Finance and payment in the Metaverse
Facebook changed its name to Meta to make the concept of meta universe popular again.
The famous science fiction writer Liu Cixin once said that there are two roads in front of human beings, one outwards leading to the stars and the sea; the other inward leading to virtual reality.
Stars and the sea are not beyond the reach of ordinary enterprises, and virtual reality is approaching our lives, and it may usher in a new industrial carnival. So how should payment be changed for the upcoming virtual time and space?
Payment in the meta universe
Research institutions once concluded that Metaverse has six characteristics: continuity, real-time, compatibility, economic attributes, connectivity, and creativity. At present, the operability of realizing it is relatively low, especially in terms of economic properties, connectivity, and creativity.
From the perspective of the game, the movie “Top Player” shows the game meta-universe realized through VR technology. And through the linkage with the real world scenes and equipment, there is a broader space for virtual reality imagination.
What role does payment play in the meta universe?
In the “Nine Chapters Arithmetic” of the American venture capitalist and senior research expert of the Metaverse Matthew Bauer, payment is defined as “support for digital payment processes, platforms and operations, including legal currency and digital currency. Exchange (fiat on-ramps), as well as currency trading financial services such as Bitcoin and Ethereum , and other blockchain technologies.”
Simply put, the payment of Metaverse will include the existence of legal currency and digital currency. Based on China’s current regulatory policies for digital currencies such as Bitcoin, the contradiction between centralized currency and decentralized currency will continue in Metaverse.
To understand from the most basic logic of payment, payment includes the identification of people and businesses, the determination of goods or services, and the consensus on transaction information.
Recognition of people and businesses. In the real world, payment uses cards and mobile phones as carriers, and the identification methods include passwords, biometric information, etc. On a secure carrier, users store their unique identification codes. In Meta Universe, we need to consider what is a secure carrier. With the current security path, adding SE security chips to any Meta Universe device becomes a carrier that can carry payments, such as VR glasses with SE security chips. On the other hand, the unique identification code of users and merchants has a wide range of imagination in the meta universe, such as the recent fire NFT technology.
The determination of goods or services. Commodities and services in the meta-universe become virtual, just like in games. If a commodity can change information through simple copy, paste, and delete, and the value of a commodity changes greatly in a short time, then the transaction itself has huge problems. With the help of blockchain And NFT technology can better solve this problem.
Consensus on transaction information. It needs to be similar to the role or mechanism of the current e-commerce platform, so that both parties can be sufficiently at ease about the content of the transaction, which is also what the consensus mechanism of blockchain technology can accomplish.
From the perspective of traditional online payment thinking, the account holder will win the world, and the probability is still applicable to the meta universe. If there is identity recognition, it will have the living space of the account mechanism.
Preparations for payment giants Before the meta-universe fire, the giants were constantly exploring the payment methods needed by the meta-universe.
In June 2019, Facebook, which has not yet changed its name, launched the cryptocurrency project Libra . Libra aims to become a new decentralized blockchain, low volatility cryptocurrency and a smart contract platform, aiming to create a new opportunity for responsible financial service innovation. Libra anchors a “basket of currencies” composed of multinational legal currencies, also known as “stable currencies”. However, due to multi-country compliance doubts, member institutions continued to withdraw, Libra was renamed Diem , and aimed at the US dollar stable currency. In addition, Facebook is also actively promoting the digital currency wallet project, and recently its Novi has also launched a small-scale pilot.
After being renamed Meta, with the help of its layout of cryptocurrency projects, it can firmly control the payment channels and lay a solid foundation for the development of its meta-universe strategy.
Due to policy restrictions, domestic companies have not made plans for cryptocurrency projects in advance, but there have been some attempts to support VR scenes. In 2016, Alipay launched VR Pay. The user selects the product in the mobile VR platform or VR App to place an order, confirm the purchase, enter the payment link, select Alipay, and the user clicks to confirm the payment.