Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [Feb. 21, 2022]
Crypto News

Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [Feb. 21, 2022]

CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the latest happenings in the metaverse — from a rise in metaverse trademark applications, to metaverse ETFs popping up in South Korea and Hong Kong.

Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [Feb. 21, 2022]


Victoria’s Secret Gears Up for Imminent Metaverse Launch

According to recent trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office, lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret may be looking to enter into the metaverse and the world of NFTs.

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben brought the move to light, announcing on Twitter that:

Beyond its desire to sell virtual items, Victoria’s Secret will also be organizing virtual fashion shows.

From Gucci to Nike, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and a host of others, the metaverse is turning out to be the next advertising opportunity for these brands.
Last year, Nike made its big debut into the space after acquiring virtual sneaker company RTFKT for an undisclosed amount.

Gerben reportedly told Forbes that he expects every major brand to jump on the metaverse bandwagon by next year.

“I think you're going to see every brand that you can think of making these filings within the next 12 months. I don’t think anyone wants to be the next Blockbuster and completely ignore the new technology that’s coming.”

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Pooja Entertainment Buys Metaverse Land, Announced BadeMiyan ChoteMiyan Film Through the Metaverse

Pooja Entertainment is pioneering the metaverse movement in India, having become the first Indian production house to buy virtual land. The company will now join the likes of American socialite Paris Hilton and rapper Snoop Dogg on the metaverse.

Dubbed Poojaverse, the metaverse land will allow makers to create one-of-a-kind immersive experiences for viewers. To spice things up, the project kicked off with the announcement of BadeMiyan ChoteMiyan, making it the first-ever Indian film to be announced within the Metaverse.

“Experience the first-ever Indian film announcement on the metaverse [of] our very own virtual space called Poojaverse - We are excited for [y'all] to experience & know about Pooja Entertainment & our projects through yet another medium.”

Speaking about the vision of Poojaverse, producer Deepshikha Deshmukh explained:

"Metaverse is becoming the future of virtual hangouts and is going to be the new way of consuming content. I am super stoked to have our Biggest and most Ambitious project - BadeMiyan ChoteMiyan in the Metaverse. Poojaverse is a step from our end in that very direction. With time and a more nuanced understanding of this virtual space. We intend to make Poojaverse the absolute go-to space for quality entertainment and various aspects of filmmaking in the digital world."

Meanwhile, producer Jackky Bhagnani shed some light on their plans to merge the Bade Miyan Chote Miyan franchise with the metaverse. According to him:

“Digital domination was always considered as something of the times to come but things changed with the pandemic. A world created as an outcome of this technology and the ideology of digital replication of real life, Metaverse, rules the roost. It is no longer a futuristic idea but one that's already started bearing shape and taking a form that's ever-evolving. We are really excited to announce our foray into our very own virtual space - Poojaverse and our next big film BadeMiyan ChoteMiyan - the first ever film from India to showcase its announcement on the Metaverse."

The movie, which features stars like Tiger Shroff and Akshay Kumar is expected to hit the big screens by the end of next year.

Gucci Enters the Metaverse With Gucci Vault

Gucci has joined the growing list of fashion brands that have jumped on the metaverse trend. The Italian luxury fashion house has purchased a plot of land on the decentralized metaverse platform The Sandbox.

Although Gucci teased a collaboration with The Sandbox earlier this month, it confirmed the news to Vogue Business last Wednesday, in addition to an announcement on Twitter and its Discord group with 73,000 members.

The virtual land will be used to expand its online concept store – Gucci Vault. The company highlighted the significance of its Vault in a separate post, noting that “Vault is defined by an ever-evolving curation of rare vintage pieces alongside noteworthy designer collections dear to Alessandro Michele.”

While Gucci’s plans for its new metaverse land remain unknown, one should expect that players on The Sandbox will be able to buy Gucci merchandise such as digital clothing for their avatars.

South Korea’s Metaverse ETFs Are Popping Up

South Korea’s market for metaverse exchange-traded funds is currently booming. Fueled by retail investors, over $1 billion flowed into 8 metaverse ETFs in January.

In October, South Korea welcomed its first four metaverse ETFs. In less than two weeks, these ETFs saw an inflow of $100 million, suggesting a growing interest in metaverse-related products.

