Why the Dream of a Decentralised Metaverse is Just That — a Dream…
Is the dream of a Decentralised Metaverse about to fall into the graveyard of unfulfilled ambition?
The Metaverse is far from ready for mainstream audiences.
I really wish I wasn’t writing this statement… but it is clear to me that we are so far from the technology being ready for mainstream audiences. The hype surrounding the metaverse is in severe danger of over-expectation and under-delivering — a balance that does not work in any form of customer service.
We have a massive disconnect between mainstream audiences and those of us that are in the crypto-bubble. Within the crypto bubble we are all as guilty as each other — and I put myself well and truly in that camp.
You know when you are in the crypto bubble when you have a blasé attitude to events that would bring the mainstream to its knees…
- You accept the volatility of cryptocurrencies — your pulse doesn’t race above its steady state — with the care-free attitude — “chill (bro/bra) it will come back…”
- Frauds and scams are viewed as an occupational hazard — “get over it — just make sure your security is up to scratch”
- Multi-million $ hacks just become another telephone number headline that you don’t even bother to read past the headline.
Mainstream audiences simply don’t view things in this way.
I remember vividly when I first spoke at an event in July 2017 about Initial Coin offerings (ICO’s). It was the same day as the Parity Ethereum wallet had just been hacked for $32m. The attitude around the crypto space was
“oh well — its new technology — get over it.”
Those with rudimentary culinary expertise spoke about omelettes and broken eggs. This was for a wallet created by exceptionally gifted people that knew what they were doing.
A traditional investor in the audience whom I introduced to cryptocurrency exploded at the crypto-bubble attitude “Do they know how long it takes to make $32m??!!” Can’t really argue with that one…
The Decentralised world has a problem — decentralisation revolves around banks no longer being relevant, with even the abstract of the original Bitcoin whitepaper from 2008 describing its attributes…
“…purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Cryptocurrencies give us all the opportunity to be our own banks. But are we truly ready for this? This means having the security mentality of a bank to protect and manage your own financial assets.
The challenge is that Banks spend between 6% — 14% of their budgets on cybersecurity — they know how challenging cybersecurity is. But honestly for all of us that are in the crypto bubble — let’s ask the honest question can your mother or grandmother honestly look after their metalmark wallet without your help? Are those outside of the crypto-bubble truly ready for it?
The mainstream audiences want everything to be simple, easy and, most importantly, safe. While the balance between usability and security is an age-old delicate balance we all have to walk, decentralised structures are not easy — there is a massive learning curve to become crypto-native.
As Steve Jobs always said “Technology should be either beautiful or invisible”.
Without this philosophy being in the DNA of the decentralised advocates- the dream of decentralisation will remain just that — a dream — leaving the door wide open for centralised bodies like META that have this DNA built in from their deep experience of web 2.0 to convert their web 2.0 customer across to the Metaverse.
The ongoing battle is not about Decentralisation and Centralisation, it is about making technology beautiful, easy and SAFE to use and whoever wins this battle will win the landgrab of the Metaverse.
About the author
Tim Lea (@timothylea2 on twitter) is author of the book Down the RabbitHole, a book on the blockchain in plain English, an international keynote speaker on the strategic application of the blockchain, and an investor in NTFs and the cryptocurrency space. He is the co-founder of the Social Impact project Walking Between Worlds (@WBWNFTS on twitter) whose mission is to energise global Indigenous communities to amplify First Nations powerful voices through NFTs.
He will be releasing a free e-book imminently — Your Introductory Guide to Buying & Selling Your First NFT — (In Association With Walking Between Worlds_.