The metaverse continues to be a hot topic in the Web3 space, with a group of industry professionals taking to the Venus de Milo stage at Paris Blockchain Week 2023 to discuss the future of digital reality.
In the panel “Metaverse Regulation: Do’s and Don’ts,” the group discussed how regulators around the world might interpret what goes on in the metaverse and how businesses should navigate their entrance into digital reality.
Julie Jacob, a lawyer and the founder of Jacob Avocats, said she sees privacy, regulation and ethical standards as having “different cultures in different countries.” According to Jacob, the new challenge is creating regulations that can be applied worldwide:
“There is no standard. It’s really a fantastic opportunity, in my opinion, to now create rules all together and also to create ethical standards.”
Arnaud Pelletier, innovation director at IBM Consulting France, said regulation is key to ensuring “fairness, competition and protection of individuals,” especially as more businesses enter the metaverse.
However, Pelletier stressed that too much regulation would have “drawbacks,” such as limited innovation, too much interpretation and stunted adoption.
This has already started to happen in the United States, according to Andy Albertson, partner and co-lead at Fenwick. He believes it’s pushing “good, hard-working entrepreneurs” out of the country into others that are more receptive:
“It also creates an opportunity for countries that want to lean into this innovation and provide an appropriate level of regulation.”
For enterprises ready to jump into the space, Albertson said they need to “get comfortable with discomfort” to succeed in Web3. As the industry continues to grow, there are still a lot of “gray areas” to work with, he said, adding:
“You have to be comfortable with the strategic risk. I’m not talking about being reckless. I’m talking about marrying up the business opportunity with the risk that you couldn’t eliminate.”
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president at the European Commission, recently said that current legislation lags behind the technology. She also said that the commission wants to ensure “healthy competition” in the metaverse in its jurisdiction.