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Cryptocurrencies December 28, 2022

Tight Regulations Push Chinese Metaverse Businesses Overseas

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Tight Regulations Push Chinese Metaverse Businesses Overseas

Chinese metaverse entrepreneurs are turning to overseas markets as the strict regulatory landscape back home is pushing them away.

World over, metaverse and Web3 have become the buzzwords with tech companies and entrepreneurs scrambling for exciting business opportunities.

Parent firm of TikTok – Byte Dance has designed two metaverse apps while other tech giants Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group and Baidu are investing in metaverse and Web3 projects.

Also read: What Are Hypernetworks?

Developing these and more projects is however difficult with Chinese authorities taking a tough stance on cryptocurrency.

Regulations in some markets have become strict after a combination of factors caused a freefall on some crypto asset prices as well as collapse of some high profile crypto currencies, rising inflation and impact of the conflict in Ukraine.

In China, the regulations have made investors think twice about digital assets and look elsewhere like Singapore for security of their investments.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a fully immersive, persistent virtual world where with the help of high tech goggles and other kit, people interact, work and play via online avatars of their real world selves.

Web3 is the term used for a new, decentralized internet based on blockchains. Businesses, investors and developers predict the metaverse could form the next generation of the internet.

Mark Zuckerberg has become the most famous promoter of the metaverse. The renaming of Facebook as Meta in October 2021 has accelerated the race among tech giants in the US and Asia to turn the idea of the metaverse into reality.

A report by consulting firm, McKinsey & Company says global investment in metaverse businesses topped $120 billion during the first half of the year, which was more than double what was recorded in the whole of 2021.

Gaming in particular is projected to continue growing with 3.2 billion people expected to be active players for 2022, spending a combined $196.8 billion according to Newzoo.

Tight Regulations Push Chinese Metaverse Businesses Overseas

Chinese warm up to metaverse

According to China Briefing, Chinese technology companies have started testing the water by developing metaverse type apps, trademarking metaverse related phrases and investing in the virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) segment.

Baidu was the first Chinese firm to launch a metaverse app in December 2021, under the name “Land of Hope.”

Tencent has taken several initiatives to make its offerings more virtual.

So vast is the excitement around metaverse that it has also attracted more scrutiny from regulators. Concerns are these tech developments may be used for illegal activities such as money laundering.

Tencent laid off staff at its NFT purchase and collection platform Huanhe amid strong regulatory scrutiny of transactions in digital assets in Chinese mainland. The firm has since invested in Australian NFT startup Immutable, which is developing a blockchain based online game where NFTs can be sold.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong Chinese listed livestreaming company Inkeverse Group launched an NFT project called Hootlabs selling NFTs that can be used as profile pictures by social media users. However, Inkeverse has forbidden Chinese mainland-based users from accessing its services.

Paradise in Southeast Asia

Countries in Southeast Asia have become a primary destination for Chinese Metaverse and Web3 companies due to looser oversight on cryptocurrency and proximity to China.

Market insiders say a lot of Chinese coders have either moved to Singapore for Web3 projects or are working on them remotely from China.

“Singapore is the best place for Chinese nationals to start a Web3 business in terms of culture and operation cost,” said a Singapore based Chinese Web3 entrepreneur cited by PingWest.

Some Chinese private equity investors have joined global venture capital investors to set up offices in Singapore and invest in local Web3  projects, according to market insiders.

“There are more and more investible metaverse and Web3 projects most of which are founded by Chinese entrepreneurs,” said Li of Initiate Capital.

Tight Regulations Push Chinese Metaverse Businesses Overseas

Chinese metaverse entrepreneurs in a fix

While Southeast Asia has been more accommodating, the Chinese entrepreneurs are now facing a shifting regulatory framework for cryptocurrency.

In November, Singapore’s financial regulator issued a warning on risks in cryptocurrencies trading after FTX’s dramatic failure. The crypto exchange fell from a $32 billion valuation to insolvency as customers who scrambled for withdrawals dried up its liquidity.

This caused rival exchange Binance, which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to walk away from potential bailout.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has since ordered Binance to stop registering users in the country as it has not been licensed.

Experts say this stance could dent prospects for metaverse and Web3 enterprises. Ning Xuanfeng, a partner at a law firm King & Wood Mallesons told Caixin that these enterprises also need to pay close attention to legal issues including anti-money laundering, tax compliance, intellectual property rights and anti-monopoly.

