CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the latest happenings in the metaverse — from Paris Hilton's NYE party on the metaverse, to a possible ProShares Metaverse-themed ETF coming this year?
The metaverse space is heating up as celebrities, big tech and even governments rush to grab a slice of the pie. From metaverse startups raising millions from investors to metaverse-hosted parties, here’s a rundown of some of the exciting events that graced the industry over the past week.
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Shanghai Hints at Metaverse Plans in Its Five-Year Development Roadmap
Surprisingly, China’s biggest city is gearing up to enter the metaverse space. In its five-year development plan, Shanghai officials reportedly made the first mention of the term “metaverse” as one of the four frontiers it is looking to explore. The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology called for “encouraging the application of the metaverse in areas such as public services, business offices, social entertainment, industrial manufacturing, production safety and electronic games.”
It intends to increase research and development in the areas of blockchain, real-time interactions, and sensors. However, there is currently no timeline or goals for the metaverse move.
Paris Hilton Celebrates New Year’s Eve on the Metaverse
“For me, the metaverse is somewhere that you can do everything you can do in real life in the digital world. Not everybody gets to experience that, so that’s what we’ve been working together on over the past year – giving them all my inspirations of what I want in that world.”
For some context, players can explore Paris World, which features digital replicas of her Beverly Hills mansion and her dog’s mansion, for free. Like most metaverse worlds, Hilton included microtransactions in her virtual world. Users will need to pay for a virtual ride on a jet-ski or Hilton-inspired clothing for their characters.
H&M Debunks Metaverse Store Rumors
Earlier this week, there were reports that leading clothing brand H&M had opened a store in the metaverse. However, the company has stepped forward to debunk claims.
“The payment of clothes, which can only be worn in the digital environment, is made through CEEK coin. Customers will also have the opportunity to order these clothes from H&M’s physical stores later,” the Economic Times stated.
A spokesperson for H&M has refuted the claims, telling Bitcoin.com News that “we’d like to confirm that H&M is not opening a store in Metaverse at this time.”
“The H&M store in the Ceek metaverse was just a concept that was presented to H&M and not an actual virtual store yet. We are in discussions with people at H&M to make this a reality, but this is not something that’s a reality as of now.”
Square Enix CEO Unveils Plans for Blockchain, NFTs and Metaverse
“The metaverse was a hot topic in 2021, inspiring a lively global conversation first about what the metaverse is and then about what sort of business opportunities it presents. Against this backdrop, Facebook changed its name in October to Meta, serving as evidence that the concept is not a mere buzzword but here to stay. The metaverse garnered so much attention that 2021 was dubbed the Metaverse Year.”
Matsuda believes that the growing use of cloud computing and advancements in internet technology will drive metaverse adoption. He goes on to share his seemingly bullish prediction for blockchain, play-to-earn and NFTs.
Ready Player Me Raises $13M in Metaverse Push
Ready Player Me, a 3D avatar platform that is building a “connective passport for the metaverse” has raised $13 million to expand its metaverse plans. The Series A funding round was led by the co-founders of Wise and Teleport, Taavet+Sten. Other participants include the co-founder of GitHub, Tom Preston-Werner, Konvoy Ventures, Samsung Next and Gmoney.
The raised funds will be used for the company’s metaverse-interoperability dreams. Essentially, Ready Player Me seeks to build the infrastructure for a multiple-dimensioned metaverse ecosystem where users can maintain a consistent identity across multiple virtual worlds.
“The metaverse isn’t a single app/game – it's a network of thousands of virtual worlds people visit to play, work, and collaborate. It makes no sense for you to create a new avatar for each game or experience. Your avatar should be able to travel with you across the metaverse.”
Apart from this, the company is looking to support its community of developers through a number of new products while expanding its workforce to over 70 employees.
“With the funding, we will scale our partner network further and will build out monetization tools for developers to help them make money with avatar customization assets and NFT’s. Our goal is to become the default system for the metaverse.”