During the last decade, virtual interactions have become an increasingly important part of life for consumers and businesses. This trend has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with both consumers and businesses gravitating towards video-conferencing and other forms of virtual interactions. Recently, interest in virtual interactions has focused on the “metaverse,” with major companies, among them Facebook, announcing metaverse initiatives. In fact, Facebook, predicting the metaverse as the next wave in technology, has gone so far as incorporating the term into its new name, Meta.
However, like any new foundational technology, the metaverse remains confusing and unknown to many. So, what precisely is the metaverse? What metaverse use cases currently exist, and which do we expect to emerge? What laws will apply to the metaverse? In this article originally published in Chambers TMT 2022, we explore these and other questions in more detail.