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Entering the Metaverse: 4 Oct Infrachain Summit Panel

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Publié le mardi 27 septembre 2022

To dive into the metaverse join the Infrachain Summit 2022, on 4 October 2022 at d’Coque, Luxembourg. To close the event the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and Legal Hackers Luxembourg are hosting a panel discussion that will go into the practicalities of launching activities in the metaverse.

The panel “Economic and legal perspectives on the metaverse: ownership, venturing, and governance” will be at 4:30 pm, followed directly by the networking cocktail. It will be moderated by Dr. Arianna Rossi, who is a research scientist at SnT and founder of Luxembourg Legal Hackers. 

SnT’s research experts on blockchain and entrepreneurship — Prof. Gilbert Fridgen and Prof. Christian Fisch (respectively) will participate. They will discuss the metaverse and its implications with an NFT legal advisor — Laura Beatrice Zanella from Tabulia, the co-founder of a virtual assets service provider start-up — Tobias Seidl from Stokr, and the founder of the Luxembourg NFT community — Jil Haberstig. 

We sat down with Prof. Gilbert Fridgen and Prof. Christian Fisch to get some first insights into this topic.

What is the metaverse?

Prof. Fridgen: The metaverse is a combination of several state-of-the-art technologies. These include technologies related to virtual reality and 3D worlds, combined with videoconferencing, and with technologies related to digital assets and digital ownership.

What does decentralisation mean in the metaverse?

Prof. Fridgen: Some actors want to create a rather centralised version of the metaverse, like Meta, formerly known as Facebook. Others want to create a more decentralised metaverse as a successor to the decentralised internet. A key topic here is digital ownership. Some companies already sell digital goods, for example virtual sneakers. Your avatar (virtual character) in the metaverse can then wear these sneakers. Blockchain technology allows us to implement this digital ownership in a decentralised way – through ownership certificates called “non-fungible tokens” (NFTs). Each NFT is unique, so you cannot just exchange it against another NFT. The idea of this decentralised ownership approach is that everyone has control over their own property by means of NFTs.

How will web3 influence the metaverse? 

Prof. Fridgen: Web3 is the idea of creating an “internet of trust”. Some consider web3 an evolution of the current “internet of information”. Part of web3 is digital ownership. You can have trusted digital interactions with others without requiring a trusted third party, like a bank. This way, I can sell my virtual sneakers to any other person without involving some platform. Additionally, web3 allows decentralised automation through smart contracts. Smart contracts provide programming logic on the blockchain. Applications are run in a decentralised way. Smart contracts can be used to build the business logic of complete organisations called Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs).

What effect could Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) have in the metaverse?

Prof. Fisch: DAOs may be an important player in the metaverse. This could be the way metaverse business is organised. The most common use-case of DAOs is investment funds – members can vote on the DAO’s investments. In principle, however, different kinds of organisations can be set up by smart contracts. For example, members of a DAO could also vote on a product launch or the internationalization strategy of a company. The metaverse “Decentraland” is, for instance, governed by the corresponding “Decentraland DAO”, where governance decisions are made in a democratic manner.

 

The metaverse presents unlimited possibilities to create new centres of business. (Image by vectorpocket on Freepik)

 

What could governance look like in the metaverse? 

Prof. Fisch: There is a risk that the metaverse will be owned by one company that determines its governance. This depends on how the metaverse is put into practice. Perhaps we will see an open metaverse with a decentralised structure such as today's Internet. With DAOs, companies in the metaverse no longer organise in hierarchies, but the entire company is owned and governed by a group of people. Every member can participate in decision-making. With DAOs, voting would have an important role for the governance of the metaverse.

How will business change due to new opportunities in the metaverse?

Prof. Fisch: The metaverse will provide manifold business opportunities. Existing companies will enter the metaverse and adapt their business models. Other organisations will be established to operate there exclusively, making them native to the metaverse. Innovation will be driven by start-ups that bring ideas to the market, just as it is in the current economy. Blockchain can also rapidly change how metaverse companies raise funding. We are now starting to see innovative companies selling cryptocurrencies or NFTs to fund themselves, and many companies are in the planning phase to explore how the metaverse can change their business models.

Who do you think will be interested in the event?

Prof. Fridgen: The event should be of interest to decision-makers in all affected industries. These include creative industries such as marketing, but also the financial sector, especially when it comes to digital assets. Metaverse users will seek solutions to store digital assets safely, and financial institutions will be the natural place for this. Since the topic might inspire some changes in industry, our panel will also be interesting for students and policymakers.

More information about the event and registration can be found here.