A crumb of metaverse already costs millions of dollars

Facebook changes its name

Facebook changes its name – Ansa

It is worth reiterating it, to clarify our ideas: the metaverse, that is the virtual world made famous in recent weeks by Mark Zuckerberg (owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) is not only his or his company which is now called Meta. Recode explained it well: “Just as the web is populated by millions of sites, several companies are building their own virtual realms in which they hope that people live in their digital version to play, work and have fun. The whole of these virtual realms will form the metaverse ». The comparison is effective even if there is a big difference between the web and the metaverse, but we will address it shortly. In the meantime we should ask ourselves: who is in charge in the new virtual world of the metaverse? who issues the laws that regulate it and who enforces them? how much will the privacy of its “inhabitants” be protected? Too bad that no one wants to answer these questions. And it’s easy to imagine why. Digital companies are sharing a world that they pretend to belong to everyone but that will not be the case.
If you think these are problems that do not affect us, “because who knows how long it will be before the metaverse will see the light”, know that a few days ago a crumb of metaverse was sold for the equivalent of about 2.5 million dollars. It is a space in a virtual world called decentraland. The sale was managed by the Metaverse Group company. The property is located “in the heart of the Fashion Street district within decentraland” and was paid for “with 618,000 mana,” a type of cryptocurrency used in this virtual realm.
At this point, the question arises: who can be crazy enough to spend the equivalent of 2.5 million dollars to buy a piece of land in a virtual world without any guarantee? Metaverse Group co-founder Michael Gord told The New York Times, “Imagine arriving in New York, when it was just farmland, and being able to buy a slice of SoHo. Some would have told you that you were crazy. Well: today a property in SoHo is priceless ».
It is not excluded that this millionaire sale is a marketing move to push other investors to buy space in the metaverse, making them believe that they will be able to resell it at a high price when it is populated and in fashion. But it is a sign that must be taken seriously.
Earlier I wrote that there is a big difference between the web and the metaverse. And it lies in the fact that the web is a space that anyone can inhabit at very low cost (a few euros are enough to open a site), while the metaverse is destined to be a world that will largely be in the hands of some digital giants. People will pay to enter, to live in it, to have their own spaces, to furnish them, to communicate and to have fun. And so our commitments, our expenses, our efforts and our time will serve us on the one hand to stay in the real world and on the other to “inhabit” the virtual one.
We said it: making predictions is difficult and risky. But these problems are already clearly visible. And they remind us of two things. The first is that we must all work hard not to forget that there is no real progress if we ignore the centrality of man. The second is that we must do everything to expect the metaverse to have rules, transparent and shared. Although in some respects I fear it is already late.

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