We are all aware of the situation with the social media companies. Over the last couple years, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all showed how dangerous they can be.
The fact they are able to close down accounts is a very dangerous thing. This, of course, can depend upon where one is located in the world. However, freedom of speech is a topic that is very important and should be held high by all. Without the ability to contest what is being said, tyranny is the result.
Nevertheless, few seem to truly care about this. There is something else, however, upcoming that is even more treacherous. How about outright thievery? Is that something that people will look the other way regarding?
People who are involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain tend to discuss the idea of gatekeepers and the elimination of them. Being in this position gives an entity enormous power. Essentially, nothing happens without its permission.
Right now, there is a lawsuit about to be tried where Epic Games is suing Apple for its practices on its platform. The fact that it took down Epic's application plus charging excess fees is being contested.
What is really going on here is that Epic does not like the control Apple can exert. It is the gatekeeper for that system, which has a huge number of users.
However, we need to be mindful, Epic seeks to be the same thing during the next phase of our technological evolution.
Both Epic and Facebook are well aware of the progress towards the Metaverse. This is something that is starting to unfold while accelerating throughout the rest of this decade. The emergence of mixed reality is the first step into making the Internet "3-D". From there, things will really begin to take off.
If one is able to control the on and off ramp, then the highway is actually controlled. That is what these entities seek to do. In this instance, Facebook is really positioning itself for massive impact.
Many are aware of the Oculus VR headsets. These are the most popular VR device out there. Facebook, which owns it, put a low price on the product in an attempt to get users. There are a lot of people who believe this is being subsidized by the company as part of a much larger plan.
To utilize the Oculus headset, one must have an active Facebook account. This is no surprise and most people will simply activate it in that manner. Here is where things will get very dangerous.
VR is going to be a realm that we see affect a significant portion of our lives. We are now moving far beyond social media. Instead, we will work, be entertained, socialize, and engage in a host of other activities. Thus, we will have a lot more riding on these activities.
Does anyone feel comfortable with Facebook assuming greater control over our lives? On the surface, this is bad. Unfortunately, it gets worse.
Keep in mind that Facebook is taking a commanding lead in the VR headset world. This is likely to continue. The challenge here is that Facebook creates a "Walled System". Basically the idea is all activity takes place behind its wall. Hence we see the permission enter the picture.
This is no different than today. Nevertheless, we need to look at the impact of things going forward. As we enter the Metaverse, our use of a Facebook account is not going to simply be for social media activities. The development of different cryptocurrency use cases is going to apply here. What is being constructed today will be used tomorrow.
Let us take an example.
Suppose one uses the headset to access a game. During the game, value is earned on a particular NFT. This is something that is made stronger due to the success of the player. Since it is a universal NFT, this means it has value outside the game itself.
It is also easily stored. Since one used the Facebook account to log in, the wallet system is standard. This is natural since it is tied to the DIEM network (and you thought that was just about having its own currency). Since the wallet system is incorporated into the Facebook account, guess where it resides.
If you said behind its wall, you are correct.
Here is the challenge: what happens when you close your Facebook account? Or worse, what happens when Facebook closes it for you?
This is the danger of gatekeepers. The cryptocurrency industry is doing a great job of building infrastructure to tear down those who exist in many industries. Yet here is another one being erected right before our eyes.
The hope is that the idea of social media and finance merging is becoming crystal clear. It is not longer about a few well followed content creators having their earnings cut. This is much bigger.
A company like Facebook can keep growing simply through technological advancement. Spending a billion dollars to acquire Oculus was a drop in the bucket. They didn't develop the technology but they will benefit from it. Plus, they will use it to control what people are able to do.
This is a situation where the company is playing 4-D chess and the regulators (as well as the public) is trying to learn checkers. It is so far out in front of what most people are aware of.
For this reason, one of the most important aspects of blockchain is to inhibit the control a company like Facebook (or Epic) is trying to amass.
There is a clear danger from the likes of Facebook and it is up to each of us to put forth effort to counter it. This is not a situation that will go away on its own.
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