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Neal Stephenson on the metaverse: ‘It’s happening in a different way’

Neal Stephenson, a writer, stated that many of the issues with Web3 are the result of projects that want to receive payment immediately.

Neal Stephenson, a best-selling author, talked to Cointelegraph at Paris Blockchain Week 2023 about a wide range of topics, including problems with the current Web3 ecosystem and the metaverse, a term he first used in his 1992 novel Snow Crash.

According to Stephenson, many of the current issues in the space are the result of individuals wanting to “financialize everything too fast.” Stephenson noted that many are eager to attain the objective of accumulating a great deal of wealth. This leads to the omission of necessary but essential steps.

The writer explained:

“You know, financial institutions emerged slowly over time out of existing markets, and businesses that were functional, and they were making money for people. And then, over time, people constructed banks and stock markets and so on.”

The author says that this plan leaves out a very important step, which is making sure that the economy is stable first. Stephenson thinks that this is the reason for all of the recent market volatility.

“And so, I’m more focused on trying to help people build valuable experiences, I guess. Then, the financial industry will take care of itself, but we don’t start with the financial industry,” he explained.

Stephenson said, in response to a question about how the metaverse has changed since he first used the term in his 1992 book Snow Crash, that his idea of the metaverse’s potential hasn’t changed, but new technologies have changed how it works.

He explained:

“I think my idea of what it could be hasn’t changed very much, but the technology has changed. So, it’s happening in a different way from what I thought.”

According to the author, people are currently discussing the metaverse due to the availability of readily available technological building blocks.

 “We have very cheap, high-quality three-dimensional graphics, and we have game engines that are incredible but free to use,” he said. 

Stephenson also believes that the realization that Web2 has numerous problems was a factor in the development of the metaverse and Web3. “We need to come up with a new thing. And, yeah, it took a lot of hard-won experience for us to, for that to become generally understood,” he said.

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