March 28, 2023

Metaverse Highlights: Week of March 28, 2023

This week comes with important developments for the metaverse sector. First, Nvidia and Microsoft are partnering on an AI-powered virtual world service that could reshape digital experiences as we know them. Second, three court cases are shaking up the industry: celebrities being charged with promoting crypto without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so, the SEC’s case against Coinbase, and the legal victory of Kevin McCoy, the artist who is widely credited with creating the first NFT. 

Together, these cases might form the basis of jurisprudence for the metaverse – for crypto, web3 infrastructure, and NFT ownership. Meanwhile, the integration of AI and the metaverse continues to happen: the metaverse platform Oncyber’s new feature allows users to customize their virtual environments with the help of ChatGPT without any coding skills. 

These three trends – major firms strengthening their interest in the metaverse, court decisions laying the foundations of a regulatory landscape, and the fusion of AI and metaverse capabilities – are some of the most important to watch in 2023.


The bottom line: The alliance will see Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, host Nvidia’s suite of internet services for building and operating hyper-realistic virtual worlds called Omniverse Cloud, as well as Nvidia DGX Cloud. The latter is a new offering described as an artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing service that gives enterprises instant access to the infrastructure and software needed to train advanced models for generative AI.

The bottom line: The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday it had charged a handful of celebrities — including the internet provocateur-turned-professional boxer Jake Paul and actress Lindsay Lohan — with promoting cryptocurrencies without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so. Paul, Lohan, the former teen heartthrob Austin Mahone and the rapper Soulja Boy (whose legal name is DeAndre Cortez Way) were among eight celebrities the SEC said had illegally promoted cryptocurrencies Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT).

The bottom line: News of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s action against Coinbase, the number one cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, spread like wildfire through the crypto community, prompting an existential debate over what it could mean for cryptocurrency in the United States. “It should be crystal clear by now that the Biden Administration wants all crypto—even the legit parts of it—run out of the U.S.,” tweeted Custodia Bank founder and CEO Caitlin Long

The bottom line: We might be in a bearish climate for crypto, but the Australian Open is one of the most interesting examples of web3 being used by a mainstream brand. For years, in abstract terms, crypto enthusiasts have theorized how NFTs could help traditional brands engage with customers. The Australian Open is now doing that.

The bottom line: Kevin McCoy, the artist widely credited with creating the first NFT, and auction house Sotheby’s have won a legal victory in a lawsuit that challenged the terms and propriety of a 2021 sale at which the token sold for $1.47 million. U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott dismissed a lawsuit in a detailed 43-page decision issued March 17 that marks one of the first important tests surrounding NFT ownership and is likely to set a precedent going forward.

The bottom line: The powerful metaverse platform Oncyber welcomed AI tech with open arms for its latest innovative feature: Magic Composer. This virtual tool uses ChatGPT 3.5 to help users customize their metaverse surroundings via text prompts. Artists and collectors can upgrade their Web3 environment with top NFTs, landscapes, NFT galleries, and more without coding skills.

The bottom line: Ava Labs has raised about $640 million, according to Crunchbase, and is backed by firms like a16z and Polychain Capital. Ava Labs created the layer-1 blockchain Avalanche, a platform that lets developers build multifunctional blockchains and decentralized applications with a focus on speed and low transaction costs. In recent months, Ava Labs has announced a number of partnerships with major brands and companies, like Amazon Web Services

The bottom line: A couple of years shy of its centenary, Paris’ Le Bristol hotel is making its web3 debut with the launch of Le Bristol Unlocked, 11 exclusive NFTs (the number corresponds to the hotel’s 11 signature suites), which will unlock money-can’t-buy experiences in the real world. While the exact nature of said experiences remains under wraps, they revolve around “gastronomy, service, and hospitality — things that even the guests of the hotel cannot do and have never been done before,” says Thomas Matteï, who spearheaded the project.

The bottom line: How exactly does digital clothing work? The customer selects the desired piece of digital clothing, uploads a photo of themselves using specific guidelines, and completes the payment. The shopper then receives the final product, an image of themselves with their digital garment overlaid and ready to be shared online.

The bottom line: AREA15, an immersive art and entertainment district in Las Vegas, welcomed over three million visitors last year. According to data from, a leader in location analytics and foot traffic data, it was the most-visited attraction in the US. Winston Fisher, CEO of AREA15, said: “It’s humbling to have tripled our year-over-year visitors in 2022. As we look ahead to 2023 and beyond, I’m thrilled to look forward to welcoming millions more visitors to the expanding District.”

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