• This regular round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the development of the metaverse.
  • Below you'll find insights and opinions on how this emerging technology could transform the way we work, make purchases and spend our leisure time.

1. Bored Ape NFT company raises around $285 million of crypto in virtual land sale

The company behind the "Bored Ape" series of NFTs has raised around $285 million worth of cryptocurrency by selling tokens which represent land in a virtual world it says it is building. The rush to buy the assets crashed the Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain, according to a report from Bloomberg. Last year, US start-up Yuga Labs created the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, blockchain-based tokens representing a set of 10,000 computer-generated cartoon apes.

The Otherside metaverse will be a multi-player gaming environment, according to its website, which says it is currently under development.

Yuga Labs' Otherdeeds sale also drew attention to the risks within the emerging technology behind the metaverse. The sale comes shortly after the Bored Ape Yacht Club official Instagram account was hacked and a phishing link posted, allowing scammers to steal victims' NFTs.

2. Facebook-owner Meta to open first physical store in metaverse bet

Meta Platforms Inc is set to open its first physical store where shoppers can try out and buy virtual reality headsets and other gadgets as the company plots a course to take its highly touted metaverse mainstream.

The 1,550-square feet Meta Store at the company's Burlingame campus in California opens on 9 May, and will feature demos for its Quest 2 VR headset and video calling device Portal, as well as smart glasses it produces with Ray-Ban, Meta said.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about blockchain?

Blockchain is a technology that enables the decentralized and secure storage and transfer of information and value. The most well-known use case is cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, which allows for the electronic transfer of funds without banking networks. It can be a powerful tool for tracking goods, data, documentation and transactions – and could be relevant to numerous industries.

Blockchain entails significant trade-offs with respect to efficiency and scalability, as well as numerous risks increasingly coming to the attention of policy-makers. These include the use of cryptocurrency in ransomware attacks, fraud and illicit activity, and the energy consumption and environmental footprint of some blockchain networks. Consumer protection is also an important and often overlooked issue with cryptocurrency. So-called “stablecoins” and decentralized applications operating on blockchain technology pose risks to end-users of lost funds and to broader financial stability.

The Forum has driven impact to develop blockchain across industries and ensure it is utilized in a secure and responsible way by:

Contact us for more information on how to get involved.

3. Dubai's virtual assets regulatory authority launches in metaverse

Dubai’s new virtual assets regulator – VARA – is entering the metaverse, reports local English language daily, Gulf News. The report says VARA is the first regulator in the world to enter the virtual space. VARA has launched a MetaHQ in ‘The Sandbox’, a virtual world that will be a framework for the emerging metaverse landscape.

VARA seeks to "ensure that the regulator is accessible to its industry in their environment", it said in a statement. The strategy is to make for "collaborative engagement" between global virtual asset service providers (VASPs), industry leaders and regulatory authorities, the statement added.

4. Italy's Serie A enters the metaverse to showcase new way to watch football

Serie A attracts audiences from across the globe, but how fans can view matches is changing, as Italy's top football division enters the metaverse.

League leaders AC Milan's clash with Fiorentina at the San Siro stadium on 1 May was the first football match to be broadcast in the 'Serie A room in The Nemesis metaverse'. "We have chosen to be the first to broadcast a football match in the metaverse because we believe that the frontier of technological innovation is extremely important for a modern league such as Serie A," Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo said.