Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [April 25, 2022]
Metaverse

Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [April 25, 2022]

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5 months ago

CoinMarketCap look at the latest happenings in the metaverse — from Animoca Brands partnering Planet Hollywood to spin out Meta Hollywood, to Snoop Dogg's metaverse weed farms on Mobland.

Weekly Wrap: What's Happening in the Metaverse This Week? [April 25, 2022]

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Are you ready for some dancing classes in the metaverse? Retail brokerage giant Fidelity Investments has taken a rather interesting approach to attract young investors in the metaverse. Meanwhile, a user is having to find out that the metaverse is no place for hate speech.

Here’s a roundup of some of the top metaverse news over the past week.

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Metaverse NFT Market Sideways Throughout April

Taking a look at Nansen’s Metaverse-20 Index, we see that the sector is seeing a month of consolidation. Most collections are down 30-50% from their all time highs and showing no sign of life the last 30 days. However, there are a few outliers. Meebits, NFT Worlds and Adidas’s collection are showing signs of life with double digit percentage increases in their floor price over the last 7 days.
If such data interest you, sign up for a free account and start exploring Nansen!

Animoca Teams Up With Planet Hollywood on Star-studded Metaverse Project

Popular Hong Kong-based blockchain firm, Animoca Brands, has entered into a partnership with Planet Hollywood to create a movie-themed metaverse.

Dubbed Meta Hollywood, the initiative has an offering for creators, fans and studios. Creators can tap on the platform to showcase their work and share behind-the-scenes processes while gaining exposure to new online communities. Fans, on the other hand, can create their own channels, offer paid content to users, as well as interact with their favorite celebrities and industry professionals. And as for studios, they can crowdfund independent movies and projects.
Meta Hollywood also provides a marketplace for iconic movie moments, imagery and merchandise in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Over 60,000 memorabilia and IP from top movies will be recreated as digital collectibles as part of the joint venture. A section of the website states:
“With over 60,000 IP from the most popular films across Hollywood, such as 'The Terminator', 'Rocky', 'Star Wars', 'King Kong', 'Top Gun' and '007', Meta Hollywood has immediate access to creating a secondary market for ownership over physical and virtual Hollywood related memorabilia.”
The entire ecosystem will be fueled by a native utility token called HWOOD. 10 percent of the token’s supply will be channeled to a fashion and content developing fund. HWOOD will also function as a governance token.

“The MetaHollywood joint venture will create tremendous opportunities by leveraging Planet Hollywood’s vast network of celebrities and IPs and combining them with our industry expertise and our broad portfolio of products and companies,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chair of Animoca.

Snoop Dogg Launches Digital Weed Farms in the Metaverse

Last month, Heineken threw a jab at the metaverse mania with the debut of its first virtual beer. Weeks later, Coca-Cola joined the party with a virtual soda that “brings the flavor of pixels to life.” Now, the metaverse party is literally going high as American rapper, and avid NFT collector, Snoop Dogg is gearing up to farm weed in the online world.

Snoop Dogg, along with his son Cordell Broadus aka “ChampMedici” are bringing digital weed to the metaverse following a partnership with mafia-themed metaverse project Mobland.

Mobland, which described itself as the “first-ever mafia metaverse” announced the collaboration on Twitter on April 20, a day that holds particular significance for weed smokers. Collectors and players will be able to purchase limited items from the rapper’s weed farms, and while they may not be able to physically get high on virtual marijuana, they’ll certainly want to see the prices moon.
According to a press release received by FXEmpire, the digital weed farms are part of the third generation of collectibles. MOBLAND co-founder Roy Liu explained that “NFT 1.0 is about individual character and item, NFT 2.0 is about land and real estate, NFT 3.0 is about business and utility on top of the land and real estate.”
Snoop Dogg is no stranger to the metaverse world. He has a mansion to himself on The Sandbox and has continued to expand his influence within the space. Commenting on his latest collaboration, he said – “My son showed me the importance of collaboration with MOBLAND to introduce the first-ever digital weed farms as NFTs. There is a paradigm shift happening here and I want to be at the forefront of this.”

“I saw my father play video games my whole life. Cannabis and game controllers live hand in hand with him, that's why I think it's no brainer to bring the metaverse and digital weed together,” added Champ Medici, who is also quite active in the NFT community.

Samsung Invests $25M in South Korean Metaverse Startup DoubleMe

Months after debuting its own metaverse store dubbed Samsung 837X, Samsung has doubled down on its metaverse play. The South Korean tech giant along with others like NH Investment and Coentry Investment led a $25 million funding round for metaverse startup DoubleMe.

DoubleMe, the brainchild of Albert Kim, Michael Kuczynski and Heeyoung Kim, was founded in 2015. The company’s early focus was on offering solutions to convert 2D videos into 3D models. But in November 2020, the company launched its metaverse platform TwinWorld which allows users to deploy digital experiences in physical locations with the help of augmented reality (AR).

Amid the current metaverse boom, it is only natural that DoubleMe will receive more capital from investors. The firm said in a statement that its revenue had climbed to around $4.5 million since the release of TwinWorld.

