Ethereum Co-Founder Joe Lubin: Today’s metaverse is the Internet Circa 1994, but the masses are coming


Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and CEO of crypto software giant ConsenSys, is confident that the metaverse will one day encompass the entire human experience. But he’s equally confident that day is years away.

“I find [using the metaverse today] is a bit like logging onto the internet in 1994,” Lubin said decrypt in an exclusive video interview earlier this month. “Where you dialed into the internet and I grabbed a coffee and breakfast and then came back and my email was downloaded.”

While Lubin acknowledges that the user experience currently provided by Metaverse projects is comparatively clunky, he is adamant that the Metaverse – a future, immersive version of the web – will be as ubiquitous as email.

“The experience of being in Web3 isn’t as compelling as it’s going to be pretty soon,” Lubin said. “Then the crowds will be there.”

ConsenSys CEO’s comments come at a time of unprecedented interest in the Metaverse from some of the world’s most powerful companies. Meta, formerly Facebook, has completely refocused its efforts dominance of the metaverse; Apple and Disney quietly explore the room; even traditional brick-and-mortar brands like Walmart dive headfirst.

Despite forays into virtual worlds by mega corporations and web3 native companies Equally, however, the Metaverse has yet to materialize as the accessible, fun, and smooth-running virtual haven that was originally promised.

For example, despite being all-in on the metaverse, Meta only has unbelievable losses in the tens of billions show for his work. A report surfaced earlier this month that the department responsible for building Meta’s virtual reality platform, Horizon Worlds, went into a “quality lockdown” through the end of the year because the platform is so unpopular and difficult to navigate that even Meta’s own employees will not use them.

Some have attributed those early bumps to the simple fact that technology need to catch up a few years the ambitions of Metaverse creators before immersive online worlds can truly thrive. Lubin’s Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has indicated that while he believes that the metaverse will one day dominate commerce and culture, he doesn’t believe that “existing corporate attempts to intentionally create the metaverse are going anywhere”.

Lubin similarly believes that current understandings of the metaverse and attempts to build it may not work first time. But that doesn’t mean he’s any less optimistic about the promise of platforms that enable immersive online existence.

“Call it the Metaverse, we’re going to be spending a lot of our time online,” Lubin said. “And our money and our work and our activities are realized in either augmented reality or virtual reality, or at least with tools that allow us to have rich and hopefully compelling experiences online.”

(Disclosure: ConsenSys is one of 22 strategic investors in Decrypt.)

Stay up to date on crypto news and receive daily updates in your inbox.