October 10, 2022

Metaverse Highlights: Week of October 10, 2022

This week, we see a resurgence of metaverse and web3 technologies. Recent reports found that investments in NFT start-ups remain in the billions, and the number of active Ethereum users increased by 36% in the third quarter of 2022. New announcements, such as the world’s first debit card featuring NFT avatar customization, continue to fuel the sector's rise.

As the metaverse emerges from crypto winter, thought leaders debate the future of interoperability in an ecosystem fragmented between web2 incumbents and web3 challengers. Many more coherent and thoughtful projects are coming in since Q2 2022, a welcome change from the 2021 NFT craze and its flurry of hastily conceived projects. It seems the new and upcoming metaverse projects incorporate the early users' feedback and the need to include actual utility and meaning for the economy and society.

  • Fuelarts, an accelerator specializing in the art and technology industry, has released its latest report, Art+Tech & NFT Startups Report, which logs investments in the art, tech, and NFT sectors in the first half of 2022.
  • The report found that while startup investments dipped in 2022 due to the downturn in cryptocurrencies, the industry remains in the billions of dollars. H1 2022 saw 111 digital and NFT startups receiving some $2.5 billion of funding, while most strategists surveyed by Fuelarts remained optimistic that NFT prices will bounce back.
  • Interestingly, traditional and non-crypto VC investors and individuals were the most active in funding art+tech and NFT startups, making up 33.6 percent and 22.5 percent of investments, respectively.

  • In an interview with Decrypt at the Mainnet conference in New York, TIME President Keith Grossman shared how TIME was changed forever through crypto and NFTs, and offered his thoughts on Web3 skeptics.
  • “The main plan was never to bring TIME into web3,” Grossman said. “We were really rehabilitating a brand that was neglected for ten years.”
  • Until COVID created national isolation and an even deeper dependency on the internet, that is. The global pandemic made Grossman realize that, from his location in upstate New York, his digital identity was just as important as his physical one.
  • Many thought Keith Grossman was crazy for getting TIME into web3. Now, he’s generated over $10 million in profit and revitalized an analog brand.

  • Most want no-code or low-code platforms to do it for us all. Yet the metaverse has so far struggled to make itself fully accessible to non-technical users.
  • Outlier Ventures propose and champion an Open Metaverse OS, a completely decentralized set of tools and technologies rather than proprietary platforms designed only to operate through standards and APIs.
  • Yet if you look at the list of existing operating systems, not one fits or has been written specifically for the virtual world or metaverse implementation.

  • At Paris Fashion Week this weekend, models stalked around an enormous model of an anthurium plant emerging from beneath bleach-white floors.
  • Tucked between the diaphanous blouses and textured shoes were a few looks that made viewers do a double take: hoodies, T-shirts, and pants with jagged edges and smudgy shadows, like the clothes had just glitched mid-walk.
  • This spillover of physical representations of digital garments is happening as fashion houses increasingly look to expand their place in the metaverse and market new, intangible products to consumers.

  • hi - the crypto & fiat financial app  - today announces the world’s first debit card featuring NFT avatar customization, powered by Mastercard.
  • Eligible cardholders will be able to personalize the face of their card with an NFT avatar they verifiably own and spend at more than 90 million locations worldwide where Mastercard is accepted.
  • “Not only do the NFT cards look amazing, this is a great way for people to show which online community they belong to, but in the real world,” says Sean Rach, co-founder of hi. “The flexibility to spend fiat, stablecoins, or other crypto, combined with attractive financial and lifestyle rewards, makes us confident that our card is a game-changer in the market.”

  • The raw data, queried from Dune Analytics, shows a great increase in interest in Ether. This is the first positive quarter since Q4 2021, when Ether’s price rose to a record high of just over $4,890.
  • The Ethereum 2.0 update went live just three weeks ago. It surely brought more interest in the Ethereum network, but it cannot justify such a great rise.
  • Other factors have to be taken into account, including the fact that people find cryptocurrencies as an investment option – and the record lows of Q3 2022 seemed like a bargain to many individual investors.

  • In the NFT space’s early years thus far, profile pictures and artwork have yielded top-dollar sales and consistently dominated headlines.
  • But as the market evolves and the immersive future internet of the metaverse takes shape, will tokenized images continue to be the most prominent use case for NFTs?
  • Brian Trunzo, metaverse lead at Polygon Studios, doesn’t think so. In an interview at the Chainlink SmartCon 2022 conference, he told Decrypt’s Dan Roberts and Stacy Elliott that the crypto industry will have achieved mainstream adoption of web3 technology, NFTs, and the metaverse when “we stop saying it”—when those terms are no longer necessary.

  • Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only one making risky gambits in the metaverse. On Friday, trustbusters at the Federal Trade Commission pared back their arguments against Meta’s acquisition of virtual reality app maker Within. But even on the remaining simplified claims, the FTC has a difficult needle to thread. The agency, run by Lina Khan, stepped back from initial arguments that Meta’s Beat Saber game competes directly against Within’s Supernatural fitness app.
  • Now the FTC is claiming that the deal is anticompetitive because it eliminates the effect of future competition that Meta would introduce were it forced to develop, instead of acquiring, its fitness products. That resembles arguments against the 2015 merger of sterilization companies Steris and Synergy – a case the FTC lost.

  • Janine Yorio, CEO of Everyrealm, a metaverse-focused innovation firm, and investment fund, said “"Web2 metaverses, like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft, have hundreds of millions of users. Meanwhile, [in] the Web3 metaverses, the most popular one is Decentraland, and they're lucky if they have 2,000 users a week.”
  • Every realm initially focused on attracting metaverse real estate investors, but it now regards that category as only "one tiny portion" of its investment portfolio.
  • The real value proposition, says Yorio, is to allow investors to deploy across platforms, wherever users happen to be.

Wall Street Journal, What the Metaverse Will Mean – The Metaverse Is Not Morally Neutral Technology

  • In a recent essay in The Wall Street Journal, former Amazon executive and metaverse promoter Matthew Ball claims that the advent of the metaverse should not be alarming because “as with almost all technologies, it is neither moral nor immoral.”
  • Thankfully, philosophy provides various conceptual tools to analyze this kind of technology. The twentieth-century French philosopher Gabriel Marcel is one thinker who can help us understand the meaning of a technology like the metaverse.
  • By reminding ourselves of the meaning of the presence of persons in the Marcellian sense, we can see that the moral implications of the metaverse are anything but neutral.

Related Articles