Značka: Metaverse

Meta ‘powering through’ with Metaverse plans despite doubts — Zuckerberg

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still hopeful about the company’s Metaverse plans regardless of the billions of dollars it’s sucking up from the company, claiming “someone has to build that.”Appearing remotely for an interview at the Nov. 30 DealBook Summit in New York, Zuckerberg was asked his thoughts on whether the tech giants’ Metaverse play was still viable given its cost and the doubts cast over the platform, answering:“I think things look very different on a ten-year time horizon than the zone that we’re in for the next few years […] I’m still completely optimistic about all the things that we’ve been optimistic about.”He added part of “seeing things through” in the longer term was “powering through” the doubts held about its ambitions.Meta’s latest earnings, released on Oct. 26, revealed the largest-ever quarterly loss in its metaverse-building arm Reality Labs dating back to the fourth quarter of 2020. Zuckerberg’s virtual reality has cost $9.44 billion in 2022, closing in on the over $10 billion in losses recorded for 2021.On the earnings call at the time Zuckerberg was unfazed by the cost, calling its metaverse the “next computing platform.” He doubled down on this claim at DealBook:“We’re not going to be here in the 2030s communicating and using computing devices that are exactly the same as what we have today, and someone has to build that and invest in it and believe in it.”However, Zuckerberg admitted that the plans have come at a cost, Meta had to lay off 11,000 employees on Nov. 9 and the CEO said it had “planned out massive investments,” including into hardware to support its metaverse.He said the company “thought that the economy and the business were going to go in in a certain direction” based on positive indicators relating to e-commerce businesses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. “Obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Zuckerberg added.“Our kind of operational focus over the next few years is going to be on efficiency and discipline and rigor and kind of just operating in a much tighter environment.”Despite the apparent focus from Meta to build its metaverse, Zuckerberg claimed 80% of company investments are funneled into its flagship social media platforms and will continue that way “for quite some time.”Investments in Reality Labs are “less than 20%” at least “until the Metaverse becomes a larger thing” he said. Related: The metaverse is happening without Meta’s permissionOf the 20% invested in Reality Labs, Zuckerberg said 40% of it goes toward its Virtual Reality (VR) headsets with the other “half or more” building what he considers “the long-term most important form factor […] Normal-looking glasses that can put holograms in the world.”Zuck takes bite at AppleZuckerberg also took a few jabs at its peer tech company Apple regarding its restrictive App Store policies, the likes of which have placed restrictions on crypto exchanges and nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces, saying:“I do think Apple has sort of singled themselves out as the only company that is trying to control unilaterally what apps get on a device and I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place to be.”He pointed to other computing platforms such as Windows and Android which are not as restrictive and even allow other app markets and sideloading — the use of third-party software or apps.He added its been Meta’s commitment to allow sideloading with its existing VR units and upcoming Augmented Reality (AR) units and hoped the future Metaverse platforms were also open in such a manner.“I do think it is it is problematic for one company to be able to control what kind of app experiences get on the device.”

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Nifty News: Porsche 911 NFTs, BMW files Web3 trademarks, Baby Shark’s NFT game and more…

Porsche to launch 7,500 NFTs for use in a ‘virtual world’German luxury car manufacturer Porsche has suggested it will be significantly ramping up its Web3 efforts after unveiling an upcoming NFT project consisting of 7,500 customizable tokenized vehicles. In a Nov. 29 announcement, Porsche stated that the NFTs will be launched in January, and users will be able to customize various aspects of the cars in relation to performance and appearance. The NFT art itself is being designed by designer and 3D artist Patrick Vogel, with all pieces revolving around the famous Porsche 911 model.Notably these virtual assets will be designed in Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5, suggesting that gaming integrations are afoot. NFT car designs: PorscheThe company gave a sneak peek into the project at the Art Basel conference in Miami on Nov. 30. While specific details have not been mentioned, the company noted that owners will be able to use the cars in the “virtual world,” most likely meaning some sort of Metaverse.More broadly, Porsche suggested that it is looking to significantly ramp up its exposure to Web3 moving forward, with the announcement noting that: “Digital art is just one aspect of Porsche’s Web3 strategy. The sports car manufacturer is working to integrate the potential of blockchain technology into existing and future processes and solutions.”Porsche previously had a hand in launching soccer-themed NFT collectibles in June 2021 as part of a project called Fanzone, but now appears to be taking the tokenization of its cars more seriously. BMW to get Web3 trademarksSpeaking of German luxury car manufacturers, BMW has reportedly applied to trademark its logo in relation to a host of Web3 products and services. The move was highlighted by USPTO licensed trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis, who frequently shares news regarding Web3 trademark applications in the U.S. from major companies.BMW outlined intentions for its logo to span across collectibles such as virtual clothing, footwear, headwear and vehicles, while also indicating plans for downloadable virtual goods such as online environments and games. BMW is coming to the metaverse!The company has applied to trademark its logo for:▶️ NFT authenticated media + files▶️ Virtual vehicles + clothing + footwear▶️ Retail stores for virtual vehicles + clothing▶️ Virtual environments… and more!#NFT #Metaverse #Web3 #BMW pic.twitter.com/huO0RkiGWz— Mike Kondoudis (@KondoudisLaw) November 30, 2022Baby Shark’s Web3 arcContent from Pinkfong’s massively popular children’s song/music video Baby Shark is set to be tokenized as part of a family-focused blockchain game. Pinkfong reportedly penned a licensing agreement with Toekenz Collectibles to create and issue Baby Shark characters in a child safe digital environment. Baby Shark NFT partnership: ToekenzToekenz Collectibles is an NFT platform targeted at children aged 12 and under, and the focus of the game is to educate kids aged five to nine “about the trading economy of digital collectibles.”The kids will also be able to customize the NFT art to their own liking, and even participate in a Tokenz DAO where they “can exercise democratic decision-making.” This is not Pinkfong’s first dip into NFTs, Cointelegraph previously reported that the South Korea-based company launched a series of limited editions Baby Shark NFTs in December last year. Related: Two Bored Apes sell for $1M each: Nifty Newsletter, Nov. 23–29Deadmau5 rolling out music metaverseA Web3 startup co-founded by popular crypto-friendly DJ Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) is gearing up for the launch of a music and gaming focused Metaverse platform. Announced at the Art Basel event on Nov. 29, the start-up known as Pixelynx stated that the Polygon-based platform will launch this week, and kick things off with an Augmented Reality (AR) scavenger hunt set on Miami Beach. The firm’s CEO and co-founder Inder Phull described the AR scavenger hunt as a “Rock Band meets Pokémon Go experience,” in which virtual gaming features are merged with real locations on maps via smart devices. [embedded content]Users who hold Deadmau5’s Droplet NFTs will gain early access to Pixelynx’s metaverse with the platform aiming to provide a host of virtual experiences for fans of particular musicians and artists.More Nifty NewsNFTs depicting the ongoing protests in China against the country’s tough zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy have found their way to the NFT marketplace OpenSea at the tail end of November.On Nov. 30, decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap announced that users can now trade NFTs on its native protocol. The function will initially feature NFT collections for sale on platforms including OpenSea, X2Y2, LooksRare, Sudoswap, Larva Labs, X2Y2, Foundation, NFT20, and NFTX.

