CoinMarketCap takes a look at the latest happenings in the metaverse — from former Disney CEO Bob Iger joining metaverse startup Genies, to Yuga Labs' metaverse push and collab with Animoca.
While Heineken has launched a virtual beer to troll the metaverse space, Accenture is creating a new business group to explore developments in the space. Meanwhile, a South Korean financial institution has sent its employees to train on the metaverse.
Here’s a rundown of some of the hottest metaverse news over the past week.
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Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Joins Metaverse Startup Board
After 16 years in Disney, former CEO and chairman Bob Iger is making a foray into the metaverse. Last Monday, metaverse startup Genies announced that Iger was joining its board and will help it “navigate its mission to empower humans to create their own avatar ecosystems.”
The Los Angeles-based company is popular among many A-listers like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Lil Nas X. The company reportedly controls about 99% of the share of the celebrity avatar market and has Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group as its clients.
Commenting on his move into the metaverse, Iger said:
“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between technology and art, and Genies provides unique and compelling opportunities to harness the power of that combination to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication.”
This is the first public metaverse play from the former Disney CEO, who served as the chief executive from 2005 to 2020. Iger stepped down as chairman last year.
Meanwhile, Genies co-founder and CEO Akash Nigam said:
“We believe that avatar ecosystems are going to be the mobile apps of web3. An ambitious vision calls for rare mindshare and I can’t think of a better creative and product thinker than Bob to collaborate with in bringing this all to reality.”
Heineken Pokes Fun at the Metaverse Mania With the “World’s First Virtual Beer”
According to the brewing giant, the whole idea behind the virtual beer is to poke fun "at us and many other brands” that have jumped on the metaverse bandwagon.
Describing the ingredients in Heineken Silver, the company said it is made out of "the freshest pixels: no malt, no hops, no yeast, no water, and also, no beer." While having a virtual beer may come in handy in a gaming environment, Heineken believes that certain things are best enjoyed in real life, and brews are definitely one of them.
Although Heineken has slammed its product with the title of the world’s first metaverse beer, this is not the first time a beer manufacturer has entered the space. Miller Lite holds the honor of creating the first beer on the metaverse, having opened its “Meta Lite Bar” last month.
Heineken’s metaverse play can be viewed as a marketing ploy. The company promoted the virtual beer launch with the hashtag #awesomeheinekenmarketingstunt.
Accenture Creates New Metaverse Business Group
“The metaverse is generating hype, excitement, confusion and skepticism—and many organizations are taking a "wait and see" approach. But, says our Paul Daugherty, you procrastinate at your own peril.”
The new unit, called the Accenture Metaverse Continuum business group, will be led by Paul Daugherty alongside David Droga, CEO and creative chairman of Accenture Interactive.
The new unit was unveiled along with the “Tech Vision 2022” report based on a survey of over 4,600 businesses and tech leaders spread across 23 industries in 35 countries. According to the report, over 70% of executives are confident that the metaverse will have a positive impact on their organization, with 42% agreeing that it will be transformational. Daugherty said:
“The next generation of the internet is unfolding and will drive a new wave of digital transformation far greater than what we’ve seen to date, transforming the way we all live and work. Our vision of the metaverse as a continuum challenges prevailing, narrower views and highlights why organizations must act today, or find themselves operating in worlds designed by, and for, someone else.”
“As the line between people’s physical and digital lives further blurs, organizations have the opportunity and obligation now to build a responsible metaverse — addressing issues like trust, sustainability, personal safety, privacy, responsible access and use, diversity and more. The actions and choices they make today will set the stage for the future.”
American Express Explores Metaverse Business, Files for Virtual Concierge Services
American Express has filed a number of trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, hinting at a possible entry into the metaverse.
According to the applications submitted on Wednesday, the company is looking to provide “virtual concierge services” linked to credit card transactions “in the metaverse and other virtual worlds.” The major credit card company wants to trademark the use of some of its logos and branding, as well as to conduct banking services in the metaverse.
Shinhan Card To Send Employees to Metaverse Training Camp
A South Korean financial institution wants all its employees to be at the top of their games when it comes to the metaverse.
On Friday, Shinhan Financial Group’s credit card subsidiary disclosed that all its employees will be going to the Gather.town metaverse to learn about data usage in business operations.
As part of the learning process, employees are required to complete missions in the metaverse to better understand the company’s new target at being “more friendly, more secure, more creative.”
Last week, the Shinhan Bank released a beta version of its own metaverse, making it the first major financial institution in South Korea to launch a metaverse platform.
By 2026, South Korea wants to have 40,000 professionals and 220 companies that specialize in metaverse technology.
HSBC Seals Deal With The Sandbox, To Buy Virtual Plot on the Metaverse Platform
HSBC may be shutting down some of its physical branches, but that is not enough to stop it from capitalizing on the metaverse frenzy.
Suresh Balaji, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC, said:
“The metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet — using immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. At HSBC, we see great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve.”
Meanwhile, speaking on his vision for metaverse banking, the US CEO of The Sandbox, Mathieu Nouzareth told reporters that:
"Financial literacy is a major obstacle to building healthier, more equitable financial futures. The gaming component of The Sandbox is ideally suited for engaging customers and curious onlookers about important financial concepts in an interesting and novel way."
Bored Ape Creators To Sell Virtual Land
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection is pushing its success in the digital collectibles market into the metaverse. According to a pitch deck obtained by The Block, the brand behind the popular NFT collection, Yuga Labs, is planning to sell virtual land as the first phase of its metaverse expansion.
“We want to build something that expands the universe of the BAYC, but also invites the larger NFT community (and those priced out of BAYC membership) to join.”
The metaverse plots will possess unique traits such as artifacts, natural resources, and in some cases, rare items.
As per the offer letter presented to investors, Yuga Labs will issue 200,000 plots to buyers, spread across two sales in March and August this year. The company is targeting around $178 million from each round (secondary market sales inclusive).
Yuga Labs will keep a portion of the virtual land for itself. Animoca Brands, the parent company of The Sandbox, is also reportedly developing a racing game with Yuga.
Corroborating the rumors, Yuga Labs teased a new BAYC metaverse by tweeting a short trailer, along with the caption “see you on the other side in April. Powered by @apecoin.”
Last Thursday, the company launched ApeCoin, a digital token that can be claimed by holders of Bored and Mutant Ape Yacht Club. The token, which was launched by ApeCoin DAO, clearly has ties with the BAYC franchise.
Meanwhile, Animoca also tweeted that it was entering the BAYC universe - “Animoca Brands is excited to announce that we'll be adopting ApeCoin for the secret project we've been developing with BoredApeYC.”