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Blockchain metaverse startups: Unparalleled investment potential

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Blockchain metaverse startups: Unparalleled investment potential

Neal Stephenson, a popular sci-fi writer coined the phrase “metaverse” in his first best-selling and breakthrough 1992 novel, Snow Crash. Now that concept is becoming a reality, and what’s more, you can invest in the metaverses. In Ready Player One, The OASIS is another example of an advanced virtual reality. Numerous other sci-fi authors, such as Ian M Banks, have created and used similar concepts within their novels.

Back in September, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was clearly interested in advancing the metaverse. In a recent earnings call, Facebook made it clear that they want to unify communities, creators and eCommerce in the metaverse with Zuckerberg saying:

“Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.”

And just last week Facebook rebranded to Meta and announced its plans to develop the “Metaverse.”

How big could metaverses become?

Already there are numerous household names making serious money in this space such as Roblox and Fortnite. These are complete virtual reality worlds where users exist through avatars. Slightly less well-known examples of virtual realities include Decentraland, Upland and Sandbox, as well as Victoria VR which is another platform that will launch soon.

From an investment perspective, we can confidently say that this explosion in virtual reality and metaverses is comparable to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. What we are witnessing now is the next phase of the internet being created, with metaverses potentially set to overtake and replace the web as it currently exists.

Related: New industry, new rules: Building the Metaverse without bias

Already some of the companies in this space such as Fortnite could sustain growth until they are comfortably sitting alongside Facebook, Google, Amazon and other tech giants. Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, recently raised $1 billion with Sony pouring $200 million into that funding round. Facebook is putting a lot of resources and money behind a new workplace and proto-metaverse VR platform known as Horizon.

Brands are also betting big on virtual reality. Some brands are already selling direct to avatars (D2A), or Gucci selling a virtual bag that costs more than a real one. Nike sells virtual Jordan’s in Fortnite and Coca-Cola started selling virtual wearables in Decentraland.

Bloomberg has estimated that the size of the metaverse market is worth $800 billion. Even though this is in its formative stage, savvy crypto investors can contribute to the growth of metaverses and trade in the tokens of high-growth startups.

Hence the bet that many smart investors are making, that this boom in virtual reality is going to accelerate further. That one day — potentially in the next five years — there’s going to be a virtual reality platform that rivals the major social networks.

How can you invest in metaverses?

Cryptocurrencies are already a part of these virtual realities, with various platforms accepting crypto as a payment option for virtual goods including VR-based real estate. Gamers within Decentraland and The Sandbox can create virtual businesses such as casinos and theme parks, then monetize them.

When it comes to crypto investors benefiting from this trend, some of the hard work has already been done. Matthew Ball, futurist and founder of Roundhill Investments, alongside Jacob Navok, CEO of Genvid Technologies, have recently registered this Metaverse ETF.

Related: The Metaverse: Will it be a decentralized haven or a centralized tyranny?

Metaverse ETF is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that operates similar to a stock market, except for crypto-based investments in Metaverse companies. It’s a collection of investments in a range of companies — known as an index — giving investors access to a broad segment of the metaverse market.

At present, the Metaverse ETF has a median market capitalization of $74 billion, with investments spread across 41 companies (holdings) in eight countries. This includes investments in infrastructure companies such as Cloudflare and Nvidia, gaming engines including Unity and Roblox, and pioneers of metaverse content from Tencent, Sea and Snap.

As this index is sold through the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), it only includes public companies, not private ones. This means crypto and other investors need to look elsewhere to get slightly closer to the action if you are looking to invest at an earlier stage.

For early-stage investments, the best options are going to be in the crypto space. Gaming, hardware and content creation companies are going to be launching initial coin offering (ICO) and initial DEX offering (IDO) token sales, meaning that investors can get on board long before these companies go public.

Related: Sci-fi or blockchain reality? The ‘Ready Player One’ OASIS can be built

When we consider the total addressable size of this market — and include the core growth segments such as creators, hardware, advertising and eCommerce — it could be worth more than $1 trillion. When we also consider how essential the internet as it currently is to everyday life, that’s what the Metaverse could become in a lot less time. As an investment opportunity, metaverse companies, especially ones at the ICO and IDO stage are unparalleled in their upward potential, provided that you pick wisely, of course.

We are witnessing and playing a part of something exciting. The internet and the way we experience reality will never be the same again with numerous upsides from the accelerated expansion of metaverses and virtual realities.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Johnny Lyu is the CEO of KuCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2017. Before joining KuCoin, he had accumulated abundant experience in the e-commerce, auto and luxury industries.

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GamingShiba Becomes CoinMarketCap’s Most Trending Token

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GamingShiba Becomes CoinMarketCap’s Most Trending Token

Streaming, NFT, and metaverse project GamingShiba (GAMINGSHIBA) overtook bitcoin on Wednesday to secure CoinMarketCap’s most trending token. 

The meme coin’s top trending status comes in the same week that Shiba Inu (SHIB) announced its own metaverse project, creating a potential point of confusion for investors seeking to FOMO in. Despite strong similarities in appearance and name, GamingShiba has no relation to Shiba Inu.

GamingShiba is a microcap meme coin, which according to their website holds aspirations to create, ‘a binding bridge between Gamers, Streaming platforms, NFTs and Metaverse’. In a request for further information, GamingShiba says they will “only reveal how they will create this bridge once the project has reached 100,000 holders.”

A tweet on Wednesday declared that the project currently has over 45,000+ unique addresses so investors may have a little time to wait for further information. 

GamingShiba topped the CoinMarketCap trending charts on Wednesday (Source)

The streaming/gaming/NFT/Metaverse project also describes itself as ‘your virtual dog’ and offers the following food for thought on its homepage:

“The modern technology and contemporary ambient that the internet created can not be imagined to function as a whole without cryptocurrency. The impact that the cryptocurrency has on a global scale is astronomical in the sense of being the generator of almost every development and especially the latest one.”

