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The DeanBeat: How to make payments in the metaverse – VentureBeat

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Tilia recently spun out of Linden Lab with the backing of J.P. Morgan Payments to fuel payments for the metaverse.
Now it’s in a position to provide payment systems that can fuel multiple virtual worlds that are connected to each other in the metaverse. This kind of metaverse will have a common economy, where players can buy digital items and take them over to different virtual worlds.
And Brad Oberwager, executive chairman of Tilia, wants his company to be the glue to hold the different economies and systems of commerce together. Oberwager spoke about this at our GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event. He hopes that anyone who wants to handle payments the right way in the metaverse will eventually come to Tilia, and that could in turn help the metaverse become interoperable.
Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.
GamesBeat: How did Linden Lab develop its ability to handle payments? Can you tell us more about the history of Tilia?
Brad Oberwager: The history of Tilia is really the history of Second Life. Second Life, way back when, just for review — Second Life is still going on. It’s a $650 million economy. It’s a pretty big business. When Second Life was started, it was merely a way to build things. That’s what people loved doing. It was the original gaming engine that allowed people to create. It was where the original creators were. But what they did was they allowed people to run a credit card, buy a Linden Dollar, move the Linden Dollar, and then let the Linden Dollar come out of the system.
That was very prescient and very interesting. It was also very illegal. That’s called money transmission. Money transmission is a highly regulated thing in the world. The United States, the EU, Australia, Japan. They were told to stop doing it. Instead of stopping, they built this company called Tilia, which went out and got all the licenses to move money virtually in these virtual worlds. Now, there was only one real virtual world back then, so they used Second Life as the way to get those licenses. But Tilia became its own company. Then, what we did very recently was we separated the two. That’s the origin of Tilia.
GamesBeat: You came into the picture, too. When did that happen?
Oberwager: Philip Rosedale was the founder. Philip and I, we go to Burning Man every year. We actually drive up in an RV together. Every year I would hear about Linden. They wanted to sell it. They couldn’t sell it. After three years I said, “If you talk about this one more time I’m just going to buy it.” And he did, and so we actually stepped in and bought Linden, which at that time was both Second Life and Tilia. They were absolutely connected.
GamesBeat: Now you’ve done a more recent transaction. We just announced it. Tell us more about that.
Oberwager: We took that company Tilia, which was only supporting Second Life, and we split them apart. Now Tilia started supporting other virtual worlds, metaverse gaming companies. As times are changing and the desire to move money — people are learning that it’s very regulated. We split it up, and then JP Morgan came in and funded it, which is very powerful. They’re leading a round. We announced JP Morgan, but the round is open. We’re doing the round right now. It’s already a profitable company.
GamesBeat: What’s the opportunity at hand for this deal?
Oberwager: Everyone’s read Matthew Ball. Let’s assume that we all agree with him, as a start. We have a lot of experience in these virtual worlds. We’ve learned — I think we have a lot of experience. We’ve been doing this for 20 years. We see these crypto games and blockchain games. We’re not saying yes or no to them. But we’ve learned that virtual worlds mimic the real world quite closely. You get a sense of place, a sense of self. There are rules and governments. You have DAOs, but in our case the community rules, and it’s slightly different. They mimic a lot of society. But every society, throughout all of history, has depended on money in some way to blossom. You’re good at what you’re good at. I’m good at what I’m good at. We both separate. We do what we do. Then we exchange. Even barter is a type of exchange. Money is a much easier way to do it.
The opportunity at hand — we believe that moving your stuff is important. Moving your identity and your friends is important. But moving your money might actually be the most important thing. If you live in San Francisco and I tell you you have to move to New York and you can’t bring your clothes, that’s mildly irritating. But if I told you that you can’t bring your money and you have to start over, you’re not going to move. The movement of money in these worlds is incredibly important. You can’t have a creator economy without it.
If we step back, you can’t build a virtual world. You have to let the creators do it. They don’t do it for free. Moving that money within the world with these money transmission licenses, moving the money between worlds, that’s going to drive most of — we believe money is going to be the underpinning of the picks and axes that will be the underpinning of the virtual worlds. That’s what we think the opportunity is.