By mid-January, there were eight metaverse ETFs listed in South Korea. And according to data from Samsung Asset Management, the ETFs attracted over $1 billion in inflows.

Interestingly, more than 70% of the inflows in both domestic and global metaverse ETFs in South Korea are from retail investors. Rahul Sen Sharma, managing partner of index provider Indxx, said:

“These high fund flow numbers represent a generally positive outlook towards the metaverse theme, additional to the developments that illustrate the growing popularity among the citizens and the government of South Korea.”

Sharma, citing a recent Euroclear report, goes on to predict that the demand in Asia-Pacific for ETFs is expected to rise from $1.5 trillion to $5 trillion over the next five years.

NYSE Files Metaverse Trademark for NFT Marketplace

With the metaverse becoming a playing field for several global brands, the world’s largest stock exchange is not looking to be left out of the party. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has reportedly filed a trademark application to register the term “NYSE” for several crypto-related financial services, including virtual goods and NFTs.

In a February 15 tweet, trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis revealed that the stock exchange had filed an application a few days back and was making its foray into the metaverse. He said that “a new application filed on the 10th says that NYSE has plans to trademark NYSE for NFTs, cryptocurrencies, digital collectibles, and marketplaces to trade and exchange them.” He added:
“This filing is the latest confirmation that the Metaverse is real and businesses need to plan accordingly. Businesses no longer need to wonder if it is going to happen.  It is just a matter of when <…> The NYSE is clearing taking a proactive, forward-thinking approach to ensure that it is the leading financial exchange in the Metaverse.”

Patent applications for metaverse-related products and services are on the rise.

Solana-based Metaverse Project Portals Raises $5 Million

Although Ethereum is the blockchain used by popular metaverse projects like The Sandbox and Decentraland, a lot of action is beginning to happen on rival chains like Solana.

Portals, a Solana metaverse project that allows users to customize their personal spaces within a shared city environment, has raised $5 million to further its metaverse vision.

The company announced a $5 million seed round led by Greylock on February 11. Multicoin Capital, Foundation Capital, Solana Ventures, Alameda Research, MonkeVentures, Sino Global Capital and The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC firm also participated in the round.

As per the announcement, the new capital will be used to grow “the team to build out the Portals metaverse (starting with “Portals Downtown”) and the suite of tools and features for creators and builders in Portals.”

Commenting on the round, Sarah Guo, partner at Greylock, said:

“We see Portals as the most promising browser-based metaverse platform. It is a social space that you can explore, invest in, make your own, and gather with others. We’ve been blown away by the team’s velocity, quality and vision. Along with a growing community, they’re crafting a fun, dense virtual city people actually want to visit.”

Portals began selling its interactive Spaces as digital collectibles in November 2021. The next month, it enabled a functionality that allowed users to interact with the locales. Users can easily customize their spaces using drag-and-drop tools, as well as import their NFTs.

McDonald’s Files 10 Metaverse-related Trademark Applications

The metaverse is undoubtedly the hottest kid on the block, and McDonald’s is one of those vying for attention in the space. Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben revealed that the fast-food giant has filed ten trademark applications for the metaverse. He tweeted:

The application, which was submitted in early February unravels McDonald’s plans for “a virtual restaurant, offering real and virtual goods.”

The fast-food chain is gunning for a ‘virtual restaurant with home delivery.’ This is in addition to ‘downloadable media files,’ such as works of art, music, videos, and NFTs.

As part of its metaverse plans, McDonald’s will like to include its McCafe in the virtual world. Through this medium, the brand will offer entertainment services like ‘real and virtual online concerts and other virtual events.’

Hong Kong to Welcome First Metaverse ETF on Feb. 21, 2022

While South Korea already has eight metaverse ETFs, Hong Kong is set to welcome its first on February 21. However, it is better late than never.

CSOP Asset Management will be launching the nation’s first metaverse-based ETF, set to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on February 21.

The ETF will primarily invest in US-listed companies in the metaverse space. And as per the announcement, the Metaverse Concept ETF has already received around $9 million initial investment, with CSOP predicting that the global market size of the AR/VR industry will reach $300 billion by 2024. Deputy CEO Melody He said:

“The Metaverse represents the beginning of a brand new era, in which a parallel new world will be created. We are optimistic about future thematic investments and firmly believe that adding CSOP Metaverse Concept ETF to our product line will further fulfill all of our investors’ investment needs.”
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