The Sandbox Founder Says Big Tech Threatens Open, Blockchain-Based Metaverse

Big Tech firms could threaten an open metaverse, as their business models go against a decentralized internet where users own their digital assets, said Sebastien Borget, the co-founder of the blockchain-based video gaming platform The Sandbox. Borget said his primary consideration right now is how to defend the metaverse against forays by Big Tech firms like Meta, the owner of Facebook, which recently changed its name to reflect a commitment to the new trend. Chinese tech giants like Tencent Holdings and NetEase have also sought to capitalize on the trend.

“The way [Big Tech] projects the vision of creating the metaverse is really lacking diversity,” Borget said. “We don’t think those companies can build something truly fun that’s catered to the users because they’ve been so focused on their key business model and how to satisfy shareholders rather than satisfy users who own the asset, who own the governance of their own platform.”

It is more than just competition, said Borget, because the metaverse is about bringing down the old guard of the internet using decentralized technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies. “Our goal is to build an open metaverse that can stand against what we call competition that is the Web 2.0 metaverses,” said Borget.

The metaverse is one of the hottest buzzwords in tech this year, as many consider it the next iteration of the internet that will see people interacting and trading in 3D virtual environments. What it should ultimately look like remains hotly debated, but many cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts believe Big Tech are the enemies of a decentralized metaverse.

(All information was provided by South China Morning Post)

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