Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [Feb. 28, 2022]
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Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [Feb. 28, 2022]

CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the latest happenings in the metaverse — from the first major bank, JPMorgan in the metaverse, to Nansen launching 6 NFT indexes to track the NFT market.

Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [Feb. 28, 2022]

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From several metaverse patent filings to fashion events holding on the metaverse, more consumers are embracing the technology. And while US investment bank JPMorgan has become the first major bank to explore the metaverse, Manchester City might be the first football club to build a virtual stadium.

Here’s a rundown of some interesting metaverse events over the past week.

JPMorgan Becomes First Major Bank to Enter the Metaverse

JPMorgan is finally entering the “trillion-dollar” metaverse space, making it the first major bank to explore the virtual world. The US banking giant has opened a virtual lounge on decentralized metaverse platform Decentraland.

Called the 'Onyx' lounge, the metaverse space is located in Decentraland’s Metajuku Mall, a virtual version of Tokyo's Harajuku shopping district. Visitors are first greeted by a roaming tiger and the digital portrait of the CEO of JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon. Walking upstairs, visitors can also watch a presentation on the economics of cryptocurrencies.

In a paper titled “Opportunities in the Metaverse,” JPMorgan noted that it can operate as a bank in the metaverse as much as it does in the real world. Similar to its role as a traditional bank, JPMorgan might be exploring ways to facilitate cross-border payments, foreign exchange and other financial services on the metaverse.
“When you think about the economics of the metaverse — or metanomics — there are opportunities in almost every market area [...] We are not here to suggest the metaverse, as we know it today, will take over all human interactions, but rather, to explore the many exciting opportunities it presents for consumers and brands alike."

JPMorgan, in its report, also recognized the immense potential of the metaverse, highlighting the fact that $54 billion is already being spent on virtual goods annually. This is twice the amount spent on buying music. For one, the decentralized nature of the space has attracted many individual creators who are using Web3 to monetize their work.

“The Metaverse will likely infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years, with the market opportunity estimated at over $1 trillion in yearly revenues [...] This democratic ownership economy coupled with the possibility of interoperability, could unlock immense economic opportunities, whereby digital goods and services are no longer captive to a singular gaming platform or brand.”

According to the financial institution, the average price of land of the metaverse doubled from $6,000 to $12,000 between June and December last year. JPMorgan goes on to predict that in-game advertising spending will rise to $18.4 billion per annum by 2027.

Although a significant portion of the report focused on the highs of the metaverse, JPMorgan did not fail to point out existing flaws in user experience, bottlenecks with commercial infrastructure, as well as the poor performance of avatars.

“Despite much excitement about the possibilities of the Metaverse, in order to enable its full potential for engagement, community building, self-expression and commerce, key areas need to be further developed and matured.”

Boohoo Teams Up With Paris Hilton on a Virtual Fashion Week in the Metaverse

Boohoo, an online fashion retailer, will be making its first entry into the metaverse following a partnership with Paris Hilton.

Celebrity DJ Hilton has been making some rather bold moves on the metaverse since she launched “Paris World.” A few days ago, she launched a virtual Fashion Week in Paris World, and Boohoo displayed two billboards during the event. The billboards were located at the entrance area to the virtual Fashion Week.

Boohoo secured the metaverse ad slot through the help of MilkMoney, a leading on-demand media buying marketplace that connects advertisers with unique out-of-home (OOH) opportunities. Consequently, the fashion retailer became the first brand to advertise on Paris World during Fashion Week.

Commenting on the deal, Hilton said:

“Billboards are a part of our everyday lives and it should be no different in the metaverse. When I spoke to Sam and the MilkMoney team, it was clear they shared the same vision for what Paris World can offer and how to reach consumers and fans, and it’s awesome to be launching our first billboard campaign with Boohoo, a brand I’ve always loved.”

Manchester City to Build the World’s First Football Stadium in the Metaverse

Imagine being able to experience sporting events on the metaverse. Well, Manchester City is looking to construct the world’s first football stadium in the virtual world. The current English Premier League champions have entered a three-year agreement with VR specialists from Sony to make this dream a reality.

Although the project is only just starting, the specialists involved in the project have already paid a visit to the Etihad Stadium to map it digitally and then develop a virtual replica. City’s Etihad Stadium will reportedly be transformed into a central hub of Man City in the VR world.

Other concepts being considered as part of the metaverse plans include the possibility of fan interaction with players in the metaverse, as well as e-commerce. City Football Group’s chief marketing and fan engagement officer, Nuria Tarre, explained that “the whole point we could imagine of having a metaverse is you can recreate a game, you could watch the game live, you’re part of the action in a different way through different angles and you can fill the stadium as much as you want because it’s unlimited, it’s completely virtual.” She added:

“I think the traditional image of someone sitting on a sofa, watching a screen, is something we cannot imagine is going [to] still be the reality not even in 10 years, maybe in five years’ time already. Things move much faster than we think.”

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Monster Energy Files for Metaverse and NFT Patent

Monster Energy has filed four metaverse and NFT-based trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

According to the patent application, the first trademark is related to downloadable virtual goods such as apparel, music, beverages, supplements, sports, and others. These so-called downloadable multimedia assets will be “authenticated by NFTs.”

The second application also deals with retail and online store services authenticated by NFTs, in addition to an "online marketplace for buyers and sellers of virtual goods." Similarly, the third filing involves entertainment services linked to virtual products. And according to the fourth filing, the beverage company is looking to provide online software to facilitate the transfer of digital assets between users via blockchain technology.

