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Metaverse December 8, 2022

Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch

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Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch

Everybody and their aunts are producing metaverses these days. While the tech is relatively new, a number of projects have already started to take off when it comes to number of users. Here are ten of the most talked-about metaverse projects.

Decentraland 

Decentraland is one of the most popular metaverse projects currently for a number of reasons. Once immersed in its metaverse, the user is able to buy his/her favorite brands, attend virtual events, play games, meet new people, build new business projects and even gamble.

Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch In 2023

Decentraland was built on the Ethereum blockchain network and is said to be user-owned. This means that those who immerse themselves in it, have plenty of room to create their own environment, avatars, marketplaces, digital infrastructures and applications. 

MANA, its cryptocurrency, is available on a number of crypto exchanges.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie is a blockchain-based game that has enjoyed a lot of hype with the help of cute, animal-like characters and allows some players to also earn cash, while enjoying themselves. Some people have even found playing Axie a rewarding full-time job. 

It is powered by the Ethereum blockchain network and uses AXS and SLP as its currencies. Each of these have different purposes inside the game. The AXS or Axie Infinity Shards, are governance tokens. On the other hand players holding the AXS coins get to vote on the game’s future development plans, including updates and treasury balance use. 

SLP tokens or Smooth Love Potions are earned as rewards through battle or adventure mode. These tokens can be used to breed “Axies”. 

Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch In 2023

The Sandbox (SAND)

The Sandbox is a metaverse game built on the Ethereum blockchain network and is driven by original content creation as well as gaming.

It uses a 3D voxel approach that also allows its players to take full advantage of their imagination and create virtual worlds as they desire. In essence, anyone can build, own, and monetize their gaming experience using the platform’s native currency – SAND. 

This ERC-20 utility token is used throughout the entire Sandbox ecosystem, supporting all transactions and interactions. 

So far, users have created more than 70 million unique worlds and environments inside The Sandbox. This has led to the creation of a rather vibrant market of non-fungible tokens (NFT)s.

Apart from hosting content-building experiences, the platform also permits its community to build games, assets and applications on top of their land parcel.

Gala

The platform is blockchain-powered gaming platform where players can freely exchange in-game items such as non-fungible tokens. The Gala Network is supported by users, who operate Gala nodes from their home computers. Gala is home to a number of games focused on relationships, and is connecting players to games such as Mirandus, Spider Tank, Town Star, Fortified, and Echoes of Empire.

The game gives away some authority and ownership to gamers. By and large, this is mostly achieved through the game’s native digital coin – GALA. Its used on the platform for network governance, rewards and node operator incentives.

Sensorium Galaxy

This metaverse came about thanks to a collaboration of some of the world’s top artists, producers, and media companies and consists of several worlds. Each one acts as a hub that is dedicated to a different and unique set of experiences.

Of the hubs, its PRISM is the premiere and serves as the entrance into music and entertainment. In PRISM, immersed users will get exclusive VR performances by chart-topping artists. Through a combination of AI and VR technology, premium content is made available.

Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch

Sensorium Galaxy.

Another key feature of Sensorium Galaxy is its in-platform currency – SENSO – which is underpinned by blockchain technology to power a “fair, transparent and user-owned decentralized economy”.

The token is used for a variety of things ranging from creating new avatars to buying event tickets and developing original content.

The platform has since migrated from Ethereum to the Wakatta blockchain to ensure faster transactions (30 times faster than Ethereum,), make transaction fees cheaper at $0.001, and support a greater number of operations within Sensorium Galaxy’s marketplace.

In addition to that, the Wakatta also links the Sensorium Galaxy’s currency, SENSO, to the Polkadot ecosystem, creating competitive conditions for SENSO token holders.

Among other things the avatars will be AI powered (including some of the world’s first social AI DJs), metaverse music streaming, advanced social and game mechanics, extensive immersion and interactivity features. Time will tell how well  Sensorium succeeds.

Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch In 2023

Grainy Metahero.

Metahero (HERO)

This platform intends to introduce “ultra-realistic digital clones” using 3D-scan of user’s face and body, that users can customize and use across the metaverse activities.

