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Interview with Mr. Reda Aboutika

Interview with Mr. Reda Aboutika

Interview conducted by our colleague Valérie Tibet (TV5) with Mr. Réda Aboutika, chief market analyst at XTB (1) on the occasion of the World Day for a Safer Internet, celebrated on February 5th every year. It  was an opportunity to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of the Metaverse virtual network.

Mr. Réda Aboutika, chief market analyst at XTB

Question 1 from Valérie Tibet: Is the metaverse a new paradigm that constitutes the beginning of the web 3.0 revolution in the evolution of internet use?

Answer from Réda Aboutika: Yes. We have gone from web 1.0 where the user was limited to access various content on the internet to web 2.0 where the user began to have the possibility of designing his own websites and today we are moving to the Web 3.0 revolution where the user will start to carry out certain activities in virtual reality by wearing a helmet with metaverses for example. This will happen in a virtual world where everyone will have their avatar, that is to say a virtual character that the internet user chooses to represent him graphically in the virtual place like the one oof metaverse.

Question 2 from Valérie Tibet: what is the added value of these virtual networks?

Answer from Réda Aboutika: All Facebook users will be able to live in a virtual universe. Virtual technology is already used today, particularly in the industrial sector, for example to test cars in the design phase.

Question 3 from Valérie Tibet: Hence we can experiment in the virtual world before moving on to reality?

Answer from Reda Aboutika: Yes. For example, in the automotive industry, Mercedes uses it to test so-called autonomous cars before putting them into real mode. Indeed, it is easier to make mistakes in the virtual world than in the real world. What is important is that these tests in the virtual world are cheaper and safer compared to tests carried out in the real world!

Question 4 from Valérie Tibet: Do you think that companies will be interested in this virtual world?

Answer from Réda Aboutika: In a recent study published in February 2022, it is clear that 25% of Internet users will spend one hour a day in 2026 using the metaverse! So, it is to be expected that internet users, including businesses, will adopt the metaverses. The metaverses will be very useful initially in the field of telework and distance learning.

Question 5 from Valérie Tibet: Is there a certain interaction between ecology and the metaverse? Certainly, virtual networks like metaverse will consume energy, are they then more polluting?

Answer from Réda Aboutika: There are two opinions on this subject. For some, the metaverse is a blessing, because there will be less travel by cars or planes. So, for these people, the metaverse will be ecological. Some studies specify that certain activities in the real world will be 66 times more polluting than those carried out in the virtual metaverse world. Others claim that the metaverse will not be ecological because virtual networks will increase the demand for electronic components, various equipment and so-called rare minerals.

Question 6 from Valérie Tibet: Concerning the addiction aspect, users who will be accustomed to the metaverse will certainly have difficulty disconnecting. We are proabably going to the world as described by Huxley (2), right?

Answer from Réda Aboutika: Indeed, the world of the metaverse will be an immersive universe. There will certainly be problems with a life with masks. We will certainly have the loss of self-perception and an erosion of social ties. There will be risks to manage. For example, we will tend to look like our avatar on the metaverse in real life! There is also the risk of isolation from family and society which will lead us to social phobia. So, it will be difficult to lead a double life, one in the community with one in the virtual world.

Question 7 from Valérie Tibet: Didn’t metaverse come too soon?

Answer from Réda Aboutika: Yes, you are right. Probably Facebook announced it very early to keep its power and its hand on the internet, and in particular on our personal data.Valerie Tibet: Thank you very much Mr. Réda Aboutika.

(1) Réda Aboutika works as a trader at XTB. XTB is a platform that allows users to invest online in many international financial markets. These users give their orders on the platform, which are then carried out by XTB, serving as an intermediary. XTB operates in 13 countries in Central and Western Europe, South America and Southwest Asia. (2) “Brave New World”, a novel written in 1932 by Aldous Huxley where he describes a future in which society is obsessed with its well-being thanks to technology. A future in which humans are artificially designed, and conditioned to happiness from childhood. In this universe, as the author describes it, technology is life-saving, consumption is a raison d’être.

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