There has been a surge in the number of metaverse-based patent applications. Last month, Walmart submitted seven new trademarks, indicating its interest to create and sell virtual goods, such as electronics, toys, appliances, home décor and apparel.

L’Oréal Files 17 Metaverse-related Trademarks

Touted as the next level of advertising opportunity for fashion brands, the metaverse and NFT scenes have attracted a lot of notable brands. And with giants from virtually every niche jumping into the metaverse, L’Oréal is not planning to miss out on the ongoing trend.

The French brand has filed 17 patent applications with the World Intellectual Property Organization. Some of the trademarks include non-downloadable virtual perfumes, as well as hair care and body care cosmetics in a virtual environment.

Customers will be able to browse through the company’s metaverse world and purchase virtual cosmetics.

This is not L’Oréal’s first attempt at exploring the virtual world. Back in December 2021, the company launched its first NFT celebrating women. Dubbed ‘Reds of Worth’ by Color Riche, the NFT series showcased five different artworks from five different female digital artists, including Amber Vittoria, Arina BB, Hueman, Lili Tae, and Puks.

FinaMaze Launches Metaverse Investment Portfolio

Last week, CoinMarketCap reported that several metaverse ETFs were beginning to pop up in different regions. Although not an ETF, a digital wealth management firm based in Abu Dhabi Global Market has launched a smart portfolio product targeting metaverse-based investment opportunities.

With an entry price of $2,000, FinaMaze’s metaverse product features up to 20 tech firms and crypto opportunities in the portfolio.

The portfolio was curated through a series of human experience and machine learning algorithms. Chief Executive and Founder of FinaMaze, Mehdi Fichtali, said in a statement:
“Major companies such as JP Morgan, Walmart, Verizon and Adidas are setting foot in the metaverse in one way or another. But the adoption will not be a straight line or happen overnight. Nor will the stock market performance journey.”

He added:

“Not all investors have the time and the expertise to conduct exhaustive and exhausting research.”

Foxconn Teams Up With XRSPACE on Metaverse Plans

The Hon Tai Technology Group, otherwise known as Foxconn, has inked a strategic deal with extended reality hardware company XRSPACE on its metaverse dreams.

Foxconn in collaboration with XRSPACE will be creating the next wave of visual reality solutions to power the metaverse, with the manufacturing giant investing up to $100 million in XRSPACE.

XRSPACE has worked on a number of technologies, including metaverse avatars, AI, and 3D virtual spaces. Teaming up with Foxconn, they will build new metaverse ecosystems that offer fresh innovations in consumer experiences and other metaverse use cases.

Commenting on the deal, the chairman of the Hon Hai Technology Group, Young Liu, lauded XRSPACE for being a metaverse pioneer that had “established various technologies and Metaverse platforms.” He stated:

“Foxconn’s approach towards the Metaverse is the same as that for electric cars—we will provide our expertise within the framework rather than solely focusing on the end product, developing in key areas that include AR/VR, software, infrastructure, content and applications and addressing the increasing demand for cloud services and more powerful server architecture.”

Meanwhile, Peter Chou, Chairman and Chief Executive of XRSPACE, said:

“In order to create a bigger and better metaverse in the future, we need to combine cloud, AI, edge computing, 5G and storage. This is the key reason for this partnership. Foxconn has a clear vision [on the] metaverse. We believe there are so many things we can do to complement each other and work together to make the metaverse better.”

Nansen Releases Their NFT Indexes

Have you always wondered how the NFT market and it’s various segments are performing? Last week, blockchain analytics platform, Nansen, released their NFT indexes that tracks just that. A total of 6 indexes were released: NFT-500, BlueChip-10, Social-100, Game-20, Art-20 and Meta-20. NFT-500 can be viewed as the NFT equivalent of the S&P 500, BlueChip-10 tracks 10 of the largest collections by market capitalization and social, game, art and meta (metaverse) tracks each segment respectively. NFT collections cannot appear in more than one respective segment (except NFT-500 and BlueChip-10).
The indexes give you an overview of the performance of each category over the last 30 days and currently only tracks Ethereum based collections.  In the article explaining the indexes, Louisa, an NFT research analyst at Nansen, said:
“Within traditional finance, there is extant literature demonstrating that index investing can outperform active management of funds over time. Additionally, a market index provides investors with historical data that may help investors to make sound investment decisions. The Nansen NFT indexes present a reliable way of navigating the NFT markets. This update raises the bar for quality financial infrastructure that supports the growing depth of the NFT industry. The depth and breadth of categorization will enable all Nansen users access to a wide range of new market signals”

Shiba Inu Intensifies Metaverse Push, to Launch 99,000 Digital Lands

While most people know Shiba Inu as a strong contender to Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency project has been trying to ramp up its utility by cashing in on the metaverse rally.

In January, the team behind the project announced that it was entering into the metaverse, tweeting that “in the next few days we will be revealing the name selected for our Metaverse, Codename: #SHIBerse.”

Earlier this month, Shiba Inu announced the debut of “Shiba lands,” hinting that LEASH token holders would be the first to access the digital lands. The announcement saw the price of LEASH surge by over 100% within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Shiba Inu’s team disclosed during an AMA event hosted by Watcher Guru on Twitter last week that there are 99,000 land plots in the SHIBerse.

The sale of the virtual plots has been divided into two phases. During the first phase, which will last for ten days, a total of 35,000 plots will be available for bidding and purchase by just LEASH token holders. Holders will have to lock their tokens in order to participate. The amount locked is directly proportional to the size of land token holders can buy.

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