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What government officials should know and do about the Metaverse?

Gavel and coins on top of open book with BSV Blockchain logo

In its current iteration, the Metaverse exists as little more than a fanciful abstraction. With large players such as the Facebook consortium rebranding to ‘Meta’ to push hype for the Metaverse, many other players within the industry have begun putting forth their Metaverse aspirations as well.

Most of these companies, however, have significantly fewer resources at their disposal to solve the inherent challenges which need to be overcome to create a functional implementation of the Metaverse.

As such, government and regulatory bodies need to be aware of the current vapourware status of the Metaverse and how to manage enthusiastic Metaverse zealots so as for them not to dupe the retail investors.

Taxation, securities, anti-money-laundering legislation and financial regulatory bodies with a purview of these domains, have had their work cut out for them to keep up with the proliferation of platforms and projects in the blockchain industry.

Many of these projects have capitalised on this dearth of regulatory clarity to recycle and rebrand past scams and immoral ventures.

This has been done to the detriment of many naive people that have succumbed to the promises of yields, digital property rights, and the mantra of decentralisation in general.

It is the responsibility of regulators to weigh up both sides of the issue so as not to stifle innovation, but also, to protect people from losing lots of money in an easy-to-access speculative economy.

Government and regulatory bodies should be able to hold individuals and corporate entities to account for their false promises, failure to meet existing obligations for compliance with money laundering directives or other such regulations and simply scamming people out of their private equity.

Metaverse without the BSV blockchain is ‘fake news’

As far as can be seen from the technological stacks underwriting the aspiring Metaverse contenders, currently, there is effectively zero chance that a Metaverse reality can be brought into a material form on any other carrier technology than the BSV blockchain.

This places a significant challenge upon the regulatory bodies as the framework they create for promoting innovation and exciting new markets needs to have the substance to keep dishonest and irresponsible actors from causing economic harm with their deceitful or negligent offerings.

The BSV Blockchain Association has taken a proactive approach by meeting with governments, and regulatory bodies and developing technical standards with enterprises to ensure they can meet their obligations for compliance like the ‘Travel Rule’ requirement under the anti-money laundering directives.

Additionally, patent pools have been set up with membership plans that ensure intellectual property rights are honoured and that licensing and compliance are an intrinsic part of the BSV society.

The blockchain R&D company nChain has contributed a majority of the patents toward that patent pool, wherein many of which are essential to realising any of the Metaverse dreams.

It is interesting to note that an alliance of incumbent enterprises such as Twitter and Meta have launched legal action against the inventor of much of this intellectual property to both remove his right to profit from his inventions, as well as bring the intellectual property solutions they would need to create a Metaverse into their portfolios (though they claim it is in the interest of opening the patents to everyone).

In the not-too-distant future, the resolution to these legal challenges could disambiguate the rights to these various inventions which in turn could lead to a huge fallout in these industry incumbents for their intellectual property theft.

A recently announced patent retroactively granted to nChain in 2016 puts the Ethereum Non-Fungible Token standard (EIP-721) in violation of the patent and as such anyone involved in deploying that technology for commercial purposes can be held liable for damages.

To mitigate the fallout from such enforcement, the BSV Blockchain Association and sCrypt have developed a Transpiler for migrating the Solidity codebase of any Ethereum projects to native bitcoin script such that they can continue their business operations on a technological substrate that scales, and has consistently low fees and is under the protection of the Open BSV licence for the intellectual property.

Other such initiatives are being developed to allow those that want, to port over before the enforcement takes place.

In this respect alone, there is zero chance of a Metaverse reality being underwritten by the Ethereum blockchain if their NFT functionality is removed because deploying it exposes a developer or issuer to the unlimited liability of damages.

This is not to mention the extreme technological limitations and lack of scalability of the Ethereum platform.

Therefore, government officials and regulators need to keep an extremely close eye on any Metaverse operator who claims an Ethereum-based Metaverse. Similarly, if Twitter or other social media giants are unsuccessful in their efforts to free up some of the nChain patents which are highly likely, then they will be forced to engage in their own R&D processes as nChain has been doing for the last 6 to 8 years and even then, without the First Mover advantage.

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