Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [May 2, 2022]
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Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [May 2, 2022]

Created 1yr ago, last updated 1yr ago

CoinMarketCap looks at the latest happenings in the metaverse — from Yuga Labs' Otherside metaverse land mint costing millions in gas, to Nike's first metaverse sneaker reveal with RTFKT.

Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [May 2, 2022]

Table of Contents

What happens when a highly-anticipated project launches on Ethereum? Your guess is as good as mine — “gas wars.” Yuga Labs’ metaverse Otherside NFT land sales disrupted the Ethereum network over the weekend amid surging demand. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson has revealed a rather interesting way to use the metaverse; doctors and surgeons can practice in virtual environments before real operations.

Here’s a rundown of some of the hottest metaverse news over the past week.

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Metaverse NFT Collections Continue Their Downtrend

First, a look at one indication of the overall metaverse market — metaverse land NFTs.

While BAYC’s Otherside metaverse NFTs were all the rage the past week, other NFT land collections weren’t so hot. Popular collections such as Sandbox and NFT Worlds are down 15% and 21% respectively the past week.

Nansen’s Metaverse-20 index along with various other dashboards are available to Nansen Lite subscribers. Sign up for free if such data interests you!

Yuga Labs Otherside Metaverse Land Sales Rocks Ethereum Network

On Saturday night, Yuga Labs concluded the sales of its highly-anticipated Otherside metaverse NFTs. The company raised a whopping $320 million in what can be described as its largest offering to date. However, the mint wasn’t without some hiccups.

The demand for the metaverse plots was so high that it disrupted the entire Ethereum network, with gas prices climbing to shocking heights.
55,000 parcels of virtual land in Otherside were released for sale at 305 $APE per plot. Given ApeCoin’s price of approximately $19 at the time of mint, each land NFT costs around $5,800. Yuga Labs raked in nearly $320 million from the mint. But while some buyers were able to process their transactions within a few hours for hundreds of dollars in gas fees, others reported paying as much as $4,000 for a single transaction.
Bloomberg reports that transaction costs during the mint shot to a staggering $123 million. Data on Etherscan also revealed that at a point each Otherdeed NFT cost 2 ETH or around $6,000 to mint. Speaking to Bloomberg, Jason Wu, founder of decentralized lending protocol DeFiner said:
“Yuga Labs’ virtual land sale has triggered one of the highest spikes in transaction fees on Ethereum. I have seen other NFT launches causing high gas fees, but this is definitely one of the highest.”
Meanwhile, Will Papper, co-founder of SyndicateDAO, opined that the Otherdeed smart contract had “nearly zero gas optimizations.” He argued that “modifying a few words would have saved $80M+'' in gas fees.
“Nearly $100M has been spent on gas for the BAYC land sale in one hour. This is money that could have gone to Yuga or stayed in user's pockets.”
On the flip side, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin opined that optimizing the smart contract would have done little to alleviate the situation.
Moving forward, Yuga Labs has hinted at migrating to its own blockchain, a decision that some have kicked against. Responding to the comments from the team, an anonymous user argued that the gas wars problem has already been solved, adding that “instead of making fast decisions on migrating, the better way is to spend more effort on coordination with the community.”
Using Nansen’s data, we see that volume for the collection far exceeds that of any other collection since launch, peaking at ~17K ETH in hourly volume.

Standard Chartered Bank Acquires Land in The Sandbox

With many financial institutions playing their metaverse cards, Standard Chartered has become one of the latest major banks to join the party. The bank announced on Tuesday that its subsidiary, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd. (SCBHK), had acquired land in The Sandbox metaverse’s Mega City district.

Standard Chartered is a leading global bank with over 760 branches globally. According to its website, it has 85,000 employees serving customers in around 150 markets.

The financial institution touts itself as the first bank to acquire “virtual land at The Sandbox metaverse’s Mega City district, a culture hub based on or inspired by Hong Kong talents.” The initiative is being led by SC Ventures, Standard Chartered Group’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm.

As per the announcement, SCBHK will interact with clients, partners, staff, and the tech community to “explore co-creation opportunities in this new and exciting space.” Notably, the bank wants to deploy new experiences for clients, as well as bring “the local sports and art communities into the metaverse.” Alex Manson, head of Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures, said:

“For the past few years, we have been building business models in crypto, digital assets and see the rise of the metaverse as a critical milestone in the Web 3.0 evolution. We are excited for this opportunity to explore and innovate in partnership with The Sandbox, but also with our clients and partners who will play a crucial role in how this space develops.”
A handful of financial behemoths have jumped on the metaverse bandwagon. Earlier this year, JPMorgan set up shop in Decentraland's Metajuku Mall. Citibank predicts that the metaverse could grow to $13 trillion by 2030, accommodating up to 5 billion users across the globe. Other banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have given a more modest estimate of around $8 trillion in the near future.

Bretman Rock Is Hosting the First Music Awards Show in the Metaverse

We’ve seen fashion shows and weddings happen on the metaverse. It comes as no surprise that music shows and award ceremonies will also tap into the metaverse.

For the second iteration of its annual Song Breaker Awards, Logitech For Creators ditched the physical world. The brand, which is focused on empowering creators to pursue their passion, hosted the ceremony inside of Roblox.