Each 3D avatar features a realistic life-like body type and a “photo-realistic face” thanks  to Metahero’s 3D modeling partnership with Wolf Digital World (WDW).

The platform also allows users to scan one’s own body and mint the scan as an NFT for use in the metaverse.

The avatars can also be armed with different skills set and powers from a range of classes like Close Combat Specialist, Spellcaster, Mentalist, Enchanter, Elementalist, Range Combat Specialist and Assassin.

Users can arm their recruits by trading and selling their NFTs.

Somnium Space (Cube)

The 3D powered blockchain platform is replete with mind rattling experiences, and a chance to explore every aspect of the metaverse.

Newcomers to this metaverse might not find the quality of the graphics appealing, but its redemption is how the space lets users fully use their imagination, and customize both their avatars and the spaces around them. 

The metaverse prides itself as “an open, social and persistent virtual reality platform.”

Although most metaverse projects we have reviewed are mostly on the Ethereum chain, Somnium has adopted a multi-chain approach that also includes Solana.

Somnium offers an NFT Gallery, using VR avatars to attend VR concerts while dancing with a full-body tracking kit, “creating new NFT-based worlds” and experiences that others can enjoy as well. It’s metaverse economy is powered by CUBE.

Ten Metaverse Crypto Projects To Watch In 2023

Star Atlas, trailer footage.

Star Atlas

Star Atlas is a departure from cryptobacked metaverses. To all intents and purposes, it has a great storyline, a growing community and monetization opportunities. Star Atlas has its two tokens built on the Solana blockchain – ATLAS and POLIS. ATLAS, is pretty much a typical in-game coin that users can rely on to enter battles and explore different worlds as well as accessing the marketplace.

POLIS, allows users to experience what the developers say is the game’s “political intrigue” aspect. 

Players in the metaverse are in charge of making decisions about the game — and perhaps even outvote the creators.

Bloktopia

This metaverse is a skyscraper-themed VR project where users across a 21-story building can learn, meet new people, do business, and explore different activities.

The game relies on the participation and creativity of each user to complete the building. Bloktopia is looking to new ways to create content and income for users who choose to reside in the metaverse.

Browsing the chaotic Voxels world.

Cryptovoxels (CVPA)

This is another Ethereum-based metaverse with a Minecraft-like feel. The metaverse comprises a world of digital infrastructures and vast blocks of land that users can continuously build on top of.

Although its assets can be traded on OpenSea in exchange for ETH, Cryptovoxels has its own currency, Cryptovoxels Parcel (CVPA).

Users can elect to build inside their virtual properties, including adding posters, signs or audio tracks, or simply sell them. Cryptovoxels, one of the oldest metaverses, has also managed to build a large community, and for the newb it’s the perfect place to start out with its easily accessible browser-based, and very lively, metaverse.

/MetaNews.

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Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney.

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Quest 3 Headset Will Have Better Mixed Reality Tech

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Quest 3 Headset Will Have Better Mixed Reality Tech, says Zuckerberg
Artist's rendering.

Meta, keen to be a Metaverse giant, plans to launch virtual reality headset Quest 3 later this year, with better mixed reality technology, said CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Meta confirmed that the release should be called Meta Quest 3. It’s expected to cost between US$300 and US$500, which is about a third of the Quest Pro (the Quest Pro is currently priced at $1,499.99).

Also read: Meta Employees Undermine Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Strategy

The new headset will provide support for Meta Reality, which is technology that enables virtual reality headsets to also be used for augmented reality. This technology allows devices to create mixed reality experiences.

Meta Reality in Next-Gen Consumer Headset

The mixed reality ecosystem is relatively new, but Zuckerberg thinks it’s going to grow a lot in the next few years.

“Later this year, we’re going to launch our next generation consumer headset, which will feature Meta Reality as well, and I expect that this is going to establish this technology as the baseline for all headsets going forward, and eventually of course for AR glasses as well,” said Zuckerberg.

Beyond MR, the broader VR ecosystem continues growing. There are now over 200 apps on Meta’s VR devices that have made more than $1 million in revenue, Zuckerberg said.

How Meta Reality will look in more affordable headsets is yet to be clear.

