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Bitcoin, metaverse coins fall as new COVID variant fears shake cryptos – Markets Insider

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Bitcoin, ether and metaverse-linked coins mana and sand were all knocked down in a broad-based crypto sell-off Friday as worries about the impact of a new COVID-19 variant prompted investors to sell riskier assets.

Leading cryptocurrency bitcoin fell 7.5% in 24 hours to hit $54,079 at 08:50 a.m. ET, according to CoinMarketCap data. But it was paring losses logged earlier, when it dropped to $53,625 — its lowest level since October 10. The token is now on track for its biggest one-day drop in two months.
Scientists in South Africa said Thursday they had detected a new COVID-19 variant, number B.1.1.529, that could be more transmissible and more resistant to current vaccines. In response, the UK suspended flights from six southern African countries and the EU said it is considering a similar flight ban.

The World Health Organization plans to hold a special meeting on the situation Friday, having already warned about the surge in global coronavirus cases earlier in the week.
The moves spurred fears about new anti-pandemic restrictions and their impact on economic growth, which rattled global stock markets as investors sought shelter in less risky assets. That tone was reflected in crypto markets, analysts said.
“Today’s move shows that digital assets are susceptible to risk aversion hitting traditional markets,” Freddie Evans, sales trader at digital asset broker GlobalBlock told Insider in an emailed note. 

“We have seen major global indices and other risk assets being hit over concern around the emergence of a new Covid variant in South Africa, which has in turn impacted bitcoin, causing $300 million to be liquidated within one hour,” he said.
Meanwhile, ethereum’s native token ether sank 9.5% in 24 hours to $4,027.06, but was also pulling back from a bigger loss. Earlier, it fell to $3,933, its lowest level since October 24. 
Among altcoins, solana’s sol was down 10.8%, polkadot fell 12.5%, and cardano’s ada lost 9.6% on the last 24 hours. As for meme coins, dogecoin shed 8.2%, while shiba inu fell 1.6%, according to CoinMarketCap data.
Metaverse-linked tokens also took a hit, coming off gains logged this week on the back of positive news such as digital property selling for millions of dollars. Gaming platform Sandbox’s sand token fell 2%, while virtual real estate provider Decentraland’s mana token dropped 6.3%, according to CoinMarketCap. 
Despite the across-the-board declines for cryptocurrencies, not all market watchers were downbeat about the outlook for prices.
“For us at 21Shares, the fundamentals of the crypto verticals have not changed. We see the pace of innovation keeps moving forward and at an accelerated level,” Eliézer Ndinga, research lead at the digital asset manager, said. 

Check out: Personal Finance Insider’s picks for best cryptocurrency exchanges
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BlackRock digs further into crypto with metaverse ETF – FinanceFeeds

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BlackRock digs further into crypto with metaverse ETF  FinanceFeeds
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Money Laundering via Metaverse, DeFi, NFTs Targeted by EU Lawmakers’ Latest Draft – CoinDesk

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Lamina1 Presents Inaugural “Open Metaverse Conference” Connecting the Worlds of Blockchain and the Metaverse for a Next-Gen Internet – Business Wire

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Featuring a keynote from co-founder and futurist Neal Stephenson, the first-of-its-kind event aims to empower creators and coders to build the Open Metaverse together
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lamina1, a Layer 1 blockchain optimized for the Open Metaverse, today announced its role as founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, a first-of-its-kind industry event bringing together the worlds of the Metaverse and Web3 to build a more open and immersive Internet. The two-day conference will take place from February 8-9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California, and will gather experts and builders spanning Metaverse experiences, Web3, and entertainment.

Co-founded by Neal Stephenson, renowned futurist and science fiction author who originally coined the term “Metaverse,” and cryptocurrency pioneer Peter Vessenes, founder of the first VC-backed Bitcoin company, Lamina1 will provide the infrastructure to empower rapid expansion of the Open Metaverse. As the founding sponsor of the Open Metaverse Conference, Lamina1 will provide a forum for critical conversations around identity, privacy and interoperability, while exploring how audience engagement, creative storytelling, and the technicalities of blockchain can work hand-in-hand to make the vision of the Open Metaverse a reality.
The Open Metaverse Conference will feature keynotes from renowned technologists and storytellers who are pioneering visions for the next era of the Internet. Attendees will hear from Lamina1 co-founders Neal Stephenson and Peter Vessenes, as well as Philip Rosedale, founder of virtual world Second Life (Linden Lab) and co-founder of virtual platform High Fidelity, John Gaeta, Oscar-winning VFX pioneer (The Matrix) and CCO of character persona company Inworld AI, Cathy Hackl, Metaverse and Web3 strategist and founder of design consultancy Journey, and other industry crossover leaders to be announced. Keynote sessions will be complemented by diverse speakers and side events spanning games, art, entertainment, and commerce. To connect these key areas of culture with the technology that enables them, the Open Metaverse Conference will also facilitate technological deep dives for attendees from leaders in Web3, immersive computing, and technology standards groups. Presenting partners include the Metaverse Standards Forum, the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, and the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3), all organizations fostering interoperability.
“We are at a moment in time when developers, creatives, and producers can finally design the seamless and persistent experiences we’ve dreamed about,” said Jamil Moledina, Vice President of Games Partnerships and Media at Lamina1. “The Open Metaverse Conference will serve as the big tent for everyone who’s thinking about creating never-before-possible experiences that allow creators and consumers to enter unique virtual worlds on a level playing field.”
“OMA3 is pleased to collaborate with Lamina1 and the Open Metaverse Conference in promoting interoperability,” said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands. “OMA3 looks forward to developing talk tracks to encourage the creation of a more open and immersive internet.”
The conference will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue through debates, pitch sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities to help drive new ideas and connections.
“We felt a real sense of urgency to facilitate discussion with our colleagues and creators across the spectrum,” said Rebecca Barkin, President of Lamina1. “We know that the Open Metaverse will be built collaboratively and with a set of shared values, and we’re happy to provide this forum to address the needs of the community and to solve big problems together.”
For more information on the Open Metaverse Conference, visit www.openmetaverseconf.com.
About Open Metaverse Conference 
The Open Metaverse Conference (OMC) is an industry-first event presented by Lamina1 focused on bringing together the Metaverse and blockchain technology. The conference gathers key stakeholders spanning developers, creatives, producers, product owners, and executives to ask and address big questions around the development of a truly Open Metaverse that leverages open-source, collaborative principles and blockchain decentralization.
About Lamina1 
Lamina1 is a Layer1 blockchain optimized for the Open Metaverse. The brainchild of legendary futurist Neal Stephenson (who first conceptualized the term “Metaverse” in his 1992 best-selling novel Snow Crash) and Peter Vessenes, a foundational leader in the crypto space from the early days of Bitcoin – Lamina1 is on a mission to deliver the blockchain technology, interoperating tools, and decentralized services that will establish it as the preferred destination for creators building a more immersive Internet. It is the first provably carbon-negative blockchain in the world.
K.C. Maas
Wachsman
kc.maas@wachsman.com
K.C. Maas
Wachsman
kc.maas@wachsman.com

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