We are witnessing the rise of metanations (i.e., digitally native nations, not nation states that are trying to be digital). The first instance of which is Facebook Meta. The newer term emerging is the metaverse, which will eventually refer to the collection of emerging digitally native constructs, such as digital identity, digital currency and non-fungible tokens . We’re not there yet, but many are seeing the trajectory where metanations, like Facebook will have metacitizens, who will have metarights to interact and transact in this new space. This is not science fiction, but is becoming a reality and the fronts are opening up on identity, currency, rights and property that exist within these digital realms but also touch upon the real world.
So what’s the imperative for us as real people and governments? To make sure that these realms are as open and inclusive as possible. Personally for me, I don’t want to have a future where certain metacitizens can exert their metarights in an unfair way within the real world; the chosen few getting to the front of the line for everything.
But we can’t just regulate and outlaw — we need to counter in an open fashion. We need open identity, open currency, open payments, and open rights
Where I am seeing the battle shape up most clearly is in the open payments space, specifically the Lightning Network. I am sure as part of Facebook’s play, they will introduce their own currency, Diem, that can only be used within their own metaverse according to their own rules. Honestly, I don’t believe we can counter this as governments and regulators, we need support open approaches such as the Lightning Network. A great backgrounder article by Nik Bhatia, author of Layered Money, here