This Week In The Metaverse: Crypto Crashes And The Criminal Russian Virtual Casino

Things are moving fast in the metaverse and the wider world of Web3 as a whole. Depending on who you ask, this futuristic blockchain-based space is either the next big thing for marketing – and pretty much everything else – or an overrated fashion. Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

Investors are losing millions as cryptocurrencies

Economic instability caused a historic crash in the cryptocurrency market earlier in the week, leading to huge declines in value for some of the major virtual currencies. On May 9, the value of Bitcoin – the world’s most popular cryptocurrency – fell sharply, causing 40% of holders to suddenly lose all their investments in the currency, according to CNBC. The value of other major currencies – including ApeCoin, Solana and Cardano – also fell. Luna, another popular currency, suffered the biggest loss of all: a drop in valuation of up to 96% according to some estimates. The Bitcoin crash pushed Coinbase, the most popular crypto-trading platform in the US, to the brink of bankruptcy; about 20% of the platform’s user base has already dropped out as a result of the crash. The huge decline was caused by broader economic forces: amid continued inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, leading to a sharp decline in crypto-investment, which has always tended to be a risky business. The last few days have made the tough HODLers – a common acronym in the crypto world that stands for “Hold on for dear life” – reconsider their stance. Meanwhile, loyal anti-crypto types like Warren Buffett (who once called Bitcoin “rat death”) need to feel confirmed.

Investigators crack down on virtual casino with alleged links to Russia

Regulators in five states – Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Kentucky and New Jersey – have filed a restraining order against an alleged fake casino based on Metaverse, which they say has ties to Russia. The 22-page order states that the virtual operation, called the Flamingo Casino Club, “is simply a high-tech scam.” Flamingo Casino Club claimed to be affiliated with the famous Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, which turned out to be fake. The shadowy operators behind the virtual casino – whose profile pictures on the organization’s website are nothing more than illustrations of flamingo heads – had also told users that part of the profits from its NFT sales would go directly to the Ukrainian people after the invasion of that country . of Russia. It also turned out to be a lie: “I have not seen any money go to Ukrainians,” one of the regulators told CNBC. After a month-long investigation, authorities found that the operators of the virtual casino were affiliated with Moscow, which strengthened the suspicion that the operation was trying to deceive users.

Despite Crypto Crash, El Salvador is all about Bitcoin

In the midst of one of the most dramatic economic downturns in cryptocurrency history, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele continues to bet his country’s economy on Bitcoin. Betting started in September 2021, when El Salvador made headlines by becoming the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. In other words, Salvadorans would be allowed to use cryptocurrency to pay for any commodity. and services in the country. The country has undergone some technical problems and is working to make Chivo, its national wallet, available to the people of Salvadoran. Many Salvadorans first downloaded the wallet to receive payment, which was offered as an incentive to sign up, only to stop using it shortly after. Now that the global crypto market is plunging wildly and major cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin – are losing value, crowds of El Salvadorans have dumped their country’s wallets galore. President Bukele seems pristine and more bullish than ever on crypto. On Monday, he announced on Twitter that “El Salvador has just bought the fall,” meaning his government chose to take advantage of Bitcoin’s historically low price to buy hundreds of coins, believing the fall in prices was a short-term anomaly and the value of the coin would soon rise again. According to the Twitter post, El Salvador bought 500 Bitcoins, each worth about $ 30,744 – at a time when the country’s economy is threatened by the possibility of defaulting on government debt. The next day, May 10, he took another step to demonstrate his unwavering belief in Bitcoin to the world: In another Twitter post, he revealed a model of his vision of building “Bitcoin City.” The photo, shared by Bukele via Twitter last Sunday, makes his dream city look like a crypto El Dorado, the whole landscape plated with gold (though he also hinted that he imagines the city filled with trees and therefore mostly green), located around a central hexagon, with a giant Bitcoin sitting right in the middle.

Orlando, Florida wants to be at the center of the metaverse

The Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) has announced plans to develop what it calls the MetaCenter, a virtual rendering of the Orlando metropolitan area designed to place Orlando as a hub for innovation in the open metaverse boom. “The Orlando area is home to the next generation of gaming, entertainment, artificial intelligence, AR / VR, IoT and simulation training companies,” the OEP said in a press release. “The people, entrepreneurs and businesses here have been creating the world’s most engaging and technologically advanced region for decades – and are now doing the same for Metaverse, making Orlando MetaCenter.” Florida has become a thriving technology scene in recent years, with many entrepreneurs fleeing California at the height of the pandemic to cities like Orlando and Miami. According to Forbes, Orlando has experienced the second-highest increase in tech jobs in any U.S. city as a result of the pandemic (Houston claimed the top spot). According to the press release, the OEP will set out to build a digital twin of the entire Orlando metro area, incorporating “new 3D technology to plot scenarios on everything from infrastructure to real estate to talent availability. And climate change”.

Budweiser Zero and Dwayne Wade are taking their shots in the NFT market

Budweiser Zero, Budweiser’s flagship non-alcoholic beer, has announced a new NFT project launched in partnership with NBA legend Dwayne Wade, who is also a co-founder of Budweiser Zero. The collection, titled “Budverse Legends: Dwayne Wade x Budweiser Zero Edition”, will be released on May 24th. The NFTs will feature Wade’s resemblance and an inspirational quote from the basketball icon. Each will be priced at $ 180 and will be sold in three levels: Core, Hero and Legendary. Each level comes with its own perks and prizes, including “a unique experience in real life with Dwayne Wade” for Legendary Token holders. There is also a philanthropic component: “Budweiser and Dwyane Wade are committed to leveraging their unique abilities, relationships, and reach to positively impact society,” Budweiser said in a statement. “Together, Budweiser and Wade have partnered to donate net profits from the sale of NFTs to create a subsidy program for minority-owned businesses in underserved communities throughout the United States.”

For more, sign up for The Drum’s Inside the Metaverse weekly newsletter here.

Leave a Comment