The European Union (EU) is looking to set up a bunch of regulations to govern people's existence in the metaverse. A fully functional virtual universe built on blockchain, the metaverse allows people to exist as digital avatars and perform activities related to working, gaming, and socialising. The EU has noticed that the metaverse is gaining popularity among people. After finalising the MiCA laws for overseeing the crypto sector, the EU is now shifting focus to regulate the metaverse space.
While the world is mulling ways and rules to adopt Web3, the EU is setting its goal at Web4. The European Commission (EC) predicts that Extended Reality (XR) technology will open employment for around 8,60,000 jobs in the EU. XR is among the most significant elements of the metaverse.
The EU wants to be brisk in shaping up global standards for open and interoperable virtual worlds, mostly to make sure that big tech does not dominate this up-and-coming sector.
“Virtual worlds and Web4 — [the EU wishes to] ensure that they will not be dominated by a few big players. The Commission will engage with internet governance stakeholders around the world and will promote Web4 standards in line with the EU's vision and values,” an official press release from the EU said.
The EU will now begin deliberating thoroughly and finalise their stance on questions, like if digital avatars should be given their own legal status.
In additions, rules to protect copyright and patents while also setting up units to deal with virtual crime are also a part of EU's agenda before it tunes up its Metaverse ecosystem.
The official handle of the EU on Twitter has posted an official announcement about bracing itself for the next generation of virtual ecosystems.
“Our newly adopted strategy will help businesses, fostering a European Web4 industrial ecosystem, citizens, supporting skills development. Steering the new technological transition and ensure secure, trustworthy, fair and inclusive empowerment for citizens, businesses and public administrations is our goal,” the European Commission posted in its tweet.
The EU predicts that the market size of the global virtual worlds is estimated to grow from GBP 27 billion (roughly Rs. 290 crore) in 2022 to GBP 800 billion (roughly Rs. 8,520 crore) by 2030.
Given a possibility of this boom, it is not entirely surprising that the EU is going bullish on becoming an early adopter of Web4 technologies.
Earlier this year, the EU finalised the The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework.
It largely revolves around consumer protection, and prevention of market manipulation and financial crimes in the crypto sector. The MiCA bill is aimed at preventing insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of inside information, and market manipulation related to crypto-assets from happening.
Soon after this regulation was passed, India and San Francisco-based Mudrex crypto investment firm entered the EU via Italy.
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