Metaverse has opened the “door of excellence” and is expected to reach US $1.5 trillion by 2030


Editor’s note

Since the American Facebook company announced its name change to “Yuan” in October last year, metaverse has been popular all over the world, and technology giants from various countries have come to join the metaverse track. The outlet of metaverse is opening, but at the same time, it is full of chaos, full of challenges and risks such as false information, privacy infringement, financial fraud, ethical anomie and so on. Whether metaverse leads or endangers the upgrading and development of human society depends on the governance methods and effects of metaverse.

From now on, “metaverse governance” series reports will focus on the exploration of metaverse governance in various countries. Please pay attention to it.

On March 2, at the world mobile communication conference held in Barcelona, Spain, people from all over the world tried “metaverse” at the exhibition. (Vision China)

According to the latest foreign media reports, at present, Wal Mart, a large multinational retail enterprise, is actively arranging the field of metaverse and planning to build a “metaverse supermarket”. In the future, people will be able to “one-stop” purchase all kinds of items needed for metaverse activities in Wal Mart supermarket. According to another source, Microsoft, NVIDIA and other technology companies have also begun to layout metaverse. On March 21, Qualcomm, the global chip design giant, set up a fund with a total amount of up to US $100 million to invest in building metaverse. This is another group of large enterprises that have announced to join the metaverse field and join the metaverse track since Facebook announced its name change to “Yuan” last October.

For a time, international enterprise giants have competed for metaverse, and the global technology outlet has come to our eyes. PwC estimates that the metaverse market will reach $1.5 trillion by 2030.

present situation

Virtual and reality blend with each other

Metaverse, which originated from the 1992 foreign science fiction work avalanche, is becoming one of the hottest words. However, the current scientific and technological circles do not have a recognized authoritative definition of metaverse. The Oxford Dictionary defines metaverse as “a virtual reality space in which users can communicate and interact with computer-generated environment and others”.

Scientists predict that metaverse will become a human second space parallel to the real world. In this space, people can create a virtual “home”, invite familiar people to socialize, put on devices, enter a virtual workspace to work with colleagues, and even create a virtual world, so as to enter this virtual world to do something they want to do but don’t or can’t do in real life

In the film “the number one player” directed by Spielberg, it gives a comprehensive interpretation of how human beings carry out the second space, which is very intuitive and vivid to show how people enter the virtual world from the real world. Through the description of the film, people understand how to live in the virtual world.

In fact, some of the scenes described in the film are no longer fictional fantasies. In real life, with the development of Internet of things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, decentralization, virtual and real interaction (VR, AR, MR) and other technologies, metaverse, characterized by the integration of virtual world and real world, began to sweep all corners of society. Whether willing or not, metaverse has quietly come to everyone, and people unknowingly become “residents” of metaverse.

For example, under novel coronavirus pneumonia, people can travel around the world in the virtual world with the help of Metaverse virtual trip when they are not able to travel. In life, people can use metaverse to “incarnate” into another self in the virtual world for game entertainment, space shuttle and skill training; In the process of economic operation and industrial production, people can help decision makers and enterprises provide data reference or solve many practical problems in real life through metaverse virtual capital operation, industrial manufacturing and scientific experiments

Metaverse’s “wonderful door” is opening to ordinary people.

On March 16, the robot icub3 exhibited at the exhibition in Genoa, Italy, can make tactile feedback and conduct human-computer interaction. Users can feel items hundreds of kilometers away through the “remote presence system”.

In early March, at the world mobile communication conference held in Barcelona, Spain, some metaverse pathfinders broke through the concept of time and space and staged scenes of time and space shuttle. People from all over the world tried “metaverse” at the exhibition. For example, virtual meetings and conversations with people on the other side of the world, and “close contact” with favorite stars anytime, anywhere. Wearing VR glasses, you can feel the scene of the star concert, and you can also choose any perspective to watch the concert, which has a strong sense of on-site experience.