Meta’s Reported Win over FTC will be Crucial

Meta has reportedly won court approval earlier this week to acquire VR fitness app Supernatural’s maker, Within, which will be a huge boost for Zuckerberg’s ambitious metaverse project.

Meta’s plan was to acquire Within and Supernatural back in October 2021, but it was blocked by the FTC’s complaint file to stop the deal. The FTC’s complaint was justified by saying Meta already owns a “virtual reality empire.”

Zuckerberg’s Meta Quest 2 is arguably the best VR headset, even after a massive hike in its price last year.

“There is a lot of work there that we haven’t actually shipped the product yet. VR, which is starting to ramp, right, Quest 2, I think, did quite well. We have multiple product lines there with the Quest Pro,” said Zuckerberg about Quest 3.

When Meta shipped Quest Pro at the end of last year, it was something their CEO was “really proud of” and believed it was the first mainstream mixed reality device to set the standard for the industry with Meta Reality.

“As always, the reason why we’re focused on building these platforms is to deliver better social experiences than what’s possible today on phones,” said Zuckerberg.

The possible benefit could be expected in Quest 3 through the acquisition of Within.

 

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Metaverse

Interpol Wants to Police Metaverse Crime. But That May Not Be Easy

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Interpol Wants to Police Metaverse Crime. But That May Not Be Easy

The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, is looking at ways to police crime in the metaverse, according to secretary general Jurgen Stock. However, the agency may find that to be hard in the absence of a universally agreed definition of the “metaverse,” let alone of metaverse crime.

Stock said, “criminals are sophisticated and professional in very quickly adapting to any new technological tool that is available to commit crime. We need to sufficiently respond to that. Sometimes lawmakers, police, and our societies are running a little bit behind.”

“We have seen if we are doing it too late, it already impacts trust in the tools we are using, and therefore the metaverse. In similar platforms that already exist, criminals are using it,” he added, according to the BBC.

Defining the metaverse

The metaverse may be thought of as the idea of a post-physical world in which life is lived virtually on the Internet: “a single, shared, immersive, persistent, 3D virtual space” where humans experience life in ways they could not in the real world.

Also read: Is the World Ready for Music Concerts in the Metaverse?

American author Neal Stephenson is credited with coining the term “metaverse” in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. He referred to the metaverse as an all-encompassing digital world that exists parallel to the real world.

However, the word gained significance when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of the social media company to “Meta” in 2021, a rebrand that focused on building the metaverse.

While at this point users are already utilizing a range of hardware such as headsets to gain access to the immersive experiences of the metaverse, there’s still no universally agreed definition of the metaverse. Much less of metaverse crime.

What does metaverse crime look like for Interpol?

The building blocks of the new form of communication are still being laid down. Anyone can build their own metaverse and define how that specific digital world works. Interpol has now built its own virtual reality (VR) space in order to catch up with criminals operating in the metaverse.

The VR unit is aimed at helping its officers with training for virtual interactions. Announcing the launch of the virtual reality metaverse last October, Interpol said:

“As the number of metaverse users grows and the technology further develops, the list of possible crimes will only expand to potentially include crimes against children, data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, and sexual assault and harassment.”

Interpol is still having a hard time defining metaverse crime. Madan Oberoi, the executive director of technology and innovation at Interpol, admitted to the BBC that “there are crimes where I don’t know whether it can still be called a crime or not.”

“For example, there have been reported cases of sexual harassment,” he said. “If you look at the definitions of these crimes in physical space, and you try to apply it in the metaverse, there is a difficulty.”

“We don’t know whether we can call them a crime or not, but those threats are definitely there, so those issues are yet to be resolved,” he added.

Oberoi said law enforcement needed to “know about the metaverse” in order to “help people who have been hurt in the metaverse.” It is one of Interpol’s objectives, he explained, “to make sure law enforcement personnel start using the metaverse and they become aware.”

Uphill task

Alex Kim, chief monetization officer at XR platform Sensorium Galaxy, said while discussions around metaverse regulation may help create “safe digital environments” for users, there is still need to strike a balance in implementation.

