Authors: Michael Isselin, Nick Breen, Mikaela Belcher, Casey Yang and Rachael Mintah
Welcome to Reed Smith’s monthly DigiDigest series on all things Metaverse and Web3. These short updates cut through the noise and put the most talked-about news and coolest new initiatives in the Metaverse and Web3 at your fingertips.
Here’s the best of April 2023:
Trends to watch
Technology, finance, and government
Google Cloud launches all-new Web3 start-up program
Google Cloud announced the expansion of its Start-ups Program to include additional benefits for Web3-specific projects. The goal of the initiative is to provide technology, community, and resources for Web3 builders to enable them to focus on innovation instead of infrastructure as they build decentralized apps, Web3 tooling, services, NFTs, and more. The Google Cloud Start-up Program offers up to $200,000 over two years in Google Cloud credits, which start-ups can use to quickly and securely build their decentralized applications, protocols, or other services.
Read more at nftplazas.com.
New UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to address the Metaverse and Web3
The newly formed department seeks to advance the country’s strategy on the Metaverse and Web3 in an attempt to lead future discourse. Potential economic growth opportunities and investments in the area will be analyzed. The department is backed by more than £370 million in funding.
Read more at Coindesk.com.
Binance.US rolls out free Web3 domains
In an innovative partnership with Unstoppable Domains, Binance.US is to offer branded domain names with Binance.US minted on the Polygon blockchain network. The nature of the blockchain network allows the domain names to be fully decentralized and censorship resistant.
Read more at Coinspeaker.com.
Twin cities – but digital
Cities around the world are exploring the concept of digital twins. Digital twins are virtual, 3D replicas of actual cities. Software development company Unity Technologies teamed up with the Orlando Economic Partnership to devise Orlando’s digital twin. Digital twins seek to further expansion plans and can assist with urban planning.
Read more at TheCoinRepublic.com.
Sports and gaming
Industry veterans to bring Kaidro into the Web3 gaming realm
Gadget-Bot Productions unveiled an all-new Web3 gaming title featuring the decade-long passion project, Kaidro. Kaidro will initially be available on PC and will later expand to the mobile gaming market. One of its defining characteristics is the integration of NFTs, which adds an exciting layer of depth to the gameplay experience.
Read more in this March 23, 2023 PCMagarticle here.
The NFL enters the world of NFTs
Collaborating with Mythical Games, the NFL and NFL Players Association have developed a fantasy football game entitled “NFT Rivals.” The game takes advantage of the newest developments in Web3, allowing users to buy, sell, and trade game characters as NFTs.
Read more at NFTNewsToday.com.
Kicking off in the Metaverse
Manchester City football club and its Web3 technology company training kit partner OKX have launched an interactive Metaverse avatar campaign. The experience enables fans to personalize digital avatars in MCFU training kits and apparel with OKX branding.
Read more at Dailycoin.com.
Game, set, and match – Metaverse hockey app
The National Hockey League has launched hockey-inspired games and customizable team jerseys in the metaverse, in tandem with Roblox. In an effort to engage younger fans, the immersive experience will bring together hockey fans and the Roblox community.
Read more here: ESPN.com.
Entertainment and media
Mastercard reveals “Free Music Pass” NFT
The Mastercard Artist Accelerator utilizes Web3 music technology to provide users with access to exclusive music content and experiences. Participating artists will also receive education on how to harness Web3 technology.
Read more here: Decrypt.co.
Latest legal developments
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission to release crypto exchange licensing guidelines in May
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission is set to release the published draft rules for virtual asset trading platforms, which are based on existing traditional finance laws and would require crypto-related service providers to apply for a license from the commission. As part of the new licensing regime set to take effect in June, the new regulations will require firms to share details of how they plan to combat money laundering and ensure investor protection.
Read more at forkast.news.
Coinbase versus the Securities and Exchange Commission
Crypto exchange Coinbase has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in an attempt to compel the Commission to respond to a petition filed in July 2022. Coinbase has asked the SEC to “propose and adopt rules to govern the regulation of securities that are offered and traded via digitally native methods.”
Read more at TechCrunch.com.
INTA Metaverse white paper explores questions raised for trademark holders
The International Trademark Association’s white paper released in April 2023 asserted that the Metaverse “currently does not identify a single shared virtual space,” but is spread “across various platforms, and therefore, can only come into full existence once there is a true interoperability between these different platforms.” The white paper addresses questions surrounding the role of existing trademark registrations and the use of trademarks in the Metaverse.
Read more at Beyondgames.com.
Bored Ape Yacht Club triumphs in lawsuit
The court ruled in favour of Yuga Labs, the blockchain technology company hosting the infamous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, following the release by two artists of a “copycat” collection. The judge declared that the artists were not within the confines of the “Rogers Test,” a 1989 court precedent that allows trademark infringement in cases of creative expression.
Read more at TheArtNewspaper.com.
World’s first NFT insider trading trial
A former manager at OpenSea, the largest marketplace for NFTs, will be tried for insider trading in the world’s first NFT insider trading case. Nathaniel Chastain has been accused of covertly purchasing dozens of NFTs based on confidential information.
Read more at Reuters.com.