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The metaverse is happening without Meta's permission

In changing the name of its parent company to Meta, Facebook put a stake in the ground: It would be the symbol of the evolution of the internet, the metaverse. Whether we liked it or not.According to Meta, the metaverse is “a set of digital spaces to socialize, learn, play and more.” Its first true attempt came in the form of Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality universe so lifeless and devoid of content that it has people asking if the metaverse is a step forward or backward.Thankfully, it won’t matter.The metaverse, a term from long before Facebook existed, is happening. Its potential and draw are found in existing places — games like Fortnite, platforms like Roblox and online hubs like Discord. There will be no launch of the metaverse, no switch that turns it on. You’ve been experiencing parts of it whether you’ve realized it or not. More and more of your real-world identity has blended into your digital one. IRL to URL, and back again.The metaverse isn’t what you’ve readPointedly, the metaverse isn’t what Meta says it is.“A set of digital spaces to socialize, learn, play and more” accurately describes current apps and games, but this simplified definition has made the term “metaverse” synonymous with stilted software like Horizon Worlds, a painfully unimaginative 3D world with early 2000s-era graphics and plenty of space for ads.Empty 3D world with large digital billboards with ads on them, digital art, Y2K aesthetic. Source: DALL-EFor those not deep into the weeds of writer Matthew Ball’s precise definition, the metaverse can be thought of as a change in how we view and experience our digital lives — not a 3D world, but a shift into a more immersive, simultaneous, representative relationship between our physical and digital selves. The metaverse causes the line between the real and digital to blur, an evolution of the change triggered by the mobile internet.So naturally, the metaverse won’t flourish because of Meta’s isolated, soulless dystopia. Nor will it do so in Decentraland’s attempt at creating a digital world, which fails to draw more attention than a mildly popular indie game after two years and billions of dollars in funding.Related: Facebook is on a quest to destroy the metaverse and Web3It’s no surprise: Horizon Worlds and Decentraland are competing with digital escapes that are exponentially more fun — games, movies and social networks.And even more directly, they’re competing with the real world. If you’re telling people they’re going to work and play in the metaverse, it better offer something magical beyond their normal lives. Right now, the meatspace still wins. It’s not even close.The metaverse needs magicThat magical feeling has always been present in games. Visiting your feline neighbor in Animal Crossing is infinitely more compelling than seeing your legless coworker at a conference table in Horizon Worlds. Making immersive experiences compelling requires that magic, and it’s hard to create a company culture that can build fun, perhaps impossible when your revenue is from driving more clicks — or whatever call to action exists in 3D.3D platforms like Roblox and VRChat have instead built a path for creators to bring their own magic, albeit a narrow one. Spending time on VRChat vs. Horizon Worlds showcases the difference between a user-generated world and a corporate one. The former is human and surprising, while the latter is depressing and expected.But creators must be motivated to create in a specific medium — and given the tools to do so. The old path to motivating creators with sponsorship is toxic and dying. Creative people don’t want to restrict their visions for corporate profits or limit their options by platform restrictions.Fortunately, there is another way.The metaverse needs ownershipNonfungible tokens (NFTs) have largely been viewed as giving power back to the consumer, acting as a way for real ownership to be held by the collector, not the platform. And that’s all true.But ownership has a different effect on creators: It motivates them. Rather than creating content for other platforms or ads for brands, their work is instantly and indefinitely monetizable. And in the rare but best-case scenarios, it’s handled in a truly decentralized way away from deception.Decentralization and ownership provide that critical motivating factor for creators — the people who should be defining what the metaverse looks like. Tokenization sets creators free from the serfdom of today’s rent-seeking social networks (think of Instagram or Snapchat), allowing them to create and sell their work without needing to be sponsored by a brand to feed themselves. Protocols built for decentralization will be where creators naturally gravitate, creating avant-garde spaces and defining what creativity in the metaverse means. Gentrification can come later.Related: Facebook and Twitter will soon be obsolete thanks to blockchain technologyInstead of giving power and freedom to creators, Meta is structured to think of ad revenue and brand partners first, a strategy that is actively hostile to creators and users at large.A direct relationship between creators and their communities (an increasingly fuzzy distinction) creates a new trust, and the foundation for that relationship is what will usher in an awe-inspiring metaverse. The “gray space” where creators and communities meet — an idea embraced by David Bowie — drives an entirely different dynamic and experience than one where the core relationship of a platform is built on the relationship between the platform owner and its advertisers.A futuristic green city being painted by a brush held by an artist, digital art. Source: DALL-EThe metaverse needs contextTruthfully, creating that magic in the metaverse is challenging, even with digital ownership and the right motivation. Even the best 3D worlds and digital meeting places fail to connect meaningfully back to our real lives. NFTs have yet to impact the physical world beyond their financial impact. We haven’t brought URL back to IRL.But the signs are there.Related: Nodes are going to dethrone tech giants — from Apple to GoogleMixed reality games like Pokémon Go, which bring iconic digital characters into augmented reality, show a centralized approach to an immersive digital world built on the physical one. Tying our inherent connection to our digital collectibles, like Psyduck, back into our real lives is where the metaverse can reach new relevance. Alone, the context-driven version of the metaverse is at risk of centralization and attention-economy economics, too — and must be paired with decentralization and a creator ethos. Empowering creators to define reality itself will bring about a future that enhances our lives instead of taking away from them.The metaverse is happeningThe metaverse is happening, and it won’t look like Meta’s version.The metaverse is not a specific technology but an era where we have a changed perception of technology’s role in our lives. One where digital realities represent a larger piece of our shared reality and where purely using technology is replaced by creating, owning and experiencing it. The more tactile and connected to us that those digital realities become, the more real the metaverse is.Protocols, not platforms. Creators, not brands. Context, not isolation. Principles and people will define this next evolution of the internet, and Meta is not the arbiter of either.Alex Herrity is co-founder of Anima, a protocol for ownable, dynamic augmented reality. Prior to Anima, he built products and games used by billions of people with companies like Epic Games, HBO and his former startup Ultravisual, which was acquired by Flipboard.This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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Festivals in the metaverse: How Web3 projects are taking culture virtual