“The metaverse is being envisioned as a decentralized platform over which no central authority has control over,” Kim told MetaNews.

“This begs the question of who exactly should be tasked with monitoring the metaverse and what powers can this entity potentially have, and over what and whom.” Continuing, Kim added:

“It’s clear that policing the metaverse won’t be as straightforward as some might be hoping, but it’s very positive that the conversation surrounding the topic is moving forward, especially given the rapid pace of current technological developments.”

Software engineer Brandon Church laughed at the idea that the global police agency wanted to play guard to the metaverse.

“[The metaverse] is just an idea at the moment. The problem with ideas is that sometimes they never see the light of day. So these guys [Interpol] are working on policing an idea? I’m seriously wondering [where they are going with this],” Church told MetaNews.

Arseny Myakotnikov, cofounder and CMO of drive-to-earn Metadrive, believes the Interpol initiative goes against the ethos of decentralization, a key foundational principle of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, and Web3.

“Each metaverse must exist as a separate digital universe, where investors would be able to set their own rules and regulations based on the weight of their votes through decentralized voting within the project’s DAO,” he says

“It’s important to stress that most of the violations mentioned by the Interpol cannot be committed at the current stage of metaverse technology development.”

Interpol is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control. It was created 100 years ago and is made of 195 member countries.

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Meta Reportedly Defeats FTC to Receive Court Approval to Acquire Within

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Meta Reportedly Defeats FTC to Receive Court Approval to Acquire Within

Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, has reportedly won court approval for the acquisition of VR fitness app Supernatural’s maker, Within, after the Federal Trade Commission attempted to block the deal.

Also read: Lawsuit Filed Against Meta, Snap, TikTok for Mental Health Crisis

A US district judge, Edward Davila in San Jose California, “denied the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the proposed transaction” in a sealed decision on Wednesday, reported Bloomberg, citing a source familiar with the ruling.

Meta’s plan was to acquire Within and Supernatural back in October 2021, but it was blocked by the FTC’s complaint file to stop the deal. The FTC’s complaint was justified by saying Meta already owns a “virtual reality empire.”

Following the news, shares of Meta were slightly positive on Wednesday afternoon.

Facebook and The FTC also declined to comment with Bloomberg’s query citing the sealed nature of Davila’s decisions.

Push for Metaverse

The reported victory in this case may boost Mark Zuckerberg’s push towards the Metaverse. Zuckerberg’s Meta Quest 2 is arguably the best VR headset, even after a massive hike in its price last year.

Meta Quest Pro for $1500 and Meta Quest 3 are also in the company’s VR line-up, which has already developed VR spaces for work and play.

The Supernatural, developed by Within, was one of the first subscription-based services on the original Meta Quest.

Supernatural, a fitness app that features video instructors and motion-tracked workout routines, carries similarities to Meta’s successful fitness VR music game Beat Saber. Beat Saber was also acquired by Meta in 2019.

 Meta’s Dominance

A trial before the FTC’s administrative judge will start on Feb. 13. The FTC will also decide if it will continue with the case. Lina Khan, the chair of the FTC, was appointed by US President Joe Biden to bolster antitrust enforcement as a key principle of his administration’s economic policy. Hence, if this order stands, this loss to Meta will be a significant setback for Khan.

The FTC sued Meta back in July, arguing this acquisition would expand its dominance in the consumer VR market, highlighting its purchase of Beat Saber three years ago. The agency even emphasized that the addition of Within would even eliminate a “beneficial rivalry” between the two companies.

At the time, “the case was) based on ideology and speculation, not evidence, the idea that this acquisition would lead to anticompetitive outcomes in a dynamic space with as much entry and growth as online and connected fitness is simply not credible,” said a Meta spokesperson in a statement.

It’s still to be decided whether this will be the end of this story or not, as the FTC has declined to comment.

“Out of respect for the court’s orders, the FTC is not in a position to comment at this time,” FTC director of public affairs Douglas Farrar told The Verge.

Within would be the third start-up acquired by social media giants over the last decade if this case ends here and Meta purchases one more VR start-up. Previously, Meta acquired Oculus in 2014 before purchasing Beat Saber in 2019.

 

 

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