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Facebook is spending billions to buy up the metaverse – Vox.com

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Can Mark Zuckerberg M&A a new monopoly?
Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.

Of the many complaints about Facebook, one comes through consistently: It’s just too big. Which is why some critics and regulators want to make it smaller by forcing Mark Zuckerberg to unwind major acquisitions, like Instagram.
Zuckerberg’s response: Let’s get bigger by buying more stuff.
After slowing down briefly in 2018, the year the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted, Facebook has been steadily making large acquisitions — at least 21 in the last three years, per data service Pitchbook.
Many of the deals have been announced since December 2020, when the US government first filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company, accusing it of maintaining an illegal monopoly in social networking by buying or crushing competitors. The original suit and a revised complaint are aimed at forcing Facebook to divest itself of both Instagram and WhatsApp.
In the past couple years, Facebook’s appetite for deals has run the gamut from Giphy, which lets you place funny GIFs in your social media posts, to Kustomer, a business software company for Facebook’s corporate clients. Most of them, though, have been concentrated in one area: gaming and virtual reality. Which makes sense, since Zuckerberg has formally announced that gaming and virtual reality, bundled up in the expansive and hard-to-define rubric of “the metaverse,” are the future of Facebook.
Hence the company’s name change to Meta. But what’s more important is a promise that Facebook will move thousands of its employees into the effort, and plans to lose $10 billion on it this year alone, and much more “for the next several years.”
The day after Facebook announced the name change, the company illustrated how it will spend some of that money: a deal to buy Within, the company co-founded by VR pioneer Chris Milk, best known for its Supernatural workout app. People familiar with the transaction say Facebook paid more than $500 million for the company.
Other Metaverse-y deals announced this year include Unit 2 Games, which makes a “collaborative game creation platform” called Crayta; Bigbox VR, which makes a popular game for Facebook’s Oculus VR goggles; and Downpour Interactive, another VR game-maker.
Those deals were already raising eyebrows before Facebook formally announced that they represented the future of the company. So what should we think of them now?
That is: If you think 2021 Facebook needs to be broken up, in part to undo deals from the past like Instagram ($1 billion, 2012) and WhatsApp ($19 billion, 2014), then shouldn’t you also be worried about deals Zuckerberg is doing now to build the 2031 version of his company?
A Facebook rep was happy to explain the difference to me: Unlike social networking a decade ago, Facebook isn’t the leader in virtual reality/augmented reality/pick a name for it — lots of big, well-capitalized companies are spending a lot of time and money on it. And, as he has taken pains to point out, Zuckerberg imagines a future where Facebook simply happens to be one of several companies in the metaverse.
Here’s the on-the-record statement the company gave Recode explaining the thesis:
“Investing in and building products that consumers want is the key to success. We cannot build the metaverse alone — collaboration with developers, creators, and experts will be critical. As we invest in the metaverse, we know that we face fierce competition from companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Snap, Sony, Roblox, Epic, and many others at every step of this journey.”
Translation: In the near term, Facebook is happy that Snap keeps trying to sell sunglasses that take videos and communicate with your phone because those are theoretical competitors to Facebook’s sunglasses that take videos and communicate with your phone. And Facebook will also be happy next year, when Apple is reportedly going to unveil its virtual reality headset, because it will compete with Facebook’s Oculus headsets.
But it’s also difficult to imagine that Facebook hopes Apple, Snap, and everyone else will be strong competitors forever. One of the main reasons Zuckerberg is interested in the metaverse, after all, is that he imagines it can give him a way to connect directly with his customers without having to depend on Apple and Google’s phone duopoly.
Facebook’s acquisition spree also highlights the difficulty antitrust regulators have in grappling with a fast-moving and unpredictable industry. Even the most aggressive antitrust measures we’ve seen in the last few years are designed to go back in time and fix supposed errors.
Or they’re focused on the now, like a proposed law that would prevent big platforms like Facebook from making big deals in industries they currently dominate.
So how do you look into the future and guess that Facebook — not Google or Epic Games or Roblox or a startup you’ve never heard of — will end up dominating the metaverse? Especially when the metaverse doesn’t exist, may never end up existing, or could end up existing in some form very different than Zuckerberg, science fiction writers, and tech execs and investors imagine it might today?
I’ve asked the Federal Trade Commission, the agency currently suing Facebook over its Instagram and WhatsApp deals, what they think of Facebook’s metaverse ambitions and purchases, but I don’t expect to hear back — in part because the agency doesn’t want to talk about Facebook while it’s in a long battle with Facebook, but also because it probably doesn’t know what it thinks.
Here it’s worth pointing out that the government doesn’t necessarily have to win a lawsuit or pass a law to slow or stop Facebook’s ambitions. Some tech investors I’ve talked to say they believe Facebook is — temporarily, at least — out of the market for acquisitions related to social networking, simply because there’s too much scrutiny and hassle.
“It just feels like it’s going to be very hard for Facebook in particular to acquire anything in the social space,” says a venture investor who has sold companies to Facebook in the past.
And that may apply not just to big-ticket acquisitions, but even tiny “acqhires” — deals for underwhelming companies made just to bring their engineers and other staff onto the Facebook payroll.
Washington has already signaled that it wants to pay more attention to small deals: In September, the FTC released an analysis of 616 transactions made by Facebook, Google, and other big tech companies over the last decade that weren’t big enough to trigger regulatory oversight.
But the report’s existence makes it clear regulators think they should be scrutinizing more deals, not less. FTC commissioner Rebecca Slaughter made it even clearer: “I think of serial acquisitions as a Pac-Man strategy,” she said when the report was released. “Each individual merger viewed independently may not seem to have significant impact, but the collective impact of hundreds of smaller acquisitions can lead to a monopolistic behavior.”
You can debate whether Facebook has a monopoly on social networking today — the company is delighted to point out the nearly overnight success of TikTok to argue that it doesn’t. But there’s zero question about its enormous wealth and power. The real question: Will we let it use those resources to extend its power into the future?
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The 3 Types of Crypto Metaverse Coins – The VR Soldier

