Countries such as Russia have been putting new laws into place that are splintering the internet. Despite the rise of this ‘splinternet’, HTC is moving forward with its plans to create an open metaverse.
When people hear the word metaverse, they often think of blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrency. However, according to China President of HTC, Alvin Graylin, these technologies will not be necessary for the metaverse. The metaverse is the next phase of the internet in which users will interact in virtual reality via avatars.
Graylin feels that decentralized cryptocurrencies will play a lesser role in the future of the global economy than digital fiat currency.
“Governments will realize soon — as the Chinese government has realized — the potential dangers of losing control over one’s sovereign currencies by not regulating cryptocurrencies. Then governments will want to reclaim control over it,” Graylin told Forbes.
Envisioning HTC’s VIVERSE
HTC unveiled its plans for its metaverse, the VIVEVERSE, back in February. The Viverse will be an open metaverse, which HTC plans to make accessible to consumers throughout the globe. More recently, HTC announced the VIVE wallet and VIVE Bytes as additional components of the upcoming metaverse.
HTC plans to work with a plethora of game engines to develop a platform where anyone can create content. The tech company also contributes to the OpenXR consortium, a nonprofit organization that aims to create uniform standards for XR devices to ensure compatibility.
While Meta’s Horizon Worlds is an early metaverse contender, “an open and accessible interoperable metaverse will absolutely win in the long term,” according to Graylin. “Companies that choose to be in a closed environment or create a walled garden may see short-term success, but they will likely be disappointed in the long run.”
While the Chinese XR market is currently saturated with competing hardware developers, HTC isn’t concerned.
“Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of real innovation originating from some of these local Chinese companies these days,” Graylin told Forbes. “Some just don’t have the scale, the internal research and development or design capabilities needed to innovate.”
As of now, it appears that the U.S and Chinese metaverses will not share connectivity. However, HTC believes this will change over time. “China will likely use CBDC (e-CNY) and DDC (Distributed Digital Certificates), while cryptocurrencies and NFTs will be used in the west. That’s going to keep China’s ecosystem fairly closed in the near term. But longer-term, there may be a translation layer that vendors will create to allow interoperability among different virtual worlds globally.”