CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the latest happenings in the metaverse — from a virtual fashion week on the metaverse in March 2022 to PwC Hong Kong buying land on The Sandbox.
From a virtual fashion week on the metaverse in March 2022 to PwC Hong Kong buying a piece of land on The Sandbox, the metaverse is rapidly gaining ground. But while the Chinese tech giant Baidu feels its metaverse app is at least six years away from a full rollout, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk does not appear to be a huge fan of the tech, calling it more of a buzzword.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting metaverse news over the past week as we usher in the new year.
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Baidu’s Metaverse App Could be Six Years Away, VP Says
According to Baidu’s vice president Ma Jie, a full rollout of the company’s metaverse app could be six years away.
Reacting to Baidu’s rather conservative timeline, Brian Tycangco, an analyst at Stansberry Research told CNBC that:
“The metaverse, while a buzzword in the global tech and investment community, is still very much in its infancy. A lot of people don’t even fully understand what the word means today or will mean in the next 3 to 5 years […] Baidu is clearly trying to move ahead to ‘own’ the metaverse in its home market while adhering to Beijing’s new policies aimed at preventing monopolistic situations, hence the open platform.”
PwC Hong Kong Buys Land in The Sandbox
The cost of the purchase remained undisclosed. However, PwC Hong Kong noted that it plans to construct a Web3 advisory hub on the leading metaverse platform. The hub will facilitate a new generation of professional services such as accounting and taxation.
William Gee, a partner at PwC Hong Kong, revealed that the organization will leverage its expertise to advise clients on the metaverse, a fast-rising technology that he described as a “digital phenomenon.”
“The metaverse offers new possibilities for organizations to create value through innovative business models, as well as introducing new ways to engage with their customers and communities. We will leverage our expertise to advise clients who wish to embrace the Metaverse on the full range of challenges presented by this emerging global digital phenomenon.”
Similarly, the chief operating officer of The Sandbox Sebastien Borget expressed his excitement over the decision of PwC Hong Kong.
"The metaverse is open for business. We welcome PwC Hong Kong to experience how The Sandbox fosters new immersive experiences and ways for brands to connect with customers.”
Elon Musk Makes Case for Neuralink, Thinks it is Better Than the Metaverse
“I don’t see someone strapping a friggin’ screen to their face all day. I don’t know if I necessarily buy into this metaverse stuff, although people talk to me a lot about it [...] I’m currently unable to see a compelling metaverse situation or Web 3 sounds like more marketing than reality. I don’t get it, and maybe I will, but I don’t get it yet.”
According to the Tesla CEO, he does not see a future where people would choose to live in a virtual world instead of the physical one. He supported his assertion with a personal experience, stating that VR headsets typically trigger motion sickness while playing video games.
“In the long term, a sophisticated Neuralink could put you fully into virtual reality. I think we’re far from disappearing into the metaverse, this sounds just kind of buzzwordy.”
SPACE Metaverse Raises $7 million From Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs and Other Investors
SPACE, a metaverse project revolving around arts and commerce, has raised $7 million in a funding round.
The round saw investment from Animoca Brands, CoinFund, Dapper Labs, Digital Currency Group, HOF Capital and other investors. According to the company, the funds will be used to “build the economic backbone of the metaverse.”
Space founder Batis Samadian said:
“As the metaverse continues to gain mass adoption and becomes a place where a lot of people meet up to socialize, a natural evolution is commerce, which is what Space is focused on.”
Interestingly, the company had already launched an early-access alpha version with over 10,000 users. Users can use a number of “spaces,” including hangars, motor shows, art rooms, amphitheaters and concert halls, to create their virtual world.
Paris Hilton Joins Growing List of Celebrities on the Metaverse
Visitors are allowed to explore a digital replica of her Beverly Hills estate and its dog mansion. They can also enjoy a stroll on a boardwalk inspired by the neon carnival wedding event she and her husband hosted earlier this year, or even explore the island on a luxury sports car or Sunray yacht.
Hilton will be monetizing the experience as users will pay for booking a virtual ride on a jet-ski or piece of virtual clothing. She reportedly said:
“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.”
Virtual Fashion Week Is Coming to the Metaverse in March
ProShares Eyes Metaverse ETF Next Following a Successful Bitcoin Futures-backed ETF in U.S.
According to a recent filing with the SEC, the company wants to launch a new product called The ProShares Metaverse Theme ETF. If approved, the product will track the performance of the Solactive Metaverse Theme Index (SOMETAV), which consists of companies providing metaverse-based services, such as Apple, Meta, and Nvidia.
Dubai’s First Metaverse Restaurant Set to go Live on the 30th
While a fashion show hosted on the metaverse does not seem out of the ordinary, a metaverse restaurant may seem like the odd kid on the block. However, ColossalBit, a Dubai-based crypto consultancy, is set to debut the first metaverse restaurant on Thursday, December 30.
MetaTerrace will have its own VR room to facilitate the virtual world experience. Ciro Arianna, Co-Founder and CEO of ColossalBit and MetaTerracem explained:
“With a spectacular view of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai skyline, combined with an option to transact and make bookings in most cryptocurrencies and blue-chip NFTs, MetaTerrace has all the makings to become the center of Dubai’s crypto scene, where enthusiasts and innovators can launch their projects, host meetups, and uphold the community spirit.”