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Metaverse coins are all the hype right now, and for those new to the cryptocurrency space, it might be confusing as to what crypto Metaverse coins exactly are. Each type of Metaverse coin offers unique aspects to the virtual ecosystem. This article lists three kinds of Metaverse cryptocurrencies that you will find on the market.
The first and most abundant type of Metaverse coins you will find in crypto are play-to-earn blockchain-based games that feature relatively basic virtual platforms.
There are various platforms that these play-to-earn games use. Some of the most popular ones include Binance Smart Chain, WAX, Polygon, Solana, and more.
The most popular play-to-earn crypto Metaverse game is Alien Worlds, surpassing over 1.4 million users over the past month. Players can purchase NFTs and use them to mine Trillium, which has real-world value.
These projects are considered Metaverse coins because they offer a virtual blockchain-based environment that allows for some basic interaction. At the same time, these games don’t compare to full-fledged 3D games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, etc. They offer a simple browser-based application that’s still considered a Metaverse experience.
The second type of Metaverse coins are actual 3D experiences that allow players to explore a virtual universe similar to Minecraft, Roblox, and even Fortnite.
Due to the increased complexity of such an application, there aren’t many such projects on the market. The two main 3D virtual metaverses right now are Decentraland and The Sandbox, both of which have multi-billion dollar valuations.
The main difference between Decentraland and The Sandbox is that Decentraland is a browser-based application. In contrast, The Sandbox is a downloadable game that needs to be installed on your PC.
In addition, both Decentraland and The Sandbox act as platforms for play-to-earn games that will be built in those universes. Think of it like Bitcoin, which is only a cryptocurrency, but Ethereum is also a platform for other cryptocurrencies (ERC-20 tokens). Similarly, play-to-earn Metaverse games are just that, basic idle & click games, while 3D Metaverses offer a virtual universe where users can deploy these play-to-earn games.
Last but not least, we have various Metaverse platforms. Those include the blockchains that the 3D Metaverses are built on. The most popular one would be Ethereum, but other Metaverse platforms have been making waves in the market. These include WAX, Solana, IoTeX, BSC, and more.
Ethereum is the most known and reliable platform since it’s been on the market the longest. WAX is great because it was built from the ground up with Metaverse gaming in mind; transaction fees are replaced with CPU & RAM power which can be acquired by staking WAX token.
Solana is another great platform that’s looking to compete with Ethereum. Their ecosystem is incredibly well designed, with some amazing applications on the platform. Solana has an extremely popular NFT marketplace called Solsea, an excellent alternative to OpenSea for those who don’t like paying Ethereum’s high gas fees.
Another platform worth mentioning is IoTeX, which includes a fully functional Web3 mobile app called IoPay, which users can currently use and explore their ecosystem.
2022 will be an excellent year for further Metaverse application development. Currently, Decentraland and The Sandbox are the only “true” Metaverses, and even they don’t support VR tech at this time.
We still have a long way to go in creating immersive Metaverse applications, but we can expect some revolutionary experiences launched next year at the speed crypto is moving.
Disclosure: This is not trading or investment advice. Always do your research before buying any cryptocurrency.
Also Read:
Top 5 Metaverse Coins Gaining Over 20% Today

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Top 3 Metaverse Crypto Coins Below $0.01 to Watch in June 2022 – The VR Soldier

