The power of the new metaverse, offering new ways to prove who we are online, can unlock many social and economic benefits, a World Economic Forum report has suggested.

The reputation of digital identity and the metaverse will grant easy ways to identify users and access services, improve living and the economy as we embrace a modern digital age.

Identities in the metaverse leveraging blockchain level up our standards of verification. The World Bank’s estimation that 1 billion people worldwide still do not have a legal identity has dropped slightly but this target is still a burden for all governments trying to give their citizens access to services they are entitled to.

Even without a physical ID, citizens must not be excluded from obtaining a digital ID and “the provision of digital identities in the metaverse”.

The metaverse may offer in the near future new means of providing digital identities that, by their very nature, can be exclusionary and compound marginalisation, the report reveals.

Other factors that must be considered at a primitive stage of the metaverse include the trade-off on privacy and the need to establish an ecosystem of trusted digital identity issuers for those unable to obtain a digital ID.

Building “unique and immutable identities”, blockchain technology via tokenised digital IDs will bolster the individual’s “reputation” to benefit socially and economically, while maintaining their data ownership.

In alternative digital worlds, like the metaverse, different approaches to digital identity can be explored.