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Here's My Top Cryptocurrency to Buy in February – Motley Fool

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Returns as of 02/11/2022
Returns as of 02/11/2022
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.

No one knows how long cryptocurrency’s current slump will last. But the industry’s long-term prospects look promising, with geopolitical uncertainty on the rise and inflation eroding the value of fiat currencies. Investors looking to get into crypto should bet on those tokens with the best chance of outperforming when the market recovers. 
Metaverse token The Sandbox (CRYPTO:SAND) fits the bill — and it’s my top cryptocurrency to buy in February. 
While the concept is far from fully developed, the metaverse could be defined as a vast array of interconnected virtual worlds that continue existing and operating regardless of who is or is not accessing them. Some will likely be best experienced via virtual- or augmented-reality gear, but that won’t necessarily be required.

Analysts at Emergen Research expect that as more companies invest in this exciting new medium, the metaverse market opportunity will expand at a compound annual rate of 43.3% through 2028 to $829 billion. 
Image source: Getty Images
There are two main reasons blockchain platforms are well-suited to metaverse development. First, their native tokens (the units used to pay fees and make transactions on specific networks) can double as in-application virtual currencies. Second, non-fungible-tokens (NFTs), which are unique assets that can’t be replicated, serve as digital proofs of ownership. Together, these technologies can form the backbone of a decentralized virtual economy.  
The Sandbox is fully committed to this opportunity. According to its white paper, it aims to create interconnected virtual worlds where users can “build, own and monetize gaming experiences” — a similar business model to that of publicly traded video game platform operator Roblox
The Sandbox’s content ecosystem is made up of three synergistic products. First is the Voxel Editor, a 3D-modeling program that allows users to create in-game objects. The second is the online marketplace where users can buy and sell such objects. And third is the Game Maker, a game creation engine that allows users to locate and use their objects within a specific piece of in-game virtual real estate
According to its official roadmap, the Sandbox began public sales of virtual real estate in 2020. And it boasted 30,000 monthly active users in its beta, according to a Nov. 2 tweet. This quarter, developers plan to open their segment of the metaverse to owners who have built high-quality experiences on their digital real estate.
The Sandbox has also partnered with Warner Music Group to launch a metaverse concert hall designed to host virtual performances.
The Sandbox is not the only blockchain platform getting serious about metaverse development. The developers behind popular meme coin Shiba Inu are working on a project called Shiberse that’s expected to launch in 2022 — although details about it have been scarce. 
The Sandbox stands out from the competition because of the impressive progress it has made toward making its metaverse a reality. Its developers also have solid experience in game creation: The Sandbox Franchise of mobile games boasts 50 million installs on iOS and Android devices, so this isn’t a fly-by-night operation. Trust and a track record of success are important in the largely unregulated cryptocurrency industry.
With a market cap of $3.4 billion, The Sandbox’s valuation has soared roughly 7,000% since its inception in late 2020. And while the platform is not immune from the current cryptocurrency bear market, its experienced development team and unique value proposition (as a decentralize user-generated metaverse game) can help it outperform peers when the industry recovers. 
 


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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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