This Week’s Metaverse: Crypto Crashes and Crimes Russian Virtual Casinos

In the wider world of Metaverse and Web3, everything is moving fast. Depending on who you ask, this futuristic blockchain-powered space could be the next big thing or a hype in marketing and pretty much every other field. Here’s what you need to know this week:

Investors lose millions of dollars with crypto craters.

Economic instability caused a historic collapse in the cryptocurrency market earlier this week, significantly devaluing some of the top 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. Other major coins, including ApeCoin, Solana, and Cardano, also plummeted in value. Another popular coin, Luna, suffered the biggest losses. According to some estimates, the valuation has fallen by as much as 96%. The crash of Bitcoin put Coinbase, the most popular cryptocurrency trading platform in the United States, on the brink of bankruptcy. About 20% of the platform’s user base has already been aboard in the aftermath of the crash. The sharp decline was driven by a wide range of economic factors. Amid continued inflation, the Fed raised interest rates, leading to a sharp decline in crypto investments, a historically risky endeavor. Over the past few days, bullish HODLers (a common acronym for “Hold on for Dear life” in the cryptocurrency world) have forced them to reconsider their position. Meanwhile, a strong cryptocurrency anti-crypto type like Warren Buffett (who once called Bitcoin “rat poison”) should feel justified.

Investigators crack down on virtual casinos alleging Russian ties

Regulators in five states – Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Kentucky and New Jersey – have filed emergency suspension orders against fake Metaverse-based casinos they claim to have ties to Russia. The 22-page order book states that a virtual operation called Flamingo Casino Club is “just a high-tech scam”. Flamingo Casino Club claimed to be affiliated with the famous Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, but it turned out to be false. The operator, hiding behind a virtual casino whose profile picture on the organization’s website is simply an illustration of a flamingo’s head, told users that a portion of the proceeds from NFT sales would go directly to the Ukrainian people after the invasion of Ukraine. Russia. This also turned out to be a lie. One of the regulators told CNBC. After months of investigation, authorities discovered that the virtual casino operator had ties to Moscow, adding to suspicions that the operation was trying to deceive users.

Despite cryptocurrency crash, El Salvador goes all-in on Bitcoin.

In one of the most dramatic economic downturns in cryptocurrency history, El Salvador’s President Nayb Bukele continues to bet the national economy on Bitcoin. The betting began in September 2021 when El Salvador made headlines when it became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a fiat currency. and domestic service. With a few technical glitches, the country has worked to create a national wallet, the Chivo, that can be used by the people of El Salvador. Many El Salvadorians initially downloaded the wallet to receive payments offered as sign-up incentives, but soon stopped using it. Now, as the global cryptocurrency market plummets and the value of major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, depletes, millions of El Salvadorians are dumping their wallets in bulk. President Bukele appears more optimistic than ever about cryptocurrencies. On Monday he announced on Twitter that “El Salvador has bought a bear market,” meaning his government has decided to take advantage of the historically low Bitcoin price to buy hundreds of coins in the belief that the price decline is a short-term anomaly. . The value of the coin will rise again soon. According to a Twitter post, El Salvador bought 500 bitcoins worth around $30,744 each at a time when the country’s economy was threatened by a possible national debt default. The next day, May 10, he took another step to show the world his unwavering faith in Bitcoin. In another Twitter post, he unveiled a model of his vision for building a “Bitcoin City.” The image Bukele shared via Twitter last Sunday made his dream city look like encrypted El Dorado, with the entire landscape gilded in gold. Huge bitcoins are placed in a square in the center around a central hexagon.

Orlando, Florida wants to be at the heart of the metaverse.

The Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) has announced plans to develop the MetaCenter, a virtual rendering of the Orlando metropolitan area designed to position Orlando as a hub of innovation in the burgeoning metaverse. “The Orlando region is home to next-generation gaming, entertainment, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT and simulation education companies,” OEP said in a press release. “People, entrepreneurs and businesses here have created some of the most attractive and technologically advanced regions in the world for decades and are now doing the same for the metaverse, making Orlando their MetaCenter.” Florida has blossomed into a booming tech sector in recent years, with many entrepreneurs leaving California at the peak of the pandemic for cities like Orlando and Miami. According to Forbes, Orlando saw the second-largest tech job growth in any U.S. city after the pandemic (Houston ranked first). According to the press release, OEP will incorporate “a new 3D technology that maps scenarios for everything from infrastructure to real estate to talent availability to climate change” to create a digital twin of the entire Orlando metropolitan area.

Budweiser Zero and Dwayne Wade shoot at the NFT market

Budweiser’s flagship non-alcoholic beer, Budweiser Zero, has announced a new NFT project launched jointly with NBA legend Dwayne Wade, who also co-founded Budweiser Zero. A collection called “Budverse Legends: Dwayne Wade x Budweiser Zero Edition” will drop on May 24th. The NFT has inspirational quotes from the figure of Wade and the basketball icon. Each costs $180 and is sold across three tiers: Core, Heroic and Legendary. Each tier offers unique perks and prizes, including “a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Dwayne Wade” for legendary token holders. “Budweiser and Dwyane Wade are committed to harnessing their unique abilities, relationships and scope to make a positive impact in our communities,” Budweiser said in a statement, with a philanthropic element as well. “Budweiser and Wade have teamed up to donate net income from NFT sales to create a grant program for minority-owned businesses in disadvantaged communities across the United States.”

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