The metaverse is the future, or so is the claim of many interacting with the industry — a claim that can be backed up by the amount of activity pouring into the Web3-metaverse domain. Engagement in the metaverse of 2022 is looking less like a Sims-esque video game and more like government agencies creating virtual offices to connect with future generations of clients or nations facing the existential threat of climate change using the metaverse to create digital versions of themselves. One way brands and organizations are using the metaverse is by hosting large-scale virtual events similar to those they already hold in-real-life. This type of metaverse activity has been seen in many iterations over the last year, one of which was the metaverse’s first-ever fashion week in April 2022. The event invited fashion enthusiasts, designers and brands into virtual reality to participate in activities that mirrored real-life events at fashion weeks around the world. Catwalks, DJ-led afterparties, talkbacks and more were all included in the digital version of the iconic fashion industry event. In The Sandbox metaverse, a Pride festival was held in June. Similar to fashion week, what could be experienced at a physical event was recreated but with extras only made possible through digital reality, such as a Pride-themed game to be played by festival goers. Follow the rainbow path to the Valley of Belonging to celebrate #Pride, where you can be your most authentic self!@People0fCrypto presents a game that highlights cultural experiences amongst underrepresented communities in #Web3.Let’s go! ⤵️https://t.co/w55FEwKjSZ pic.twitter.com/KHuB0exKWd— The Sandbox (@TheSandboxGame) June 24, 2022Most recently, Decentraland held a four-day music festival with mega-headliners which included Björk, Ozzy Osbourne and Soulja Boy. The event had multiple stages designed with the aesthetic of the artist performing, along with other interactive attractions for festival goers. Stunning performance, thanks for the show @bjork @decentraland pic.twitter.com/LATzhvQyEl— Agus (@Agus0xyz) November 14, 2022

