The popular social VR platform AltspaceVR was shut down on March 10, 2023 by owner Microsoft. (Microsoft)

AltspaceVR Shuts Down While Peaky Blinders Opens up to Quest Gamers

Our eye on the markets, Biden’s crypto strategy, the Fed selling Silk Road Bitcoin, a big day for Quest gamers, and news in brief from The Polys, AltspaceVR shuts down, Haven, ByteDance, and PS VR2.

An Eye on the Markets

Major coins ended last week with a steep drop, but spent this week on a gradual downward trend. Bitcoin is down about 7% on the week trading at $21.6k, while Ethereum is down almost 6% on the week trading at just over $1.5k. Other projects followed a similar trajectory, though XRP is in the green by almost 5%. Solana, on the other hand, is down over 16% this week.

An Eye on the Fed

President Biden’s budget plan reportedly includes a line that would criminalize an investment tax strategy that involves selling assets low to report loss and then buying them back in hopes of gains. The same strategy is already illegal in other forms of investing, but crypto has avoided the law because it is not (currently) recognized as a security.

Biden’s budget plan also reportedly includes increasing the capital gains tax — though it is still unclear whether this would impact crypto traders. It is easy to look at these as attacks on the crypto industry — and they may well be — but they also fit into Biden’s general budget strategy, which involves getting more money out of wealthy citizens.

Did this selling strategy lead to the recent crypto drop? Maybe. After all, we are currently in tax season. Some are also skeptical about a recent movement of bitcoin in government accounts. The bitcoin in question was reportedly seized from Silk Road merchants and at least some of the vast hoard could go up for option soon, which would likely mean another week in the red for crypto markets.

A Big Day for Quest Games

Last week, Meta announced that the battle royale game POPULATION: ONE would become free to play as of yesterday. During the week, Meta announced that Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom will also release as of yesterday. The game by Maze Theory and taking place in the world of the popular period crime drama has been generating quite the buzz. It was announced months ago for Pico headsets, which don’t have consumer support in the United States, but the game’s coming to Quest was a pleasant surprise to many.

In other Meta news, users have been spotting “Eureka” as a device option in their setup menus. This has led to speculation that dev kits may be out for an upcoming Meta headset — potentially the Quest 3. The Quest 2 is still alive, though the company may be looking for a new cash cow amid anticipated layoffs.

News in Brief

  • The third annual Polys WebXR Awards took place over the weekend and for the last time in AltspaceVR.
  • Today’s the day. AltspaceVR is scheduled to shut down. A number of events are ongoing in the platform including farewell celebrations, protests, and workshops on moving communities to other immersive platforms.
  • “Digital Lord” Tom Ffiske announced that he is an advisor for Haven, an XR wellness product currently still in development.
  • The most recent calls to ban TikTok this time include other foreign-based tech. This publication has long been speculating that U.S. fights with TikTok could be impacting the mentioned unavailability of Pico headsets as both Pico and TikTik are owned by ByteDance. This is increasingly seeming to be the case.
  • A re-release of The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners (Chapter One) is coming to PS VR2. This is a great opportunity for players who discovered the subsequent addition, but it also helps out fans of the original. Players who already owned the game on PS VR can get the re-release for free, which is a big deal seeing as PS VR2 isn’t back-compatible.