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Ford Cuts Employees But Plans To Unleash Metaverse Automobiles

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Ford Cuts Employees But Plans To Unleash Metaverse Automobiles

Ford is preparing for entering Metaverse but has cut off 580 U.S. salaried employees and agency workers.

American car manufacturer Ford Motor Company is the latest car brand prepping its entry into the world of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse, filing 19 trademark applications across its major car brands. United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) licensed trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis revealed in a Wednesday tweet that the company had filed a total of 19 trademark applications covering its car brands including Mustang, Bronco, Lincoln, Explorer, and F-150 Lightning, among others. The trademark applications cover virtual cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and clothing for its brands and also cover a proposed online marketplace for NFTs.

On the other hand, Ford is cutting 580 U.S. salaried employees and agency workers as part of its ongoing Ford+ turnaround plan, the company confirmed Wednesday night. The cuts include approximately 350 salaried and 230 agency positions. The reductions occurred largely in engineering, as the Detroit automaker pivots to electric vehicles.

According to USPTO documents filed by Ford on Sept. 2, the car manufacturer plans to create downloadable artwork, text, audio, and video featuring its cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans, which will be authenticated by NFTs. The company also revealed plans for “downloadable virtual goods,” namely “computer programs” featuring vehicle parts and accessories and clothing for use in “online virtual worlds,” including online trade shows conducted in virtual reality and augmented reality. There are also intentions to create a marketplace to promote the “digital artwork of others” through a website, along with “online retail store services featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.”

Ford’s decision to enter into the Web3 space comes less than a month after Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley announced massive staff cuts from its global workforce to reduce company expenditure. Ford is not the first car company to make a move into the Metaverse space. Automobile companies like Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai have announced plans to expand into the rapidly growing Metaverse space, while luxury car manufacturers such as Bentley and Lamborghini have already rolled out NFT collections.

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Clothing

Ford Files 19 Trademark Applications Preparing A Possible Metaverse Push

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Ford Files 19 Trademark Applications Preparing A Possible Metaverse Push

Leading automotive company Ford has filed 19 trademark applications related to possible metaverse activities. In the documents, the company hints at the potential launch of Ford-branded NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on its own marketplace, and also refers to the offering of virtual models of its cars, including Mustang, Mustang Mach-E, and the Bronco.

Ford Hints at Metaverse Move

Ford, one of the biggest U.S.-based automotive brands by sales, has introduced several trademark applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), preparing for a potential push into the metaverse. The company is seeking to protect its activities in the therein, including the offering of Ford-branded NFTs on an NFT marketplace of its own. These NFTs might contain text, audio, or video related to the brand.

Part of these applications seeks to protect the digital representation of some of Ford’s most popular models, including the 150 Lightning, Lincoln, Ford, Lightning, Bronco, Explorer, Raptor, Mustang Mach-E, Transit, Escape, Expedition, Maverick, Ranger, and Mustang.

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Also, digital clothing containing references to the brand, and digital spare parts of any of the previously mentioned models are covered in the trademark applications. This might be one of the first steps in an organized digital strategy of Ford, according to USPTO-licensed attorney Mike Kondoudis, who claimed the company was making a “big move” into the metaverse with these filings.

Ford’s Digital Expansion

This move by Ford is not a surprising one, given that the company had previously explained that it was examining the digital world to create new ways to expand its business. In September, Ford global brand merchandising director Alexandra Ford English stated:

Anywhere you go around the world, you find passionate Ford fans and we want to offer them an inspiring collection of merchandise and accessories, and potentially even digital products like NFTs.

Ford is just the latest in a large line of companies that have already embraced these digital worlds and products as part of its growth strategies. Just recently, French automaker Renault also made a move in this direction, inking a partnership with The Sandbox, a metaverse platform, to present virtual automotive experiences with products of the brand.