Physical festivals of such caliber cost hundreds of thousands, even hundreds of millions of dollars in cases like the popular Coachella music festival. Aside from the costs, some festivals take years of advanced planning, with months of physical prep time. To call it a big feat to pull off a mega event is putting it lightly. As festivals and large-scale events like fashion week continue to become digitized and built into the metaverse, the question arises as to what it takes to create such an experience. Moreover, how is it different from its physical counterpart? Complex yet creative A common thread among those involved with large-scale metaverse events is that it is indeed complex. As it is still a relatively new evolution of online activity for both planners and users, there is a greater learning curve for everyone involved. Akhbar Hamid is the co-founder of People of Crypto Lab — which hosted this year’s Pride festival in the Sandbox. He told Cointelegraph: “An important thing to remember is that throwing festivals and experiences in the metaverse is a very new experience and we are building and creating what that blueprint looks like everyday.”This “blueprint” includes a different set of logistics and planning depending on the virtual world. Related: Al tech aims to make metaverse design accessible for creatorsHamid gave the example of The Sandbox. As it is not yet a fully open metaverse and still in alpha, there is a bit more planning involved: “With metaverse worlds you can create and build within existing worlds and reskin existing user experience, which can allow you to execute in a shorter time frame.”Generally, building experiences from scratch can take months, he confirmed, with additional time allotted for bug testing afterward. Boundaries don’t existOne thing that everyone commented on is the limitless possibilities for utilizing space in the metaverse, which simply doesn’t exist in the physical world. Raluca Cherciu, the CEO and co-founder of Unpaired — which operated the OxArena venue in Decentraland’s four-day music festival — told Cointelegraph: “In the metaverse, what’s possible takes on a whole new meaning and the laws of physics do not apply.” She continued saying that as a venue with no spatial limitations, from an architectural point of view, they could really create whatever the imagination conspired. In the metaverse, “you don’t have to worry about things like permits and can have much more expansive areas to play with and build in.”Related:Spatial digital art exhibitions to level up metaverse experiencesHamid also touched on the fact that apart from no limitations for space in the metaverse, there are also no borders. People from anywhere can attend a metaverse festival and minimize typical festival travel costs like airfare and lodging: “This opens the doors for global festivals where everyone can share in the same experience from thousands of miles away.”However, in a borderless environment, issues do arise. As pointed out by Cherciu, one big hurdle is creating schedules that work across multiple time zones, which she said can impact attendance of the event. Community at the coreNonetheless, the community aspect is one of the most important elements for digital festival planners — and not just in attendance numbers. The community is the inspiration for everything that goes into building the experience. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro, senior extended reality and events producer at the Decentraland Foundation, told Cointelegraph that the goal of a metaverse festival is to provide attendees with an “unparalleled sense of belonging.”She said there will be certain aspects of metaverse experiences that will fall short such as the physical presence of thousands of people or hugging friends at a concert. However: “I always like to emphasize that virtual events are not replacements for IRL events, but rather complements that allow for more holistic experiences.”To make a virtual experience altogether complementary, cohesive and intriguing for its physical community, Hamid says a strong understanding of the community that the festival is dedicated to is very important.He said creators need to ensure that “the game and experience you create speaks to the audience you are celebrating,” adding:“You want to create a moment that the existing Web3 community will enjoy and an experience that the Web2 community will want to experience as they begin to explore metaverse worlds.”One avenue that shouldn’t be overlooked when bridging these experiences is choosing artists with an authentic interest in interacting with their community in a new way. Web3 talentAs mainstream artists continue to find their way into the world of Web3, festivals and other large-scale virtual events can help further this trend. Casimiro says performances in virtual worlds open up much more creative freedom for artists, stating, “They have completely free range to tell their stories and explore their unique narratives however they desire.”She says the metaverse can even help artists personify themselves as characters or elements from their songs. Identity in the metaverse has been a big topic for users and digital avatars.When it comes to artists, the metaverse, too, is, “a space for identity expansion through storytelling.” This year, the entertainment network MTV introduced a new award for “Best Metaverse Performance” as an official competition category for their annual awards.Another aspect of metaverse performance, Hamid says, is that those on the backend can get live metrics and perform “live social listening” to monitor community satisfaction with the performance. Large-scale considerationsAside from community satisfaction, there are other road bumps that have to be considered when creating a digital festival. “Keeping open and organized channels of communication is one of the biggest challenges,” says Casimiro. “Especially when you’re dealing with several different platforms.” She also said finding a balance between encouraging artists to push their creative boundaries while making sure there is technology available to back these dreams up. Hamid cited an age-old problem that the Web3 space continuously faces, which is education, stating, “We have to make entering these spaces more accessible and educate the masses on all that is achievable through this technology.”The simultaneous task of learning what it takes to put on a digital festival while educating communities on how to participate is no small task. However, Hamid believes that festivals are one of the best ways to do so. “Cultural moments like festivals, like Pride, Women’s History Month, Black History month are all great moments to create unique metaverse experiences that help bring mass consumer awareness to the new technology,” he said.Looking forwardThe metaverse is not going anywhere. According to a Q3 DappRadar report, hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into metaverse development in the last quarter alone. The metaverse continues to be a big component of the success of other Web3 tools such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs). According to industry observers, what will contribute to the success of the metaverse and its major events is one primary thing: accessibility. Hamid said that the future of metaverse festivals will “be accessible from any device anywhere.” Related: The metaverse is becoming a platform to unite fashion communitiesCasimiro added that she has produced virtual concerts since 2019 and has no doubts they will continue to be a staple in the industry: “In the last three years, there’s been a cultural shift towards a global village with global access to content.”For Cherciu, accessibility and social interaction will be the prevailing elements for all metaverse activity:“The metaverse provides new opportunities for people in economic, physical or mental distress to participate in socially rewarding experiences that otherwise would not have access to/be able to take part of.”

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Metaverse exploitation and abuse to rise in 2023: Kaspersky

Malware, ransomware attacks and phishing are not the only scourges of the crypto industry as the Metaverse could become a big target next year, according to cybersecurity experts.In its “Consumer Cyberthreats: Predictions for 2023” report on Nov. 28, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky forewarned that there will be greater exploitation of the Metaverse due to lacking data protection and moderation rules.Kaspersky acknowledged there are currently only a handful of metaverse platforms, but the number of metaverses is set to expand in the coming years and the market could even top $50 billion by 2026. That expansion will entice cyber criminals to the ecosystem seeking to exploit unwitting virtual world participants.“As the metaverse experience is universal and does not obey regional data protection laws, such as GDPR, this might create complex conflicts between the requirements of the regulations regarding data breach notification.”Social media is already a hotbed of data breach activity so it stands to reason that the Metaverse will be an extension of this. As reported by Cointelegraph earlier this year, Social media was responsible for more than $1 billion in crypto scam-related losses in 2021.Kaspersky also predicted that virtual abuse and sexual assault will spill over into Metaverse ecosystems. It mentioned cases of “avatar rape and abuse” adding that without protection mechanisms or moderation rules “this scary trend is likely to follow us into 2023.”Meta, the firm formerly known as Facebook, has already received a lot of pushback over its Metaverse ambitions due to the lack of user protection and privacy concerns on its social media platform.The report predicted that in-game virtual currencies and valuable items will be one of the “prime goals” among cybercriminals who will seek to hijack player accounts or trick them into fraudulent deals to fork over valuable virtual assets. Most modern games have introduced some form of monetization or digital currency support which will become a honeypot for malicious actors.Related: The Metaverse is a new frontier for earning passive incomeKaspersky noted that new forms of social media will also bring more risks. It specifically mentioned a shift to augmented reality-based social media, adding that cybercriminals can start “distributing fake trojanized applications” to infect devices for further malicious purposes.Threats to new AR-based social media and metaverse platforms are primarily data and money theft, phishing, and account hacking, the report concluded.

