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

Things move 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 fad. Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

Investors Lose Millions as Crypto Craters

Economic instability caused a historic crash in the cryptocurrency market earlier this week, leading to massive falls in valuations for some of the major virtual currencies. On May 9, the value of Bitcoin – the world’s most popular cryptocurrency – plunged abruptly, causing 40% of holders to suddenly lose all of their investments in the currency, according to CNBC. The values ​​of other major coins – including ApeCoin, Solana and Cardano – also plummeted. Luna, another popular currency, suffered the biggest loss by some estimates, dropping to 96%. The Bitcoin crash pushed Coinbase, the most popular crypto trading platform in the United States, to the brink of bankruptcy; about 20% of the platform’s user base has already jumped as a result of the crash. The massive drop was driven by broader economic forces: Amid ongoing inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, leading to a sharp drop in crypto investment, which has always been a risky venture. The past few days have prompted diehard HODLers – a commonly used acronym in the crypto world that stands for “Hold on for dear life” – to reconsider their stance. Meanwhile, staunch anti-cryptotypes like Warren Buffett (who once called Bitcoin “rat death”) should feel justified.

Investigators tackle virtual casino with alleged ties to Russia

Regulators in five states – Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Kentucky and New Jersey – have filed an emergency injunction against a supposedly bogus casino based on the Metaverse that they say has ties to Russia. The 22-page order says the virtual operation, called the Flamingo Casino Club, is “just a high-tech scam”. The Flamingo Casino Club claimed to be affiliated with the famous Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, which turned out to be false. The shadowy operators behind the virtual casino — whose profile photos on the organization’s website are nothing but illustrations of flamingo heads — had also told users that a portion of the profits from the NFT sale would go directly to the Ukrainian people after the invasion of Ukraine. that country by Russia. It also turned out to be a lie: “I haven’t seen any money going to Ukrainians,” one of the regulators told CNBC. After a months-long investigation, authorities discovered that the operators of the virtual casino had ties to Moscow, reinforcing suspicions that the operation was trying to defraud users.

Despite Crypto Crash, El Salvador Is All About Bitcoin

Amid one of the most dramatic economic downturns in cryptocurrency history, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele continues to bet his country’s economy on Bitcoin. Betting began in September 2021, when El Salvador made headlines by becoming the first country in the world to use Bitcoin as legal tender. In other words, Salvadorans should be allowed to use cryptocurrency to pay for any good. and services in the country. The country has had some technical difficulties and has been working to make Chivo, its national wallet, available to the Salvadoran people. Many Salvadorans first downloaded the wallet to receive payment that was offered as an incentive to sign up, but then stopped using it. With the global crypto market collapsing violently and major cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin – losing value, crowds of El Salvadorans have dumped their country’s wallets en masse. President Bukele seems unfazed and more optimistic than ever about crypto. On Monday, he announced on Twitter that “El Salvador just bought the drop,” meaning his government chose to take advantage of Bitcoin’s historically low price to buy hundreds of coins, believing the price drop was a short-term anomaly. term and the value of the currency would quickly 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 a national debt default. The next day, May 10, he took another step to demonstrate his unwavering faith in Bitcoin to the world: in another Twitter post, he revealed a model of his vision to build “Bitcoin City.” The image, shared by Bukele on Twitter last Sunday, shows his dream city looking like a crypto El Dorado, the entire landscape covered in gold (although he also hinted that he imagines the city full of trees and therefore mostly green), around a central hexagon, with a giant Bitcoin square 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 representation of the Orlando metropolitan area designed to position Orlando as a hub for innovation in the open metaverse. “The Orlando area is home to next-generation gaming, entertainment, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT and simulation training companies,” OEP said in a press release. “The people, entrepreneurs and companies here have spent decades creating the world’s most exciting and technologically advanced region — and are now doing the same for the Metaverse, making Orlando the MetaCenter.” Florida has become a thriving tech scene in recent years, with many entrepreneurs fleeing California at the height of the pandemic for cities like Orlando and Miami. According to Forbes, as a result of the pandemic, Orlando has seen the second highest increase in tech jobs of any U.S. cities (Houston claimed the top spot). According to the press release, OEP plans to build a digital twin of the entire Orlando metro area, using “new 3D technology to plot scenarios on everything from infrastructure to real estate to talent availability and climate change.”

Budweiser Zero and Dwayne Wade Take Their Chance on 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 24. The NFTs will feature Wade’s likeness and an inspiring quote from the basketball icon. Each costs $180 and is sold in three tiers: Core, Hero, and Legendary. Each tier has its own perks and prizes, including “a unique real-life experience with Dwayne Wade” for holders of Legendary Tokens. There’s also a philanthropic component: “Budweiser and Dwyane Wade are committed to leveraging their unique skills, relationships and reach to positively impact the community,” Budweiser said in a statement. “Together, Budweiser and Wade have partnered to donate net profits from the sale of NFTs to establish a grant program for minority-owned businesses in underserved communities in the United States.”

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