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Cryptocurrency markets continue to trade sideways this week, with Bitcoin and Ethereum managing a spectacular recovery after bottoming out on June 18th. There are several popular niches for crypto tokens, including NFTs, AI & Big Data, DeFi, and Metaverse. Metaverse crypto coins are showing green across the board, making it an excellent opportunity to cover several undervalued projects with a unit price below 1 cent to watch in June 2022.
Note: The list below is ordered by the unit price of each project, lowest to highest.
Launched in April 2019, Verasity (VRA) is a blockchain company and Metaverse crypto coin looking to build an entirely new experience in AdTech, Esports, and digital rights management.
Verasity features its unique Proof-of-View protocol, which can identify fraudulent online traffic and discard it from analytics platforms, thereby increasing ad revenue for publishers and conversions for advertisers. The PoV protocol also featured NFT authentication features, which help identify fraudulent and copycat collections looking to capitalize on a primary project and its community.
verasity proof-of-view
Due to its unique nature, Verasity’s Proof-of-View technology passed a patent examination by the Chinese Patent Office in January 2022, signaling the tremendous potential for the protocol and the project.
For its product layer, Verasity includes VeraEsports – an Esports platform partnering with some of the most prominent players in the game, such as PUBG Mobile, Valorant, CS:GO, etc. Verasity also features its online crypto wallet – VeraWallet, with guaranteed security and growth for your portfolio. VeraWallet is an ultra-secure, all-in-one digital currency wallet for people who love esports and NFTs.
Moreover, VRA is one of the top Metaverse crypto coins with some of the highest staking yields, offering up to 18.25% on VRA tokens until April 2023. Users can stake their VRA tokens in Verasity’s VeraWallet.
verasity veraviews
Last but not least, Verasity features an earning platform – VeraViews, which enables users to earn VRA tokens for watching content online.
Verasity currently features a market cap of $57 million with a 24-hour trading volume of $6.8 million. Its low unit price of $0.0055 make it a highly undervalued project worth keeping an eye on in June 2022.
VRA is the primary ERC-20 Ethereum-based digital asset for the platform. VRA can be used to earn rewards, payment for various services, etc.
You can purchase VRA on Gate.io, Poloniex, KuCoin, Hotcoin Global, OKX, Bittrex, etc.
Launched in September 2021, Star Atlas (ATLAS) is one of the market’s most anticipated Metaverse crypto games. It features some of the best designs out of all the Metaverse crypto coins and includes a robust NFT marketplace where users can purchase in-game assets to be used in the game when it’s released.
star atlas
Star Atlas, by far, has one of the best design teams behind the project, and we recommend checking out the platform if you haven’t yet. The game is currently in development, but users can check out the website, a few teaser trailers, and its NFT marketplace.
Star Atlas is built on the Solana blockchain, so to interact with its NFT dApp, we recommend connecting with a Solana-supported Web3 wallet like Phantom.
The game itself involves strategy and exploration. Users can explore Star Atlas’ planets in its Metaverse, complete missions, collect resources, and earn rewards via the game’s play-to-earn model.
One unique feature about Star Atlas is its recent partnership with The Sandbox, one of the highest-valued Metaverse crypto projects on the market. The partnership will revolutionize interoperability between the Ethereum and Solana blockchains in a first-of-its-kind collaboration.
Star Atlas includes a dual-token economy consisting of two Solana-based tokens: ATLAS and POLIS. While ATLAS is the primary utility asset for Star Atlas, which enables users to buy NFTs on the marketplace and interact with its Metaverse, POLIS is the governance token providing voting power to holders looking to participate in the Star Atlas DAO.
star atlas
With a current market capitalization of $15 million and a unit price of $0.007, Star Atlas is highly undervalued. Star Atlas has tremendous long-term potential, and we recommend keeping a close eye on the project in June 2022.
You can buy ATLAS on FTX, Gate.io, Kraken, Raydium, LBank, MEXC, Ascend EX (BitMax), OKcoin, Paribu, BitMart, CoinEx, Bitrue, XT.COM, CoinTiger, etc.
Launched in July 2021, Metahero (HERO) is building an ultra-realistic Metaverse enabling users to scan themselves and other real-world objects into Metahero’s digital realm with extreme precision.
metahero and wolf digital world partnership
Metahero partnered with Wolf Digital World, the leaders in 3D photogrammetric scanning technology already utilized by AAA game developers like CD Project, the team behind Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher Series, to create realistic animations and 3D models.
Metahero features its Metaverse called Everdome, which completed a presale raising over $9 million in its seed funding round, signaling the tremendous community support for the project.
While Metahero’s primary utility asset is HERO, Everdome’s token is DOME. Both tokens are BEP-20 BNB Chain crypto assets as Metahero and Everdome are built on the BNB chain. Metahero is one of the most underrated Metaverse crypto coins on BNB, and we recommend keeping a close eye on it in June 2022.
Metahero is undervalued now, as the bear market pushed its valuation to $50 million. With a unit price of $0.0099, it’s a tremendous low-priced coin to watch in June 2022.
In recent news, Metahero announced that it appointed Mariusz Król, the founder of WOLF Group, as the CEO of Metahero. According to the announcement:
“Both teams will continue to deliver at the highest level, each with a unilateral focus, in order to increase and optimize output for both projects.”
You can purchase the HERO token on KuCoin, Gate.io, Bybit, LBank, PancakeSwap (V2), Crypto.com, AAX, CoinEx, Biswap, XT.COM, etc.
Disclosure: This is not trading or investment advice. Always do your research before buying any Metaverse crypto coins.
Follow us on Twitter @thevrsoldier to stay updated with the latest Crypto, NFT, AI, and Metaverse news!
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Facebook's Metaverse is Expanding the Attack Surface – Trend Micro