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Metaverse is a new frontier for earning passive income

When new technologies and platforms are created, there are incredible discovery phases in which economic activity eventually picks up and starts taking shape. The metaverse is arguably in that discovery phase, with many entrepreneurs finding ways to earn passive income on it.As economic activity in the metaverse rises, new passive income opportunities are seemingly being created on a regular basis, as are opportunities to actively earn income. While what works and what doesn’t is still up for debate, there are some in the vanguard of metaverse passive income.What is the metaverse?Before digging into passive income opportunities in the metaverse, it’s first important to analyze what is actually is. The term “metaverse” has been one of the most popular buzzwords in the Web3 space over the last few months, while millions are moved in digital economies focusing on it.The word “metaverse” comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk sci-fi novel Snow Crash. In the Web3 space, the term is used to describe a digital world where people actually own the assets within it.The metaverse differs from past digital worlds, like those created in video games, through the use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs). These unique blockchain-based tokens can be freely traded by users but cannot be duplicated or copied. What can be done in the metaverse is still being explored, but so far, real businesses have been created within these metaverses.Another defining characteristic of the metaverse is interoperability. Virtual worlds like that of popular videogame Roblox could be thought of as metaverses, but unlike the new, blockchain-based iterations, players don’t exercise control or ownership over their assets.Various companies have been moving into the metaverse, with Walmart seemingly gearing up to enter the space, while fashion brands like Ralph Lauren and Gucci have signaled that virtual clothes could be a major growth area for them. Companies are entering the space as it grows rapidly and is expected to become an $800 billion industry within two years.Given the potential size, earning passive income in the space could be a great opportunity. Taking advantage of passive income opportunities can be easy for those already deep into the metaverse, but how long each opportunity will allow entrepreneurs to earn isn’t clear.Renting out metaverse landOne of the most well-known ways of earning passive income in the metaverse is by owning property in it and renting it out. Metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox let users rent land for a fee to others.Recent: Canada crypto regulation: Bitcoin ETFs, strict licensing and a digital dollarThere currently isn’t a lot of data on what type of earnings metaverse landlords can expect, as that information isn’t being widely shared. Nevertheless, it’s known to be an attractive market as companies look to host events on the metaverse.Pavel Sinelnikov, co-founder and CEO of Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Metis DAO, told Cointelegraph that metaverses aim to achieve “digital land ownership and the ability to buy, sell, and rent land and other virtual items,” adding:“Metaverses create an abstraction of real-life, where there is a living virtual economy in the game that is not locked and restricted to the digital domain, but instead extends outside of it; these are real and valued assets, holding value outside of the digital realm.”According to Sinelnikov, the economies seen within metaverses like Decenraland and The Sandbox impact the “greater and real-world DeFi [decentralized finance] ecosystem,” while allowing for more interoperability opportunities.Leasing assetsAnother way to earn passive income in the metaverse involves leasing out assets, as some users may not want to directly purchase expensive NFTs.One well-known example of NFTs being leased to other users to earn passive income comes from the popular game Axie Infinity. The game is based on NFTs called on Axies that were, at one point, rather expensive as the game’s popularity exploded during the bull market.In the game, Axies were needed to compete and earn rewards in the form of Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens. Players who could not afford Axies would receive them from so-called team managers in exchange for some of the SLP tokens they managed to earn. The managers were, in essence, earning passive income from their Axies as other players — called scholars — used them to earn rewards. The practice was so popular that some “scholars” in Venezuela were making a living off of leased Axies.Other metaverse assets can be leased, depending on the platform. Sinelnikov commented that lending, renting and asset fractionalization are interactions that have already been formed on the metaverse, with the best part about them being that “no single provider can restrict the usage or control the market, since the assets belong to you and not to an individual provider.”Secondary market royaltiesSome NFT artists have earned extensive royalties through the secondary market as their creations are traded among collectors. The same type of interaction is possible in the metaverse.Prakash Somosundram, co-founder and CEO of blockchain game launchpad Enjinstarter, told Cointelegraph that “any wearable creator can earn royalties when the assets they create are sold on the secondary market.”John Burris, chief of strategy at metaverse app IMVU, told Cointelegraph that the metaverse is “filled with opportunities to earn,” stating that while some metaverse worlds are play-to-earn and others “host gig-like economies,” almost all of them offer item creation and sales:“With blockchain and NFTs we’ve finally unlocked a true ownership and royalty model where royalties can and will continue to flow back to the original creator, providing well-deserved passive income as those items change hands.”Per Burris, the metaverse “serves as a great way for people to make money no matter who they are, or where they’re from, in the real world.” The ability to create, own and sell goods, he said, opens up opportunities to people that they would not get otherwise.Virtual gamesGaming is one of the metaverse’s largest use cases, with most metaverse worlds either being completely focused on gaming or having a large portion of users focusing on it. Some involve gambling, while others generate their revenue in other ways.Decentral Games’ ICE Poker virtual casino is one of the most popular metaverse gambling operations out there and since it’s based in the metaverse, a lot of the costs traditional casinos have aren’t present.Other games, however, aren’t related to gambling at all. Some generate revenue through asset sales, secondary market royalties or donations. Roderik van der Graff, the founder of global investment firm Lemniscap, told Cointelegraph that one of the firm’s portfolio companies has launched a tower defense game to generate revenue through the metaverse.The game is called Spark Defense and allows users to “monetize their land and complete quests to collect, earn and own NFTs which they can use across the game,” van der Graff said.AdvertisingOur final way to make passive income in the metaverse is through advertisements. Setting up large billboards in popular areas can draw in advertisers looking to get the crowd’s attention to sell their products or services, whether these are in the metaverse or outside of it.Finding advertisers for these billboards may mean the income isn’t completely passive, as after a campaign ends, an advertiser may lose interest and the billboard owner may have to start looking for someone else to rent.In fact, most of the options above are likely to require some involvement from the entrepreneur. Then again, true passive income doesn’t really exist, as even the most passive investments have to be monitored from time to time.Is passive income in the metaverse worth chasing?If generated income isn’t entirely passive, some may consider it not worth chasing, given the drawbacks. According to Burris, downsides include engaging in speculation and dealing with the volatility of the cryptocurrency space, as most transactions are conducted in either NFTs or crypto tokens:“It’s important users and creators looking to create income in the metaverse examine the platforms and metaverses they use, and look at the product as a whole. Is the team experienced? Is the metaverse active? Can it sustain itself through economic downturns?”Somosundram said that the sustainability of an income stream “depends on the success of the specific metaverse and/or game where you generate your passive income,” which may mean often moving on to another venture.It’s also worth pointing out that entrepreneurs may end up betting on a metaverse world that is later on abandoned, making their investment worthless as every passive income opportunity in the metaverse relies on heavy traffic. On the bright side, Somosundram said that passive income from the metaverse is a “great means of diversification along with traditional financial instruments,” and there can be a rapidly expanding number of opportunities out there as the metaverse industry grows.As exact figures aren’t widely shared, it’s up to entrepreneurs whether they want to bet on the metaverse and start building their income streams on it or whether they prefer to focus their attention elsewhere. Those who risk making it in the metaverse may have to innovate to stand out, however.Making it in the digital worldWhile renting property or a digital billboard won’t require significant innovation, some of the more prolific earners are taking different approaches. Somosundram told Cointelegraph the story of a Singapore-based entrepreneur that created a GameFi guild that built up a pool of assets to lease for a fee.In another potential example, he pointed to tattoo artists using a service to “mint wearable tattoo art that generates passive income from the secondary market royalties.”Recent: After FTX: Defi can go mainstream if it overcomes its flawsBurris noted that on the platform he represents, there are “over 200,000 active creators, making over 350,000 new items for sale every month.” He stated: “As more and more people spend their time in virtual worlds, and begin looking toward it as a way to earn a living, it’s important to have both passive and active income opportunities — just like in the real world.”Whether entrepreneurs want to move forward with passive income ideas for the metaverse, it’s worth pointing out that there are no guarantees that the time or money invested will generate returns, as the space is constantly evolving.Economic activity in the metaverse is still at an embryonic stage, as many are still figuring things out. As the metaverse evolves, new opportunities will likely present themselves the same way they’re presenting themselves in the broader cryptocurrency space.