Other brands such as Hyundai, a Korean car company, are also getting into the metaverse by presenting some of their future automotive products in a metaverse known as Zepeto.

Tags in this story

Clothing, digital clocthing, digital expansion, Ford, Hyundai, Metaverse, mike kondoudis, nft, Renault, spare parts, The Sandbox, USPTO, vitual cars

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What do you think about Ford’s possible entrance into the metaverse? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, D K Grove / Shutterstock.com

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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25000 addresses

Coinbase Blacklists Over 25,000 Crypto Addresses Tied To Russian Individuals And Entities

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Coinbase Blacklists Over 25,000 Crypto Addresses Tied To Russian Individuals And Entities

The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has addressed the company’s procedures toward complying with sanctions in a blog post published on Sunday. The crypto firm says that respecting sanctions plays a “vital role in promoting national security” and the acts can help deter “unlawful aggression.”

Coinbase Intends to Comply With International Sanctions, Chief Legal Officer Says ‘Digital Assets Have Properties That Naturally Deter Sanctions Evasion’

Following the statements of the two chief executives from two of the largest crypto exchanges on the planet, Coinbase has published a blog post concerning the company’s goals toward promoting sanction compliance. The post was written by Coinbase’s chief legal officer Paul Grewal and it touched upon the current conflict in Ukraine. Essentially, the gist of the article highlights that “Coinbase is committed to complying with sanctions.”

“In the past few weeks, governments around the world have imposed a range of sanctions on individuals and territories in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Grewal’s post details. “Sanctions play a vital role in promoting national security and deterring unlawful aggression, and Coinbase fully supports these efforts by government authorities. Sanctions are serious interventions, and governments are best placed to decide when, where, and how to apply them.”

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The Coinbase executive’s post further explains that crypto assets have specific “properties that naturally deter common approaches to sanctions evasion.” This is due to the fact that most blockchains are public, auditable, and traceable. As far as traceability is concerned, Grewal says when applied to public blockchain data, “analytics tools offer law enforcement additional capabilities.” Moreover, blockchains have permanence, Grewal’s blog post summarizes, as the chief legal officer states:

Once recorded on the blockchain, transactions remain immutable. No one (not crypto companies, not governments, not even bad actors) can destroy, alter, or withhold information to evade detection.

Coinbase Has Blocked More Than 25,000 Addresses Tethered to Russian Individuals and Entities

The Coinbase blog post is very much aligned with the large number of corporate entities complying with sanctions and cutting ties with Russia. Over the last 13 days, companies such as Netflix, Apple, Google, Tiktok, BP, Exxon, Equinor, Shell, Boeing, Airbus, Ford, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Dell, Meta, Ikea, and Nike have complied with international sanctions or cut ties with the Russian Federation.

Grewal notes in the company blog post that sanctioned individuals or entities are checked for during the onboarding process at Coinbase. The crypto company leverages sanction lists “maintained by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, United Nations, Singapore, Canada, and Japan.” Additionally, Coinbase has sophisticated technology that can anticipate threats, Grewal disclosed.

“Coinbase maintains a sophisticated blockchain analytics program to identify high-risk behavior, study emerging threats, and develop new mitigations,” the firm’s chief legal officer said. Presently, the exchange blocks thousands of blockchain addresses related to individuals or entities stemming from Russia. Grewal’s post explains:

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Today, Coinbase blocks over 25,000 addresses related to Russian individuals or entities we believe to be engaging in illicit activity, many of which we have identified through our own proactive investigations. Once we identified these addresses, we shared them with the government to further support sanctions enforcement.

The Coinbase executive ends the post by saying the firm aims to help people protect and build wealth, but at the same time “security, safety, and transparency” are important foundations. “Our commitment to sanctions compliance” is part of the process, the Coinbase blog post concludes.

What do you think about the Coinbase blog post regarding the company’s commitment to sanction compliance and how it has blocked 25,000 addresses stemming from illicit Russian activity? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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