David - Cryptocurrency Enthusiast
In the latest cryptocurrency news, reports have surfaced indicating that China is considering the implementation of a system similar to its existing social credit system within the metaverse and other virtual realms. The move is said to involve proposals to create digital identities for users of the metaverse and online virtual worlds, encompassing both "natural characteristics" and "social characteristics."
According to an article by POLITICO on August 20, China Mobile, a state-owned telecommunications company, has put forth this proposal. The suggested digital ID system would encompass an array of personal information and distinctive attributes, including a person's occupation. The information gathered would be permanently stored and shared with authorities to maintain order and safety within the virtual realm.
One notable application of this proposed system involves swiftly identifying and penalizing individuals causing disruptions within the metaverse. An example cited involves a problematic user who spreads rumours and disrupts the virtual environment. With the proposed digital ID in place, law enforcement could promptly locate and act against such individuals.
The proposal bears resemblance to China's existing social credit system, a framework that evaluates citizens based on various criteria to improve societal behaviour. This system has also been employed for enforcement purposes. Notably, the Associated Press reported in 2019 that authorities blocked individuals with social offenses from purchasing plane tickets around 17.5 million times in 2018. Similarly, offenders faced restrictions on buying train tickets about 5.5 million times.
On July 5, China Mobile submitted these proposals during discussions held with a focus group dedicated to the metaverse. The focus group operates under the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations communications technology agency. The group's objective is to develop new standards for metaverse services.
The metaverse focus group is scheduled to convene once more in October, when the proposed measures could potentially undergo a voting process. If adopted, these proposals might exert a significant influence on telecommunications companies and technology firms. Given that Chinese firms participating in the focus group appear to be submitting more metaverse-related proposals compared to their counterparts from the United States and Europe, China's strategic objective becomes apparent. The nation seems to be positioning itself to set the standards for the metaverse, should its usage become widespread.
As the metaverse gains prominence, the implications of such proposals are far-reaching. The notion of identity protocols overseen by Chinese authorities in a virtual environment prompts broader questions about the nature of immersive digital worlds. This development sparks contemplation among governments worldwide regarding the metaverse's potential trajectory and the underlying dynamics shaping its evolution.
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