Our eye on the markets and the continued question of categorizing crypto. Then we ask whether the Metaverse was a flash in the pan and look at the PS VR 2 launch numbers. Finally, calls to pause AI development and news in brief from Yuga Labs, MetaMask, Ledger, 8th Wall, and more.
An Eye on the Markets
Major coins had a tumultuous week with plenty of ups and downs recovering later in the week. Bitcoin ended the week up around 3% around $28.5k and Ethereum ended the week up around 2% just under $1.8k.
Other tokens largely followed similar trends though there were standouts. XRP continued a sustained upward trend to end the week up over 20%. Whether in the red or in the green, most charts only changed slightly from last week.
An Eye on the Fed
The ways in which federal agencies view cryptocurrencies may be shifting. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission sued Binance and its CEO and former compliance officer for breaking trading and derivatives laws. We’re used to this section covering the Securities Exchange Commission and discussions over whether Bitcoin and Ethereum constitute securities.
Meanwhile, crypto investment firm Paradigm is speaking out against the SEC’s plan to qualify cryptocurrencies as a special class of security. Whether cryptocurrencies are classified as commodities, securities, or something else, would ultimately change how they are regulated and could have different impacts on how regulators approach projects and exchanges.
Elsewhere in Crypto:
- New charges have been filed against Sam Bankman-Fried, including bribery and violating campaign finance laws. He is expected to plead not guilty.
- Hardware wallet company Ledger earned $108M more in an extended series C funding cycle.
- MetaMask is denouncing rumors regarding an airdrop today.
- Yuga Labs and Gucci are partnering up for Web3 fashion activations.
- Yuga also held the second “trip” to “Otherside,” the organization’s in-development virtual world.
- Virtual real estate company SuperWorld announced partnerships with Sandstorm Media and with Magma, a physical real estate organization.
- The latter partnership in particular could solve a lot of problems for the company by bridging ownership of physical and virtual properties, which has long been a problem for commercial properties, heritage sites, and even private property owners.
Was the Metaverse a Bubble?
The Metaverse was the talk of the town for a while and it still has its adherents. However, some are wondering whether the hype was a flash in the pan.
The growing list of high-profile companies moving away from the Metaverse now includes Disney. Walmart also shut down its Roblox experience. Disney’s move was attributed to restructuring under new management, while Walmart’s decision was over concerns regarding advertising targeted at children.
Slow Start for PS VR 2?
Headset sales are also down including the highly anticipated and recently launched PlayStation VR 2 showing arguably lack-luster launch numbers.
The headset argument could be linked to the Metaverse or not as one sees fit. Headset sales being down may be due to economic challenges rather than to waning interest, particularly as recently launched headsets (including PS VR 2) are on the expensive side. Further, many Metaverse experiences don’t require a headset. Further, most of the launch titles on PS VR 2 were non-social and/or Sony-exclusive.
Elsewhere in Immersive Tech
- 8th Wall rolled out Sky Effects and World Tracking and added XR development firm ROSE to its list of premiere partners.
- Display company OQmented announced a $20M series A funding round.
- AR textbook annotation app Ludenso won the Bett Award for best free app for secondary education.
- Nominations for the VR Awards open next month, but you can already download a nomination kit.
Calls to Slow AI
A large number of technology leaders recently signed a letter encouraging a break from advanced AI development. The call comes shortly after floods of AI-generated images depicting prominent political figures and other world leaders including Donald Trump and the Pope.