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Vitalik Buterin says Meta will “misfire” — all you need to know

Vitalik Buterin says Meta will “misfire” — all you need to know

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By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin said that he believes that, while the Metaverse will happen, existing attempts by corporations to develop Web3 are not "going anywhere". He also went on to state that Facebook's initiatives will "misfire."

Over the weekend, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin made some bold claims regarding the future of the Metaverse and the companies building within this space, including Facebook. He believes that, while the Metaverse will happen, existing attempts by corporations to develop Web3 are not "going anywhere". He also went on to state that Facebook's initiatives will "misfire."
His comments are part of a Twitter discussion with Dean Eigenmann, a blockchain auditor and the Co-Founder of Swiss capital enterprise, Dialectic. Eigenmann cited the current funding model of Metaverse firms as a barrier to progress.
"I've been struggling for quite some time to formulate how I think about the "Metaverse," all the ideas on concepts make sense, communities are moving to virtual worlds etc., but I still do not believe it will happen in the ways VCs are currently funding," he said in a tweet.
Buterin responded to his tweet, saying, "The "metaverse" is going to happen, but I don't think any of the existing corporate attempts to intentionally create the metaverse are going anywhere."
These are bold statements, given that Web3 projects received the largest chunk of VC funding in the second quarter of 2022. Therefore, it's unsurprising that Buterin's response was shared several times.
Hundreds of other users also joined the discussion, and Buterin replied to one of them, saying, "we don't really know the definition of "the Metaverse" yet. It's far too early to know what people actually want. So, anything Facebook creates now will misfire."
Facebook is betting big on Web3; it's evident from the Meta rebranding and the purchase of the virtual reality company Occulus. However, the social media giant has taken a lot of flak over the years, and Buterin is not the only one to doubt its progress.
In December 2021, a month after Facebook changed its name to Meta, Yat Siu, Chairman and Co-Founder of Animoca Brands, aired her doubts regarding the company and its future.
Speaking on a panel at the Reuters Next conference, Siu labelled Meta as a 'fake Metaverse'. "It's just Disneyland. It's a beautiful place to be, but we probably don't want to really live there. It's not the kind of place where we can actually build a business," she said.
Incidentally, Animoca Brands was the most active VC in Q2, with over 64 total deals across the Web3, NFT, CeFi and DeFi sectors.
Hurdle after hurdle for Meta
The company has been met with several setbacks ever since its Meta rebranding. For instance, in February 2022, the company called it quits on its cryptocurrency project Diem. Then in July, Meta announced that it would be shutting down its digital wallet service, Novi, by September this year. Both these projects would have played a vital role in the company's Metaverse endeavours.
What's worse is that Facebook Reality Labs (FRL), Meta's virtual and augmented reality (VR, AR) division, has been posting losses since 2021. Last year, FRL reported a loss of $10.2 billion on revenue of $2.3 billion. This year, the company has reported losses of $2.96 billion and $2.81billion in Q1 and Q2 of 2022, respectively. The company also expects further losses in Q3.
Mark Zuckerberg's Metaverse dreams took another hit last month when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against Meta, blocking its acquisition of virtual reality company, Within. FTC's statement suggests that Meta is trying to establish a monopoly in the metaverse by buying technologies and companies instead of growing on its own.
Conclusion
Facebook has been the only great success for Zuckerberg. All his other endeavours, thus far, have been failures — they have either been shut down or continue to make losses. And now, he has decided to venture into virtual reality. More than that, he's put the entire company behind the metaverse. If Buterin is right and Meta does miss fire, it could be the biggest flop in the history of the internet.
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