Mark Zuckerberg made waves recently when he rebranded Facebook as “Meta” and announced his perusal of a unified metaverse. A somewhat strange shift in priorities, Zuckerberg’s announcement rightfully met with skepticism and derision – Facebook long ago lost the public trust. Yet, most people do not direct their negative outlook at their capacity to create such a digital world. Rather, the larger digital community does not want Facebook involved at all, due to its openly malevolent nature.
A similar problem came about with Facebook’s acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus. Although the increased capital allowed Oculus to thrive, it came with a catch – forcing users onto the Facebook platform. As a plus for the blockchain industry, the injection of Facebook into the metaverse conversation instantly buoyed many tangentially related coins. While the metaverse may be inevitable, a decentralized, cryptocurrency-driven version would be much preferred over the dystopian nightmare Zuckerberg plans.
Facebook’s Technological Crusade
This is not the first time that Facebook has encroached on emerging technologies. Diem, a cryptocurrency designed by Facebook for use on their platform, drew intense government scrutiny since its inception. Previously known as Libra, the coin uses a basket of assets to maintain stability – with multiple uses throughout the Facebook ecosystem. Although setback considerably by targeted regulations across the globe, the project continues to develop and may soon see the light of day.
Alongside the Metaverse and Oculus, Diem is yet another attempt by Facebook to seize control of an arm of the tech sector. Unlike most tech companies, which operate at a neutral to ambivalent level, Facebook’s blatant bad faith actions make this an unpleasant future at best, or downright terrifying at worst.
The metaverse concept drives several cryptocurrency projects – including Decentraland (MANA) and Sandbox (SAND). As such, both saw marked increases in the aftermath of Facebook’s announcement. Decentraland – a decentralized, virtual world that allows users to build and invest in digital real estate – spiked 400% as “Meta” brought the metaverse concept to a mainstream audience.
Sandbox is a more recent development that focuses more on gamifying the metaverse. They too saw an increase of nearly 400% following Zuckerberg’s announcements. It also helped secure $93 million in a recent funding round, which will hopefully help develop a stiff competition to Facebook’s Meta. Finally, one of the more established presences in the crypto space, Enjin Coin announced plans to develop their metaverse project – roughly in line with their previous goals of integrating digital currency with disparate gaming platforms.