Metaverse July 18, 2022
Disney unveils new Web3 backing
The Walt Disney Company has stated on Wednesday that it has begun promoting the growth of innovative digital enterprises by launching its web3 accelerator. This was done in the previous month.
Disney, as part of its announcement, presented the six firms that are working under its program and which present building blocks for the basis of the industry of immersive technology
The accelerator intends to encourage the development of developing technologies that are essential to the Metaverse’s experiences. These technologies include non-fungible token (NFT), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.
“The Disney Accelerator is thrilled to be part of that legacy,” continued Bonnie Rosen, General Manager of the Disney Accelerator Program. “With our newest class of companies, we look forward to furthering our commitment to innovation and continuing to bring magical experiences to Disney audiences and guests for the next 100 years.”
The accelerator is being utilized by Disney in order to capitalize on the upcoming generation of entertainment. The company is also providing its renowned foundation in “creativity, imagination, and competence” to the firms that have been selected by the company in order to develop integrated immersive storytelling experiences that bring the virtual world and the real world together.
The program provides the companies that it selects with investment funding, support from Disney’s top leadership team, a personal devoted executive mentor, and an opportunity to display their real-world technologies at Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California.
The Sandbox Unites with Ledger to Boost Metaverse Security
The Sandbox, one of the most patronized decentralized virtual worlds, recently announced that it has teamed up with Ledger Enterprise, a company whose infrastructure solutions safeguard businesses’ crypto assets. As part of the deal, Ledger will provide security integration to all of The Sandbox’s enterprise brand partners.
An ongoing collaboration
The alliance will enable brands to easily and simply secure their LAND, virtual parcels digital real estate within The Sandbox metaverse. LAND allows game designers create digital experiences such as dioramas or games and populate them with assets.
What’s more, enterprise brands will be able to secure wallets that house their Sandbox NFT collections. To be more specific, brands can add The Sandbox as a decentralized application (dApp) on Ledger Enterprise.
Additionally, users of Ledger’s live desktop application will see the integration of a widget for the Sandbox. The Sandbox will recommend Ledger Enterprise to clients, while Ledger returns the favor by recommending The Sandbox to those interested in breaking into the possibilities of the metaverse.
We are partnering with @ledger_business to enhance security for enterprises in the #metaverse! 🔒
Bringing scalable security and treasury management to #TheSandbox, and allowing for seamless integration for brand partners.#LedgerEnterprise @Ledger pic.twitter.com/WELaF0MiXm
— The Sandbox (@TheSandboxGame) March 23, 2023
Lastly, with crypto hacks soaring by 15% from 2021 ($3.3 billion) to $3.8 billion in 2022, the alliance with enable clients to migrate all Sandbox NFT collections to a secure Ledger Enterprise wallet that benefits from additional security.
The latest collaboration between The Sandbox and Ledger comes seven months after the two firms partnered to develop “Ledgerverse” in August 2022.
Ledgerverse was created to educate people about the need for crypto security education, with detailed content on how users of the entire DeFi sector can protect their wallets from cybercriminals.
Tommy Hilfiger partners with the Sandbox
On March 28, Tommy Hilfiger announced via its verified Twitter handle that it has teamed up with several metaverse-related firms including Roblox and The Sandbox. According to the post, this will bring the brand’s lifestyle into multiple digital communities.
The Sandbox remains one of the most sought-after digital collections in the market. As of 09:30 UTC on March 29, the project’s highest seven-day sales ranged from $2,000 to $5,000 despite a sharp decline in the total number of sales, data from Nonfungible.com showed.
Sandbox token up over 60% this year
Unlike other metaverse tokens that have seen mild gains in 2023, SAND is one of the cryptocurrencies that has brought multiple percentage returns to its holders.
Following the market rebound earlier in the year, SAND soared by 114% to a yearly high price of $0.9365 on February 8 after opening the first day with a trading price of $0.3831 amid a substantial rise in investor demand.
As of 09:30 UTC on March 29, SAND was exchanging hands for $0.6455. Overall, this brings the SAND gains year-to-date (YTD) to 68%, data from crypto price tracker CoinMarketCap showed.
Government-Backed NFT Scrapped By UK Treasury
Government-backed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were in the news last April, after the UK made a bold move to create digital collectibles to foster the country’s commitment to tech. While this was seen as a positive one year ago, a statement released on March 27 has thrown the once-innovative idea into complete disarray.
The Treasury of the UK has nixed the idea of releasing a government-backed NFT which would have placed the country ahead of other crypto-friendly nations as a leading global crypto hub.
