The metaverse is not a futuristic concept anymore. It’s a reality.
2023 presents itself bearing advancements in the field of virtual worlds.
In the coming years, our lives will not only be defined or conditioned for what we can touch, smell or feel and neither will the way we communicate or interact with people.
If we learned something from Meta’s launch, is that reality does not have to come in a physical format anymore. Ahead of us, virtual worlds full of wonders and potential start flourishing at an incredible rate.
The last quarter of 2021, saw a boom regarding virtual land. As for now, four main real estate companies control 99% of land sales in the Metaverse. Sandbox dominates the market with three-quarters of all land sales in 2022.
These platforms allow users to buy land with NFTs value. You can create your personal Buckingham Palace and host all kinds of events there (and monetize them, of course).
Some of these decentralized worlds, built upon blockchain technologies, have their own virtual economy based on their crypto-currency, as it happens with SAND, The Sandbox’s token.
Virtual platforms will become mandatory concerning social interactions among young people. That is why we need to keep an eye on them and equip them with the necessary tools to create a virtual world that leaves no one behind; a safe place to share information, hang out and explore.
But before we do all of that, we need to ask ourselves:
Who will I be in the metaverse?
Let’s talk about identity. What makes you be you? What is that wee part of yourself that defines you? Is it a physical attribute or is it your moral compass?
One of the Metaverse’s pillars is the user’s identity. To interact with the virtual worlds, a digital representation of a real person must be used, an Avatar. If we want to protect our digital identity, we need to set up some security measures.
Europe is leading Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) policies to ensure secure electronic identification and authentication to access cross-border online platforms. SSI gives individuals control of their digital identities.
In Australia, following the Optus data breach, a national identity system will be developed to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Canberra has already established a digital identity system to streamline access to government services such as Medicare or the Tax Office.
Most SSI systems are decentralized. The information is managed using crypto wallets and verified using public-key cryptography, quite similar to the crypto-currency structure.
Security in the Metaverse
If the ultimate goal is an open and free Metaverse, we need to grant people security for their online identity. This sovereignty will give them access to and custody of their wealth and values.
To get that, we need to start developing more safety protocols to ensure the privacy of identity and digital assets. That way, users will be able to identify themselves and make transactions without revealing private data or making the platforms or governments arbiters of their identities.
Tim Sweeney’s wise words resonate today more than ever: “If one central company gains control of the Metaverse, they will become more powerful than any government, and be a god on Earth”.
But as always, the parallelism with the physical world is inevitable. We find a lot of centralised, closed and private platforms with stakeholder supremacy over user control; Platforms asking for our data and time to allow “free access” to their servers.
The legal challenges that the Metaverse face are considerable since it’s not easy making someone responsible for data processing and legal obligations, and constraints associated with the process, especially in decentralized platforms.
Some decentralized organizations or DAOs, are not subject to legal human control once they have been launched. That is the case of Decentraland, the 3D virtual world browser-based platform, which does not meet the requirement of traditional organizations with hierarchical organization and is controlled by founders and management boards.
DAOs use smart contracts, giving people the opportunity to coordinate and manage organizations through self-executing rules backed by a blockchain network, based on a programming code.
In January 2022, the European Commission proposed a Declaration on digital rights and principles for a human-centred digital transformation. This is a step forward to embracing the digital changes that the world is facing.
UnionID: Your passport to the Metaverse
At Union Avatars, we believe in the portability of virtual assets. Most of the wallets you find nowadays don’t allow free assets portability. For instance, if you buy a skin in Fortnite or a Voxel in The Sandbox it belongs to you (or so they say). But you can’t actually take your skin or avatar out of their wallets or platforms, so if the company goes broke so will your assets.
We advocate for personal data and asset ownership. We believe that the only way you can really own your assets is when you have interoperability among different platforms and wallets.
In Union Avatars, we want to help you carry in your digital wallet all sorts of identities to access the different virtual platforms, access our bank account, NFTs and crypto wallets or simply identify yourself with your virtual ID.
UnionID is your digital passport to freedom. It’s a digital identity wallet built with blockchain technology so you can manage your identity all in one place. No more splintered identities across networks. You own it and can take it with you, virtually anywhere.
Union ID allows Interoperability between third parties and platforms. This means that holders can now take their assets with them and have complete control over where they use them and which data they share with third parties.
You can buy and sell digital wearable in our digital fashion marketplace and wear it across multiple virtual worlds you want to play.
The metaverse needs to be open to user-controlled private keys and open-source wallet software. That’s why in Union Avatars we have used crypto foundations and pillars to create our open UnionID.
What are you waiting for? Create your 3D Realistic Avatar and start diving into the Metaverse!