If you read the press, it’s going to be somewhere between $2 and $8 trillion dollars. The interesting thing is how little people truly understand the movement of money in the world. If you’re good at games, you think you can just sell virtual currency and everything will be fine. The reality is that is not even close to being true. Unlike making a mistake when you’re VC-backed and things don’t work out, when you’re moving money and you make a mistake, people go to jail. It’s not okay to mess with people’s money in that way.
GamesBeat: This is a specialty that’s regulated. Very few other companies can do it.
Oberwager: The first thing is, anyone who’s seen Ocean’s 11, that’s the way to start thinking about it. Ocean’s 11 was all about trying to rob the vault. Why was there so much money in the vault? In casinos, the casino must have cash that represents every chip on the table. The casino makes money because you walk out with fewer chips than you walked in. But they must have that in the vault. The same applies when you have a virtual world and you’re selling diamonds. If you earn the diamonds and you can put them into a bank account, the government steps in and says, they’re your diamonds. It’s your money. You’re not allowed to touch it. I’m not allowed to touch it. Even Tilia is not allowed to touch it. You have to put it in this very special bank account, a sequestered account or a custodial account. All the money in the virtual world must be backed in that account, by law.
That’s the miss. The companies that are doing this, if you can put money into the bank, the big miss is, you’ll get a phone call from a regulator, because New York, Texas, California, Florida, they’re on this. Because it can be dangerous. If you’re a small startup, you take that money in and you spend it on engineers and things go sideways for a bit, and then the creator wants to take that money out — if you say, “Hey, we don’t have it,” that’s illegal.
GamesBeat: Can you distinguish between tokens that we all hear about and then Linden Dollars? Those have a fixed price, right? Tokens are fluctuating.
Oberwager: Let’s talk about how this works. The first option is, why wouldn’t you use fiat? Fiat is the US dollar and the euro and so on. Why wouldn’t you use that? We’ll put that over here. And then over here we’ll talk about crypto. If you do use crypto, all this goes away. If you use crypto and it trades on Coinbase and it moves in your world, but you can get your money out through exchanges, then you don’t need money transmitter licenses. We’ll get to that.
First, fiat. Fiat is clumsy and slow. In these virtual worlds you need to be instantaneous. Someone buys a set of eyes, you can’t wait for an ACH transfer to sell it. You can’t use a credit card, because credit cards have minimum fees and stuff like that. I think everyone would agree that fiat is terrible. But there’s a lot of talk about crypto in case you haven’t heard, and how crypto would work in these games. That’s very different.
Crypto doesn’t work, and there’s a couple of reasons why. The first reason is, it can’t support an economy in the way people think. If you have an economy like a Second Life where you make wings and I have money and I want to buy your wings — say the crypto is increasing in value by one percent per day. That would be very normal for crypto. Why would I spend it on wings? I don’t need wings that badly. I like going up one percent a day. Meanwhile, if it’s going down one percent a day, you’re not going to accept it. The economy breaks down very fast if it fluctuates. That’s the economic reason why crypto doesn’t work. People think they can get around it. We haven’t been able to see it. Tilia is separated out. We support other things. We haven’t seen anybody truly work it out.
That doesn’t mean you can’t make money on crypto. We’ll talk about NFTs later. But there’s another set of reasons why crypto doesn’t work and you have to use what we call virtual coins. Second Life, which people thought was dead, or a lot of people probably haven’t ever heard of Second Life — Second Life does 1.6 million transactions a day. If you compare that, without talking badly about another company — if you compare that to a popular blockchain game or metaverse game you can think of, we’ve done more transactions during this fireside chat than the top two or three have done in 2022. Not crypto trades. That’s different. But actual in-world transactions.
The number of transactions that you need to do is staggering. Even with all the talk about layer 2 and all the new ways you can do crypto — we’re talking about billions of transactions a day. Second Life is a $650 million economy with 1.6 million transactions a day. That leads to the next problem. The speed at which you need these things to happen is instantaneous. You cannot wait for anything. Now, I know there are some cryptos that are able to do that. But again, this is pretty complicated. The real problem is the average transaction size. In a virtual world you don’t buy a beer for four bucks. You buy a beer for four cents. In fact, we can move 1/250 of a dollar profitably. That is very hard to do on a blockchain or with crypto.
