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Source: Сointеlеgrаph

Despite all the hype surrounding the metaverse, it’s easy to forget that it’s still in its infancy. While the term has only recently entered the mainstream public consciousness, its impact on how we interact with technology is expected to have major implications. McKinsey & Company estimates that annual global spending in the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030 in broad areas such as gaming, social media, fitness, commerce, and distance learning.

The question of how to define and create a technology with such a wide range of possibilities is in constant motion. While a number of games such as Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft have been recognized as early examples of successful metaverse platforms, a more holistic approach involves unrestricted player interaction in these games. The interaction between the platforms of the metaverse is one of the key components to consider.

A new way to communicate

Although the metaverse has only recently entered the public lexicon, this is not a new concept. The term was originally used to describe the fictional break from reality in Neil Stevenson’s “Snow Crash”. The popularity of digital entertainment has skyrocketed during the pandemic. From games like Among Us to services like Netflix Party and Zoom, the possibility of virtual communication has been very attractive to many during this deep lockdown.

Related: AI will help realize the true vision the metaverse hopes to achieve

These changes have fundamentally changed the way we communicate and work together, with the formation of strong habits of virtual communication and collaboration, an important factor in accelerating interaction with the metaverse. Virtual events such as Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert have taken a positive step forward in the development of in-game social immersion. However, the multi-platform hyper-social virtual experience has yet to hit the market.

Moderation versus censorship

Freedom, community, and cooperation are all defining characteristics of the metaverse. This requires an infrastructure that can support the transfer of sensitive metadata across various blockchain protocols, metaverse platforms, and gaming ecosystems in a combination of social networks, crypto wallets, and decentralized applications. Thus, before an interoperable metaverse introduces new business models and cross-platform capabilities, the issue of multi-chain identity and moderation needs to be addressed.

Decentralization provides an opportunity to experiment with community tactics, incentivizing certain behaviors and allowing the collective to dictate its own preferences. PubDAO, the publishing collective launched with Decrypt, is a good example of how these structures can function. Notably, it makes a clear distinction between moderation and censorship. Pubers are like-minded people, in this case writers who are vetted, taken on board, and integrated into the culture of the community.

Scaling this model up to billions of people creates problems because individual screening is not possible. Legacy social networks suffer from this problem, using shadowbans and other censorship tools to solve the problem. A common solution proposed by Web3 proponents involves algorithmic detection and incentivized moderation to counter abuse, and yet it doesn’t explain the nature of the multi-chain metaverse.

Even if this is done transparently and fairly, too much abuse will slip through the network. Using the same machinations of the infamous Tornado Cash mixer, the tool of choice for laundering 52% of non-fungible token (NFT) fraud proceeds prior to the imposition of sanctions, one could cover up the origin of offensive messages in the name of free speech. Even if the criminal got on one chain, he could jump to the next. This is not the kind of metaverse that anyone wants to inhabit.

NFTs allow tracking users across chains

A potential solution is to move moderation tools upstream. Twitter has successfully piloted such a process. By providing warning prompts before posting tweets, 9% of users urged to cancel their posts. Overall, the study concluded that there was a 6% reduction in offensive tweets as a result of this mechanism.

Number of accounts registered on Twitter by category from July to December 2021. Source: Twitter.

Implementing a metadata standard and adding decentralized identifiers (DIDs) to it can enable ethical moderation that does not impose privacy but ensures accountability. This multi-chain technical standard ensures that tokens minted on any chain can be traced back to their origin in the metaverse. NFTs can be augmented with verifiable credentials to allow platforms to grant privacy to their users and determine the conditions under which these rights will be forfeited.

Related: Get ready for the feds to start filing charges against NFT traders

More importantly, at a time when cybersecurity is becoming a bigger concern, a metadata standard will provide additional protection for individual users. Game data breaches are notoriously common, with more than half of frequent gamers being hacked according to Akamai’s 2020 report. The wealth of victims and the prevalence of in-game microtransactions make cybercriminals a lucrative target. On top of that, users tend to use the same password for different accounts, making credential stuffing a serious problem that can spread across industries.

While certainly not a panacea, an interoperable standard will go a long way in consolidating individual security needs. Web3 is configured to host an identity system that eliminates the need to store sensitive data on centralized servers, making it harder for hackers to access. In the event that personal assets are compromised, a DID-infused metadata standard would allow the entire multi-chain metaverse to be tracked.

Data standards will determine the evolution of the Internet, so it’s important that we use them correctly. Interoperability is easier to set up from the start than it is to refine it. By learning the lessons that the development of the Internet offers, we can together create a revolutionary metadata standard that promotes positive, shared techno-social experiences in Web3.

Vitek Radomsky is the CTO and co-founder of Enjin, a blockchain technology company developing next-generation NFT products. Vitek is the author of the ERC-1155 token standard, the only token standard that allows both fungible tokens and NFTs to be configured in a single smart contract.

This article is for general informational purposes and is not intended and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of .

Source: Сointеlеgrаph

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