October 3, 2022

Metaverse Highlights: Week of October 3, 2022

This week, we highlight the adoption of Metaverse technologies by key industry players, including:

  • TravelX, a marketplace for tokenized travel products
  • Christie’s, the legendary auction house
  • Sega, the iconic videogame company
  • Gucci, one of fashion’s most popular brands

Nevertheless, one player stands out amidst this widespread, accelerating adoption: Apple. Tim Cook revealed in a recent interview that the tech giant's hesitancy toward joining the metaverse hype is intentional. This stark contrast with Meta may have momentous strategic implications down the line, and it will be fascinating to see the rival approaches play out.

  • TravelX, a marketplace for tokenized travel products, went live on Wednesday with the offering of inventory of the low-cost Argentine airline Flybondi.
  • The platform currently offers 2.5 million tickets, which are tokenized when purchased and converted into non-fungible tokens called NFTickets, TravelX Chief Blockchain Officer Facundo Martin Diaz told CoinDesk.
  • After acquiring an NFTicket, a customer can auction, sell, transfer, gift, or exchange them through a peer-to-peer system on TravelX, Diaz said.
  • Within six to 12 months, the platform hopes to incorporate the inventory of more than 60 airlines, with a particular focus on Latin American and European operators. In 2023, Diaz said the company would focus more on the U.S. and the Middle East.

  • The digitization of our world is accelerating, leaving no region or industry untouched. In this new era, we are forced to rethink many traditional concepts through which we make sense of the world: money, equity, and property rights, to name a few.
  • A digital world means that ownership should be modeled in a natively digital way. NFTs allow us to accomplish just that technologically. Due to their unique properties, NFTs offer a way to digitally encode ownership of any type of asset, including physical and intangible things (e.g., natively digital assets, ideas).
  • Use cases for NFTs are abundant and can be found wherever there’s a need to digitally model ownership or property rights. NFTs will likely be among the most important building blocks of the digital world, or even potentially a metaverse.

  • Christie’s is launching a platform allowing NFT sales entirely on Ethereum’s blockchain. According to Christie's, all transactions on the new platform, including after an auction, will be recorded on the blockchain.
  • All requisite taxation and compliance tools will also be integrated, streamlining a process that was a strange hybrid of crypto technologies and 20th-century bureaucracy in the early days of the NFT boom.
  • Christie’s 3.0 will kick off with an auction of nine NFTs by the artist and activist Diana Sinclair from 28 September to 11 October.

  • Following a deal with Japanese blockchain company Double Jump Tokyo, Sega will co-develop a new game based on its popular “Sangokushi Taisen” series.
  • The new title – which will be developed by Double Jump Tokyo, with Sega lending the use of its IP – will use blockchain technology to record the ownership of in-game digital assets.
  • The game's release date and platform information have yet to be confirmed, but it is likely to be the first blockchain game made with Sega’s involvement.

  • Gucci has appointed Robert Triefus as CEO of Gucci Vault and Metaverse Ventures, a recently created division designed to scale and expand the Kering-owned brand’s metaverse and gaming strategies.
  • Gucci has become one of fashion’s most prominent brands to experiment with Web3 and the metaverse as more luxury companies determine how they should use the emerging technologies.
  • It was one of the first to experiment heavily in gaming platforms, before going on to create a persistent virtual world on Roblox. It was the first luxury brand to launch an NFT, and has since partnered with the virtual world and NFT project 10KTF, and is now building out a space in the blockchain-based virtual world, The Sandbox.

  • In an exclusive interview with Dutch media outlet Bright, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the tech giant's hesitancy toward joining the metaverse hype is intentional.
  • "I always think it's important that people understand what something is. And I'm really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is," Cook told the outlet.
  • "I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything," Cook told Bright in the interview published Friday, adding that virtual reality is not a way to "live your whole life."
  • "It's something you can really immerse yourself in. And that can be used in a good way," he said. "VR is for regular periods, but not a way to communicate well. So I'm not against it, but that's how I look at it."

  • Design professionals are rapidly discovering how new developments in virtual and mixed-reality environments can and will bring tremendous utility to their day-to-day practice working in the physical realm.
  • One of the most exciting applications of the metaverse for professionals is the capability to communicate design concepts to clients and other stakeholders in new ways.
  • “Digital twins,” virtual models that exist alongside their physical counterparts in the built world, are another tool to study the impact of different design decisions on spaces and objects to optimize their efficiency and resilience.
  • And some of these real-world developments are already happening.

The Washington Post, Kim Kardashian to Pay $1.26 Million in SEC Crypto Case (subscription)

  • The agency announced Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is charging reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian with allegedly promoting a cryptocurrency on her Instagram account without disclosing how much she was paid to do so.
  • The agency said that Kardashian has agreed to pay $1.26 million in penalties to settle the charges and will cooperate with the SEC’s investigation.
  • “This case is a reminder that when celebrities or influencers endorse investment opportunities, including crypto-asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.

  • Meta announced today that all Facebook and Instagram users in the U.S. can now connect their wallets and share their NFTs. All users in the U.S. also can cross-post the NFTs that they own across both Facebook and Instagram. The official rollout comes a few months after Meta first began testing NFTs with select users on Instagram in May and on Facebook in June.
  • The company also launched NFT support on Instagram in 100 countries in August with select users. Today, Meta announced that all users in these 100 countries can now access the feature on Instagram.
  • Facebook and Instagram users can connect their wallets like Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, and Dapper Wallet to post digital collectibles minted on Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow.

  • A study from networking systems, services, and software company reveals business professionals’ interest in metaverse pointing to utilizing more immersive and connected digital applications in the workplace.
  • The study showed that as many as 96% of the 15,000 business professionals surveyed across the globe recognise the value of virtual meetings, and more than three-quarters (78%) say they would participate in more immersive experiences, like the metaverse, versus current tools, such as video-conferencing.
  • According to the respondents, the top two benefits of virtual meetings are improved collaboration and convenience.
  • “Clearly, the business world is ready to move to the metaverse and start using enhanced reality tools for collaboration and innovation,” said Steve Alexander, senior vice-president and chief technology officer at Ciena.

Related Articles