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Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney.

Cryptocurrencies

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

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AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%
Fetch.ai are among the current winners.

AI and Big Data tokens have joined metaverse tokens and industry-related cryptocurrencies to spike substantially in price. Among the hundreds of AI and Big Data tokens in the market, Fetch.ai (FET), Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), and The Graph (GRT) have brought awesome gains to their holders in the first three weeks of January. 

Fetch.ai (FET) has soared more than 200% 

Fetch.ai was created in 2017 as an AI laboratory that builds open, decentralized, and permissionless machine learning networks within the crypto economy. 

After shedding more than 80% of its value in 2022 due to an industry-wide bloodbath that wiped off more than $2 trillion from the crypto market, FET rebounded strongly in 2023. 

After opening the year on Jan. 1 with a trading price of $0.09166, the coin reached a monthly low of $0.09041 on Jan. 2. On Jan. 13, Binance announced the launch of FET/USDT Perpetual Contracts across multiple margin assets. The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume followed this up by opening trading for FET/TRY (Turkish Lira) on Jan. 26. On Jan. 17, another exchange Bitrue also listed FET/USDT on its futures platform. In the crypto space, staking, the adoption of a crypto asset by a mainstream institution as well as token listing by reputable exchanges (in this case Binance and Bitrue) are major drivers of price. 

The listing of the coin led to it reaching a monthly and yearly high of $0.3045 on Jan. 23. After seeing a low daily volume of $5.5 million, increased demand for the coin on the more than 30 exchanges that supports it led to the new high daily volume of $170 million

In the process, FETs market capitalization has risen by 232% from $75 million on its opening day to over $230 million

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

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Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) spiked over 130% due to the Hackathon progress

As a blockchain-based ecosystem that allows individuals and businesses to unlock the value of their data and monetize it via the use of Ethereum-based tokens, OCEAN has benefitted immensely from the cryptocurrency market rebound of 2023. 

Ocean has built on top of several mainstream blockchains in the industry and the highlight was when it partnered with Moonbeam Network on Polkadot to allow stakeholders of the Polkadot ecosystem to buy, stake, and publish data. 

OCEAN, like more than 90% of cryptocurrencies shed around 80% of its value in 2022 after opening and closing the year at $0.8586 and $0.1633 respectively. OCEAN opened 2023 with a price of $0.1633, reached a monthly low of $0.1592 on Jan. 2, and since that day, the token has benefitted from the Data Builders Hackathon the Ocean Foundation launched with Gitcoin which launched on Jan. 5 and it’s slated to end by the end of the month. Through this Hackathon, $40,000 in bounties will be shared among participants. 

OCEAN tested a monthly high of $0.3834 on Jan. 24 after seeing its least daily volume rise from $6.6 million to the highest of $143 million

Within 25 days, OCEAN’s price ascended by 134% which increased its market value from $100 million to more than $220 million

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

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The Graph (GRT) is increasing due to positive market sentiment 

As an indexing protocol for querying data for networks like Ethereum, The Graph has helped power many applications in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and the broader Web3 ecosystem. 

Renewed interest in cryptocurrency coupled with the awarding of funds to hackers by The Graph Foundation to build bold new decentralized applications (dApps) with sub-graphs has contributed to GRTs price spike. GRT, which is the novel token of the Graph lost 91% of its value in 2022. The token has impressed so far in 2023 recouping more than 70% of investor losses after opening at $0.05538 and reaching a monthly high of $0.0963 on Jan. 24. The significant rise in daily volume from $9 million to $86 million has also led to a rapid rise in market capitalization from $493 million to over $800 million

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

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Other AI and Big Data coins and tokens that have spiked in value include, but are not limited to, Singularity NET (AGIX), Phala Network (PHA), Phoenix (PHB), and Covalent (CQT), Alliance Block (ALBT).

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Cryptocurrencies

SHIB The Metaverse at Texas Film Festival: Here’s What You Can Expect

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SHIB The Metaverse at Texas Film Festival: Here's What You Can Expect

Shiba Inu (SHIB), the popular dog-themed meme coin that started as a joke, will showcase its developing immersive metaverse experience at the upcoming Southwest Film and TV festival (SXSW) in Texas in the U.S.

