Metaverse presents itself as one of the most promising opportunities in the tech industry. This innovation is about to alter many aspects of our lives, notably our identity. As the Web3 report on digital identities highlights, the goal “is to keep our minds as open as possible to truly embrace the opportunity to reshape parts of human interaction”. In other words, navigating in this virtual space means that it will be necessary to rely on a digital accurate, and even extensive, representation of our physical identity in the Metaverse.
“In the future, avatars will become our new digital identity, meaning you’ll also build [The Sandbox’s] reputation online and carry […] your achievements and your progress across the Metaverse” – Sébastien Borget – The Sandbox COO & Co-Founder
There are already two main types of identities: the physical one and the online one. The first relates for instance to our actual appearance or our life experience, while the second refers to our domain name and virtual address – meaning it is based on the personal data gathered online, when we surf on the internet. The Metaverse identity is what lies at the crossroads. It is you “linking your physical and online identity to a digital one – only if you want to” through an avatar. The latter hence “become […] an extension of who we are in the virtual realm”. Human-like or borderless, everything is possible.
This avatar-reliance yet challenges authentication as well as trust. In the Metaverse, there is no way to certify the identity of the – real – person behind the avatar, thus raising “the possibility of fraud”. Coinbase Web3 influencer and product Pete Huang commented that “digital identities should be authentic” and assure that avatars are “backed up by a real-world identity”. As mentioned, a way to prevent fraud or phishing would be to “take advantage of […] the blockchain-based internet” and rely on digital cryptographic credentials. This would help to ensure both public trust and privacy/security settings.
The idea of a metaverse avatar can help expressing parts of ourselves in a virtual environment like the Metaverse. There are yet some complex and unique details that cannot truly be depicted, and this jeopardizes privacy. We still need to experiment with blockchain technology to explore which opportunities it can create to solve this. In the meantime, it gives you time to think about who you want to be in the Metaverse.