Plus, a Bitcoin conference is offering a free trip to space for one lucky attendee.
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Walmart has filed a flurry of trademark applications that reveal the retail giant is seriously looking into cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. Separate documents discuss "online retail store services featuring virtual merchandise" — in other words, a metaverse. Remaining tight lipped, a spokesperson for the retail giant said: "Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. We don't have anything further to share today."
Cryptoland attracted some unwelcome criticism after a cringeworthy video promoting the project went viral. And now, it's suffered another setback. "The world's first real-life crypto island" was planning to buy Nananu-i-Cake — a 600-acre paradise in Fiji — but the $12 million sale fell through. To make matters worse, Cryptoland issued an apology after responding to a tweet that asked what the age of consent would be on the island. The reply from its account said: "Mental maturity should be enough."
Spain is introducing tough new measures surrounding crypto ads. Advertisers will need to provide "clear, balanced, impartial and non-deceptive content" on the risks involved with investing in digital assets. Anyone planning to launch a mass advertising campaign targeting at least 100,000 people must also get in touch with regulators first — 10 days in advance. Crypto exchanges will fall under the rules unveiled on Monday, alongside influencers who are being paid for their posts.
Russia says it has dismantled the REvil ransomware group after a series of raids across the country. The FSB raided the homes of 14 organized criminals — seizing cash and cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars, computers, digital wallets, and 20 high-end cars. In a statement, the security service said the raids followed a request by U.S. law enforcement. "The organized criminal community ceased to exist, the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralized," it added.
A new survey has revealed that 70.2% of El Salvador's population have little to no confidence in Bitcoin. Most of those polled believe BTC mainly benefits foreign inventors, entrepreneurs and the rich, rather than the public. And just 10% said their family's economic situation has improved now Bitcoin is legal tender. When asked how regularly they rely on the cryptocurrency to buy food or pay for services like water and electricity, just 3.9% said they use BTC on a daily basis.
A 22-year-old who has taken selfies every day for five years has made $1.2 million by selling them as NFTs. Ghozali Ghozalu was likely inspired by YouTube videos where creators show how they've gradually changed over the years. More than 500 people now own one of Ghozali's selfies — and his selfies are selling for at least $1,300. He tweeted: "You can do anything like flipping or whatever but please don't abuse my photos or my parents will very disappointed to me."
A Bitcoin conference is offering a rather novel prize to attendees: a free trip to space. The prize is being offered by Space Perspective and Astranaut — and instead of blasting off on a rocket, the lucky winner will be lifted by "a balloon large enough to encapsulate the Statue of Liberty." Everyone who attends the North American Bitcoin Conference, which is being held in Miami from Jan. 17-19, will be entered into a draw. Attendees have a 1 in 4,000 chance of being selected.
Almost 40,000 crypto adverts were displayed on London's transport network in a six-month period last year, new figures reveal. A Freedom of Information Act request by The Guardian shows 39,560 ads were shown across the capital's buses and trains between April and September 2021. They included promotions for exchanges including eToro, Crypto.com and Luno — alongside billboards promoting the Floki Inu memecoin. Some of these ads ended up getting banned by advertising regulators.