The metaverse has become, perhaps, the most prominent technological concept of our time. That’s why it’s easy to forget that this concept only got mainstream attention a few months ago.
Now, one of the crypto industry’s foremost metaverse projects is backing up its claim to become the industry standard even as Big Tech companies continue to swirl.
Everyone Wants the Trillion-Dollar Crown
Last month, Sebastien Borget, the co-founder and COO of The Sandbox, made a resolute statement on Twitter that encapsulated his vision about a prospective buyout by Big Tech. Replying to a question from Messari, Borget confirmed that Meta (formerly Facebook) would never buy Sandbox.
This will never happen.
— Sebastien (@borgetsebastien) June 25, 2022
The reply reinforced something that Borget has always advocated – Big Tech is welcome in the metaverse but only if they build the right way. Speaking in an interview with Blockworks last December, Borget explained that while it is impossible to stop the entry of Big Tech companies into the metaverse, their entry poses many issues for concern. These concerns made it essentially impossible for The Sandbox to acquiesce to what these large corporations wanted.
The Big Tech infiltration of the metaverse has been speedy. Microsoft announced late last year that its Mesh for Teams product would be its gateway into the metaverse. Also, the tech giant’s acquisition of gaming studio Activision Blizzard for about $70 billion immediately caused stirs that it was making massive inroads into this technological space.
Several other large companies have made metaverse plays as they hope to capture this new frontier. However, none is as prominent as Meta Inc.
The company, which was formerly known as Facebook, announced a complete brand overhaul in October 2021 as part of its mission to become the global leader in the metaverse.
At the time, Meta confirmed that it would invest billions of dollars in research and development as it looks to build out its vision for the metaverse. Even with the current economic climate, Meta’s vision remains steadfast. In fact, the company has remained resolute to keep investing in this niche, regardless of the short-term ramifications that this could cause for its bottom line.
It’s understandable that these companies would be moving quickly into the metaverse. When banking giant JPMorgan purchased vortal land in Decentraland (a sign that showed its interest in the metaverse as well), the company explained in a report that the metaverse could very well become a trillion-dollar industry.
Innovation Against the Norm
In his last interview, Borget pointed out that the interest of Big tech companies in the metaverse has been beneficial as it has created more mainstream recognition for the concept. However, as he explained, the downside to this is that there’s also a risk of “deceiving users”.
Amongst his complaints was the seeming lack of innovation from these companies. Borget explained that while the metaverse is all about doing things in a new way, a lot of these large corporations appear to simply be doing the same thing over again.
The desire to innovate and collaborate is exactly why Borget supports the “open metaverse” – a vision shared by him and several other metaverse enthusiasts in the cryptocurrency space. The Sandbox COO explained to the media outlet that they’re looking to use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to evade the current structure of the internet, ushering in the entry of Web3.
Interestingly, a lot of Big Tech companies looking to enter the metaverse also share this “open metaverse” view. Last month, Meta announced the Metaverse Standard Forum – along with other companies such as Alibaba, Sony, and Microsoft. The Forum’s objective is simple – to foster cooperation and coordination between the companies competing to lead this new frontier. However, conspicuously absent from this Forum is the “new school” – essentially, companies like Decentraland and The Sandbox, which are standing up to this growing Big Tech dominance.
Borget’s bravado in the face-off against Big Tech is undoubtedly impressive. The Sandbox is one of the most prominent brands in the metaverse, and the company could eventually become a target for any of these large corporations looking to grow its presence in the metaverse without necessarily building from the ground up.
For now, The Sandbox and other metaverse companies in the crypto space continue to build on their own. And, their users appear to appreciate their effort. The Sandbox’s SAND token is up by 30% since the day Borget’s tweet came out, while other metaverse crypto tokens – including Decentraland’s MANA and Axie Infinity’s AXS – are also trading considerably higher.
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Source: Business 2 Community
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