Having done a lot of work on this, crypto doesn’t work. I know that might be controversial and a lot of people have investments in these crypto games. They’ve made a ton of money on crypto trading. But to power a virtual world — we cannot see, in the five to 10 year time horizon, how you’re going to solve the economics and the things that are just systemic to crypto for a virtual world. You would have to build a treasury that would buy and sell to flatten out the fluctuation, which then of course — why would you do it?
That brings up what Linden is. Linden is a closed and open system simultaneously. It’s open in the sense that you can put money in, you can move it, and you can take money out. That’s the open part. That’s similar to any currency and crypto and everything. But it’s somewhat closed in the sense that Linden Dollars only work in Second Life. While some may say that’s terrible, that’s not distributed, that’s not web3 — you’re right. But we’ve enabled a marketplace so that money can come in. If you want to buy Linden Dollars you don’t buy them from me. You buy them from a resident in Second Life. There is a market. We step in to moderate that market. We are a treasury. We’ll sell if there’s too much buying pressure and buy if there’s too much buying pressure. That’s incredibly rare, though. The market kind of takes care of itself.
Again, if that happened on Coinbase, you have a real problem on your hands. If you were Sandbox and the price was coming down, you’d have to spend $100 million to prop that back up and make that work. We let the market work itself out. That’s why we do what we call — we would call them a virtual token or a virtual coin, not a virtual currency. A virtual currency, by definition, would be out there, and that’s a very different need case.
GamesBeat: But this is a metaverse opportunity. How big is it?
Oberwager: I guess we’re back to how you define the metaverse. There’s been so many people that have said, “These are the seven things.” And they’re all probably right. We view the metaverse, certainly, as a bunch of technology. We think that interoperability is super important. But when we come back to money and we think about — if Second Life is $650 million, and if it’s true that the economy is different than the money in — Second Life doesn’t bring in $650 million. Second Life generates $650 million of activity. Those are very different things. The money in, the money moved, the money out, that’s much less than $650 million.
The point of that is that if you think of the gaming world as $150 billion, roughly — it’s bigger than that, but let’s think about that — one way to look at the future is that all of these games are going to be somehow loosely or very tightly associated with the concept of the metaverse. They’re all going to lean into creator economies. They’re all going to lean into building different things. If our revenue is $80 million and money that comes in is $160 million — most people would keep that kind of quiet, but we’re pretty open with stuff — if you think of that, and you think of our economy as being somewhere between four and eight times our revenue, and then you take the gaming market and say that’s all going to go creator economy, you can see how these gaming worlds would be trillions of dollars, even if there’s no growth. It’s a pretty safe assumption that there’s going to be a lot of growth.
When people throw out a number like $8 trillion and you recoil and say that’s impossible, it’s actually very doable. You asked what the opportunity is. The opportunity is going to be multifaceted. Everyone is going to have a different opportunity. Different investments will do well. There will be web3 stuff, web2 stuff, web 2.5. All that will happen. But for us, the opportunity is back to the casino example. If you have $8-10 trillion out there that you have to back, that’s a big financial opportunity. If you can make a very tiny amount of money every time something moves, that’s a big financial opportunity.
Right now we’re lucky enough that we partnered with JP Morgan. They can move an awful lot of money. They can store an awful lot of money. That’s why they invested in us. It was the partnership. The investment actually came later. If you think about that from our perspective — we’ve lucked into — we may not be the only company that can do this. But we’re the only company that is doing this. A company like PayPal could step in. They have the same licenses. But they would have to issue tokens. They would have to do transactions around 12 cents. Paypal is not in the business of moving 12 cents at a time.
GamesBeat: If we can catch up some, what are you enabling in terms of virtual economies in games by going across more platforms, by being outside of Second Life?