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Use the CRI to assess your organization’s preparedness against attacks, and get a snapshot of cyber risk across organizations globally.
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Privacy & Risks
Understand the cybersecurity risks in the Metaverse
By: William Malik August 08, 2022 Read time:  ( words)
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Thirty years ago, Paramount trademarked the name “Holodeck.” An artifact of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the holodeck was a magical, computer-generated world where characters lived in another realm – either a historical place or an entirely fictious domain, based on old movies, books, or a character’s imagination. As in much science fiction, the holodeck’s inner workings were never explained, except when dealing with a malfunction: the safety protocols stopped working, an alien took over the controls, a fictional character escaped, all of which put one or more character’s lives at risk.
Also, thirty years ago, Gartner published a research report “Client Server and Cooperative Processing.” It described the underlying model behind client/server computing and described the forms simple two-tiered architectures might take. As a side effect, the report described why client/server computing makes sense (as opposed to doing everything on one machine). Different types of computers have a different ration of computational power to available data. Historically, mainframes tend to be data-rich (tuned to run at 100% processor utilization) and MIPS-poor, while PCs tend to be MIPS-rich (rarely exceeding significant processor utilization) and data-poor – by a factor of about 3,000. If the computational problem involves lots of data but relatively little processing power, a mainframe-style computer fits the bill. If the problem involves lots of processing but not much data, a PC makes sense. And if the problem requires lots of data and lots of processing, then split the problem into two parts – and put the data-heavy part on one, and the compute-intensive part on the other.
Enter the Metaverse
The holodeck is the limiting case of a computational problem requiring lots of data and lots of processing. We can be sure that it is implemented using a multi-tiered architecture. Which brings us to the metaverse, our real-world version of the holodeck. The metaverse will provide a rich, immersive experience when the user wears AR glasses and gloves with haptic feedback (local client computing for compute-intensive tasks) fronting a richly connected network of servers holding vast amounts of data about the background, landscape, avatars, and the physics of the virtual environment.
From a security perspective the metaverse presents every possible attack surface. The primary IT components connect using IP but the many devices needed to flesh out the illusion will run a multitude of industrial control system protocols. Cost pressures will drive vendors building the infrastructure to source low-cost IIoT components, which still lack basic security and privacy controls. Even in the holodeck, advanced authentication was easily forged. Man-in-the-middle attacks will proliferate. Privacy will be non-existent, because people react to sensory input faster than they know, and the local client hardware will pick up and remember those reactions. While people are exploring their virtual world, the virtual world is constantly monitoring and evaluating the individual’s likes, wants, and preferences. The mountain of profile data will make marketing vastly more persuasive, not just for consumer products but also for political advertisement targeting. Vance Packard would be in awe of the metaverse’s power.
Security conventionally guarantees that data shall not be lost, altered, or inadvertently disclosed. Adding the industrial control system mandate for safety brings us to a new model for cybersecurity fitting the threats the metaverse will unleash. Since effective cybersecurity combines technology with policy and user education, we are a long way from securing the metaverse. The architecture is just now coming to light. The proper procedures are far from a first draft, and regulations a decade behind that. For now, the strongest link remains the people using it. Be careful, and thoughtful, about what you want to share and how you would keep a secret in this new virtual world. “Arch!” doesn’t work quite yet.
ReferencesHOLODECK Trademark 74327473, filed Oct 31, 1992.
“Client/Server and Cooperative Processing – a Guide for the Perplexed,” William Malik, Tony Percy, W. Roy Schulte, Gartner, Stamford, CT. October 1992
The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, David McKay Co., New York, 1957.

What do you think? Let me know @WilliamMalikTM
William Malik
VP, Infrastructure Strategies

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