To be viable as a place to live and do business, the metaverse will need real-world controls to protect users from abuse, fraud and loss. Regulation takes time, and is difficult to apply globally. But the builders of the metaverse can take proactive steps to create their own metacode of conduct.

The sci-fi buff in me is drawn to the idea of visiting a futuristic virtual world, where we can experience a new type of reality. But the metaverse is no longer science fiction – and the responsible adult in me can’t help but consider the threats it could pose, both to individual consumers and businesses.

If the metaverse is to be truly viable, regulators and the architects of these virtual spaces should be working now to ensure the safety of its users.

Transactional risks in the metaverse


It takes time for regulation to catch up with technological innovation, which means that currently, there is a lack of supervision over the metaverse. This concerns me on a number of fronts.

First, the currencies we exchange in virtual worlds are not real money in the traditional sense: they are either cryptocurrencies or in-game currencies like Fortnite V-Bucks. There may be accounts or wallets to store these assets in, but there is no government-backed protection from loss or fraud.

Second, the value of what we buy and sell in the metaverse is less tangible than in the real world. A non-fungible token (NFT) or piece of virtual real estate may appear to have a value, but this is not necessarily the case, nor is there a right to refund or other forms of consumer protection.


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