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Disney brings back Bob Iger as CEO: Here's the crypto connection

Metaverse-backer Bob Iger has announced a surprise return to his former role as CEO of Disney, taking over from now-former CEO Bob Chapek.While Iger is most well known for serving 15 years as the CEO of the global entertainment conglomerate, the Disney executive became known in the crypto community after becoming a director, advisor and investor in Genies, a digital avatar platform running on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain.“Thrilled to be joining the Genies Board of Directors to help Akash Nigam and company empower humans to create the ‘mobile apps of Web3’: avatar ecosystems,” Iger said at the time.Iger was still at Disney as an executive and board chairman when the company filed for a Metaverse-related patent on Dec. 28.The patent was for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue,” and according to the filing, would allow visitors to Disney theme parks to use mobile phones to generate and project personalized 3D effects onto nearby physical spaces, such as walls and other objects.However, Disney said at the time there were “no current plans” to use the “virtual-world simulator” patent, and the company has yet to announce any products related to the patent.Related: Silicon Valley tech CEOs are not big fans of metaversesAccording to the Hollywood Reporter, Iger’s return will reportedly only be temporary, though, with Iger only agreeing to serve as Disney’s CEO for the next two years. During his new term as CEO, Iger will reportedly work with the Board to set the strategic direction for the company and work to develop a successor.In his absence, Disney has continued to work towards projects involving the metaverse, NFTs and blockchain throughout the year.In September, Disney started hiring for a principal counsel to work on transactions involving NFTs, the Metaverse, blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi).Specifically seeking someone to provide “full product life cycle legal advice and support for global NFT products” and ensure they comply with all current laws and regulations on United States soil and internationally.

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Nifty News: Chinese firms to offer World Cup metaverse viewings, X2Y2 backtracks on royalties, and more

Chinese firms bet on ‘Metaverse-like’ experiences for FIFA World CupChina-based technology companies are reportedly working on tech that would give Chinese soccer fans the ability to watch the FIFA World Cup within the Metaverse.The efforts are part of a five-year plan released by the Chinese government in early November to boost the capabilities and development of the local Virtual Reality (VR) industry.Video streaming platform Migu is one of six Chinese firms that has secured the rights to show the World Cup and plans to create a “Metaverse-like” space accessed through VR headsets for users to watch a live stream of the game, according to a Nov. 20 report from the state-run media outlet Global Times.ByteDance, who owns TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin received licensing rights to air the competition, with ByteDance’s VR headset subsidiary Pico offering live broadcasts of the World Cup with the ability for users to create and hang out in “digital rooms” to watch the game together.The World Cup is seemingly being used by China’s nascent VR industry as a testbed for the technology, as the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology along with four other agencies pushed an ambitious industry plan on Nov. 1.The five-year plan from 2022 until 2026 outlined that China wants to bolster its VR industry and ship over 25 million units to the tune of $48.56 billion, although the plan doesn’t clarify if its unit target is annually or cumulative over the life of the plan.The stated plans don’t mention whether the Metaverse will utilize blockchain technology, such as the one posed by the Chinese city of Wuhan which was later revised to remove reference to nonfungible tokens (NFTs).X2Y2 rolls back optional royaltiesNFT marketplace X2Y2 has backtracked on its opt-in royalties play, saying in a Nov. 18 Twitter thread that it will again enforce creator royalties on all existing and new collections.The marketplace was one of the first to introduce optional royalties in August moving to a “Flexible Royalty” allowing buyers to set the amount they want to pay, receiving mixed reaction from the NFT community.2/We used to believe the best way to handle royalties is to give both parties, creators and traders, the right to choose.It is the rationale behind our Flexible Royalty feature. And we still believe so.— X2Y2 (@the_x2y2) November 18, 2022X2Y2 said it decided to reinstate royalty enforcement after taking a page from its peer Opensea, which decided on Nov. 9 to enforce royalties.X2Y2 also admitted many new collections are using OpenSea’s royalty enforcement tool that blacklists NFTs being sold on markets that don’t enforce royalties. In response, OpenSea said it was “proud to stand” with X2Y2 adding it removed the marketplace from its blacklist.Proud to stand with you–and the many brilliant creators in our community–on this critical measure. @the_x2y2 has been removed from our OperatorFilter and we hope other marketplaces will continue to join us. Onwards and upwards — OpenSea (@opensea) November 18, 2022

