EU favors decentralization of Metaverse, Meta disagrees

EU and Meta officials expressed divergent views on the decentralization of the metaverse at a roundtable discussion with officials from Meta, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

Earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed interest in exploring new digital opportunities and trends, such as metavers, in the coming years.

While EU officials who spoke at the roundtable believe that decentralizing metavers is in everyone’s interest, the social media giant is pushing the idea of a unified metaverse.

An argument for centralization

In its bid to gain first-mover advantage in the metaverse space, Meta has maintained its commitment to the space. Despite a $3.7 billion loss in the third quarter of 2022, Meta’s head of European business, Aura Salla, said the company still wants to hire up to 10,000 employees in Europe to work on the metaverse.

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The announcement is at odds with Meta’s decision to announce a hiring freeze in September and lay off thousands of employees this month.

According to Salla, “Our economy, our consumers, our customers will benefit if we focus on creating a single governance.“While reaffirming that a centralized Metaverse is not for Meta alone, Salla noted that cooperation with businesses, stakeholders, creators, and policymakers is necessary for the future of the metaverse.

An argument for decentralizing the Metaverse

In contrast, a member of the EC’s Digital Transformation Unit, Joachim Schwerin, noted that centralization would kill creativity in the metaverse space. “Whatever approach we arrive at, we cannot arrive at a centralized approach“, Schwerin argued. Instead, Schwerin argued for multiple solutions, as the gaming world does.

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Similarly, Eva Kaili, a member of the European Parliament, noted that centralization would only create gatekeepers in the new digital world represented by the metaverse. “It is essential to ensure that people will have full power over their digital lives, the data they share and the content they produce“, she said.

A growing market

According to a report by Global Market Insights, the metaverse market will contribute about $500 billion to the digital economy by 2028. For now, the technology is still in its infancy and its approach remains unclear.

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