Oberwager: If you could convert your Linden Dollar and buy a Fortnite sword, that would be super interesting. That’s also a very long time in the future. But if you could do that — the question is how. You’re going to need a set of financial rails that we actually don’t have right now. We have a concept of ACH. We have this new thing, relatively new, in crypto. But moving money instantaneously between even the nation-states that we have right now — even moving money from the United States to Canada is a more arduous process than it should be.
The metaverse is not a replacement for the real world. It’s not just going to be completely different in some ways. But the instantaneous nature of needing to move stuff and money, that’s going to be at a level that we haven’t seen before. The Visa network is incredible. We can talk about how that will impact the metaverse. But that opportunity, to take a dollar of one semi-open, semi-closed system — which we think is the future — a virtual coin, and use that in a different virtual world — you’re talking about universal wallets and things like that. That’s a future that is super exciting and an enormous opportunity.
GamesBeat: Do you need an interoperable metaverse to maximize the opportunity here? How are you going to help make that happen?
Oberwager: I’m not so sure you need an interoperable metaverse for things to happen. It certainly is going to make it a lot better. We think of the future as similar to nation-states and satellite economies. There will be, in our opinion — first, for a second let’s ignore the full interoperability of the metaverse. There will be large virtual worlds or silo’d metaverses that you think of as nation-states. They have their own governments, their own sense of space, their own passports, and their own money. Then there will be smaller satellite states around them that might use those rails. They might use the same currency. They might use the same money movement techniques. They might have the same or similar passports. Or they might just be adjacent.
That could stay on its own and not be interoperable. There may be a thousand of those. There may be 20. Facebook might be one. Google might end up being one. Second Life might be one. Epic is certainly going to be one. EA is going to be one. Now you talk about how they’re going to exchange with each other. It gets extremely complicated, extremely quickly. If you have a money system in EA and you have a money system at Epic, the concept that you could easily go between the two of those is somewhat false. If in one world a sword is worth 10 wings and in another world wings are worth 10 swords, there’s no crossing mechanism. It’s not a perfect market where it will all end up at five for five. They’re just different.
There will need to be some sort of mechanism where this nation-state goes into this thing that goes into this nation-state. That thing might be a crypto. That’s where this starts to change. I don’t see a world where the nation-states can operate on crypto, but the thing that goes back and forth — most likely it will be a stablecoin, because it will be very difficult to do that with fiat. It will have to be something that is absolutely backed by fiat. We won’t be able to get around that. The minute one of the entire ecosystem of every nation-state — the minute one can turn that money into fiat, the law, the current law, will come in and say the entire ecosystem must be backed. It’ll have to be backed by fiat. But it will have to move instantaneously at very low dollar volumes with very low friction and no gas fees. It’s complicated. But that’s the 10-year-out vision.
GamesBeat: Right now, what partners do you have in this?
Oberwager: We have partners and we have customers. Our customer list, in various stages — this is pretty recent, that we spun this out. We partner with AWS. We partner with Unity. Obviously we partner with JP Morgan. We have a partnership with PayPal. They don’t know it, because they’re so big, but we work with them, as well as Coinbase and others. Those are low-level partnerships. 92 percent of games in the world have some portion of their system on AWS. And by the way, AWS is an outstanding company to partner with.
GamesBeat: On the customer side, what’s happening there?
Oberwager: Upland, for example. Which, by the way, is a crypto game. It moves land as NFTs. They’re a customer of ours. We drive, if you will, their stablecoin, their virtual coin that money comes in and money comes out. They were very astute — of course they liked us, so that’s why I call them astute. But they were very astute in the sense that they were able to do both. They had NFTs and crypto, and they had securely backed coin. They have actually grown when you see some of their competitors like Decentraland, who have actually declined, because they did it the other way. Certainly we wish we were supporting Decentraland. That’s a huge company and we want everyone to do well. But that’s a perfect example of a customer.
