Metaverse: a new revolution is coming
Metaverse, the revolution changing the world, will modify all the business sectors, primarily the law, which will react late.
The metaverse, the blockchain revolution and cryptocurrencies have been among the most popular topics nowadays.
In our particular analysis, Metaverse has been a trending emerging technology, especially popular, since Facebook changed its name to Meta on 29 October and its $10 billion investment by 2021.
However, what is the metaverse, and why has it become so popular lately?
It is a set of interconnected three-dimensional virtual worlds in which people anywhere can socialise in real-time to form a persistent, user-owned Internet economy that spans the digital and physical worlds.
Concepts depicted in films such as "The Matrix" (1999) or "Ready Player One" (2018) are now becoming a future reality, laying the foundations for a true revolution, whether in e-commerce, media and entertainment, or even real estate. Imagine organising a business meeting as if you were in the office, visualising the floor plan of a property as if you were inside it, or immersing yourself in the paintings of an art exhibition; all this and more are the infinite possibilities offered by this new generation of internet (Web 3.0).
Where we are now, and when it will be fully operational?
We are still in a very embryonic phase, but the first approaches to the metaverse have already taken place through the console, mobile or PC videogame.
In addition to the case of Facebook (now Meta), other leading technology companies have been studying other possibilities. The own NVIDIA has been working with several companies since last year. The CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, recently confirmed the company's plans to create its metaverse to, among other things, test robots and autonomous vehicles before implementing them into the physical world.
Other notable cases include Disney, which intends to create a metaverse inspired by Disneyland.
Nike wants to make virtual shop windows, avatar equipment and new products in the metaverse.
Even Barbados's government bought a virtual land and opened the first virtual embassy in history.
A recent report published by Grayscale, a digital asset manager and currently the most prominent cryptocurrencies and emerging technologies investment fund, points to the metaverse as a one trillion opportunity.
This report (Grayscale_Metaverse_Report_Nov2021.pdf) was produced after parcels of virtual land within two cryptocurrency-based metaverses (Axie Infinity and Decentraland) were sold for more than two million. It also highlights that the rate of active metaverse users has increased from 2020 to June 2021, and the growth is exponential. Many leading technology companies will need to start exploring the metaverse world to remain competitive.
The combination of 5G, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Blockchain, together with the possibility of asset tokenisation and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), means many implications in the own legal world.
It has already been stated that in the metaverses, all kinds of transactions will be possible, and not for insignificant amounts, and not only that but also to carry out real estate projects;
Would it be possible to constitute a mortgage on a metaverse land? And to lease it? And to create real rights over the land?
In other metaverses, the community can vote to make decisions adopted by the majority, but:
What kind of voting will be possible in the metaverse?
Will the majority be able to impose its will? What control mechanisms, if any, will there be?
Other unknowns arise from the premise that in metaverses, it is envisaged that people can work, in which case the corresponding labour regulations must be complied with; but what should a virtual workplace be like, would it be possible to inspect it, how would compliance with the rules, contracts and working conditions be controlled?
Finally, decentralised finance (Defi), or the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment or consideration for a service, must be added to the equation.
These are just some of the details of a present challenge. The future of the metaverse is already here to change the world.
Finally, we will have to see what will be the approach of the governments.
As it happened in the case of cryptocurrencies, the potential of these technologies cannot be forbidden or limited if the majority of the population wants this to happen. In legal words or Roman law as “costume contra legem”. This means that no politician will stop it if the people wish to this world.
As we already posted in the past, Andorra is a great country for starts up and developers in this emerging world. The Government wants to promote this and the country does not have the limitations of land, as would happen in other sectors. We, as lawyers experts in emerging technologies, are continuisly reviewing what is going on and we can certainly help to entrepreneurs to set up their business in a very nice country with the right enviroment to work in this sector very tax friendly
Please, book a virtual consultation for further information.