In a speech in Brussels today, Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Commissioner for Competition and Digital Affairs, outlined her hopes to foster fair competition within metaverses. Highlighting how quickly the digital economy has expanded during the coronavirus pandemic, Vestager warned that while these new opportunities should be celebrated, “dominance, entrenched positions, and abuses have been the norm.” She believes regulatory bodies must act quickly to anticipate and plan for these changes, noting that markets will always move faster than any enforcement or legislative measures.
In May, the European Commission is set to release an “initiative on virtual worlds” to protect smaller competitors from being obstructed by larger online companies like Meta. This may also include a policy for a digital euro and further raise concerns about discrimination and safety issues within the metaverse. However, the EU has already addressed these issues to create a fair and safe environment.
Open Metaverse Alliance advocates for true digital ownership
The metaverse is an ambitious vision of online interactions that combines 3D environments, AR/VR, and digital ownership. Major technology companies such as Microsoft, Meta, Roblox, and Epic Games have already started developing their platforms for the metaverse. However, most do not allow users to move their digital assets across different platforms. In response, the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3) advocates for an interoperable blockchain-based network of metaverse platforms. This would enable users to maintain ownership and transferability of their digital assets, including NFT avatars, virtual property, and items.
In 2021, OMA3 was founded by prominent partners in the Web3 space, such as Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, The Sandbox, Decentraland, Alien Worlds, and Upland. At NFT Paris, The Sandbox’s COO and co-founder Sebastien Borget emphasized the need for users to have genuine digital ownership of their content. He stated that users are true owners of their avatars, wearables, equipment, land, house, and the content they create or earn from engaging in activities. In addition, Borget mentioned that 95% or even 100% of all revenue generated is attributed to the user’s contribution to the project.