As other companies, very large aggregators of mobile apps — they are thinking about being a nation-state. There are companies that have a thousand mobile apps and they want to have a single token that will go between all of them. They’re going to figure out games of skill and games where they just sell diamonds. As they see that economy grow, they’ve chosen Tilia. I don’t want to keep them secret, but we’d like to keep them secret so we can announce them when they’re ready to launch, instead of when we sign the contract, so we can get some press. But in general, outside of Meta or Horizon, we are in some level of discussion — either we’ve signed the contract, we’re about to sign the contract, or we’re about to launch, with almost everyone who’s not a crypto game. If you’re a blockchain game we only have one or two.
GamesBeat: Are other countries beyond the U.S. getting their act together on things like metaverse payments?
Oberwager: Yeah. Another thing that’s heading toward people that they may not see — just as the EU led in privacy, they are quite strict on what you’re allowed to do in terms of what you do with money. They’re quite advanced in so many ways. The euro and the EU, they have a lot of experience with the concept of nation-states, and their laws are more recent. A lot of what’s happening, especially in the U.S.–it’s so confusing, and people kind of abused it. We came up with this thing called crypto. People did whatever they wanted. Everybody made a bunch of money. They left the government behind. Governments don’t like being left behind. They’re going to come in and regulate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the SEC or whatever. Regulation is coming. But it’s going to be old regulation with maybe three words tweaked and applied to this brand new thing. That’s going to be a disaster.
Europe was much later when they started creating all of these money laws. Their laws will apply better, and since they do, they’re doing it faster. The EU, the U.K., Australia, Japan, South Korea, they’re ahead of the U.S., but in a good way. The U.S. is going to catch up, hopefully in a good way. But I’m not overly optimistic. The good news for us as a company is we have Congress on our side. The more inept Congress is, the more you need what we provide. Congress is our moat against competition. So that’s not a bad thing.
GamesBeat: What’s the road map like? Where do you want this to go, and what’s going to help you get there?
Oberwager: The resonance of these virtual worlds. We are just an enabler. There will be people building the picks and axes and people mining the gold. We look at ourselves and say, “The whole reason you need the picks and axes is to mine the gold. Once you get the gold, you have to move it somewhere.” We move the gold. We want everyone to be successful. The more success out there, the better we do, and the better the world does. We have a huge opportunity. This metaverse thing could be really good for the world. We have an equal opportunity that it could be bad for the world. We’d like to see a good, massive, virtual world metaverse interactivity, and then we just want to be part of that.
GamesBeat: And the regulators are what makes you one of the more unique companies? Not everybody is going to get past them.
Oberwager: Right. The regulators are real. They’re not the most forward-thinking, because that’s not their job. Their job is not to think ahead and make things easy. Their job is actually to make sure that consumers are protected. Regulation is good. You partner with JP Morgan. They know regulators. We’ve been doing it for seven years. We know the regulators. When we hear people say, “We’ll get our money transmitter licenses too,” I want to have a PDF packet that has every state, who the transmitter license person is, their email, their phone number — it takes years and tens of millions of dollars just to get them. And then it takes tens of millions of dollars to keep them.
It’s not so much that people can’t do it. It’s that there’s no game on the planet — even Meta backed out of it. Nobody on the planet should do this on their own rather than using us. That’s what we like about regulation.
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Elrond transforms into MultiversX and launches Metaverse products – Oryen sets primary focus on Passive Income – Business 2 Community

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Elrond transforms into MultiversX and launches Metaverse products – Oryen sets primary focus on Passive Income  Business 2 Community
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The Metaverse and Crypto – The Motley Fool

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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.
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.
The metaverse, cryptocurrency, Web3. Besides all three of these things being hot technology buzzwords, what do they have in common? For many tech developers and investors, the metaverse and crypto are intertwined and will become part of Web3 — a decentralized internet controlled by individual users rather than by big companies.
Although the metaverse (basically three-dimensional immersive virtual worlds) and cryptocurrency (Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) being the first of thousands of cryptos) are two very different things, they could come to heavily rely on each other as they develop.
Let's start with a fundamental piece of technology that lies at the heart of both cryptocurrency and the metaverse: blockchain. Originally designed by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and now used by other big cryptos such as Ethereum (CRYPTO:ETH), blockchain is a public digital ledger that records transaction data. Transactions utilizing a blockchain network can be peer-to-peer and remove intermediaries (such as a bank or tech company) from user interactions. This can reduce cost and speed up the time for transactions to take place, among other things.
