Reinventing yourself in the Metaverse through digital identity

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“Many people today have reinvented themselves on social media, displaying an image that is still attractive and interactive. Metaverse allows users to express themselves through their avatar, allowing everyone to be themselves without fear of face-to-face interaction.”
According to Ashraf, people will be able to express themselves more freely in the Metaverse than on Web2 social networking platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. He believes that this is the case due to the fact that users will be able to customize their avatars to portray themselves while taking advantage of the digital assets they own. He added that every aspect of Virtua’s metaverse is customizable, allowing users to create their own avatars to reflect their “digital identities”.

Example of a customizable avatar in the metaverse for Virtua. Source: Virtua
Janice Daenery-Nott, professor of consumer culture and behavior at Bournemouth University and the researcher behind Virtua’s digital ownership report, told Cointelegraph that there is still no formal definition of digital identity in the context of the Metaverse. However, she believes that if digital identity is thought of in a practical way, it can be defined as “the unique, identifiable and connected information of a person when connected to the Internet”. As such, the concept of digital identity, in this case, extends much deeper than customizing an avatar to resemble oneself. Dungaree-Knot explained:

“The Metaverse with its own blockchain infrastructure provides users with the ability to take over greater ownership rights to their own data, giving them more control over the information they share with others. The beauty of the Metaverse is that the user can have different digital identities, such as a workplace identity and a sports identity. and personal identity, while still all based on the user’s true identity.”
Daenery-Nott added that she believes the idea of ​​people extending themselves digitally is helpful. “Rather than thinking of digital identity as separate from, rather connected with, ‘realistic/offline’ identity is useful. This will allow us to see how our sense of self can be ‘digitally expanded’ in our ability to ‘do’ and Expressing ourselves.

With this in mind, Denegri-Knott noted that digital items possessed by users in the Metaverse will play an essential role in self-development and expression, just as physical items help people achieve intentions and goals in the physical world. This was highlighted in a Virtua report, which found that 70% of consumers feel that their digital items help form a perception of who they want to be. Furthermore, 75% of the surveys expressed an emotional connection to the digital items they own in the Metaverse.

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Echoing this, Chris Chang, co-CEO of ZepetoX – an Asia-based metaverse initiative – told Cointelegraph that similar to the way real-world objects encapsulate a person’s physical space, digital assets in Metaverse provide clues about a person’s inclinations. He said, “The Metaverse is a place where one can explore relationships and identities different from the physical realities with which one is born.”

This aspect is particularly important, as Denegri-Knott further explained that avatars within the Metaverse can help individuals achieve goals that are perhaps unimaginable in the real world:

“One of the first cases I reported in Virtua was that of an avid Second Life member who lived in misery, but in Second Life lived a successful life and lived in a luxury home. In our digital avatars, we can achieve the forbidden goals of our material life and achieve the status that we We were rejected.”
Digital identity trust and privacy challenges
Although digital identity is a key feature behind the attractiveness of the Metaverse, a number of security issues are still associated with this concept. Andreas Abraham, director of the Identity Verification Project – a project collaborating with the European Commission on the Blockchain Identity Initiative – told Cointelegraph that reinventing your identity means rethinking values, activities and possibly changing behaviour. Given this, he believes that the Metaverse will allow each person to define who they are and who they would like to be from scratch.

However, this can lead to many issues including trust if the avatar is the person they are calling it. Fortunately, there are solutions to these challenges. Fraser Edwards, CEO of Cheqd, told Cointelegraph that sovereign self-identification, or SSI, may come to the rescue. According to Edwards, SSIs are often known interchangeably as “Decentralized Identity,” which allows individuals to own and control their data.

In the case of avatars within the Metaverse, Edwards notes that these are moving data points capable of creating a decentralized reputation. Avatars in the Metaverse will collect online social proofs, which means interactions between

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