fbpx
Connect with us

Bit Coin

Pride in the Metaverse: Blockchain tech creates new opportunities for LGBTQ+ people

Published

on

Pride in the Metaverse: Blockchain tech creates new opportunities for LGBTQ+ people

A number of social gatherings have started to take place in the Metaverse as companies across the globe begin to understand the value that virtual interactive environments can have for consumers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that Pride Month — a month-long celebration held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots — will be celebrated in various metaverse environments this year. 

Pride in the Metaverse creates open access

Akbar Hamid, co-founder of People of Crypto Lab (POC) — an innovation hub dedicated to increasing diversity and representation in Web3 — told Cointelegraph that the Metaverse is an incredible way to allow people around the world to partake in events they may not be allowed to participate in otherwise. “We want Pride Month 2022 to be an event anyone can join, even in countries where people are not allowed to participate,” he said.

Although Pride Month is celebrated openly in many places, 71 countries ​​currently criminalize being LGBTQ+. In order to push against this, Hamid explained that POC has collaborated with The Sandbox — a blockchain-based metaverse project — to launch a virtual diversity, equity and inclusivity hub during Pride Month. Known as Valley of Belonging, this unique youth center will enable people across the world to celebrate, said Hamid:

“Marginalized communities tend to be left behind, so POC’s goal with Valley of Belonging is to ensure that each community has access to events they can openly participate in. And given the current climate of rising discrimination against LGBTQIA+ and other minorities, there has never been a more important time to build a safe space that welcomes all.”

In order to achieve the goal of “belonging,” Simone Berry, co-founder of POC Lab, told Cointelegraph that Valley of Belonging will consist of 8,430 nonfungible token (NFTs) avatars that represent different ethnic, gender and sexual identities. “All of our avatars are non-binary, meaning they don’t identify with any gender or sexual orientation. This is also the first NFT project in The Sandbox that allows users to customize avatars using pronouns,” explained Berry. She added that avatar traits will consist of over 36 different skin shades while incorporating features that celebrate differences like prosthetic limbs, along with cultural identifiers like a hijab.

POC’s avatars featuring NYX makeup. Source: People of Crypto Lab

Berry also noted that NYX Professional Makeup — a subsidiary of L’Oreal — will integrate into The Sandbox to feature voxelized makeup looks, which will further help drive adoption. “In order to demonstrate that makeup is genderless, all of the avatars in our mint, which will take place June 17, will feature makeup from NYX,” she said. Yasmin Dastmalchi, general manager of NYX Professional Makeup, told Cointelegraph that the partnership with POC and The Sandbox is important since it allows diverse communities a forum for true self-expression, noting that the Metaverse “has become a form of digital identity.”

Decentraland will also allow users to openly celebrate Pride Month 2022 in its blockchain-based Metaverse with a month-long event featuring entertainment, experiences and curated content. Iara Dias, head of Metaverse Pride and senior producer at Decentraland, told Cointelegraph that Metapride Land is debuting its headquarters in Decentraland to celebrate Metaverse Pride:

“This will offer a permanent safe space for the global LGBTQIA+ community to engage and meet other members around the world. Users will be able to access the space year-round, not just during Pride Month, further ensuring Decentraland and its partners’ commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Dias added that Decentraland will host Metaverse Pride on June 11, which is a celebration honoring the LGBTQIA+ community. She elaborated:

“Debuting during Pride, the long-awaited ‘kissing’ emote will allow avatars to kiss each other and express their feelings towards one another. Furthermore, couples from all sexual orientations can get married in the metaverse and receive NFT certificates of their union.”

According to Dias, these features present a unique opportunity for same-sex couples who reside in countries in which they are not allowed to express their commitment. “There will also be drag queens presenting for the first time in the Metaverse, along with a special vogueing-capoeira performer that marks the first time this type of dance and presentation have entered the Metaverse,” she commented.

“Metapride Land” in Decentraland. Source: Decentraland

How safe is the Metaverse?

While it’s notable that both The Sandbox and Decentraland will host Pride events this year to ensure new opportunities and access, it’s important to point out that safety and security are still ongoing challenges in the Metaverse. 

Online communities like gaming chat rooms are notorious for hate speech against racial and sexual minorities. Indeed, budding metaverse communities have been shown to be hotbeds for racism, bigotry and misogyny.

One researcher who recently entered Meta’s social-networking platform Horizon World using an Oculus virtual-reality headset announced that her avatar was raped in the virtual space.

Recent: Crypto knocking on the WEF’s door: The view from Davos

Given these concerns, Sebastien Borget, co-founder and chief operating office of The Sandbox, told Cointelegraph that the platform is taking security very seriously as more events are hosted virtually. “Education on security in The Sandbox is critical to onboarding the next billion users to the Metaverse,” he said. Borget added that The Sandbox’s recent partnership with hardware wallet Ledger will help promote security in the Metaverse.

