Irina co-founded BQ9, a crypto-fintech boutique advisory firm on a mission to turn great ideas into great Web3 products. BQ9 works on business model creation, product ideation and development, and Sustainable Metaverse Strategy. She is convinced that the metaverse is a technology to empower and tells us why.
Missions Publiques. How did you become so passionate about the metaverse?
Irina Karagyaur. We are living exciting times since we have the opportunity to build a new world with a new economy and new ways of exchanging value. My passion is to help creators, start-ups, and enterprises to find their way in the Web3 space, because I believe this technology should be accessible to everyone.
A virtual world is an extension of our physical one and the metaverse has given us new spaces to deploy creative business models to offer customers what they really want. However, since there is no one-size-fits-all business model which will fulfill customer’s needs, there’s a lot of work for companies (like BQ9) to find the perfect Web3 fit for businesses, governments, and other organizations.
From a public policy perspective, the metaverse is what gives us the opportunity to mirror our society in the virtual world and tackle real problems we’re facing int the physical one. We can target specific issues and provide direct solutions to be deployed on the long-term. To guarantee our democratic values and follow change management principles, there must be an open discussion and two-way communication among all actors involved when designing and building a virtual world similar to when approving the master plan of a city where there is always a period of public discussion.
This tech provides the opportunity to enjoy our freedom and rights and to grow collectively and as individuals. In the end, the metaverse essentially empowers creators. It allows them to innovate in this new world, to create new professions and roles that will participate in the future of the Internet as we know it.
"The Metaverse is what gives us the opportunity to mirror our society in the virtual world and tackle real problems we're facing int the physical one.
Founder & CEO BQ9 Sl
Missions Publiques. What are the societal and political concerns regarding the Metaverse in your opinion?
Irina Karagyaur. Personal data management and privacy are immense problems we’re dragging on since the beginning of the Internet’s mass adoption. In recent years, scandals around tech giants put privacy and personal data management under the spotlight. I think these alerts came timely as a wake-up call before they became dangerous for democracy. Fortunately, the European Union plans to address these issues, and professionals at high levels such as Yvo Volman, director of data at the European Commission’s digital department, are searching vigorously for solutions. The EU needs to consider issues such as user safety and data privacy when considering how to regulate the metaverse. The main idea is to give impulse to decentralization and self-custody of data. Things are promising for sure: Yvo Volman announced last February that in May the EU will consider issues of inclusion, equality, and user privacy protection in its upcoming legislation.
There are many valid and interesting proposals to build the new world we all need, such as the “Solid project” of Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the World Wide Web which aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy. If its implementation is supported in the new legislation, we can expect positive great outcomes for our society.
Web3 technologies offer a plethora of options because they give the opportunity to perform transparent leadership while deploying creative business models. In this aspect, with decentralized blockchains we can assure the public that the management of data is fair and responsible since it’s basically self-custody.
Missions Publiques. What about “ordinary citizens” and communities, do you think everyday people around the world will benefit from it?
Irina Karagyaur. There’s nothing ordinary about people in this 21st Century. We are the most informed and educated society in history, we constitute a “knowledge society”, therefore we will shape the Metaverse. We have over 8 billion websites as sources of information, while we constantly communicate and network. Currently, the internet has 5,4 billion users, of which 4 billion already actively belong to communities.
As a natural process, the Metaverse will adapt to the communities or it will never fully take off.
People care about the bigger picture : sustainability and social good. Younger people are conscious they want a better future. They want to be connected but they want to take care of the spaces they inhabit. Online communities, green tech infrastructure, and the possibility to deliver value via innovation will and are already helping to tackle some of the climate change challenges. There are many wonderful startups working to help climate adaptation and action. We are the creators, and as such the possibilities are limitless.