Our eye on the charts, Crypto companies leave the U.S. amid regulatory uncertainty, SEC Chair Gary Gensler finds himself in the hot seat, Snap and FRAME announce AI powered platform updates, and news in brief from Meta, Cannon, Varjo, and more.
An Eye on the Charts
Bitcoin and Ethereum both had relatively stable weeks with a little fluctuation, but took steep downturns later in the week. Bitcoin fell over 5% from last week to trading back under $29k, while Ethereum is only down around 1% trading under $2k. While not all projects closely followed these trends, most are in the red this week.
An Eye on the Fed
At least some of those red lines may be the result of uncertainty over the ongoing question of whether (or which) cryptocurrency coins and tokens are commodities or securities, which would impact how they are regulated. When the big question was officially put to Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler testifying before congress this week, he didn’t answer.
Gensler himself is currently under fire over his actions with House Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry accusing him of “punishing crypto market companies when not mentioning rules as to how they should comply. One Congressman has gone so far as to introduce a bill that would remove Gensler and replace his position with an executive director.
A Mass Emigration?
Uncertainty has led to something of an open hunting season on crypto firms over the last few months with crypto giant Coinbase reportedly exploring a new home in Europe. Coinbase isn’t the only one. Bitrex decided to leave the U.S. a few weeks ago, but was reportedly charged by the SEC over a number of tokens available on the platform. While the company did say that it was leaving over regulatory concerns, it is unclear whether they were aware at that time of an SEC investigation.
What happens to U.S. customers when a trading platform or marketplace leaves the U.S.? That depends on the situation. Many crypto marketplaces are already outside of the U.S., sometimes deliberately in order to avoid U.S. regulators (FTX was famously headquartered in the Bahamas). In the case of Bitrex, U.S. customers are encouraged to take their funds off of the platform via fiat transfer.
Snap Partner Summit
The annual Snap Partner Summit took place in-person for the first time since 2019. Amid detailing platform user metrics and new brand partnerships, “the camera company” announced wider availability of its AI chatbot, AI-generated lenses and lens recommendations, an AR mirror for in-store virtual clothing try-on, and an experimental vending machine operating with gesture controls.
This might belong with the news in brief, but while we’re talking about Snap, the company also worked with Kind Snacks to create an AR activation for a sustainability campaign, soon to include VR as well as flat media as well.
Snap isn’t the only immersive tech outfit exploring AI. Web-based virtual worlds platform FRAME announced a round of updates that includes generative AI skybox effects and in-world art creation through a DALL-E 2 integration. The updates also bring a new world and a retooled resources page.
News in Brief
- Layoffs were expected at Meta but they weren’t expected to impact independent studios that the giant has acquired over the last few years.
- Speaking of Meta, Cannon announced a virtual calling app that runs on the Quest 2.
- Red Matter 2 is coming to PS VR 2.
- Former President Donald Trump sold out a second round of NFTs.
- XR Association CEO Elizabeth Hyman joined the Future of Work Caucus Panel to discuss XR for workplace training and development.
- Enterprise headset manufacturer Varjo announced a partnership with Immersive Display Solutions, Inc for next-generation training and simulations.