Given that Decentraland is also a blockchain-based platform, Dias pointed out that users’ data and privacy protection are paramount. “The only user identifications on Decentraland are usernames and wallet addresses. This allows users who wish to remain anonymous the ability to fully express themselves without the fear of being identified,” she said.

In regard to appropriate behavior, Dias mentioned that Metaverse Pride has laid out behavioral guidelines, allowing users to block others if they experience harassment. “We’ll use non-player characters to offer guidance on how to do this, but we have also made this very user-friendly.”

Web3 takes Pride to new heights

Challenges aside, Web3 as a whole is allowing Pride Month to extend far beyond what has previously been possible. Shedding light on this, Dias commented that compared with real-life Pride events, the Metaverse enables people around the world — even in dangerous places — to participate. In addition, she said that a person’s digital identity defined via an avatar can give users the courage to be whoever they wish. “I wouldn’t be surprised to hear stories of people saying their avatar helped them to be brave, and finally come out and be their authentic self.”

A number of artwork NFTs are also being launched to celebrate and raise awareness for Pride Month. For example, Serge Gay Jr. and Dan Nicoletta, both photographers and close friends of Harvey Milk — an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California — recently launched a limited edition NFT art series inspired by Milk’s legacy.

From “The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza” NFT collection. Source: Serge Gay Jr. and Dan Nicoletta

Nicoletta told Cointelegraph that the goal behind “The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza” NFT collection is to foster support for LGBTQ+ civil rights and within the emerging NFT art market: “I’m not seeing a lot of LGBTQ+ content in that realm yet, so I am excited about the possibilities and to be working in that medium for the first time.”

Recent: Anonymous culture in crypto may be losing its relevance

Brian Springfield, executive director of The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco, further told Cointelegraph that proceeds from the NFT project will go to the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza to support creating a safe, inclusive space in San Francisco’s Castro district.

“The goal of The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza NFT Collection is to raise awareness around The Memorial at Harvey Milk Plaza project in San Francisco, and to inspire other cities to build similar spaces in their own communities,” he said.

“Castro Street fire escape revelers 1978.” Source: Danny Nicoletta, original image

Pride Icons is another NFT project that aims to highlight the LGBTQ+ community. Regev Gur, chief marketing officer of Pride Icons, told Cointelegraph that the NFT collection features images of important people within the LGBTQ+ community, such as Andy Warhol and Elton John.

Andy Warhol NFT. Source: Pride Icons

Gur shared that he grew up with a gay father who hid his true identity for years. As such, he explained that the biggest goal behind Pride Icons is to put a spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community while making blockchain accessible to those who may not be aware of the benefits associated with the technology: “This is really about education — we need to educate people of all backgrounds on the power of Web3 and NFTs.”

Go to Source

Bit Coin

Bitcoin Miner Sell-Offs Could Keep Prices Low, Says JP Morgan

Published

on

Bitcoin Miner Sell-Offs Could Keep Prices Low, Says JP Morgan

Strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. believe the current Bitcoin sell-off by miners could make it difficult for the price of the asset to bounce back, especially if the trend continues.

In a note released yesterday, they pointed out that publicly listed Bitcoin miners account for 20% of all reported Bitcoin sales in May and June. It’s likely that private miners are also selling at the same rate or even higher, given that they have limited access to the capital markets.

The massive sell-off is a sharp turn in the strategy that has mostly been about holding block rewards until the market conditions get better. But the drop in Bitcoin prices and its effect on miners’ profitability means many are now struggling to meet operating costs.

According to the strategists,

Offloading of Bitcoins by miners, in order to meet ongoing costs or to deliver, could continue into Q3 if their profitability fails to improve.

Already, it has likely “weighed on prices in May and June, though there is a risk that this pressure could continue.”

However, JP Morgan strategists point out that it’s not all gloomy. One silver lining is a drop in the cost of mining Bitcoin from around $18k – $20k earlier in the year to $15k this month. This is due to the drop in hash rate and mining difficulty over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the cost of production varies based on the size of the miner. According to Arcane Crypto, large miners spend around $8,000 to produce one Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Securitize Capital says the cost of production might be over $20k for some miners after adding overhead costs and interest rates.

Bitcoin Price 69% Away From ATH

Bitcoin price has declined by more than half compared to its value at the beginning of the year. It’s also down 69% from its all-time high as it hovers around the low 20k range in the last few weeks.

Several factors have pushed the crypto markets over the edge, including the crash of Terra’s ecosystem and the near-insolvency of crypto firms such as Celsius and 3AC. But the Fed hike in interest rates has been the primary factor behind the drop.

Almost every other niche in the space, like non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance, has reported losses too. With most miners also having debt obligations, selling their Bitcoin stash appears as the best course of action to stay afloat.

Disclaimer

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.

