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The Present Metaverse doesn’t Denote Decentralization


Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash

As the virtual world merges into the physical one, populated communities have seized every corner of the metaverse. Community members each find their own place where their interest guides them. Everyone forges a unique way of living in this orderly expanding world. I expect to witness an equal and vibrant metaverse.

Different people may paint different pictures for the metaverse. Some prepare to open chain fried chicken restaurants; some dream to perform concerts; some work to become real estate magnates; some merely hope to make more friends. However that world may look like, our dream and expectation for a promised land will not rest. The problem is when will this aspiration be satisfied?

Crucial Obstacles are Crucial to Development

In the existing metaverse, blockchain enables decentralization as the core technology of Web 3.0. Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) realize augmented reality. 5G technology generates faster network transmission. These technologies build metaverse into a virtual world that can be accessed through a computer, rather than mere fantasy existing in our head. But it is lagging far behind.

Web 3.0 launches a silent but violent revolution in a centralized world, where power struggle stands as the biggest obstacle. The technology of wearable hardware devices is not that advanced to meet the needs of life. The application of 5G technology is still confined to certain regions. Metaverse is shining under the spotlight. Talents and funds are rushing to this IT hot spot. But its underlying infrastructure has not yet matured. Metaverse promises a bright prospect from the beginning amid intense public attention. Existing obstacles and challenges remain, however, tricky to tackle at this stage.

Decentralization doesn’t Denote Optimism

For traditional enterprises and political power, decentralization predicts a risky gamble. They have to weigh the consequences against the economic growth coming along. Thus, many of them choose to stay in their comfort zone. Only those bold companies and bare-handed individuals, spurred by their zeal for Web 3.0 and positive outlook for metaverse, dare to set foot on this underdeveloped land.

Web 3.0 does not always do justice. The desire for power and money is inevitable. Only a few projects can fully realize decentralization whether for money or project development purposes; many fall back to centralization on their way. Projects under the disguise of decentralization take up half of the industry. Rug pulls happen all the time. Project creators’ cash-out, not by definition “illegal” in Web 3.0, has always rendered users helpless with worthless NFTs and coins.

What is worth broadcasting are these projects that have achieved certain levels of decentralization. They rise as the spiritual pillar for the industry with authority handed over to communities and users. Honorary medals are what is needed to draw in more similar endurable projects.

Technological issues also exist. Currently, blockchain only supports the decentralization of application digital assets but lacks support for large-scale complex computing. Almost all operations, such as logic computing, data storage, image rendering, etc. are centralized, which, however, completely controls the distribution of digital assets on the chain. Besides, community governance of the projects cannot guarantee sustained decentralization, which is affected by many factors, such as project scale, community population size, decision-making manners, distribution of individual rights, etc. Whether it is small scale or deviated right distribution, a trivial difference may lead to an even more deep-rooted centralization group under the cover of decentralization.

Distorted Values on Metaverse Construction

Prevailing metaverses are enabled by NFTs. NFTs instill vitality into virtual assets but raises the threshold for latecomers. Early starters indulge themselves in bountiful benefits, while latecomers suffer in poverty. These new users will surely need more chances to break barriers. Some people buy NFTs and enter metaverse as groups or companies, breaking the barrier of Web 3.0. This prepares them with enough capital but does not necessarily promise an easier path.

Individuals can get on board Web 3.0 easily. As long as their assets are well-managed, the ownership won’t be distributed to other people. Companies, however, may find it hard to penetrate Web 3.0. Company regulations, financial issues, adaptability problems, professional manners, and strategies all have to be in place or tackled.

Above being said, an inclusive solution has not yet been ready for the metaverse. Infrastructure calls for research; the blockchain algorithm expects updates; community organizations look for major reforms; more importantly, people eager to explore Web 3.0 and metaverse lack a safer guideline that allows entry of any individual or entity.

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