Metaverse? Things to consider moving forward…

"Kyle Kondas MFA Show at the Metaverse Gallery in Second Life" by Dean Terry is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

What is Metaverse?

Metaverse is not a new idea. In fact, it is a concept that has been around for decades in books and movies. However, this concept no longer only exists in sci-fi movies and in our imagination. The focus of over 160 companies around the world has been contributing to the creation of this utopian virtual world. The idea has accelerated enduring the recent COVID-19 pandemic, where virtual interactions have become increasingly prominent in our day-to-day lives (Ara et al., 2022). From zoom conferencing to virtual realities, everybody is gravitating towards some sort of virtual activity. Picturing the metaverse in our current day and age of digitalisation may be a similar experience to when debating about the internet in the 1960s. In short, the current stage of the metaverse may be conceptually defined as “the migration of various parts of the human experience from the physical world to an increasingly immersive virtual world.” (Ara et al., 2022).

Everything Facebook revealed about the Metaverse in 11 minutes” by CNET. All rights reserved. Retrieved from:

Metaverse and web 2.0? What are the differences? 

The concept of metaverse may be viewed as a natural evolution of the internet. In the earliest Web 1.0, viewers are predominantly passive consumers of digital content on the internet. In Web 2.0– our current age of the internet, a focus on user-generated content has been emphasised and encouraged. The users have gained significant autonomy in creating content on the internet, and have enormous power to lead, influence and shape fellow netizens’ views. Web 3.0 is visioned to be built upon a decentralised network without intermediaries, and assetising digital content through specific digital ownership frameworks for users will be a big part of the metaverse (Ara et al., 2022). Despite having a seemingly utopian ideal, the metaverse is not free of risks and criminals. A fully self-regulating and decentralised gigantic organism like the metaverse will need real-world interventions and controls for it to be a safe and secure futuristic cyberplace to do business and as well as owning personal assets in (Boyd, 2022). Regulations towards abuse and fraud need to be closely implemented and monitored to best protect the cybersafety for users of web 3.0 (Boyd, 2022).

“Bitcoin under pressure” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

What are the risks? 

Unregulated currencies: 

Since conventional electronic cash is nearly always maintained by a central body, this body has the capacity to trace down, freeze, or even cancel transactions with the authority’s permission or at the participant’s request when network issues or concerns with a specific transaction develop. However, because cryptocurrencies are based on a decentralised network and are dependent on their own network and community rather than any central authority, there is no government-backed guarantee against loss when fraud occurs.


Legality and consumer protection for digital assets: 

Laws and systems of legal tender govern conventional electronic money in the majority of countries. However, since cryptocurrencies are fully decentralised, the ones used in the metaverse like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not yet recognised as legal tender in the majority of countries. It should be emphasised that a lack of legal entities may result in confusion and the loss of assets when significant technology concerns do develop (Richards, 2021).


Fraud and cybercriminals:

Despite the nature of blockchains and NFTs, the metaverse is not free from real-world criminal and security issues. Cryptocurrencies’ anonymity and portability give users some protection and privacy, but they also clearly appeal to those with malicious intentions, such as criminal gangs or terrorist organisations, who may exploit this anonymity to accomplish their objectives with ease (Li, 2022)


“Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court” by United Nations Photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Potential regulatory practices 

Anonymity is one of the most appealing aspects of the metaverse (Li, 2022). However, it is a double-sided sword. While providing user privacy, it also gives opportunities to those who wish to misuse it to harm the community. To tackle privacy, safety and security concerns, various regulatory frameworks must be put into practice to create a safe place for people to do business as well as to augment their information and activities (Boyd, 2022).


Virtual Services with Real-life regulations and monitoring:

A strong link between real-life regulatory frameworks and virtual realities should be established (Boyd, 2022). One way to maintain and control the highest standards of cybersafety in the metaverse is to set high customer entry standards (Boyd, 2022). Services should conduct thorough identity checks before allowing individuals to use the service. Especially in financial sectors or sectors that involve trading assets, where users’ privacy is of the most importance, these identity checks allow services to eliminate potential individuals that may post threats or violate other customers’ sensitive information (Rosenberg, 2022). The existing Know Your Customer requirements sets an excellent start for services and companies to evaluate the compatibility of the user to the services.

As for a secondary firewall to ensure a safe environment for customers, accepting terms of service that purport the users to act contractually before entering the service is essential (Boyd, 2022). When individuals violate specific terms in the accepted contract, confiscation of real-life assets may apply to the individual; real-life legal remedies may also be posed upon them in the light of a serious offence. The terms may be subject to each company’s policies. However, basic terms addressing appropriate conduct, and restrictions of harmful language and behaviour should always be implemented to achieve user security in the metaverse.

“Warp Speed Dissolving into Monitors 22/365” by Louish Pixel is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Monitoring the well-being and addiction of users:

The well-being and mental health of individuals in the metaverse should be taken care of through strict monitoring (Rosenberg, 2022). The metaverse essentially gives opportunities for individuals to be whoever they wish to be in a virtual world, hiding behind screens. From our collective experience of web 2.0 we have learnt that a trend of influencers influencing people with unrealistic expectations of self and life has seriously impacted individuals, especially younger generations. In a self-regulated and open virtual space like the metaverse, it is expected that the freedom for self-expression will be even more prominent than that of web 2.0. After all, the metaverse should be enjoyed and used upon having a solid identity and realistic self-perception in real-life. Hence, frameworks and AI technologies should be implemented to identify and monitor potential users that show signs of addiction towards a particular aspect of the metaverse (Rosenberg, 2022). This allows a healthier balance between an individual’s virtual activities and the real-life they situate in.


Consent of parents and guardians for underaged users 

Before allowing children to experience and participate in the wonders of the metaverse, guardians and parents should be educated and informed about the risks and consequences in relation to activities in the metaverse. Services and companies should also be aware of the client’s age to protect and appropriately advertise and provide information. A weekly report regarding children’s activities on the metaverse may also be released upon the guardian’s request to protect the most vulnerable in our society.


In conclusion, as we progress towards the age of the metaverse, the attention that we put into ensuring the privacy, safety and security of users has to increase for the metaverse to be a viable place to do business safely. The metaverse will need to be regulated and controlled with real-life legal frameworks to ensure the collective safety of users and companies.



Ara, T., Radcliffe, M., Fluhr, M., & Imp, K. (2022). Exploring the metaverse: What laws will apply? | Insights | DLA Piper Global Law Firm. DLA Piper. Retrieved 14 October 2022, from

Boyd, M. (2022). Regulating The Metaverse: Can We Govern The Ungovernable?. Forbes. Retrieved 14 October 2022, from

Li, C. (2022). Who will govern the metaverse?. World Economic Forum. Retrieved 14 October 2022, from

Richards, T. H. of P. (2021, November 18). The future of payments: Cryptocurrencies, stablecoins or central bank digital currencies?: Speeches. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

Rosenberg, L. (2022). Regulating the Metaverse, a Blueprint for the Future. Extended Reality, 263-272.