outdone with its Mesh feature in the Microsoft Teams app. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is also hard at work creating virtual reality headsets and related peripherals for its own version of the Metaverse.

All of these mini-Metaverses, however, are standalone. Roblox cannot jump into Microsoft Teams, nor can it allow its users to jump to its rival Second Life’s Metaverse. In other words, they lack interoperability. Right now, that’s the biggest challenge – creating one huge Metaverse where all these small segments come together.

Regulation and the Metaverse

Last but not the least is regulation. One of the reasons why regulating the Metaverse could be a touchy affair is because it conflicts with the decentralization that most developers advocate. However, a form of regulation is still necessary to ensure that the Metaverse remains safe for its digital residents.

For instance, there needs to be a regulatory body in place to monitor possible criminal activity and to prosecute them when necessary. This body needs to be staffed by human members, of course. Trusting these vital operations to machine-learning artificial intelligence could be dangerous and disruptive.

One reason why it’s vital to institute a legal presence in the Metaverse is intellectual property. Non-fungible tokens are the rage in the digital world nowadays. Anyone can create an NFT, purchase ownership and originality certificates and sell them. They’ll be snapped up any interested investor in the digital space. 

While it appears to be an easy way to earn money from art in the Metaverse, it’s not without its legal issues. Take, for example, a legal dispute between record label Roc-A-Fella and Damon Dash. Dash made a digital version of the cover art to Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt album, and sold it as a digital collectible. 

The dilemma here is that Roc-A-Fella is the copyright owner of the album. Dash, despite being a co-founder, is not legally recognized as an owner of the cover art that he turned into an NFT.

Conclusion 

Being a nascent technology, the Metaverse is an immense work in progress. Issues and challenges are inevitable when the pioneers are just exploring virgin ground. It would take time before developers can address these pitfalls satisfactorily, and the Metaverse is made truly safe and operational. 

Be sure to follow us and read more articles like us. Join us in our journey to fully unlock the Metaverse and bring it to the attention of even the least techy people in our midst!

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