This is an excerpt from Stephane Kasriel’s op-ed published on Medium.
We are at an inflection point. The beginning of the next chapter for the internet. An opportunity to break down barriers and democratize access to and ownership of goods and services.
The metaverse will transform the way people connect, businesses grow, and creators make a living. And with it, bring about better social experiences than anything that exists today, and a digital economy that supports millions of creators and businesses.
There’s been good interest recently around how we might approach payments and financial services in the metaverse. While it’s all still very early, I think it’s important to shed some light on how we’re thinking about it.
Why We’re Bullish About Web3
It’s no secret that we’re very optimistic about Web3 — both the technologies and principles it encompasses. Blockchain is already showing the profound impact it can have, although it’s early compared to where we think it’s going.
It has brought about new ways to buy and sell digital goods by enabling creators to monetize their passions through tokens. It has enabled new ways to exchange value, and participate in communities and network governance. And there’s good reason to believe that blockchain will be fundamental to people’s interactions in the metaverse, which is why we’re expanding our efforts to support greater Web3 compatibility.
The metaverse has the potential to be much more interoperable and portable than many online experiences available today.
As a person experiencing the metaverse, you’ll want to bring your avatar and your identity with you across different worlds and environments. If you buy something inside one environment, you’ll want to be able to use it in another.
As a creator, you’re not going to want to feel locked into islands of content. You’re going to want to have a relationship with your fans irrespective of a specific platform and be able to sell a subscription or package that benefits your audience.
That’s why decentralization and compatibility with this aspect of blockchain is going to be critical. That said, centralized systems will continue to play an important role. In fact, the most important systems are often a hybrid of both. Centralization to provide ease of use and promote more mainstream adoption. And decentralization to facilitate more opportunity through the creation of new tools that anyone can use.
An example of this hybrid model that comes to mind for me is people choosing to buy decentralized crypto assets and keep them in a wallet from a crypto company that they know and trust.
Creators are already looking to new types of digital assets to give them more control over their work, their relationship with their fans, and an ability to monetize both. Imagine a world where entertainers or athletes can sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that fans purchase to display in their virtual Horizon Homes.
Or imagine all of this coming together when your favorite artist is playing a concert in the metaverse and shares an NFT you can buy to get a backstage pass for after the show. We recently announced our first NFT offering — a test of digital collectibles on Instagram — and we’re taking important steps to encourage openness and innovation by enabling connection to multiple blockchains and wallets at the outset. We’re excited to bring the test to Facebook soon.
A democratic ownership economy combined with interoperability can unlock more innovation and value creation, which ultimately will increase the GDP of the metaverse.
Read Stephane’s full op-ed, explaining how we’re working toward the future of fintech in the metaverse.