“You will continue seeing us take that approach as we sort of, you know, try to shepherd companies into Web3,” said Animoca Brands chairman and co-founder Yat Siu.

Animoca Brands co-founder and chairman Yat Siu stated that his firm will continue to “shepherd companies into Web3” to speed up the evolution of the internet into an open metaverse.

Siu has long advocated for the broader concept of an open metaverse, as opposed to a closed one that is dominated by large centralized Web2 companies. Central to Siu’s argument is that decentralized Web3 platforms and technology such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) offer users a chance to maintain ownership rights over their data and content online instead of being controlled and utilized by firms such as Meta, formerly Facebook.

Siu made his latest comments while speaking on day three of the Australian Blockchain Week event earlier today. During his discussion hosted by Caroline Bowler, CEO of local crypto exchange BTC Markets, the NFT proponent covered several topics including the true value of Yuga Lab’s BAYC NFTs, the limitations of Web2 and Animoca’s ever-growing portfolio of companies and investments.

When questioned on Animoca Brands’ roadmap moving forward, Siu said that the firm is still “super early” in its long-term goal of building an open metaverse. He emphasized the importance of speeding up the process due to the risk of having large centralized firms dominating the virtual sphere:

“You will continue seeing us take that approach as we sort of, you know, try to shepherd companies into Web3. A lot of this is driven by ‘how do we accelerate the adoption of web3?’ because one of the bigger risks as we see it, is that if people don‘t move into space quickly enough then inadvertently we will perhaps also create another kind of elite.”

Adding to his point, Siu sounded the alarm bells on major firms that don’t want the decentralized and open Web3 movement to happen. He argued that many of their business models are built around the monetization of user data.

“There are very large centralized organizations who don‘t want this to happen because they make money from our data. [From their point of view,] data is not a property that we should own. Data is a property that they should own and they can manipulate because that‘s how the entire business is constructed,” he said, adding that “they‘re the ones that we have to worry about from our perspective.”

Related: How NFTs create a ‘beautiful cycle’ between artists and fans

A major way to counter the centralized metaverse firms, according to Siu, is to onboard as many as possible onto Web3 until it develops into a sort of “global trade framework.” Users will become accustomed to the freedom and ability to own a stake in the space.

He warned again that a move in the opposite would provide strengthen centralized firms and give them a stronger grip over the Metaverse in the future, prolonging what has already taken place in the Web2 era:

“If most of us decide to, you know, just exist in a closed metaverse or in a closed ecosystem entirely, then actually we live by their rules. And it would be hard to break out because they end up sort of manipulating and controlling that network effect, as we have seen today with some of the large tech companies.”

What's your reaction?