The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOF) has just published a report on the metaverse.
Providing a foundation for understanding its potential and a vision for an Open Metaverse
The EUBOF report, coordinated by the Institute of the Future (IFF) at the University of Nicosia, explains what is the metaverse and why it has generated so much debate lately. It also explains the technological drivers that have made it possible and its potential use cases, before providing a vision for a future characterized by open, user-owned, and interoperable virtual worlds, also known as Open Metaverse.
While it is still too early to draw definitive conclusions on the desirable, let alone the commercially successful or the social optimal characteristics of metaverses, the report concludes that the metaverse is both already here and still far away. Most people already spend much time interacting with other people over digital channels, so much so, that at times they might rightly feel that they live more in the digital than in the physical sphere. At the same time, though, the kind of immersive and persistent experiences implied in full-blown definitions of the metaverse (where users wear headsets or other devices to embed themselves in wholly virtual or AR worlds populated by other, similarly immersed, users) are quite a few years away - if they are ever realised at scale.
The report finds six important characteristics for the metaverse: three technology-focused ones (photorealism, immersiveness and persistence) and three governance-focused ones (data ownership, openess, and censorship resistance).
Finally, the report calls for Europe to lead a global debate toward policies that provide a fair foundation and equal opportunities for private companies and decentralised communities alike, to build the open metaverse(s) of tomorrow.
The Institute of the Future (IFF) of the University of Nicosia has led the scientific team producing the report, which, further to EUBOF partners, included notable contributors such as Jeff Bandman, Iwona Karasek, Stefan Loesch, Andres Chomczyk Penedo, Sergio Gonzalez-Miranda, Inigo More, Ismael Arribas, Alexi Anania, Jolanda ter Maten, and Daniel Szego.
Professor George Giaglis, IFF’s Executive Director stated: “The metaverse is a technology-driven shift leading to generalized and significant changes and new opportunities globally, across norms, disciplines, cultures, or other barriers. It is inevitable and as such it is of the utmost importance for Europe to leverage the potential of the metaverse and establish itself as the most important player worldwide. We are proud to have collaborated with the European Commission and our partners at EUBOF to publish a report that contributes to emerging debates about the metaverse and challenges readers to think about the road ahead. In the near future, we hope to see more business or community driven initiatives like UNIC’s Open Metaverse Initiative, in Europe and beyond”.
To read and download the full report, please click here