Commerce on the internet is still taking place using a digital version of traditional fiat currencies. Blockchain and currencies based on it were developed as a digital-native means of transacting business in a digital world. Metaverses with their 3D virtual worlds and immersive services are also seen by some as utilizing blockchain technology as a way to create permission-less interactions between internet users.
There are lots of 3D immersive worlds in existence today, such as video games where players can interact with each other in real time. By some definitions, though, these 3D worlds don't truly become part of the metaverse until they have a fully fledged digital economy.
Many of these games and services allow users to purchase digital items. For avid video gamers, this is a common practice. Outfits and accessories can be purchased to customize your in-game look or improve player performance. Cloud computing-based services utilize a similar concept, enabling a free-to-use or cheap starter package but locking premium or add-on features behind a paywall.
Sound a little pointless and far-fetched? This concept of metaverse shopping could have real-world applications, too. Shoppers could try on a virtual version of clothes in the metaverse before making a purchase. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) CEO Jensen Huang talks a lot about "digital twins" of physical world locations, which has tremendous potential for businesses when designing and constructing property or planning for manufacturing projects. The same could be said for individuals who could preview a home remodel or sample a product, such as furniture, in a digital recreation of their home. 
With the potential for e-commerce and social interaction, this is where cryptocurrencies and applications built on a blockchain enter. Direct peer-to-peer interactions on the web hold the promise of instantaneous settlement of funds and near-zero fees. Item ownership can be guaranteed using an NFT (non-fungible token), which could take the form of a piece of art, a digital collectible item, or a digital version of a real-world purchase, such as a pair of Nike (NYSE:NKE) sneakers you could also wear in the metaverse.
For now, though, the metaverse is largely the realm of the video game industry and other imaginative start-ups. It's worth noting that turmoil in the crypto space during the first half of 2022 has also cast a shadow on the metaverse and its viability as a fully fledged digital economy. Nevertheless, here are four early-stage projects to watch that are bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and the metaverse.
The Sandbox (CRYPTO:SAND) is a user-created digital world in which users can create and sell digital content within the game. SAND is the in-game token that acts as a currency and is built atop the Ethereum blockchain network. These tokens can be bought and sold on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges. SAND can be used to purchase virtual land, buildings, accessories, and other items as NFTs.
Decentraland (CRYPTO:MANA) is another Ethereum network-based metaverse experience. Participants can use the native token MANA to purchase virtual land and develop it for games and other experiences, as well as for avatars and digital accessories. Decentraland is controlled by the Decentraland DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). Owners of MANA or virtual property in Decentraland can participate in the DAO and vote on initiatives and new development.
Think of Axie Infinity (CRYPTO:AXS) as an Ethereum blockchain-based version of Nintendo's (OTC:NTDOY) Pokémon franchise. Players train fantasy monsters called Axies and compete against other teams. Axie Infinity is a "play-to-earn" game, meaning participating can earn the player AXS tokens. The tokens can be spent on new Axies (which trade as NFTs), training existing Axies to improve their traits, and the upcoming launch of virtual land within the Axie Infinity universe. The most expensive Axie ever was bought for the equivalent of $820,000 of Ethereum (at the then-market price).
Crypto Baristas is an NFT project that aims to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds. Owners of a Crypto Barista NFT character get access to a metaverse where other coffee enthusiasts can meet. But this is more than just a place to grab a virtual coffee. The project is also being used to fund an actual café in New York City called Coffee Bros., which will partner with coffee farmers around the world (the first being an established farmer in Honduras). At this point, this is a very new project that has only just recently released a white paper on how its tokens will work, but it's an example of how metaverses can also have real-world applications.  
This digital, 3D world can present real opportunity for investors.
Digital real estate is the technical term used to describe virtual property.
You can't live on virtual land, you can't farm it, and you can't mine it — but you might make a profit from it.
Read our expert Q&A about what you should know before investing in crypto.
