Science fiction or a reality of the near future? The metaverse is coming, whether we want it or not. Recently, the metaverse has been a hot topic, as even tech behemoths such as Meta, previously Facebook, have been entering the metaverse scene.
Viewing it as the “next internet,” supporters have applauded the metaverse for its ability to enable play, work, travel, and keep people connected via virtual reality. Critics on the other hand have highlighted the dangers surrounding user data and ethical questions.
In an exclusive interview with DailyCoin, Sébastien Borget, co-founder and COO at community-driven, user-generated metaverse The Sandbox, shared why decentralization is crucial in protecting user data.
Owning Data in Virtual Worlds
The Sandbox is a virtual platform in which players can play, build, own, and monetize their virtual experiences on the blockchain. The platform aims to empower artists, creators, and players to build the platform they’ve always envisioned, providing them with the means to unleash their creativity and create a virtual world that is made and governed by the users.
"To us, the metaverse is this digital parallel universe, where anyone, any human being, could interact, live more immersive social reach experiences just through a 3D avatar. That becomes a new identity, their representation of themselves," Borget underlined.
While concerns have arisen around data privacy and the difficult topic of ownership on metaverses, the underlying technology provides the solutions. The decentralized nature of the project and its blockchain technology enables users to fully own their assets and in-game experiences. According to Borget, The Sandbox has taken an approach of complete decentralization, through which users own their data.
"Users are in the world that is made and governed by users, and where users should receive 100% of the reward from the value it creates into this whole new digital nation,"
In The Sandbox, users receive rewards for playing the game and engaging in a variety of activities. Through tokens and NFT technology, these rewards become assets that hold their own value, and can even be sold, or generate revenue themselves.
"That's the real opportunity in the metaverse to use NFTs. They are assets that can hold value and develop a whole economy of services, new jobs around them. Also, make sure that that economy will be player-owned, user-owned and benefit, first and foremost, to people who contribute to populate and create that world," enthused Borget.
Borget differentiates The Sandbox from the Web 2.0 period, which presented “closed” metaverses in which users don’t own their data. The monetization mechanism in a closed metaverse environment focuses on the user as the monetization product.
In a decentralized, open metaverse, users own their identity, digital assets, data, and cryptocurrency, which can be transferred at any time.
The Importance of an Open Metaverse
As the metaverse accelerates, the question of regulation has continued to arise from authorities around the world. Metaverses, in general, have been subject to criticism due to the poor reputation held by Meta as it makes its approach to the industry of virtual worlds.
While Meta is still involved in public discussions about their data privacy and ethical practices, shifting attention to creating a metaverse has raised doubts.
"The practice of the Web 2.0 businesses is to track a lot of user data without their consent. Monetizing the user and serving them ads are not necessarily the practice of the new builders in the space, who are taking a more decentralized approach, where users own their data and choose how they can use it," explained Borget.
The same principles do not apply to all metaverses, and Borget believes it shouldn’t be mixed up. The Sandbox takes an open metaverse approach, aiming to lead the industry by an exceptional example.
Watch the full interview with Sébastien Borget on DailyCoin’s youtube channel: