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2 Dirt-Cheap Cryptocurrencies That Could Skyrocket

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Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.
Missed Bitcoin and Ethereum? No problem. Next-generation cryptocurrencies like Avalanche (CRYPTO:AVAX) and The Sandbox (CRYPTO:SAND) offer potentially better growth prospects as they push the limits of blockchain technology. Let’s explore the reasons why these under-the-radar cryptocurrencies look poised for explosive long-term growth. 
Launched in 2020, Avalanche is an Ethereum rival focused on creating a platform for decentralized application (DApp) development. With a market cap of $19 billion, Avalanche is dirt cheap compared to Ethereum (which is worth $563 billion), and it can rapidly gain ground because of its advantages in transaction speed.
Image source: Getty Images.
DApps are self-executing programs allowing users to interact on a blockchain without a centralized intermediary. But while DApps expand a blockchain’s potential use cases, they also increase its transaction volume — overloading legacy platforms like Ethereum, which struggles with slow transaction speed (13 per second) and soaring fees. 
Ethereum uses a cumbersome proof-of-work mechanism where miners solve puzzles to validate transactions. Developers plan to change this with an upgrade called Ethereum 2.0, but it is unclear when that will go live. 
In the meantime, Avalanche uses a faster and less energy-intensive proof-of-stake validation system. Miners verify transactions using tokens they own, helping process an impressive 4,500 transactions per second. The Avalanche network is also naturally deflationary. According to its website, all transaction fees are burned (sent to an inaccessible wallet) to promote the scarcity of its native token, AVAX.
So far, nearly 374,000 coins worth almost $34 million have been removed from circulation. 
The metaverse is a potential iteration of the internet that could support a 3D virtual world. And the concept is spawning a whole generation of cryptocurrencies designed to facilitate transactions within the simulation. The Sandbox can set itself apart through its focus on interactive gaming.  
Image source: Getty Images.
According to its whitepaper, the Sandbox is building a virtual world where players can “build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences.” Similar to publicly traded video game company Roblox, it features a game creation engine that allows users to make their own digital assets.
The assets are created and traded as non-fungible tokens (NFTS) which are digital proof of ownership stored on the blockchain.  
The Sandbox boasts a strong development team with real-world intellectual property and experience creating games. According to its developers, the game is part of a larger Sandbox Franchise, which has helped develop world-creation games on Android and Apple‘s iOS since 2012, boasting over 40,000,000 downloads across its portfolio. 
According to its development roadmap, The Sandbox plans to open its metaverse to select users in the second quarter of 2022. But as with all cryptocurrencies, everything should be taken with a grain of salt until the developers actually deliver a finished working product. 
Everyone wants to get in on the ground floor of a long-term growth opportunity. And with their relatively small market caps, Avalanche and The Sandbox offer that potential. That said, Avalanche looks like the safer bet because it is essentially a finished product. The Sandbox’s use cases are more unique and exciting, but it is at a much earlier stage in its development, making it more uncertain for investors.

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Metaverse Crypto Index Fund Launched by Matthew Ball, Multicoin, and Bitwise – Decrypt

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There's a wide array of crypto builders working to bring the metaverse to life, whether it's via platforms, tools, assets, or infrastructure. Now one of the leading voices around the metaverse has launched an index fund focused on crypto assets tied to the next-generation internet.
Today, writer and venture capitalist Matthew Ball announced a partnership with Multicoin Capital and Bitwise Asset Management to launch the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index. Bitwise has also made an associated fund available to qualified purchasers.
"We developed the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index Fund because, prior to today, there was no easy, expert, and methodologically diversified way for investors to have broad-based exposure to bona fide metaverse-focused crypto assets," Ball told Decrypt.
"To this end, the Index doesn't exist to time Event A or Market Conditions B. It exists so that investors can participate in what we believe is a multi-trillion dollar transformation, which will unfold over the coming decade," he continued. "If blockchain is relevant to the future of the metaverse, and our approach is sound, we believe the opportunity is significant—today, tomorrow, next month, and so forth."
The index will feature up to 40 crypto assets chosen by the partners, but a list of included assets was not provided to Decrypt by the time of publication. Bitwise's associated fund is available to qualified purchasers with a $100,000 minimum investment.
Ball described the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index as a "rules-driven index that combines the best of institutional indexing approaches with special adaptations to the crypto and metaverse spaces. That includes various risk screens, such as analyzing liquidity, developer activity, tech and regulatory risk, and "relevancy to the metaverse," said Ball.
"The ultimate goal is to curate the crypto assets that will be outsized contributors to the creation and success of an open metaverse," he added.
The metaverse refers to a future version of the internet that many believe will be built on blockchain technology. It's expected to be a more immersive and interactive experience that people navigate via 3D avatars and use for work, play, shopping, and socializing. It may also use NFT assets for user-owned items like avatars, apparel, and virtual land.
Ethereum-based games like Decentraland and The Sandbox are seen as early examples of the metaverse.
Facebook also showcased its own vision for the space and even rebranded its parent company to Meta last fall. However, it's not entirely clear whether Facebook's plan is for an open platform that is interoperable with others.
Ball is a leading writer on the metaverse whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Economist, and Bloomberg. His book, "The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything," is due out from W.W. Norton in July.
He's also a managing partner at EpyllionCo, which has invested in crypto startups such as Dapper Labs and Mirror, as well as a venture partner at Makers Fund. Ball is also behind the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF, which focuses on metaverse-centric stocks and trades on the New York Stock Exchange.
"Our objective was the creation of a diversified, balanced, and expertly-designed crypto Metaverse Index," explained Multicoin Capital co-founder and managing partner, Kyle Samani.
"This required a similarly capable team," he continued. "Matthew Ball is the definitive thought-leader in metaverse strategy and investing. We specialize in crypto assets and are one of the preeminent crypto investment firms. And Bitwise Asset Management is the proven leader in crypto indexes and index funds."

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Meta's losses show the metaverse's costly risk – Insider Intelligence

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Facebook parent Meta launches startup accelerator with India’s IT ministry in metaverse push – TechCrunch

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Meta Platforms is looking at India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem as it bolsters its bet on the metaverse. The social juggernaut has partnered with the Indian IT Ministry’s startup hub to launch an accelerator in the country to broaden innovation in emerging technologies, including augmented reality and virtual reality, officials said Tuesday.
MeitY Startup Hub and Meta’s effort, called XR Startup Program, will work with 40 early-stage startups and help them in research and development and developing workable products and services. Each startup will also receive a grant of over $25,000, the American giant said.
The program, supported by Meta’s $50 million XR Programs and Research Fund, will initially hand pick 80 startups to attend a bootcamp. It will also help startups with finding customers, inking relationships and raising funds, Meta said.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said the program is especially aimed at helping encourage technology innovation in smaller cities and towns.
The XR Startup Program is the latest of Meta’s growing participation in the South Asian market’s upskilling efforts. The firm, whose Facebook and WhatsApp services identify India as their largest market by users, partnered with Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in the country, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students and educators in the country.
The program — to be implemented by four Indian institutions, including IIT Delhi — will also host a “grand challenge” for innovation in categories including education, healthcare, entertainment, agritech, climate action, sustainability and tourism, the American giant said.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta, in a statement.
Meta’s interest with working with startups in India is also not newly found. The company has backed three startups in the country, including social commerce platform Meesho and online education group Unacademy.
3 views: Is the metaverse for work or play?

“India’s rapid tech adoption combined with a vast pool of tech talent puts the country in a vantage position for shaping the future of the internet,” said Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India, in a statement.
“For this future to be equitable, it will require active participation from all stakeholders, including developers, businesses, creators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. We are excited to collaborate with MeitY Startup Hub and hope that the XR Startup Program will act as a catalyst to unlock the use of immersive technology across sectors like education, healthcare, agritech and tourism, not only in India but across the globe.”

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