Can the Metaverse exist without blockchain?
1. Does the Metaverse need to be on a blockchain?
Blockchain-based solutions have seen financial, legal, gaming and social applications, albeit at a relatively small scale over the last few years. However, whether the blockchain infrastructure layer will be a must-have for the growth of the Metaverse narrative remains unanswered.
The answer to that question depends on how we define the Metaverse. Some definitions of the Metaverse focus only on its experiential elements. The word Metaverse often makes us imagine wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset and going through an immersive experience in a virtual world.
This is not all wrong, but it is an incomplete definition of a Metaverse. The Metaverse is expected to be a futuristic version of the internet. That is a great vision, but why do we need a new internet? The answer to that lies in the answer to another question — do we need blockchain for the Metaverse?
2. Why do we need a new internet?
Our current internet is inadequate. Incentives are skewed toward a limited set of stakeholders, creators get exploited and users have very little control over their data. Can the new version of the internet change that?
The internet has been built and evangelized through applications like Google, Meta (previously Facebook), Instagram and Amazon. These applications deploy several techniques to grab users’ attention, and monetize that when they have it. Despite creating monetizable value through these apps, users get a very tiny slice of the value accruing to them.