It comes as the creators of SHIB announced on Jan.15 the impending launch of Shibarium, a layer-2 (L2) solution built on the Ethereum blockchain. The new network will help to make transactions faster and cheaper – and even improve user experience for metaverse and gaming apps.

According to a recent blog post, Shiba token was invited to participate at the annual festival where visitors will get a first-time preview of the ecosystem’s WAGMI Temple, the first of 11 hubs in SHIB The Metaverse.

Also read: Microsoft Makes Big Moves in AI – Is the Firm out to Dominate Our AI Future?

“Hubs are epicenters of activity within the [SHIB] metaverse, offering distinctive experiences rooted in each hubs’s theme,” said Sherri Cuono, metaverse advisor to Shiba Token. “Each offers special attractions that may only be experienced in that hub.”

SXSW is known for its conferences and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film and television, music, education, and culture. The festival runs from March 10 -19, and will also feature exhibits covering experiences in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

What is SHIB The Metaverse?

Shiba Inu was created to make up for what rival Dogecoin (DOGE) lacked in functionality. Itself, Dogecoin started as a joke, just like Shiba Inu, but has since acquired meme status thanks to billionaire Elon Musk’s backing.

SHIB gained the limelight when it sent half of its initial supply of one quadrillion tokens to Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum co-founder immediately sold about $1 billion worth of SHIB and donated the proceeds to India’s pandemic relief fund.

However, without utility, meme coins like Shiba Inu and DOGE “are examples of speculative hype-coins better classified as fun for gamblers on an unprecedented 24/7 global scale,” as Mike McGlone, Bloomberg senior commodity strategist, previously said.

SHIB has not grown at the scale that its pseudonymous creator Shytoshi Kusama hoped it would. The crypto token is now building on strong community support in addition to a series of improvements being made on the network to boost its token price and improve utility.

On Oct. 6 last year, Shiba Eternity game was launched, and now the launch of Shibarium is imminent. Shiba Inu already operates a decentralized exchange (DEX), allowing users to transact peer-to-peer. The DEX is to be upgraded to ShibaSwap 2.0.

There are plans to unveil a metaverse, which is still in development, part of which will now be showcased at SXSW. According to its creators, SHIB The Metaverse is “a virtual representation of Shiba Token’s collective history.”

It “is home to immersive experiences that will allow people to explore, learn from and interact with the Shiba Inu ecosystem.” At the Texas festival, visitors will experience WAGMI Temple, so named to reflect crypto’s rallying cry of “We’re All Going to Make It”.

“The common thread is digital-plus-IRL utility including activities, commerce, customization, expression, events, education and exploring,” said Sherri Cuono, the Shiba Token metaverse advisor. She added:

“Users will be able to earn passive income, collect in-game resources, generate rewards, and even have their own space to build and manage their projects in SHIB: The Metaverse.”

What’s it like in the SHIB WAGMI Temple?

WAGMI Temple “is a zen-like realm with calming sensations, meditation, natural beauty, and spiritual connections to the world. Echoes whisper through the region, with a rich history and discovery of SHIB’s birth and its decentralized roots,” the blog post claims.

The Shiba Inu team at SXSW is hoping to use the showpiece to help participants learn how to connect their digital wallets, purchase metaverse land, and explore the WAGMI Temple. It believes that SHIB’s presence “will make it easy for people to take part in the metaverse.”

The metaverse enables new online social interactions and group experiences, such as virtual reality and gaming, according to experts. It is providing new ways for people to connect and collaborate, as well as new types of digital services that go beyond physical limitations.

Shibarium launch imminent

The Shiba Token team announced on Jan. 15 the imminent launch in beta of the Shibarium layer 2 blockchain, which is expected to make SHIB transactions faster, cheaper, and more private.

Shibarium runs on top of the Ethereum (ETH) network, and will also serve as a transitional evolution to the Shiba Inu ecosystem, centering around metaverse, Web3 innovation, and gaming. The team wrote in a separate blog post that:

“This is primarily due to the commonality of scalability and performance limitations of current existing blockchain networks.”

Shibarium’s layer 2 blockchain tech can enable a new decentralized metaverse and gaming ecosystem, “where players can interact and transact in a trustless and decentralized way and where players can own, buy and sell the digital assets they acquire.”