Economic uncertainty across the entire decentralized finance (DeFi) sector due to a muddied regulatory picture was cited as one of the main concerns leading to the scrapping of the token. That’s according to statements made by Harriet Baldwin, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, to the BBC.
Current British PM proposed idea last year
Last April, John Glen, the minister and economic secretary to the Treasury, told an audience at the Innovative Finance Global Summit that then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the current Prime Minister, petitioned Royal Mint to make an NFT before the end of summer 2022.
According to Glen, the whole idea was part of the UK’s forward-looking approach towards utilizing the latest technology in the country’s development.
Brutal for NFTs/online worlds and it's not even 8am: Disney has folded down its metaverse team and Rishi Sunak's dream of a UK government issued NFT has ended…. sad!
— Lucy HM (@LHM1) March 28, 2023
While a government-backed “NFT for Britain” now appears off the table, economic secretary Andrew Griffith has made it known that the proposal will remain under review.
Shadow city minister Tulip Siddiq was quick to put the boot in, saying: “I’m glad the Royal Mint has finally made the Conservatives see sense, but we’ve been calling on the chancellor to drop this crypto gimmick for months.”
Global NFT market soars past $50bn in sales
Despite the negative market sentiment occasioned by the UK Treasury’s decision, the digital collectibles market remains the most profitable in the crypto-economy after the deepening of bearishness in the second half of 2022 due to the collapse of Terra and FTX.
Global NFT sales in the past 24 hours stood at $41 million from the activities of 74,786 users involved in more than 180,000 transactions. Lifetime sales volume, meanwhile, has surpassed $50 billion.
Popular NFT project CryptoPunks holds the record for the four highest-selling individual NFTs, Axie Infinity remains the number one NFT collection by all-time sales volume with $4.2 billion, and Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum remains the biggest NFT blockchain by all-time sales volume of about $38 billion.
NFT users are spread throughout the globe, with the majority hailing from the United States, Thailand, Brazil, China, Vietnam, India, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, and South Africa
Disney Dismisses Metaverse Division, Polygon Feels the Heat
Disney has announced that it is abandoning plans to explore the metaverse, and the news has vibrated through many parts of the Web3 industry including cryptocurrencies.
The animator, together with major fashion brands (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Yves Saint Laurent and Nike), automotive companies Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and fellow media company Warner Brothers, are the pioneer companies that have filed for NFT and metaverse trademarks with the United States Postal and Trademark Office (USPTO).
According to the Wall Street Journal, around 50 employees in Disney’s metaverse division have been dismissed. The layoff in the AR and VR-powered division represents a modest fraction of the company’s downsizing that will see about 7,000 lose their jobs.
While the mass media, multinational, and entertainment conglomerate has been experimenting with several technologies under the metaverse banner, including producing AR films, creating virtual stores, and integrating blockchain technology, the slow adoption of the virtual world has made the sector largely unprofitable for Disney and other firms.
The latest development has not just affected Disney employees. Stakeholders of the crypto economy, particularly Polygon (MATIC) holders, have also seen a substantial reduction in their portfolios amid the layoffs.
Polygon (MATIC) is down by 12% in March
In July 2022, Polygon was selected along with Red 6, Obsess, Lockerverse, Inworld, and Flickplay as the six participants for Disney’s Accelerator Program.
The Program came with a vision of building the future of immersive experiences with a primary focus on artificial intelligence (AI) characters, NFTs, and ARs.
As an integral part of the NFT industry, Polygon ranks 5th on the log of blockchains by all-time NFT sales volume with approximately $764 million from 1.05 million buyers involved in over 6 million transactions.
Disney’s association with Polygon at the time led to a 94% spike in the price of MATIC after opening and closing the month with trading prices of $0.4781 and $0.9283 respectively.
The opposite reaction has been felt in MATIC’s price due to the layoffs. MATIC is down by 12% in March after opening the month strongly at $1.1952 and declining to $1.0470, as of 09:30 UTC on March 28.
NFT and metaverse trademarks continue to be filed
According to USPTO data shared by licensed attorney Mike Kondoudis, a large number of companies have filed NFT and metaverse trademarks.
At a glance, these include Wynn Resorts, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, FUJITSU, Nissan, Fallout, Lucasfilm, Samsung, Shutterstock AI, Grammarly, Amazon, Lacoste, and General Motors (GM).
Other firms to have explored opportunities via trademarks are Walmart, Sports Illustrated, Death Row Records, American Music Awards, and Disney. The latter’s latest application is for the new Marvel television TV show.
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