This Week in the Metaverse: Coinbase Ad Tries to Dunk on Skeptics, Rift Opens on Roblox


Things are moving 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:

Despite Recent Crypto Crash, Coinbase Launches New Advertising and In-App Features

In the midst of a historic crash in the crypto market, Coinbase – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges – seems to be broadcasting a single message to the crypto world: HODL (hold on tight for life). During the NBA Finals, Coinbase airs a second national TV spot celebrating its 10th anniversary. (Its first commercial aired during the last Super Bowl.) The ad, titled “Long Live Crypto,” pokes fun at the many premature praise for the crypto that has been posted online by those skeptical of the longevity of crypto. virtual currency. The message in the new 30-second ad appears to be: crypto has weathered storms in the past – and it will weather the one it is currently embroiled in. In addition to its new ad, the company announced earlier this week that it was launching new in-app features for some of its users. In a blog post on Monday, Coinbase Director of Product Management Rishi Dean said that “a small set” whether its users will now be able to access decentralized applications (DApps) – such as the popular NFT marketplace. OpenSea – on the Ethereum network, creating a more robust and unified crypto trading ecosystem. Eligible users will also now be able to access decentralized exchanges (DEX) and interact with a number of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, according to the blog. The news comes on the heels of the recent decline in the crypto market, which wiped billions of dollars of value from major coins and caused a major drop in Coinbase shares.

Gap opens a flagship store in the Metaverse

Fashion retailer Gap is doubling down on its Metaverse strategy by announcing a new virtual no-purchase experience in Roblox, the popular kids’ video game that has evolved into a major mall in the Metaverse. The “Club Roblox Shop,” as the activation calls it, is being built in partnership with SuperAwesome, a technology company that works with “hundreds of brands and content owners to enable safe digital engagement for users.” under 16,” according to the company. website. The virtual space was modeled after the company’s flagship store in Times Square. This isn’t Gap’s first venture into the expanding world of Web3. In January, the retail company unveiled its first-ever NFT collection, which it developed in partnership with artist Brandon Sines, creator of the famous Frank Ape character. Gap’s upcoming virtual store, set to launch this Friday, follows a series of similar activations from youth apparel brands – such as PacSun and American Eagle – that have been built in Roblox and are intended to boost engagement. with younger and more knowledgeable fans. .

US Army Adopts Metaverse for Training Exercises

The metaverse seems to be very much on the minds of some senior Pentagon officials. According to a new report from Wired, the US military has invested in emerging technologies that blend the virtual and physical worlds in an effort to optimize its training methods. Red 6 — a company that is “revolutionizing augmented reality (AR) for military training applications,” according to its website — is reportedly developing “a blend of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and video game graphics.” This will theoretically allow “American fighter pilots to practice air combat against virtual adversaries, including Chinese and Russian warplanes, while firing multiple Gs,” according to WIRED. Red 6 founder and CEO Daniel Robinson told WIRED that his company is building “a military metaverse…like a multiplayer video game in the sky.” Simulating fights in virtual worlds for military training purposes is nothing new. In the 1980s, the U.S. military partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to launch SIMNET (short for “simulated networking”), a program to build “a large-scale network of interactive combat,” according to the Defense Technical Information Center. Video games have also long been used for recruiting purposes: In 2002, a first-person shooter video game called “America’s Army” was released “to support U.S. Army recruiting,” according to the game. (The video game was discontinued earlier this month.)

The Cannes Film Festival prepares its inaugural NFT conference

For 75 years, the Cannes Film Festival has represented the crème de la crème of creative storytelling. Today, the world-renowned festival also wants to play a pioneering role in the growing conversation around the intersection between entertainment and Web3. On May 23, the first-ever NFTCannes Summit – powered by Electromagnetic Productions (EMP) – will kick off at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France. “The inaugural annual event is designed to connect leading minds from the traditional media and entertainment spaces to top Web3 innovators, creators and investors, signaling a paradigm shift and building meaningful bridges to the burgeoning metaverse,” said said the organizers of the event. in a report. Reflecting the rapidly accelerating adoption of Web3 by mainstream culture, the invite-only event will also aim to explore “topics spanning the future of current NFT applications in entertainment… fan-building opportunities and community, live events and experiences, as well as reframing the metaverse as an integration of digital and physical lives.

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