Givenchy drops ‘phygital’ NFTsFrench luxury fashion brand Givenchy has become the latest company to offer “phygital” NFTs — a physical good backed by a digital token.On Nov. 18, the company released a collection of physically backed NFTs as part of a collaboration with streetwear label Bstroy.The collaboration between the two brands sees a new limited “capsule collection” of six items that include a “complimentary NFT twin” of the physical piece.As expected of a luxury brand, the items don’t come cheap with the lowest priced item being a $595 t-shirt and the most expensive, a $5,450 wool and leather bomber jacket.Screenshot of a selection of items listed on Givenchy’s site that include an NFT. Source: GivenchyGivenchy Creative Director Matthew M. Williams was quoted saying how Bstroy’s founders are “longtime friends” who “share [his] vision of fashion” and that Givenchy and Bstroy “focused on creating streetwear with unexpected treatments” that “enters the realm of contemporary art on the street and in Web3.”Other recently offered “phygital” NFTs include the Azuki NFT project, which created a Physical Backed Token (PBT) standard that has sold skateboards and been used in streetwear collaborations. The sandals of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs were also sold as a “phygital” NFT at auction.Johnnie Walker keeps on walking into Web3Scotch whisky maker Johnnie Walker has continued its Web3 push by allowing NFT holders to vote on the design of a bottle for a limited-edition drop of its top “blue label” range.The whisky company has partnered with BlockBar, a luxury alcohol NFT marketplace, and streetwear designer Junghoon Vandy Son, known as VANDYTHEPINK, the latter of who will be creating the bottle’s design.Johnnie Walker has left the design up to NFT holders, who will vote on the final design or artwork that Son will make for the bottle. It’s the designers first time taking on a Web3-related project according to the brand.Related: Helping mainstream artists into Web3: The triumphs and strugglesOnce the physical bottles are made, they’ll be held by BlockBar who will only release the physical bottle to an NFT holder once they’re ready to swap, “burning” their NFT “bottle”, initially priced at $355, for a replacement of the real thing.The brand has delved into Web3 in the past partnering with Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT project VeeFriends in May giving holders of particular NFTs spirits-related offerings. This collaboration was also spearheaded alongside Vayner3, Vaynerchuk’s Web3 consultancy firm.More Nifty NewsMetaplex is feeling the sting of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX with the NFT protocol laying off “several members” of its team on Nov. 18 citing the “indirect impact” of FTX’s fall. Its treasury wasn’t directly affected but Metaplex CEO Stephen Hess said a “more conservative approach moving forward” was needed for the company.A partner for the Australian arm of Big Four accounting firm KPMG, James Mabbott, told Cointelegraph on Nov. 18 he believes the Metaverse “explosion” will be driven by businesses. The company created a new Head of Metaverse Futures role that looks to build its own metaverse for the company’s internal business operations and business-to-business services.

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Island nation turns to metaverse to preserve its disappearing heritage

In the South Pacific, the island nation of Tuvalu decided to turn to Web3 technology in order to make sure its culture and society are preserved in the future. On Nov. 15 the country’s foreign minister, Simon Kofe, told the COP27 climate summit that it is looking for alternative ways to protect the county’s heritage against rising sea levels brought on by climate change. One of those ways is through recreating itself in the metaverse.As highlighted by Minister Hon @Simon_Kofe in his speech to leaders at #COP27 we have had to act. As rising sea levels threaten to submerge our home we have made a radical plan for the survival of our nation. Visit https://t.co/AKOS8iul64 Save #Tuvalu. Save the world. pic.twitter.com/P8HMkwz4i7— Tuvalu Ministry of Foreign Affairs (@Tuvalu_MJCFA) November 15, 2022In a video broadcast, Kofe said, “As our land disappears we have no choice but to become the world’s first digital nation.”Allegedly up to 40% of the nation’s capital district is underwater at high tide and the entire country is forecast to be underwater by the end of the century.As Tuvalu builds itself into the metaverse, it will become the first digitized nation in the metaverse. Kofe said the country’s land, ocean and culture are its most precious assets and no matter what happens in the physical world they will be kept safe in the cloud.“Islands like this one won’t survive rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels and droughts so we will recreate them virtually.”Although Tuvalu could become the first sovereign nation to recreate itself in the metaverse, other countries have already begun their own explorations into the digital frontier. Related: Ecosystem is bullish on the metaverse, no matter what the numbers imply In 2021, the Caribbean island nation of Barbados opened up an embassy in the Decentraland metaverse and was the first to do so. An indigenious tribe in Australia had also laid out plans for opening an embassy in the metaverse earlier this year.Other countries have begun offering services in the metaverse. Norway recently opened up a branch of its federal tax offices in the metaverse in order to reach its next generation of users. The United Arab Emirates set up a new headquarters for its Ministry of Economy on virtual land.Major tech-forward cities such as Seoul in South Korea and Santa Monica in California have also created digital counterparts.

