virtual worlds are still struggling to meet the public and their uses

It’s dead calm in the metaverse, a term popularized by Meta (before Facebook) which refers to a virtual world in which users can meet their friends, play games or even work using an avatar of themselves. However, Mark Zuckerberg had announced during the presentation conference of his metaverse HorizonWorld in October 2021 to be “ confident that the metaverse will succeed on the mobile internet. We will be able to feel present, as if we were physically together, no matter how far apart we are. »

That too The McKinsey firm is valued in June that the metaverse market could represent $4,000 to $5,000 billion by 2030. But for now, the term metaverse rhymes more with flop than revolution. Meta it is his sad symbol. After investing more than $20 billion in two years into his metaverse project, only 200,000 people a month would use HorizonWorld, according to information disclosed by Wall Street Journal.

Metaverse and cryptocurrency, a still unconvincing mix

As for other metaverse efforts, success is not even apparent. To differentiate, Decentraland AND The sandbox, two virtual universes had the idea to connect the virtual world with cryptocurrencies and thus attract cryptophiles. Apart from these two spaces, decentralized metaverses, which allow users to exchange these digital assets thanks to a blockchain, a network of computers that validate and record transactions, fail to convince.

However, according to European central bank up to 10% of households may own cryptocurrencies”when they would be 12% of Americans to hold crypto According to the US Federal Reserve. “ The metaverse is the convergence of the physical and the virtual, that is, owning objects and data in our daily lives and finding them online. This is something that could be possible with crypto and blockchain technology.”, presents Julien Maltodazo, partner at Deloitte responsible for innovation. NFTs or non-fungible tokens, certificates of ownership registered on a blockchain, make it possible, for example, to buy a pair of sneakers in a physical store and keep their digital version in a virtual world.

Despite these potential uses, The sandbox reported just 203,000 monthly users in an Oct. 10 tweet, when its competitor Decentraland shows just 56,697 monthly visitors in an Oct. 7 tweet, far short of the 50 million daily users advertised by Roblox a game that allows everyone to interact in a virtual world. And to make matters worse for their lack of popularity, they have to share the thin metaverse cake with other small virtual worlds such as Height Where Alien World.

Even the French composer Jean-Michel Jarre wants to create his own virtual universe Oxyvilleto stage a concert there in October 2023. So many different and varied actors and goals that it blurs the vision of what a metaverse is for the general public. According to a barometer from the Iligo agency published in April 2022a virtual world would be seen as of no interest to 62% of the French. “A metaverse will be able to stand out as long as they find users and keep them”, warns Nicolas Perrier, consultant at Inetum. The metaverse theme specialist believes that a virtual universe should above all be intuitive and beautiful to create a community. “Sandbox and Meta forgot about end users and the fun and interesting side of spending time in this metaverse. At the moment, it is not beautiful, it is not easy to use and therefore few people want to go there »he’s sorry

Multiverses, a solution to democratize virtual worlds?

Another possible economic model, in the absence of the possibility to create only a metaverse, companies offer to develop a virtual world on behalf of a client, all on a blockchain. It is the proposal of MultiversX, before Elrond, which changed its name to reposition itself. “The MultiversX team has announced that they will be working on a blockchain capable of carrying out a very large number of transactions and that will allow everyone to create their own metaverse. So, potentially beautiful and interesting worlds that can accommodate many Internet users able to easily travel between these worlds.”says Owen Simonin, alias mattingFrench influencer and ambassador i MultiversX. An ambitious project, which is however only in its infancy as it will perform its first test on December 10 creating a virtual world that is supposed to be able to accommodate 10,000 users simultaneously.

“It is difficult to know whether this project will be successful. Better interoperability between worlds and the development of technologies that are easy to use for the general public may not be enough to distinguish a blockchain from others. Currently there are about thirty blockchains in competition with Ethereum, including MultiversX which is only the nineteenth and in the medium term only 3 or 4 will remain. », shades Stanislas Barthelemi, crypto consultant at KPMG, who believes that the new MultiversX project is primarily designed to attract new customers.

Always to be sure that metaverses develop, created other actors of the sector Open Metaverse Alliance beginning of November on the occasion of the show WebSummit of Lisbon. Metametaverse, Alien Worlds and even Animaco brand, the creators of sandbox, participated in the establishment of this association, which aims to structure and promote decentralized metaverses with European regulators.

Because if Europe starts regulating cryptocurrencies and their uses with the latest regulation vote Crypto asset market (Mika) and Regulations for the transfer of funds (Severance), metaverses and their uses do not yet enter their fields.

In fact, everything will be played for the regulation of the sector by governments, which the bosses of these new shoots have understood. Like MultiversX, who during the days dedicated to the presentation of the project in Paris, invited him Ministerial Delegate for Digital Transition Jean-Noël Barrot and his Romanian counterpart Sebastian Burduja to participate in it. “If Elrond made his conference in France, it is because most of the community of this project is French. But in general, France is interesting for companies because it has a very strict legal framework. So when you’re regulated in France, it’s very easy to be regulated elsewhere.” excuses Owen Simon.

In other words, the creators of virtual worlds together with cryptocurrencies will have to deal with the authorities, but also with public opinion, which recently witnessed the fall of the former rising star, the crypto trading platform FTX. A case that caused the price of bitcoin of 20% between November 7 and 11 and brought Gary Gensler, president of Security and Exchange Commission (DRY), the American police of financial markets, to demand stronger regulation of on-chain cryptocurrencies CNBC. A hurricane in the crypto ecosystem that may delay, see the burial, the advent of the decentralized metaverse.