On October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckenberg, the founder of Facebook, by announcing the new name of his multinational, Meta, has simultaneously paved the way for all organizations, large and small, who intend to invest in the metaverse.
If, on the one hand, one of the main factors justifying the interest in this new technology is the opportunity to increase the visibility of the brand, on the other hand the metaverse can offer important revenue opportunities related to the execution of financial transactions in cryptocurrencies, that enable digital economic circuits of planetary dimensions.
The huge amount of financial transactions on metaverses will be, in the near future, one of the main issues to be addressed by the financial authorities, in order to identify and prevent financial crimes and money laundering phenomena.
But let’s go in order, and let’s first try to understand what the metaverse is and what it means to be part of it.
What it means to enter the metaverse
A metaverse is a “digital place” in which an unlimited number of users can act. Access to the metaverse is through an avatar, which allows you to interact with other users, work, participate in events and activities and make purchases.
For a user, entering the metaverse means having a parallel world in which is possible to carry out many of the activities of daily life, and consequently, in the coming years, there will be a radical change in social relationships, experiences and the way of working, which will no longer be subject to the limits and constraints due to physical space.
In the metaverse it will also be possible to buy and sell, and in this sense the NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens” will have more and more weight . NFT represents non-replicable “tokens” , which give the right to specific products or services on an exclusive basis – so much that today NFTs are depopulating in the world of digital art.
The Metaverse and financial transactions: opportunities, risks and management of financial crimes
Among the opportunities offered by metaverses, we must include the possibility of carrying out economic transactions through cryptocurrencies, real electronic currencies whose purchase value can grow significantly over time.
Hence many of the risks of this new technology; just think that a private organization that creates its own metaverse has the ability to define an economic system based on cryptocurrencies, which is difficult to trace, for the governance of financial transactions. Hence the possibility of encouraging financial crimes and money laundering scenarios, a scenario made even more complicated by the current lack of regulation in the use of cryptocurrencies.
To address these issues, it is possible to make full use of the processing capabilities offered by Artificial Intelligence. The metaverse is a fully digital world, and therefore all avatar actions are tracked and can be analyzed automatically. In this way, in addition to allowing user profiling, useful for offering highly personalized products and services, it is also possible to analyze the flows of transactions to discover the presence of “cycles” in the exchange of money, which form the basis of the phenomena of recycling.
At the same time, using blockchain analytics techniques, it is possible to identify anomalous or risky scenarios in the execution of financial transactions, allowing the supervisory authorities to promptly intervene, or even predict, risky situations or real financial crimes.
finally, Artificial Intelligence makes possible to analyze hyper-connected data structures (graphs) of enormous size: this allows the identification of real “communities” of subjects who work in a coordinated way to exchange money fraudulently
Revelis is active in the financial risk prevention sector with Moneying, the RegTech solution that has been chosen by important Italian and international operators in the fintech sector. The Revelis Research and Development team has defined algorithms and techniques for community analysis, and is addressing the topic of blockchain analytics in collaboration with major research institutions.
The future will be increasingly digital and the metaverse will become an integral part of our life; at the same time, the fight against financial crimes will be characterized by the use of self-learning techniques that will be able to discover increasingly complex phenomena.