Apple’s Metaverse Entry: Mass Adoption Boon or Decentralization Threat?

Sunlit metaverse scene, sleek VR headset, contrasting excitement and apprehension, energetic yet apprehensive atmosphere, digital assets floating around, interconnected virtual landscape, looming shadows of tech influence, balance between user control and corporate guidelines.

The metaverse seemed to be dying down, but Apple has just breathed new life into it with the announcement of its Vision Pro headset. Although Apple didn’t mention the terms “metaverse” or “blockchain” during its presentation, enthusiasts within Web3 circles couldn’t miss the implications. Despite the fact that Apple is following Meta into virtual reality, the reaction from the metaverse community is quite different.

When Meta rebranded from Facebook and invested billions into metaverse projects, it was met by hostility from decentralization proponents. However, Apple’s foray into the space has been welcomed by the same advocates, who see it as a positive development toward mass adoption of the metaverse. Brian Evans, who runs Web3 venture studio BDE, suggests that Apple’s involvement will bring digital assets and Web3 technology to households worldwide.

Other open metaverse proponents, such as Sebastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox metaverse game, are equally excited about Apple’s entrance into the space. The consensus among these advocates is that better hardware is essential for an open metaverse based on interoperable digital assets living on the blockchain.

On the other hand, there’s a concern that Apple’s dominant role in metaverse hardware could empower the company to control the degree of decentralization allowed within this new virtual arena. Apple already imposes a 30% tax on NFT transactions in iOS applications. Given its history with cryptocurrencies, the metaverse may face similar challenges if Apple decides to establish certain guidelines or restrictions in its forthcoming visionOS App Store.

To maintain decentralization, some Web3 metaverse builders like Justin Mellilo, co-founder of Monaverse, are ensuring that their platforms don’t become Apple-exclusive. One possible outcome is that the popularity of Apple’s Vision Pro headset pushes the company to embrace Web3 technology and digital asset ownership more willingly.

While Apple’s entrance into the metaverse rekindles excitement, it also implies greater control by the tech giant over the decentralized nature of the immersive internet. Will Apple’s growing influence in spatial computing force Web3 advocates to make concessions to ensure the metaverse’s future success? Or will Apple recognize the importance of user-controlled digital assets as it ventures deeper into this new world? Only time will tell how the relationships between Apple, the metaverse, and decentralization will unfold, as the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds continue to blur.

Source: Decrypt

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