The Metaverse and the Web3: Two Closely Related Concepts

Currently, the Metaverse and the Web3 are topics of most interest. If the two concepts are a big blur to some, the big names of Silicon Valley, for their part, are investing more and more in them. What are the challenges of these technologies? What binds them? We make an inventory.

Metaverse and Web3: what are we talking about?

Let’s start by defining these two elements. The Metaverse is a term coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel “Snow Crash”. In his book he describes a futuristic world based on virtual reality. Today, the Metaverse is mainly defined as: a fully immersive 3D environment where individuals would communicate with each other, as well as avatars as if they were real. The goal is to allow users to play, socialize, meet new people and even work in dedicated 3D spaces.

The concept of Web3 is more recent. It refers to a decentralized version of the internet, after Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. This would give internet users the ability to control and protect their data without intermediaries and thereby process information more intelligently.

Web 3.0 and Metaverse: two complementary concepts

The two concepts are closely related. At one point they were even the subject of a common name, that of Web 3.0, the third major version of the Internet. These two technologies, combined with artificial intelligence and big data, could be the pillars of the internet of tomorrow. In fact, they could allow users to enjoy more real interactions and access online services in a completely autonomous way.

Take the example of travel. The Metaverse and Web3 could make it possible to go to the other side of the world without leaving home. In addition, the entertainment industry could become even more interactive. The size of a concert hall would no longer matter. Fans could move freely there and evolve closer to the artists. Movies and TV shows can become a form of Metaverse in their own right. Individuals could virtually immerse themselves in it and experience extraordinary experiences.

And French companies in all this?

Faced with the media frenzy experienced by the Metaverse and Web3, it’s interesting to ask what French companies think. A study by Sortlist examined the topic in March 2022. Of the 200 companies surveyed that have already invested in the Metaverse, it appears that the technology in its current state is mostly targeted at men (64%), high-growth companies (60%) and Generation Z (55%). Otherwise, 26% of brands expect to see a return on investment in the Metaverse, while 17% expect to collect data. 68% of the brands surveyed believe the device will take off in the next 5 years, and 55% believe it is a risky but worthwhile investment.

In addition, 92% of companies revealed that the pandemic had accelerated their investments in Metaverse. It should be noted that a second survey, this time with the general public, found that: 54% of people are not ready to trust a possible virtual world. Admittedly, the economic model is promising on paper, but doubts remain, especially in the areas of cybersecurity, the protection of personal data or the loss of value to mental health. To be continued…

(Photo credit: iStock)

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