Comparing Shiba Inu and GamingShiba


This seems very familiar

Besides strong similarities in both appearance and name, the development of Shiba Inu’s own metaverse has created fresh point of overlap between the two Shiba-themed projects.

On Monday Shiba Inu teased the launch of the Shiberse in 2022, which the company hails as ‘An immersive experience for our ecosystem’. The Shiba Inu team promises further details at a later date.

In December of 2021 it was revealed that Shiba Inu has a multiplayer collectible card game in the works with development outsourced to the Australian gaming company PlaySide Studios. The final game is expected to be delivered in Q1 2023. 

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All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — January 27

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Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — January 27

This week’s overview of price movements for Bitcoin (BTC), gold, and our stock pick Google-parent Alphabet Inc.

BTC

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) in January has gone from bad to worse. Already having dropped coming into the new year, BTC was trading around $44,000 on January 13.

Over the next few days it traded down to $43,000 before reaching $42,000 by January 20. However, after a brief spike, BTC proceeded to plummet into the following days, hitting as low as $34,000 on January 22, and $33,000 on January 24. Buying pressure then returned pushing it back up to $37,000, and as high as $38,000 by January 26.

It is currently trading below $37,000.

According to Caxton market intelligence head Michael Brown, Bitcoin’s recent decline reflects the “institutionalization” of crypto assets, in the sense that they are increasingly traded like other risky assets.

“Unsurprisingly, given that the ‘easy money’ party is now coming to an end, it is the most risky assets — crypto – that are bearing the brunt of the market’s ire,” he said. “With the Fed likely to ramp up the hawkish commentary in upcoming remarks, further downside looks likely.”

GOLD

While gold had a good past week, it has since dropped below last week’s lows. On January 13, the price of gold was roughly $1,824. Over the next few days it traded down to $1,812 by January 19, when it suddenly spiked up to $1,840. Hitting $1,848 on January 20, gold traded down a bit before pushing back up to $1,852 by January 25.

However, by the next day, the price of gold plummeted and is now trading around $1,796.

Gold prices extended losses to a more than one-week low, while the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields rallied, following U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaling an interest rate hike in March. That sent U.S. Benchmark 10-year yields close to one-week highs while the dollar rose to its strongest in over a month.

“The reaction was normal in the sense that Chairman Powell stressed the strength of the economy and the determination to fight inflation,” said Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch.

GOOG

Alphabet has had a pretty dismal start to the new year. Starting out 2022 at around $2,900, Alphabet started falling by January 5 and reached roughly $2,740 by January 7. After gapping down the next trading day GOOG proceeded to push up the next two days, eventually gapping up to $2,850 by January 12. That momentum had reversed the next day, with GOOG gapping down to $2,740 by January 18, then continuing falling, gapping down again to $2,550 by January 24.

Since then however, GOOG has recovered a bit, and is currently trading around $2,640.

Earlier this week, YouTube announced it was considering adding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its features for creators this year, according to a letter from the CEO. The letter marks the first time ​​YouTube’s owner, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, has announced integration with the cryptocurrency collectibles.

“We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube,” Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki wrote in her annual letter to creators.

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House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

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House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

“We must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation,” said the letter to Janet Yellen.

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House members urge US Treasury Secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

A bipartisan group of members from the U.S. House of Representatives called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to clarify the language in the infrastructure bill signed into law in November around the definition of “broker.”

In a Wednesday letter, House Financial Services Committee ranking member Patrick McHenry and ten other representatives urged Yellen to reference the Keep Innovation in America Act to “ensure that any future guidance” in the November infrastructure bill would provide “the necessary clarity to the digital asset ecosystem.” In addition to the reporting requirements, the lawmakers said that the Treasury Department should narrow the scope of the information a broker can capture, as it would risk “the creation of an unlevel playing field for transactions in digital assets and those required to provide them.”

— Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte) January 27, 2022

According to the House members, the current wording of the law would potentially allow the Treasury to interpret which companies and individuals in the crypto space qualify as a “broker,” creating a burden of reporting information to the government they may not necessarily have. This would seemingly require miners, software developers, transaction validators and node operators to report most digital asset transactions worth more than $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

“As nascent financial technologies develop, we must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation,” said the letter to Yellen. “We believe consistent information reporting on digital asset transactions is necessary. However, it should not prevent these technologies and the ecosystem from continuing to flourish due to unclear regulations that only create uncertainty.”

Related: US Congressman calls for ‘broad, bipartisan consensus’ on important issues of digital asset policy

The appeal to the U.S. Treasury Secretary mirrors that of an December letter from six senators claiming the infrastructure law contains an “overly-broad interpretation” of what a broker is and requesting Yellen provide guidance to correct the perceived error. Senators Rob Portman, Cynthia Lummis, Mike Crapo, Pat Toomey, Mark Warner and Kyrsten Sinema urged Yellen to provide a set of rules clarifying the wording “in an expeditious manner.” Lummis and Senator Ron Wyden also attempted to pass legislation that would have changed the tax reporting requirements to “not apply to individuals developing blockchain technology and wallets” on Nov. 15 when the bill was signed into law by President Biden.

To date, none of the proposed measures clarifying the wording in the law have gotten enough support to enact change. Many lawmakers and crypto advocacy groups have expressed concerns that if the law is implemented as is, it could threaten the United States’ position as a nation encouraging the development of innovative technology.

“Our innovators and entrepreneurs can’t wait,” said McHenry. “Secretary Yellen must provide much-needed clarity so this nascent industry can flourish here in the U.S.”

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