Published on August 2, 2022
Even today, the perception of the Metaverse by the public are video games, virtual reality experiences, still nascent technologies, social applications for holding meetings with glasses and headphones. But for those envisioning broader business prospects, it’s a new Eldorado for tomorrow; and we also imagine selling financial services there.
But we’re also starting to envision a longer-term vision of the Metaverse, as a new virtual world, one that will converge with the real world we know, to forge a whole new world that will transform us all.
This is the exercise carried out by the Deloitte China teams, in a reportage with a sci-fi tone.
This new world has four dimensions.
First dimension: the Metaverse, a mirror that simulates the real world
It models the real world in ten elements: environment, people, objects, institutions, societies, as well as economic systems, corporate production, individual production, civilization and governance.
In the virtual world of the metaverse we will find these same ten elements.
But it goes further, because the Metaverse also allows you to create a virtual world with the same ten elements, but completely new.
It is the second dimension.
Second dimension: a native virtual world
The Metaverse, in fact, will allow the creation of people, objects, environments, which will be completely virtual. And also new rules and methods of governance.
We will meet avatars of people from the real world, but also completely virtual people, without a correspondent in the real world. Ditto for objects: NFTs are original virtual objects.
For organizations, there are DAOs ( Decentralized autonomous organizations), decentralized models, without parent company, which are governed by rules established by art blockchainand completely different from real-world organizational models that still work with more centralized models.
Third dimension: the real world
The real world will eventually be an integral part of the world of the Metaverse, since it will have facsimiles of the real world elements there: our avatars, for example. And what creates value in the Metaverse is generated by the interactions between the real world and the virtual world: we can buy in the Metaverse and get the objects and products in the real world. And viceversa.
Fourth dimension: convergence and interactions between the real and virtual worlds
By giving the possibility to pass from one world to another, we create a new world.
It is the degree of convergence and interaction between these two worlds that will be critical, and all the more so in the moment, which some imagine very soon, when there will be more interactions in the virtual world than in the real world.
At the first level, the virtual world will replicate the real world, with identical rules.
But then we can imagine that new rules of governance will emerge in this new world. With the unanswered question: who will rule the Metaverse? Humans or artificial intelligence? States or companies? Not so obvious at a time when tech companies already have more data on populations than states.
New communities, even societies, will be created with the Metaverse, which will be completely independent of States. With new avatars, rules and currencies.
Those who dream of a new Metaverse world envision it as one in which the privilege of centralized power will weaken or disappear. With DAOs and new hybrid communities, no state entity, no country, will be able to exercise control. Not easy for taxation.
But the interactions go even further and raise new questions: Who will control information security, data and integrity, as well as privacy?
This Metaverse will also consume a lot of network and data storage, as well as energy. Who will regulate all of this, and how will it be compatible with the pursuit of carbon neutrality? How will the necessary infrastructure be built and managed?
It is quite paradoxical that it is Deloitte’s Chinese teams that are asking themselves all these questions.
Will this new world be invented in the East?
Another aspect of geopolitical warfare, the full dimensions of which we have not yet measured.
War of the Worlds version 3.0?