According to Spanish media reports, Spanish Telecom reached a cooperation with American technology giant “Yuan” during the conference to launch a solicitation order to global metaverse start-ups, provide technical and infrastructure support for these start-ups, and will build a “metaverse innovation center”. It is reported that the popularity of metaverse concept this year is not accidental. After years of brewing, the application of underlying technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, 5g communication and wearable devices is becoming more and more mature. The comprehensive application of these technologies makes it possible to build metaverse.

On March 16, the robot icub3 exhibited at the Genoa exhibition in Italy can make tactile feedback and human-computer interaction. It will be the embodiment of human beings in metaverse in the future. (Vision China)

The epidemic accelerated metaverse expansion

According to expert analysis, from Internet 1.0, 2.0 to mobile Internet, metaverse will lead the next Internet era. At present, the main bottleneck of the development of the Internet is the involution platform form. There is a long-term lack of breakthrough in content carrier, communication mode, interaction mode, sense of participation and interactivity, resulting in “expansion without development”.

Technology yearns for new products, capital seeks new exports, and users expect new experiences. Metaverse is like the embodied Internet. In metaverse, users are no longer simply browsing content, but living in content, just like entering a new living environment. With the closer integration of network space and physical space, metaverse provides more realistic sensory experience and more specific and detailed services.

Through this virtual world, the traditional real living spaces such as physical space, social space and thinking space are constantly mapping the things contained in themselves to the virtual space. Different people and things are gradually mapped to the cyberspace. People can experience all kinds of possibilities that cannot be achieved in the real world. Moreover, when the real world encounters time and space cost constraints, as well as some resource and technology constraints, metaverse can also overcome these constraints by restoring the real world through virtual scenes, just like “migrating” to virtual space.

Metaverse can bring such a fresh experience and new feeling. Naturally, it has been highly praised by users and developed rapidly.

The current epidemic has accelerated the development of metaverse. Under the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic prevention and control measures, the whole society has increased greatly in Internet time. The rapid development of “home economy” has made the online life a normal situation. It has become a parallel world from the real world to the real world. Human life has begun to expand to the virtual world on a large scale, and mankind has become a “virtual amphibious species” in the real space and digital.

Experts believe that the rapid development of Internet of things and information physics system has realized the connection between virtual space and real space, which has laid a foundation for human beings to enter metaverse across real space. Metaverse is a future, and now is the best time to take the initiative of metaverse.


The governance of the “universe” is urgent

People are happy to walk in the virtual world created by metaverse, experience the novel clothing, food, housing and transportation in the virtual world, and look forward to the accelerating formation of a new space for human development.

“Everything is established in advance and abandoned without advance”. When real space meets virtual space, we should not only pay attention to the changes brought by technological development, but also include orderly policy supervision, and shine the significance of human common values on metaverse, so as to ensure its healthy and orderly development.

As a new living space for human beings, metaverse naturally maps personal information, relationships and even assets into each user. If there is no sufficient security, privacy protection and governance measures, this second living space will become a huge risk black hole, swallowing people’s property and life.

In the final analysis, metaverse platform is an information network platform, involving various grass-roots technologies such as Internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and VR, as well as key infrastructure such as network, various cloud platforms and data centers. The vulnerabilities of these grass-roots technologies and key infrastructure will make metaverse unsafe. Once these infrastructure are damaged, metaverse users’ business Actions will be affected, and the assets in metaverse space will also be impacted, which will affect various economic and social behaviors in the real world and the security of assets. The hacker attack on the oil pipeline in the United States in May 2021 is a typical example and a profound lesson.

In order to avoid risks and vulnerabilities, metaverse space is bound to need governance.

How to manage metaverse? At present, the consensus view in academic circles is to divide metaverse governance into two aspects: one is economic governance and the other is social governance. Economic governance mainly includes preventing the digital hegemony of the platform, protecting metaverse residents, protecting the security of data, stopping evil acts in metaverse, and establishing safe and reasonable exchange criteria between virtual property and real property; Social governance includes that all users jointly determine the social order in the metaverse world and unify the management norms of users in metaverse.

