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CoinMarketCap takes the Capital conference to the metaverse – VentureBeat

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Cryptocurrencies, the low-hanging fruit of the blockchain technology tree, have seen wider adoption when compared to other emerging blockchain fruits. Gartner predicts 20% of large enterprises will use digital currencies by 2024. However, new (or not-so-new now) on the horizon are NFTs, the metaverse and Web3 — which are becoming more mainstream. As blockchain technology continues to make more inroads into the enterprise and the buzz on NFTs, the metaverse and Web3 increases, Web3 innovators and stakeholders are increasingly gathering at events to discuss the spread, direction and impact of Web3.
One such event is CoinMarketCap’s “The Capital: Time to ship conference,” a virtual event hosted in the metaverse by CoinMarketCap (CMC). The two-day event, which was held on May 26th and 27th and cosponsored by industry giants like Trust Wallet, Klaytn, and Apollo X, among others, focused on metaverse, blockchain, NFTs and Web3, drawing blockchain and Web3 enthusiasts from across the world. 
Keynote speakers at the conference included Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO at Binance, Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy, Jaynti Kanani, cofounder of Polygon, Sebastien Borget, cofounder and COO at Sandbox and others.
VentureBeat was on the ground to cover the event and drill deep into what Web3 and blockchain stakeholders consider to be use cases for the emergent virtual world. While one would think a conference like Time to ship wouldn’t feature cryptocurrencies so heavily on its agenda, since it was more about the metaverse, Web3 and NFTs, the opposite was the case. The conference began with Zhao delivering a keynote address on the state of crypto.
During his keynote address, Zhao touched on several sensitive issues including the Ronin Hack and how Binance helped Axie Infinity get back on its feet through a cash injection.
“Any single project failure has spillover effects on multiple fronts: investors lose confidence, the mainstream media paints a negative picture and, most importantly, people do get hurt. Most industry players do want to help each other out — especially when there’s a crisis,” said Zhao.
Speaking further on the role of Binance in the Twitter takeover, he said he wants Twitter to be the platform for free speech and would like to help the social network make the transition to Web3. Explaining market movement and the present bearish momentum that the cryptocurrency market is experiencing, he said there was an all-time high in 2013, an all-time high in 2017 and an all-time high in 2021, adding that there would always be lows in between, as historical numbers don’t predict the future.
Zhao’s views were mirrored by Saylor who, in his fireside chat on day 1, also broached the floundering state of the market from a psychological point of view.  Speaking on his firm’s losses in the bear market, he said “trying to sell before a loss is a trader mentality.”
Decentralized finance (DeFi) was at the center of discussion at the conference, with panel discussions around decentralized crypto exchanges (DEXs) and farm yield. Nikita Ovchinnik, chief business development officer at 1inch, said the loyalty of users helps to improve the onboarding process. He believes user loyalty can be a valuable asset during a crypto crisis (aka crypto winter) like the one being experienced now.
During a discussion on the Ethereum blockchain migration to proof of stake (PoS), Jan Liphardt, founder and chief technologist at Boba Network, said the chains offering only low cost will be in trouble, but chains that solve major gaps in the ecosystem like cross-chain transactions will thrive. Leo Chen, VP of engineering at Harmony Protocol, believes PoS is still in the early stages as a consensus mechanism and it hasn’t experienced a huge attack. PoS will introduce new challenges to the ecosystem, according to Chen.  
Dan Roberts, editor-in-chief at Decrypt, said the crypto winter can be a good thing since it shifts the attention of people from material gains to building sustainable products.
Discussed at length and with new insights, NFTs were the darling of the CMC conference. With NFTs becoming a store of value during the lockdown and even after, it’s become imperative to check out new use cases and criteria believed to be key if NFTs must survive beyond the hype
Speaking on the use cases of NFTs, Roneil Rumburg, cofounder and CEO at Audius, compared the technological advancement to hypertext in the early days of the internet. He said no one talks about hypertext now but the things this technology enabled, like Google, Amazon and Facebook.   
The use case of virtual and in real life (vIRL) is slowly becoming commonplace, especially with the emergence of NFTs that allow you to own physical items without taking delivery of the said item. Owning a vIRL is having the option of selling, holding the NFT, or redeeming the physical item, enabling vIRLs to save the environment from excess shipping.  
As the conference neared its end, Paul Caslin from Hello made a case for adoption, stating that while the metaverse can bring people together, most virtual worlds currently don’t bring mainstream audiences into the space and deliver entertainment that’s captivating. Perhaps this is proof that the metaverse isn’t near maturity yet? 
While experts say technologies like AR, VR, blockchain, 5G and AI will converge to improve the metaverse, we’re barely scratching the surface. The potentials are undoubtedly huge, but it might take some celebrity firepower to spark conversations in new sectors of the endeavor. Like Caslin noted, the floodgates can be opened via different strategies, “…once it’s good for one person, it’s good for everyone. There are many people on the sidelines at the moment waiting to see what happens,” he said.
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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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