By Eli Waldman
Senior Customer Success Manager
The metaverse has been called the third phase of the internet. It promises to be a digital utopia where people can interact in real-time but without the boundaries imposed by social media platforms or other limitations. The vision of the metaverse is to bring people together directly with unregulated, peer-to-peer networks and communication.
It can be hard to absorb the reality of the metaverse. How is it different from the present digital world, with social media, video conferencing, and real-time communication?
A Brave New World of Connectivity and Interaction
High-tech experts have been talking about the metaverse for years, but the average consumer may have first encountered the term when Mark Zuckerberg renamed “Facebook” as “Meta” in order to refer to this next phase of digital reality.
The term “metaverse” was actually coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. The future is more important than the origins of the term. The metaverse deals with the fact that most of us are spending more and more time online, and the vision of metaverse is to create a nearly continually connected world where we can socialize, work, earn and trade.
But don’t we do that already? Yes, but the metaverse will integrate these elements so that people can interact directly and not constantly have to deal with gatekeepers in the form of platforms and regulations.
This means that, theoretically, people will no longer need to keep a record of a dozen individual passwords, but can use a single avatar that will define them and give them access to all of their data at once. There will be no need to log in, log out and deal with approvals.
As Coinbase describes it on its blog, “Unlike today’s internet, there won’t just be one metaverse. There will be many metaverses, and they’ll be interconnected. That’s why it will be important for any metaverse to be trustless — meaning people can interact directly without going through an intermediary — and permissionless — meaning anyone can participate without authorization from a governing body.”
This may sound exciting until one considers that these governing bodies and regulators are instituted for the good of the consumer. In addition, occasionally cumbersome processes, such as two-step identification can keep people and their data safer. Keeping information and activity compartmentalized on various platforms distributes risk, data that can help people recoup their losses in many cases.
So will the metaverse keep us safer or make us more vulnerable online?
Downsides and Dangers
While it’s not raining on the metaverse parade, it is important to consider the implications of the internet without boundaries. The media and tech experts have already expressed concern about this combination of a Brave New World and the Wild Wild West without a sheriff. The following are some additional points to consider when pondering the possibilities of the Metaverse.
Lack of Regulation
Coinbase’s quote about the metaverse employing the words “trustless” and “permissionless” may strike a nerve with those involved in dealing with cryptocurrency schemes. Cryptocurrency promised to provide more freedom and flexibility for transactions without the “headache” of banking regulations and government oversight.
As a result, it can be conceded that bitcoin and other digital currencies have simplified transactions while, at the same time, complicating them, especially if things go wrong. The pseudo-anonymous and unregulated nature of the blockchain are partly responsible for the 1000% increase in cryptocurrency schemes in 2021.
This is not a reason to stay away from the metaverse, but it is a good justification for approaching it with caution.
Cyber Scams Hiding as Gaming
Although metaverse proponents explain it is neither gaming nor virtual reality, it is likely to use gaming technology and resemble it. Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged that gaming is a good analogy for the metaverse because it provides an “immersive experience.”
Already gaming companies are manufacturing hardware for the metaverse, and those who understand the principles of gaming are likely to be the first to arrive at the metaverse.
However, one disturbing analogy with gaming is its link to the incidence of cybercrime. According to a report by The New Republic, video games are a haven for cybercriminals, including money launderers, and, in some cases, fraudsters who are hiding stolen money or those funneling funds to terrorist groups.
Many games use their own tokens, much like cryptocurrency, but there is little-to-no oversight about where the money converted into gaming currency actually comes from. Gaming can also provide a cover for scams and criminal activity, much like the metaverse could as it develops.
A Simplified Identification and Hacking
It is not clear how the seamless experience provided by the metaverse will keep users secure. It may be a pain to constantly log in and log out of accounts we hold now, but the clunkiness at times can keep people out.
If identification is simplified into an avatar, what would prevent a hacker from counterfeiting it and getting not just into a single bank account, but accessing a person’s entire reality at once. Identity theft is likely to become more comprehensive and devastating in the metaverse than it is now.
Staying Safe in the Metaverse
While all of these concerns are not meant to dampen enthusiasm for innovation, these potential problems are important to consider. Professionals who are adept at investigating cybercrime and crypto frauds are tackling the problems of the metaverse and will be on hand to assist clients who are recovering from identity theft or need to track down their funds on the blockchain.
Contact MyChargeBack Professionals for Fund Recovery Assistance Today!
If you are involved in a broker dispute, need to make a chargeback claim, or have lost money to a cryptocurrency scheme, talk to us right away. Consult with MyChargeBack experts and get started with your fund recovery claim. We have extensive knowledge and working relationships with law enforcement authorities and regulators, as well as the dynamics of crypto recovery, and can improve your prospects of getting your cryptocurrency back.