Prices of some native tokens used in a metaverse have skyrocketed in recent years, attracting plenty of investor attention. However, bear in mind that investing in cryptocurrencies and tokens built on a blockchain network is highly speculative — and not just because they're new technologies.
Crypto coins and tokens used in the metaverse aren't businesses that generate revenue and profits. Instead, they're a type of digital currency that can be used to make purchases or participate in a metaverse. Therefore, their values are highly subjective and prone to wild swings in price. Individual stocks of businesses are very volatile, too, but investors can make assessments on their value with revenue and profit metrics — metrics that crypto investors do not have. This problem has led to some of the extreme volatility in the wider crypto universe in 2022. 
Nevertheless, early versions of the metaverse hold a lot of promise, especially for those interested in participating in them. Ownership of some cryptos grants the holder a voice in a DAO or other virtual project, and artists and other digital creators can have a new outlet for their business.
Tread lightly when it comes to investing in this space as it's moving fast and still under development. But the intersection between cryptocurrencies and the metaverse is worth keeping an eye on in the years ahead.
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SHIB May Have Reached Bottom, Ripple CBDC Hackathon Concluded, SHIB Metaverse Reveals New Concept Art: Crypto News Digest by U.Today – U.Today

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Take a look at what’s happening in the world of crypto by reading U.Today’s top four news stories.
Following the FTX crypto exchange collapse, Shiba Inu dropped to levels last seen in early summer of this year. However, this time, the SHIB price suffered slightly less: after another round of crypto market capitulation, the token did not go below the zone around $0.000009, which may signal that SHIB has once again reached the bottom. There are two factors that may trigger the rise of the meme coin’s price. The first one is Shibarium, the ecosystem’s own Layer 2 protocol, which should greatly increase SHIB’s utility and lead to increased demand, trading volumes and SHIB burning rate. The second factor is the overall crypto market environment. After the FTX crash, investor confidence may take a long time to return and even longer for tokens like SHIB, which are not at the forefront.
According to Ripple’s official announcement, CBDC Innovate, the hackathon the fintech giant organized to reaffirm its commitment to strengthening its positions in the stablecoins segment, has come to an end. Experts shared the names of the winners in three nominations: interoperability, financial inclusion and retail apps. For every nomination, a $150,000 prize was allocated. The winners of the interoperability nomination are payment application PeerPay and peer-to-peer loans machine P2P-CBDC. Checksum and conFIEL B2B platforms became the leaders of the financial inclusion track. Last, but not least, SpendTheBits and Community Loans received enterprise and individual prizes in the retail apps category. As covered by U.Today, Ripple’s competition for projects that use XRPL-based CBDCs started in July-August 2022.
Only 24 hours after revealing the concept art for its scenic dunes, the SHIB Metaverse team unveiled yet another one. This time, it is the tech trench hub that was made in ancient times and yet has evolved into a hyper-technological avenue. While working on this concept art, the team took inspiration from the architectural designs of leading universities and tech schools from around the world, such as Yale University (U.S.), Otemon Gakuin University (Japan), Rolex Learning Center (Switzerland) and many more. To get the necessary feedback from the Shiba Inu community, today the team will conduct the Tech Trench Fireside Chat at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST on the official Shibtoken Discord.

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The XRP community could recently see an anomaly in trading volumes, as they exceeded the current market capitalization of cryptocurrencies by 33%. With the combined value of all XRPs at $18.56 billion, in the last seven days, trading volume turned out to be $25 billion. Stablecoins USDT and BUSD are demonstrating similar figures. The abnormal pattern of XRP trading volumes is most likely due to the token being actively used by Ripple in its ODL activities, roughly speaking as fuel for the technology. According to recent reports, the company has seen an increase in ODL usage, both because the business of old partners is growing and because new ones are joining.

Valeria is the community manager at U.Today. She is a crypto enthusiast and believes that cryptocurrency is the future of finance. Currently, Valeria covers the latest news in the world of crypto and blockchain.
 
Disclaimer: Any financial and market information given on U.Today is written for informational purpose only. Conduct your own research by contacting financial experts before making any investment decisions.

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