FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested on Fraud Charges
This week FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested on fraud charges, a peak at XR Safety Week, the premiere of a Metaverse documentary, AR performances by The Gorillaz, new virtual fashions on Ready Player Me, NFT trading cards from a former president, and a roundup of XR Gaming news including Niantic, Among Us VR, Gorilla Tag, and Population: One.
An Eye on the Charts
Major coins had a relatively steady start to the week before dropping slightly, then picking up steam. The lines started to drop again on Thursday, putting prices back below last week. Bitcoin is back below $17.5k after having briefly broken $18k on Wednesday. Ethereum is below $1.3k.
An Eye on the Fed
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas this week, as he faces a number of charges, largely reported to include fraud charges and money laundering. The event was even the subject of a Bing News Quiz — yikes. His misdeeds now reportedly include secretly funding industry publication The Block.
Binance, a rival and one-time would-be purchaser of FTX, attempted to quell concerns with its own userbase by issuing a report to show that it held all of the client assets that they should. The report had an apparent discrepancy, which Binance representatives have said was due to borrowers using coins as collateral. Some were left skeptical, though the report did account for at least 97% of assets.
This week saw the third annual XR Safety Week hosted by the XR Safety Initiative. Each day of the five-day conference, which took place entirely in AltspaceVR, was dedicated to a different aspect of safety in immersive environments, including days dedicated to child safety, safety in medical applications, and others. You can catch all of the recordings on XRSI’s YouTube channel.
“48 Hours in the Metaverse”
Briar Prestidge’s documentary “48 Hours in the Metaverse” premiered this week, with an in-person premiere in Dubai and a virtual premiere in AltspaceVR. The documentary follows Prestidge visiting 33 virtual worlds across multiple VR platforms while interviewing immersive tech leaders along the way — all filmed during a two-day marathon VR session.
Musical group The Gorrillaz will be performing two live shows this weekend, one in New York and one in London. The band, who have long been represented solely by cartoon characters, has a location-based AR experience to accompany each show, featuring larger-than-life versions of their iconic avatars.
New NFT Fashions on RPM
Cross-platform avatar generator Ready Player Me partnered with digital fashion studio DRESSX to launch two new avatar fashions available as NFTs. The EXOSKINS collection by Italian digital design house Blade Runway is available, for a limited time, for .13ETH. Other Ready Player Me NFT collections have been launched with the likes of Deadmau5, and Crypto Punks.
New NFT Trading Cards from Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump has launched a series of digital trading cards inspired by himself. In addition to owning Trump-inspired digital artwork (not like the Trump-inspired digital artwork Beeple does), owners have the potential to win prizes like opportunities to meet The Donald in person.
- Niantic’s NBA All-World has an official launch date of January 24th.
- Among Us VR released a huge bug patch. Some players may need to uninstall and reinstall the game.
- The 2D version of Among Us also got a new game mode called “Hide and Seek.” It’s unclear whether or when the new game mode may come to the VR version.
- The immensely popular Gorilla Tag is now on the Quest Store after thriving as a PCVR title.
- VR battle royale game Population One released a level-editor “sandbox mode.”