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What will the metaverse be like in 2022?

Animoca Brands chairman Yat Siu sees a mass migration to the ‘open metaverse’ while the ‘closed’ ones will fail. What does this godfather of blockchain gaming mean by that?

Welcome to Forkast Forecasts 2022. In this series, leaders, innovators and visionaries in blockchain-related fields tell Forkast.News their predictions for the year ahead.

Yat Siu

Yat Siu is founder and chairman of blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands, which is headquartered in Hong Kong. Siu, a pioneer in the gaming industry, began his career at Atari Germany in the early 1990s. In Hong Kong, where he resides now, he established the first free web-page and email provider in Asia with his Cybercity/Freenation in 1995. Siu is also founder and CEO of white-label software-as-a-service provider Outblaze. 

Predictions for 2022

Mass metaverse migration

“When Facebook announced that they’re going to be Meta and sort of be the metaverse — even though their metaverse is not one that is powered by blockchain or maybe one that is truly open — people are now becoming aware. When you think about the whole graph of adoption, we’re at the early adopter cycle, but we’re very, very rapidly moving up that cycle. Even among non-financial circles, you have people talking about the potential of the metaverse. So from that perspective, we’re now going to go from millions of users that are in the space [and] we’re going to shoot — in my perspective — way past tens of millions. In 2022 we’ll be in the hundreds of millions of users, essentially, in the open metaverse through blockchain.”

There will be no winner in the metaverse conquest

“I don’t think it’s going to be a winner takes all. I don’t think there’s going to be one. In fact, it would be rather depressing if there was one, because then it means that it would impact things like choice, diversity, inclusion. All these things would struggle and suffer if there was only one such environment. The big thing around all of these comes from one major paradigm as far as we’re concerned, which is actual true digital ownership. If you can have actual safe and secure property rights in the digital space, no matter which chain you’re on or which metaverse you’re on, then from there, the foundation can be built for what we consider is the true metaverse and the kind of societies that actually have real property in the sense that they can be safe and secure, allow for the construction of new businesses and new innovations to sort of innovate on top.”

Digital ownership will determine what an open metaverse will be

“That, to me, is the big promise of the open metaverse — which is that we can construct exactly the same way we live in the physical world — in terms of innovation and ideas and creation of new things — because I happen to own ‘this’ and that ownership is secure and proven. So, that’s what the open metaverse is about. The closed metaverse that some companies are trying to build are absolutely not doing that, and we think ultimately they will fail. But obviously, I think that is going to be a big theme in the coming years, where there’s going to be those who will try to build the closed metaverse and then everyone else — by companies like ourselves — that are trying to build the open metaverse.