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Yuga Labs acquires Beeple’s 10KTF game, hints at metaverse integration

Yuga Labs, creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), have acquired 10KTF; the NFT game founded by digital artist Michael Winkelmann, also known as Beeple.10KTF is a browser-based NFT game that allows players to outfit heroes with crafted items and loadouts in order to complete missions. Missions reward players with APE coins, badges, materials, and free airdrops.The game also intends to include many items that could be worn by an avatar in the future; pairs of socks and backpacks are popular items from the game’s collection. Until now, fans have been left to wonder what Metaverse platform will feature these items. Now that the acquisition has been announced, some fans have begun to speculate that 10KTF items may become wearable within Yuga Labs’ as-yet-unreleased Otherside metaverse ecosystem.A thread published on the 10KTF official Twitter channel on Nov. 14 showed images of the 10KTF hero, Wagmi-San, drinking an elixir that was previously featured in the Otherside trailer. The final post in the thread is a retweet from the Otherside’s channel, which says “welcome to the Otherside, Wagmi-San.”Welcome to the Otherside, Wagmi-san. pic.twitter.com/cNCNTqOd44— Othersidemeta (@OthersideMeta) November 14, 2022Once the acquisition is completed, the company said that Beeple will be hired as an advisor for Yuga Labs.Back in March, YugaLabs announced that it was acquiring both the Cryptopunks and Meebits NFT collections from the nonfungible pioneers at Larval Labs. At the time, Larval Labs co founders Matt Hall and John Watkinson said that, though they were not joining Yuga as part of the deal, “we saw in [Yuga Labs] the skill set and expertise in this space that we were missing.”

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Ownership is the future of digital entertainment, says blockchain exec

Web3 is uprooting traditional entertainment industries with a new way of creating and engaging with digital content.The industry has already seen nonfungible tokens (NFTs) display the potential to transform how television scheduled programming can be created. Increased metaverse activity began challenging artists with new possibilities for performances and connectivity with their fans. All the use cases of Web3 technology upgrading the future of digital entertainment include one key component: ownership. Ownership is one of the defining characteristics that distinguishes Web3 activity from its predecessor. According to professionals in the industry, it will also be a defining characteristic not only of Web3 but of the future of digital entertainment. Cointelegraph spoke with Mitch Liu, CEO of the media and entertainment-centric blockchain Theta Labs, on what users can expect in the not-so-distant future of digital entertainment. Foremost, ownership redirects power back to the users actually engaging with the content rather than a few powerful platforms. Liu highlights that specifically with “tokenized economies for entertainment businesses,” both users and platforms benefit:“For platforms that embrace Web3, they gain new ways of monetization at a time when the margins of Web2 business models are shrinking.”This comes at a time when competition within the streaming industry is driving turbulent results for service providers. According to recent reports, platforms such as Paramount+ and Disney+ saw an increase in subscribers in the last quarter. However, stocks dropped as much as 9% for the latter, and earnings for both fell short of official estimates. Related: Social tokens will be the engine of Web3, from fanbases to incentivizationLiu says streaming wars lead to higher costs for users and more ads. Instead, he suggests such platforms need to adopt new business models which highlight user experience. This comes through ownership:“The key is to give the users and fans a say rather than have every decision come from the top down.”Liu continued by saying that, “giving more control back to users, whether it’s immutable ownership of a movie or the right to vote on how a platform operates, will help to avoid centralization.”Metaverse activity is one way to particularly enhance user experience through ownership. As investors are pouring into the metaverse space, entertainment platforms can take advantage of a new frontier with fewer barriers between audiences:“Decentralized economies and user ownership can be built into metaverses from the ground up.”According to a recent DappRadar report, metaverse and blockchain gaming projects cumulatively raised $1.3 billion during Q3. Companies in the space also see the potential Web3 has for entertainment ventures, as blockchain developer Ripple created a $250 million fund to back entertainment and media-focused Web3 projects. Its second wave of creators launched on Oct. 18 of this year.

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Worldwide Webb founder explains the role interoperability will play in Web3

On Nov. 11, NFT Steez, a bi-weekly Twitter Spaces hosted by Alyssa Expósito and Ray Salmond, met with Thomas Webb, the founder of the interoperable avatar game Worldwide Webb, to discuss the integration of interoperability in Web3 and the Metaverse. By definition, interoperability is a feature of Web3 whereby a product or system can work seamlessly across platforms with other products or services. Webb defines interoperability simply as “creating a token— a nonfungible token (NFT)” since, at its most basic level, no one can control it besides the creator.But how does interoperability function presently in Web3, and what is its potential impact? Executing interoperability the “right” way When discussing how interoperable applications can create a profound impact, Webb described the creativity he has seen from NFT communities and brands.Whether it comes from “creating a product, creating ideas, or creating experiences,” Webb believes that enabling the creation of intellectual property (IP) allows users to display their loyalty and in other ways, their achievement.Interoperability also seems to function in tandem with token-gated experiences, according to Webb. In essence, users can get closer to authentic experiences by using the token they hold as an access pass to attend events and receive perks.This integration enables brands to cross-collaborate, reach their users and create a proliferation of value, or as Webb says, “infinite value.” Related: NFT Steez and Lukso co-founder explore the implications of digital self-sovereignty in Web3Interoperability applications across sectors “Interoperability could be the backbone of everything,” stated Webb when asked about the sectors interoperability could seep into. For Webb, the more transparent and data-driven platforms can be, will yield more collaboration and engagement across tech companies. Ultimately, Webb believes that e-commerce, creative experiences and even concepts like identity and self-sovereignty will be impacted by the concept of interoperability.However, even with interoperability as a cornerstone of Web3, Webb did express the inevitability of risk and challenges associated with creating a standard that suits all countries. According to Webb, the presence of centralized regulatory bodies could continue to inhibit experimentation and growth. To hear more from the conversation, tune in and listen to the full episode of NFT Steez and make sure to mark your calendar for the next episode on Dec. 2 at 12 pm EST.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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