Metaverse seems far away, but it is actually a reality. Its infinite expansion space also needs someone to move “bricks” for construction and people-oriented governance. As Neil Stephenson, the author of avalanche, said, the key feature of metaverse seems to be a three-dimensional universe, a large-scale crowd game. What you do with it depends on your business model.

On March 2, at the world mobile communication conference held in Barcelona, Spain, metaverse Pathfinder opened the door of the virtual world, and people from all over the world experienced the magical feeling brought by metaverse at the exhibition. (Vision China)


Chaos begins to breed chaos

Beware of hidden cosmic “black holes”

Metaverse’s huge market potential has attracted all kinds of enterprises flocking to it, like crucian carp crossing the river. At the same time, it is worrying because of the mixture of fish and dragons and the falling of mud and sand.

According to expert analysis, although metaverse has broad market prospects, it is still in the “initial stage of chaos”. At this stage, metaverse is still an evolving and developing concept. The influx of metaverse fever is easy to breed all kinds of chaos and bring risks such as fabricating facts, violating privacy and financial fraud. We need to be vigilant against problems such as capital kidnapping, ethical anomie and blank legislation and supervision.

In order to rub the heat of metaverse, some companies circle money and commit fraud by fabricating false metaverse investment projects to “pull the flag and seek tiger skin”. For example, some companies call virtual currency “metaverse currency” in the future to induce the public to buy investment, and then conduct illegal fund-raising by manipulating the price and setting the withdrawal threshold. Others design the sudden wealth trap of making money in the form of blockchain games by binding the concept of “metaverse” and imitate the investment scam of “metaverse” concept stock fund.

Metaverse is a virtual world that maps the real world. There will be value exchange between the two worlds. Based on this new value exchange mode, the cost of black industries such as illegal smuggling and money laundering is also greatly reduced, which breeds some illegal acts of fraud by using virtual currency. Taking bitcoin as an example, because of its convenient transaction and difficult supervision, it can help the suspect to complete the money laundering process objectively. Bitcoin and some bitcoin trading platforms have also become platforms for some criminals to transfer stolen money. In addition, criminals will build a platform system by imitating bitcoin, manipulate the generation and trading market of Shanzhai currency, attract investors to buy, and then sell in large quantities when the time is ripe, resulting in huge losses for investors.

In metaverse virtual space, some behaviors are difficult to identify and control, and behaviors that are not subject to ethical and moral constraints are relatively easy to occur. For example, violations of intellectual property rights, privacy and other rights belong to this type. Due to the lack of effective ethical and moral constraints in the virtual world, it is easy to copy and paste unauthorized intellectual achievements of others in metaverse, or even copy the full text, or publish relevant information resources without authorization, and download other people’s works at will. However, if the infringer is hidden in metaverse, it is difficult to prosecute.

Although metaverse has broad market prospects, it is still in its infancy and still has a long way to go from the goal of transparency, standardization and order. In view of the “initial opening of chaos” of metaverse, for the healthy and sustainable development of metaverse, guidance and management need to be carried out at multiple levels such as industry, technology, law, morality and ethics.


Development of metaverse

1. In 1992, the sci-fi work avalanche mentioned the two concepts of “metaverse” and “Avatar”. People can have their own virtual doubles in “metaverse”. This virtual world is called “metaverse”.

2. A large number of open multiplayer games appeared in the 1990s, forming the early foundation of metaverse.

3. In 2020, human society reached the critical point of virtualization, accelerating the formation of non-contact culture.

4. 2021 is the first year of metaverse. On October 28, 2021, Facebook announced that it was renamed meta platform Co., Ltd. Metaverse was selected as the hot word of Collins dictionary in 2021.

5. On January 4, 2022, Qualcomm technologies announced at the 2022 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it would cooperate with Microsoft to develop customized ar chips to create a new generation of energy-efficient and lightweight ar glasses, so as to provide a rich immersive experience.

(author: Xu Qiang)