Shiba Inu token price action

After a massive rally two years ago, Shiba Inu has crashed 88% since peaking at $0.000086 on Oct. 28, 2021, according to CoinGecko. While the token fell in line with the rest of the crypto markets, investors have also sobered up about their expectations of the asset.

Despite the decline, SHIB remains the 15th largest cryptocurrency, with a market value of $5.78 billion. That compares with DOGE’s $11 billion, making it the ninth largest crypto asset. Dogecoin is down 89% from its all-time high of $0.7315 reached on May 8, 2021.

As of writing, SHIB is down 1.8% at $0.00001052.

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Metaverse Tokens See Price Spike with MANA Soaring More than 100%

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Metaverse Tokens See Price Spike with MANA Soaring More than 100%

Metaverse tokens have soared massively in the first two weeks of January with many cryptocurrencies seeing a price spike of more than 50%. 

Many analysts have attributed this to positive market sentiment for cryptocurrencies, renewed demand for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the quest by many individuals and companies to be a part of this growing sector. 

Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), Flow (FLOW), and Immutable X (IMX) are among the metaverse tokens that have brought more than 50% gains to investors. 

Decentraland (MANA) has recouped some of 2022’s losses

Decentraland is among the most recognizable metaverse platforms in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space as it allows users to experience shared digital experiences. 

MANA plunged by more than 90% in 2022 due to negative market sentiment that wiped off trillions of dollars from the crypto economy. Despite this, the token has recouped some of the losses by increasing by 145% from an opening price of $0.297 on Jan. 1 to reaching a yearly high of $0.7278 on Jan. 16. 

Much of the gains came from the introduction of new features in a tweet from Decentraland on Jan. 12. The features comprise the highlighting of avatars, new user profiles, links in profile, new friend request flow, and differentiated nametags. 

This led to an increase in trading volume which reached a daily high of $879 million on Jan. 15 which has helped push MANA’s market capitalization from $560 million to around $1.3 billion

Metaverse Tokens See Price Spike with MANA Soaring More than 100%

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The Sandbox spikes by more than 90%

Among the tokens that plummeted by more than 90% in 2022, SAND has also made decent gains in January 2023. The token has ascended by 95% in the first two weeks of the first month of the year from $0.3831 on the opening day to a monthly and yearly high of $0.7487 on Jan. 15.

SAND has been going up this year due to updates lined up for The Sandbox’s Game Maker 0.8. According to the Sandbox, Game Maker 0.8 will bring new multiplayer gameplay features, new lighting and visual effect features, video and audio streaming, and equipment and wearable support in social hubs.

This has created an enormous excitement within the Web3 community and many stakeholders of Play-to-Earn (P2E) platforms believe this can help transform the way many people engage with the Sandbox metaverse. While the trading volume for Jan. 5 (the day of Game Maker 0.8)’s announcement was $124 million, daily trading volume has gone, and has so far reached a monthly high of $624 million on Jan. 14. As of Jan. 16, The Sandbox NFT sales for January was approximately $262,000.

Metaverse Tokens See Price Spike with MANA Soaring More than 100%

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FLOW recovers 70% of its value in 15 days

The Flow blockchain which is NFT-specific has been integral to the fortunes of the NBA and NFL. NFT sales from NBA Top Shots and NFL ALL DAY have totalled $2.74 million so far in 2023 with $1.2 million and $1.5 million respectively. 

This has transcended positively on FLOW which has seen a price rise of 73% from an opening day value of $0.6535 to a monthly high of $1.15 on Jan. 15.

Metaverse Tokens See Price Spike with MANA Soaring More than 100%

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IMX is up more than 50% 

IMX is the novel token of Immutable X, a platform that tags itself as powering the next generation of Web3 games. There has been a growing demand for Immutable X NFTs due to their 100% carbon-neutral feature. As of Jan. 16, more than 58 million NFTs have been minted on the platform and more than 10 million NFT trades have been made in the process. 

This has made Immutable X one of the biggest blockchains by all-time sales volume. Immutable X NFT sales have surpassed more than $300 million from the activities of over 124,000 buyers involved in more than 12 million transactions. 

The boom in the demand for NFTs being minted and renewed interest in NFTs have reflected positively on IMX’s price. The token has rose by 56% year-to-date (YTD) after opening at $0.3835 on Jan. 1 and reaching a monthly high of $0.5986 on Jan. 16. 

Metaverse Tokens See Price Spike with MANA Soaring More than 100%

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