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Bit Coin

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Declines as Miners Grapple With Falling Revenue

Published

on

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Declines as Miners Grapple With Falling Revenue

Bitcoin mining is no longer consuming as much energy as before, according to a Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index report, which shows a 25% decline in energy use since the start of the month.

Per the index, the current energy consumption of Bitcoin is 10.65 gigawatts, significantly lower than the 14.34-gigawatt on June 6. This means its annualized consumption is at 93.33 terawatt-hours, putting it below countries like Argentina and Norway in energy consumption.

At its peak, the BTC network needed 16.09 GW of power. The drop in the consumption from its record high of 150 terawatt-hours in May is likely due to the drop in mining hash rate. 

Bitcoin hash rate is the computing power needed to create a block on the Bitcoin network and has dropped to 199.225 exahash per second (EH/s) over the last two weeks. This came after the mining difficulty reached a record high of 231.428 EH/s on June 13. It has now dropped by almost 14% since then.

The index estimates the energy consumption by using a profitability threshold using “different types of mining equipment as the starting point.” 

With Bitcoin prices nosediving to below $20,000 this month, some miners have also gone offline as mining proved less profitable. This explains the consecutive drop in the consumption and hash rate.

Miners are Selling Their Bitcoin Holdings

Additionally, the drop in the price of Bitcoin has left several miners in a lurch as they struggle to sustain their operations. A recent report by Arcane research shows that publicly traded Bitcoin miners sold all the coins they mined in May.

This is usually against the strategy of most miners, which is to hold their Bitcoin for better market conditions. But with profitability nosediving and many miners struggling to generate a positive cash flow, they are selling their holdings. 

According to the report, many miners sold their Bitcoin to cover operational expenses and pay off debts. One of such is Bitfarms which decided to sell 3000 Bitcoin for $63 million to improve corporate liquidity.

Energy consumption of Bitcoin mining has been one of the major criticisms of the network and cryptocurrency industry. But recent research by Michel Khazzaka reveals that the traditional banking sector uses 56% more energy.

What do you think about this subject? Write to us and tell us!

Disclaimer

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.

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Bit Coin

Coinbase to Offer Nano Bitcoin Futures Contracts via Third Party Brokerages

Published

on

Coinbase to Offer Nano Bitcoin Futures Contracts via Third Party Brokerages

Coinbase will list a derivatives product called the nano futures contract on Monday.

This will be the first product listed on the Coinbase Derivatives Exchange, offering investors the opportunity to buy a contract linked to the price of one-hundredth of a bitcoin. Customers can purchase the Nano futures contract through third-party brokerages. Customers will not be able to buy the nano futures contract from Coinbase directly until the exchange receives a license to operate as a futures commission merchant. The exchange first applied for the license on Sept. 16, 2021.

U.S. customers have a healthy appetite for crypto derivatives

Coinbase floated the idea of bringing derivatives to its U.S. customer base after purchasing derivatives exchange FairX in January this year.

Americans have long been trading derivative products on foreign exchanges, sinking their teeth into high-leverage products that U.S. exchanges have lacked, indicted by the volume of crypto derivative trades in December 2021 surpassing that of spot trading. Binance alone recorded $52.5 billion in derivative trade volume during the 24 hours ending Friday afternoon, compared to $12.7 billion in spot products. Coinbase enjoyed $1.7 million in spot trading during the same period.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the new nano futures contract will not offer leverage-type bets that drive volume on exchanges like Binance.

Challenges Coinbase faces

A report by Barron’s suggests that it would take a long time for derivatives products to generate significant income for the company.

The new Coinbase product will enter a market of established crypto derivative products, while the company battles cash flow problems.

In March, the CME Group announced micro futures contracts linked to one-tenth of the price of bitcoin and Ethereum.

To add pressure, Moody’s Investors Services recently reduced Coinbase’s guaranteed senior unsecured notes from Ba2 to Ba1, relegating its corporate debt to “junk” status, with the potential for future downgrades. Ba ratings are assigned by Moody’s to credit obligations containing speculative components, considered to be a serious credit risk. Moody’s cited Coinbase’s reduced revenue and cash flow due to the current crypto market downturn as reasons for the downgrade. Coinbase’s recent employee layoff did not count in its favor, with the rating agency still seeing threats to the company’s profitability.

Dan Dolev, a senior analyst at Mizuho, believes that the new product does not address the central issue of competitors offering zero trading fees, which would severely affect revenue if Coinbase were to compete.

Coinbase’s shares fell precipitously on May 3, 2022, from $130.15 to $62.71 at market close on Friday.

What do you think about this subject? Write to us and tell us!

Disclaimer

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.

Go to Source

Continue Reading
Home | Latest News | Cryptocurrency | Bit Coin | Pride in the Metaverse: Blockchain tech creates new opportunities for LGBTQ+ people
a

Market

Trending