As for the latest capital injection, DoubleMe plans to channel the funds into product development, customer acquisitions, marketing and hiring purposes. The company is also looking to launch a commercial version of its TwinWorld, as well as roll out major updates and support AR devices like the Nreal headsets.

South Korea is growing to be a major hub for metaverse and NFT developments. Earlier this year, the South Korean government announced a 5-year plan aimed at positioning the region as a global leader in the metaverse market. As part of its grand plan, the government hopes to train 40,000 professionals and 220 companies specializing in metaverse technology.
Furthermore, several South Korean corporate behemoths like Samsung, SK Group, and LG have already launched several metaverse and NFT-related projects.

Golden Ark Debuts the World’s First Cannabis Metaverse

Cannabis has definitely gone digital. The metaverse can be used for virtually anything — from virtual weddings to metaverse fashion shows, and now a metaverse platform targeting marijuana users.

Golden Ark has launched what is being described as “the world’s first cannabis metaverse.” While this claim is debatable, the platform is offering pot consumers the chance to grow virtual cannabis and exchange it for a real one or selected crypto.

The Alpha version of the metaverse platform went live on April 20. Users can explore different dispensaries in Ark City, purchase wearable marijuana-related items, such as t-shirts and accessories from a metaverse store, and engage in social gaming and networking.

The platform introduces some gaming mechanics that allows users to play and earn. An excerpt from the website reads:
“Take on the role of a cannabis grower in the world of Seed Horizons, grow your crops and accumulate your digital savings within the Metaverse […] Spend your accumulated funds inside the Metaverse, visit Golden Ark Stores, exchange earned tokens/points for crypto or real products from the Golden Ark Marketplace, save them or exchange for digital assets or NFTs to earn more, get VIP access and improve your possessions.”

Fidelity Targets Young Investors With New Metaverse Product

On Thursday, retail brokerage giant Fidelity Investments announced that it had opened a virtual in the metaverse that offers financial education and dancing classes. Yes, you heard that right, dancing classes.

According to Reuters, the rather interesting metaverse maneuver is aimed at younger investors. “We’re trying to make sure we’re staying current for the next generation,” David Dintenfass, chief marketing officer and head of emerging customers at Fidelity, said during an interview.
Built on Decentraland, the so-called Fidelity Stack is a web application that mimics a metropolitan area, featuring event hubs, offices, and commercial districts. And although the virtual world is open to all, the core target is people 18-35 years old. Dintenfass said:
“We're trying to make sure we're staying current for the next generation […] The learning by doing - that’s consistent with the metaverse. This is the next step in the long line of things we’re trying to do to reach that next generation.”

As per announcements, users are free to explore the interior of the eight-floor building, including a rooftop sky garden and a dance floor. Participants are also encouraged to learn the basics of investing in exchange-traded funds while collecting “orbs” along the way.

The launch was timed to coincide with the launch of the company’s metaverse ETFs, products that give investors access to businesses operating within the metaverse space. The Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET) and the Fidelity Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF (FDIG) began trading on Thursday.

While FMET will invest in companies already working on building the “future state of the Internet,” FDIG will track blockchain and crypto payment processing companies.

Will you be dancing in the metaverse soon?

Shiba Inu Clamps Down on User Who Drew Hate Symbol on Metaverse Land

Although the metaverse is supposed to be a home for all, events have shown that malicious actors may simply be moving their malevolence to the virtual world. For instance, a woman working as a beta tester on Meta’s Horizon Worlds was sexually harassed by a stranger last year. There have also been other cases of harassment on the blockchain.
One of the most recent displays of malicious behavior happened on Shiba Inu’s metaverse platform. On April 12, Shiba Inu put up approximately 36,000 out of its 100,000 metaverse plots for sale. Users who had locked the ecosystem’s LEASH tokens and holders of Shiboshi NFTs were able to bid on the metaverse lands for 0.2 ETH to 1 ETH per square plot.

Every time a user placed a bid on a plot, the color changed from grey to black when viewed from the map. However, a malignant user capitalized on this feature to form a swastika, a symbol used as the emblem of the German Nazi party. Members of the Shiba Inu Discord community discovered the action of the user on April 15 and quickly raised an alarm.

As the news spread, other users began bidding on land around the symbol until it eventually became a window shape.

Responding to the incident, Shiba Inu developers moved to blacklist the wallet address of the user associated with the symbol.

The team wrote:

"SHIB: The Metaverse will place the wallet identifying the [hate symbol] violation on a blacklist, meaning it will never be able to participate in any and all areas of the platform."

While some may have argued that Shiba Inu was limiting the freedom of users on its metaverse platform, Twitter user “DMCREDI” tweeted:

US Air Force May Be Flying Into the Metaverse

According to a Thursday application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Air Force may be looking to expand into the metaverse.

The Department has reportedly trademarked the word "SpaceVerse," defined as “a secure digital metaverse that converges terrestrial and space physical and digital realities and provides synthetic and simulated extended-reality (XR) training, testing and operations environments.”

The move, however, does not come as a surprise. Three of the six branches of the US military had previously announced initiatives linked to blockchain and digital assets. In June 2021, Space Force, a “separate and distinct branch of the armed services” under the Air Force revealed that it would release an NFT version of coins and patches needed for the launch of one of its vehicles.

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