HTC Endures Customer Backlash Over Metaverse Plans

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Key Takeaways

HTC Vive, the virtual reality brand of HTC Corporation, has revealed a Metaverse product called Viverse.
The Viverse supports the use of Bitcoin and Ethereum to allow the purchase of NFTs and other Metaverse-related services.
The launch received criticism from users who disapproved HTC’s use of NFTs and crypto assets.

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HTC VIVE has received negative reactions from users complaining about its planned implementation of a Metaverse.

HTC Riles Up Users Over ‘Viverse’

HTC’s Metaverse plans have not been well-received by many of its users. 

HTC VIVE, the virtual reality brand at HTC Corporation, revealed a Metaverse product called Viverse on Thursday. The Viverse supports the use of Bitcoin and Ethereum to allow the purchase of NFTs and Metaverse-related services.

In a promotional video, HTC VIVE showcased its Metaverse features, including the ability to to pay for a virtual wine tasting with Bitcoin and the ability to purchase NFTs using Ethereum. However, the company has attracted a lot of criticism from users who are unhappy with the Metaverse vision, as well as the adoption its crypto plans.  

In response, many anonymous users have expressed stark disapproval of HTC’s embrace of NFTs and crypto, with some even threatening to boycott HTC products.  A user going by SpookyBiscuits responded to HTC’s post, writing “you can keep the crypto garbage, I’ll stick with my valve hardware.” Windyson, yet another detractor of the move, told HTC VIVE to “stick to making hardware,” adding that “Metaverse and NFTs are horrible.”  In another example, a user under the pseudonym nyaarium presented an obituary for HTC VIVE, writing: “VIVE had a great life, bringing the world of VR to many eyes. VIVE unfortunately contracted NFT, and did not make it.”

HTC joins other technology firms who dealt with user backlash from considering NFTs and other cyrpto products, including Discord, Ubisoft, Kickstarter, and Mozilla. These Web2 firms drew major backlash primarily over the perceived environmental impact of Proof-of-Work, the consensus powering Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.

The concept of the Metaverse has exploded in popularity since Facebook announced its rebrand to Meta and declared a revamp “to help bring the Metaverse to life.” In the future, Facebook may leverage its prowess in virtual reality to offer immersive online services and compete alongside emerging blockchain-based Metaverse players like Decentraland and The Sandbox.

Going forward, HTC may adopt the Metaverse as a strategic niche, considering the firm has been a notable player in the virtual reality space for over half a decade. Simultaneously, HTC has had interest in blockchain for a few years as well. In early 2019, it launched the HTC Exodus 1, a blockchain-focused smartphone with native support for crypto wallets and Ethereum dApps. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and other cryptocurrencies.

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