The show recognizes groundbreaking creators that are making waves in pop music through memes, dance challenges and trends that they have created and shared on social media like YouTube and TikTok, over the past year. The show premiered on Roblox on April 30, with additional performances throughout the weekend.

“Logitech hosting the first-ever music award show on Roblox is exciting as we continue to push the limits of creativity on our platform and celebrate creators worldwide.”

The awards ceremony was hosted by digital entertainer Bretman Rock. Multi-GRAMMY Award-winning artist Lizzo also made her metaverse debut on the stage of the Song Breaker Awards. Commenting on the event, Rock said:

“I’ve had so much fun collaborating with Logitech For Creators on the show […] I’ll be hosting, so you already know you’ll be entertained. I’m excited for the community to join us to celebrate some incredible and talented artists together!”

“I’m excited to be making my metaverse debut with Logitech and to be performing ‘Special,’ which is a song that means so much to me. As a musician and creator, I love that Logitech Song Breaker Awards show recognizes the unique talent of all creators, and how each of them are making an impact on pop culture and music,” said Lizzo.

The event saw virtual performances from others like singer-songwriter GAYLE, best known for her Billboard no. 1 hit “abcde-forget-u.”

Johnson & Johnson To Train Students and Doctors in the Metaverse

The potential of the metaverse is enormous and Johnson & Johnson is pushing the limits of its utility. The company has launched an “Innovation Room” in Mexico with state-of-the-art technology that demonstrates how students can learn in the metaverse.

The Innovation Room by Johnson & Johnson houses several sophisticated medical devices and simulators that will allow doctors and surgeons to rehearse in a virtual environment before operating in real life. In a statement, Andrés Gravenhorst, general director of the company in Mexico, explained:
“For Johnson & Johnson MedTech, residents, doctors and students in the health industry are a fundamental part of empowering the health system, therefore, we seek to strengthen their training with initiatives like the Innovation Room. We are sure that by having health professionals trained through innovation, intelligent medical care can be created that improves the quality of life of patients and raises health indicators.”

The space is open to health professionals in the offices of Johnson & Johnson MedTech in Mexico. Professionals who wish to use it will have to make reservations through an app a minimum of two days in advance.

Johnson & Johnson hopes to impact around 300 medical students, doctors and surgeons in Mexico through the initiative.

Meta To Open its First Physical Store Tied to Metaverse Experiences

While other major players in the metaverse space are immersing themselves in the virtual world, Meta is looking to add a physical side to the whole frenzy. Meta’s first physical store is scheduled to launch on May 9 in California.

“Through interactive demos, you can make video calls to retail associates with Meta Portal, learn how Ray-Ban Stories can help you stay present with the world around you, and explore the magic of VR with a first-of-its-kind immersive Meta Quest 2 demo.”
Customers will be able to try several demos and experiences associated with the metaverse in the physical store. The available hardware in the store will include Quest 2 VR headset, Portal and Ray-Ban Stories. Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store, said:
“Once people experience the technology, they can gain a better appreciation for it. If we did our job right, people should leave and tell their friends, ‘You’ve got to go check out the Meta Store.’”
Meta made a rather bold metaverse play late last year spearheaded by its rebranding efforts. The company admits that the sector is now a strong part of its initiative, adding that it was important that the physical store is launched near its Reality Labs headquarters. Gilliard notes that the hardware store will serve as a learning ground for its future strategy.
Meta has frequently been in the news for its efforts in the burgeoning sector. But despite its efforts, critics have called out the company for several anomalies in its products and offerings. For instance, the social media giant was recently slammed by its rival Apple for its high revenue share for creators who want to monetize their works on its Horizon Worlds VR app. A spokesperson for Apple said:
“Meta has repeatedly taken aim at Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases in the App Store — and have used small businesses and creators as a scapegoat at every turn. Now — Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform. [Meta’s] announcement lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy.”

David Beckham Files for Metaverse-Related Trademarks

From top athletes to celebrities, and big names in the corporate world, NFT and metaverse-related trademark filings have continued to roll in. Former footballer turned businessman David Beckham is following the footsteps of several others into Web3. He has reportedly filed applications for three trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis shared the filing on Twitter, announcing that Beckham had filed trademark applications for “NFTs and digital tokens,” “virtual clothing, footwear, and headgear,” as well as “virtual performances and entertainment events.”

The trademark application, with serial number 97369672, was filed by DB Ventures Limited.

Despite his latest push into the metaverse, Beckham is no stranger to the virtual world. A few weeks ago, the footballer was named the global ambassador of the layer-one blockchain protocol DigitalBits. As part of the deal, he tapped on the platform’s blockchain to release digital collectibles.

Nike and RTFKT Debut First NFT Metaverse Sneakers CryptoKicks

Four months after acquiring virtual sneaker maker RTFKT, Nike has revealed its first metaverse sneakers. Dubbed RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks, the shoes are modeled after the Nike Dunk sneaker.

In a teaser video posted on Twitter, RTFKT showed how the appearance of the digital sneakers can be changed via collectible “Skin Vials.”

The CryptoKicks were available to owners of the Nike and RTFKT Mnlth NFTs, which were airdropped to holders of RTFKT’s CloneX tokens. The reveal came after a series of quests and puzzles that collectors needed to solve.

Meanwhile, the shoes are selling on secondary markets for almost $6,000.
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