Virtualising ourselves and the world around us is the next giant leap for technology, at least according to Mark Zuckerberg and a slew of Facebook employees lined up to attest to the virtues of this impending utopia in a recently released demo by the social media giant. There has been considerable outrage since that demo’s release, with much of it centred on the company’s track record on issues like privacy, data security and trust.
These anxieties are not unfounded. The $5bn penalty imposed by the FTC on Facebook in 2019 for “deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information” was the largest ever imposed on a private entity in US history. But to momentarily play the devil’s advocate, has the privacy issue been blown out of proportion? Do the pros of a centralised metaverse outweigh the privacy concern?
Privacy in a centralised metaverse
It is unclear if any two people hold identical notions of what the “metaverse” precisely means. Definitions of the concept seem to vary from one individual to the next. For Zuckerberg, it represents an “embodied internet”; a place where people can meet, work, attend virtual concerts, and more.
Peeking beyond the grandiosity and allure of this ambitious new zuckerverse, legitimate questions about Facebook’s (or Meta, or whatever it calls itself these days) prior misuse of user data, and what it forebodes for a technology that threatens to be as intrusive as an embodied internet, justifiably rears its head.
Without question, building a centralised ecosystem that will make the metaverse a functional reality potentially puts a great deal of data in the hands of Facebook. Suppose control over an application that is effectively an elaborate birthday reminder scheme has resulted in a $5bn privacy violation penalty. In that case, one can only imagine what to expect from a Facebook in control of an ecosystem that meticulously integrates work and life to the extent dreamed in that demo.
A decentralised alternative
Eliminating the need for trust is the core basis of blockchain technology. By making information open, transparent, and accessible and providing a robust security architecture through cryptographic hashing, blockchains offer a more compelling alternate metaverse in contrast to a centralised ecosystem. The Cudos Network, for example, is an open-source blockchain ecosystem that allows developers to build and deploy smart contracts and DApps that may require scalable compute.
Decentralising the metaverse solves the privacy problem because information on the blockchain is either transparent or secure. The distribution of storage and compute capacity across the network disincentivises the stockpile and auctioning of user data.
How you can support our alternative
The great thing about decentralization is that everyone has a role to play. You can contribute towards the effort to create an ecosystem for a decentralised metaverse by partnering with us.
In case you’ve missed our latest announcements, here are some of our recent partnerships we are excited about.
Let us create a computing ecosystem that is decentralised, transparent, and responsible!
The Cudos Network is a layer 1 blockchain and layer 2 computation and oracle network designed to ensure decentralised, permissionless access to high-performance computing at scale and enable scaling of computing resources to 100,000’s of nodes. Once bridged onto Ethereum, Algorand, Polkadot, and Cosmos, Cudos will enable scalable compute and Layer 2 Oracles on all of the bridged blockchains.
For more, please visit: