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Creating Avatar Boundaries Is The Only Way To Give Value To Metaverse Lands

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Creating Avatar Boundaries Is The Only Way To Give Value To Metaverse Lands

From tech giants like Meta and Microsoft to fashion kings like Gucci everyone is spreading their horizons in the metaverse.

Metaverse is a hot topic in the tech industry. As 2020 was such a massive year for the metaverse and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), from tech giants like Meta and Microsoft to fashion kings like Gucci everyone is spreading their horizons in the metaverse. Nowadays, metaverse land also known as NFT land is getting popular. The landowner can normally use their plot to host online experiences, display content, or gain benefits in a game. Large brands and celebrities, including Adidas and Snoop Dogg, are also beginning to invest in and use NFT land. Recently, Meta (formerly known as Facebook), has a new feature aimed at cutting down on harassment and assault in virtual reality: It will give avatars in its Horizon Worlds social app and Horizon Venues events app an invisible “personal boundary” of four feet to stop others from getting too close.

Metaverse land or NFT land is an ownable area of digital land on a metaverse platform. Popular NFT land projects include Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Axie Infinity. NFTs are suited to representing land ownership as each one is unique and easily proves digital ownership. You can use NFT land for advertising, socializing, gaming, and work, among other use cases.

 

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a seamless convergence of our physical and digital lives, creating a unified, virtual community where we can work, play, relax, transact and socialize. The metaverse is still early in its evolution, and there is no singular, all-encompassing definition to which people can turn. Themes of what the metaverse is and could be, however, are emerging. A key point is that there is no one virtual world but many worlds, which are taking shape to enable people to deepen and extend social interactions digitally. This is done by adding an immersive, three-dimensional layer to the web, creating more authentic and natural experiences. The metaverse even has the promise of facilitating accessibility from the comfort of the home, breaking down boundaries, and democratizing access to key goods, services and experiences.

 

What is NFT virtual land?

As mentioned, metaverse projects are digital worlds that users can usually explore with 3D avatars. SecondLive, for example, provides areas and venues for concerts, conferences, and expositions. While projects like SecondLive don’t let users purchase a permanent virtual reality space, other metaverse worlds do. Developers create large maps of land divided into small parcels to sell on the market.

To represent the unique ownership of the area, users purchase NFTs linked to a particular plot of land. You can purchase these plots through a land sale directly from the projector on the secondary market. Exactly what you can do with NFT land depends on each project.

 

What are the use cases of metaverse land?

Apart from speculation, landowners can use their virtual space in various use cases:

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1. Advertising– If your plot is in a popular area or district and attracts many visitors, you can charge for advertising space.

2. Socializing-You can host events on your digital land, including concerts, conferences, and community meetups.

3. Gaming– Your NFT land might have a use in an NFT video game. For example, land in Axie Infinity can provide extra resources, tokens, and crafting ingredients.

4. Work– Land that can be explored with a 3D avatar can be used as a virtual office space or to provide digital services. PwC Hong Kong will use The Sandbox land in their Web 3.0 advisory services.

The boundary system builds on an existing feature that could make users’ hands disappear if they got too close to another avatar. As described by Meta, it gives everyone a two-foot radius of virtual personal space, creating the equivalent of four virtual feet between avatars. Meta spokesperson Kristina Milian confirmed that users can’t choose to disable their personal boundaries since the system is intended to establish standard norms for how people interact in VR. However, future changes could let people customize the size of the radius.

If someone tries to walk or teleport within your personal space, their forward motion will stop. However, Milian says that you can still move past another avatar, so users can’t do things like use their bubbles to block entrances or trap people in virtual space.

 

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Metaverse ETFs Are Losing Their Place To Gaming ETFs Now

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Metaverse ETFs Are Losing Their Place To Gaming ETFs Now

Metaverse EFTs arrived last year shortly after the term entered our lexicon and became a favourite of venture capitalists

Recently, Metaverse has gained lots of traction but isn’t performing as well on the market as last year’s model. Metaverse exchange-traded funds (ETF) arrived last year shortly after the term entered our lexicon and became a favourite of venture capitalists. Because the metaverse is simply a mashup of gaming and crypto, this metaverse ETFs look a lot like eSports or gaming ETFs, which were launched a few years ago. They look like them because the metaverse is an ambiguous term; the shared online experience, that is envisioned in Neil Stephenson’s science fiction novel “Snow Crash”, already exists on many multiplayer gaming platforms. Metaverse tokens don’t yet have listed proxies, so metaverse ETFs compensate for that by putting in publicly listed crypto companies like Galaxy (GLX.TO) or Block (SQ), the former Square. And that’s where the problem starts. Gaming tech heavyweights, like GPU designer Nvidia (NVDS) or game engine developer Unity, are in both baskets and haven’t performed well year-on-year but the inclusion of the likes of Galaxy Digital – down over 60% year-to-date and planning a stock buyback – really sinks the metaverse ETF.

 

What Is a Metaverse ETF?

An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) can be defined as a basket of securities that is tradeable on the stock market. It combines the characteristics of traditional shares and mutual funds, as it is a collection of securities spread across companies like a mutual fund, but can be traded as a bundle on the stock market, just like shares.

ETFs are mostly passively managed, which means that fund managers do not regularly buy and sell the securities in ETFs to return a profit and increase their value. Rather, they identify potentially high-value assets and invest in them for the long term, which is what makes it a good fit for emerging technologies like the Metaverse.

Metaverse ETFs are themed funds that invest in the best performing Metaverse and related stocks available on the exchange. They have low to moderate diversity and seek to gain from early and high-value investments in the burgeoning Metaverse sector.

Given the recent meteoric rise of interest in the Metaverse, they are an attractive investment opportunity for moderate to high-risk-appetite asset managers. Over the last year, a number of options have emerged for those interested in Metaverse ETFs.

 

Pros and Cons of Metaverse ETFs

Metaverse ETFs are a convenient and attractive investment vessel for technology investors in 2022. It provides access to a fast-growing sector, which is still in its infancy so that investors gain from an early mover advantage.

On the downside, the Metaverse is still an evolving technology and there is no guarantee about the timeline of its release or market adoption rates. As it is, ETFs operate in non-diversified and high-risk asset classes and combined with the risk-prone nature of the Metaverse, it could prove challenging for investors.

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Also, the SEC has typically taken a not-so-bullish approach to emerge technologies and rejected multiple bitcoin ETFs last year. It could be slow in approving Metaverse ETFs, which means that investments become channeled only via a handful of options available.

 

Examples of Gaming Industry ETFs

The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK) is one of the largest gaming ETFs with roughly US$74 million in assets under management as of December 2020. This thematic fund seeks to replicate the price and yield performance of the MVIS Global Gaming Index, which is composed of companies involved in casinos and casino hotels, sports betting, lotteries, gaming services, gaming technology, and gaming equipment.

Gaming industry ETFs sometimes refer to video games and eSports. ETFMG, which describes itself as a provider of thematic ETFs, launched the Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR) in March 2016. This fund tracks the EEFund Video Game Tech Index, which is composed of companies involved with video game technology, game development, console and chip manufacturing, and game retailers.

 

Benefits of a Gaming Industry ETF

Gaming ETFs generally offer investors the same benefits as broad market ETFs such as low expense ratios, decent liquidity, flexibility, and tax efficiency. They are traded on major national exchanges and can be sold short or bought on margin.

Investors who want exposure to the gaming sector might consider a gaming ETF rather than putting all their eggs in one basket. However, while ETFs are associated with lower risks and volatility compared with individual stocks, investors should still follow due diligence before buying.

 

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After Crypto Failure, Phishing Attacks Are Pirating Towards Metaverse

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After Crypto Failure, Phishing Attacks Are Pirating Towards Metaverse

Multiple sites, including Etherscan and DexTools, have reportedly confirmed the crypto scam and issued alerts not to connect wallets.

Since the beginning of 2022, things aren’t in favour of cryptocurrencies. From major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Terra to Memecoins like Shiba Inu, every single cryptocurrency is suffering. But when things are going bad for various crypto projects, the metaverse is becoming the canter of attraction. And seeing the massive interest in Metaverse, cybercriminals have started to target users with phishing attacks crafted around various Metaverse platforms. According to the Q4 2021 brand phishing report by Check Point Research, Metaverse platform Roblox was the 8th most imitated brand for phishing attacks during the quarter. Though Roblox accounted for only 3% of all brand phishing attacks, it’s the first-time brand phishing around a Metaverse platform has made it to the top ten. This article features how after the failure of cryptocurrencies, phishing attacks are pirating towards the metaverse.

“In the metaverse, fraud and phishing attacks targeting your identity could come from a familiar face – literally – like an avatar who impersonates your co-worker, instead of a misleading domain name or email address. These types of threats could be deal-breakers for enterprises if we don’t act now.”

 

Brand Phishing Attacks

Brand phishing attacks have been quite effective as targets are more likely to click on them to get more information. The metaverse broadly refers to the idea of a virtual platform that can be accessed through different devices and where people can move through digital environments.

Given the huge interest in Metaverse in India, brand phishing attacks around it can be expected to grow more. According to the November 2021 report by DappRadar, more than half a million users in India have shown interest in Metaverse projects and NFTs, the third-highest in the world after the US and Indonesia.

In brand phishing attacks, threat actors send carefully crafted fake emails that appear to have come from the brand itself or one of its partners. The objective is to convince users that the email is genuine and then trick them to click on malicious links or attachments. The ultimate goal is to get into their accounts and system and steal personal information or banking credentials.

 

Bored Ape Yacht Club Phishing Attack

Scammers behind the phishing attack faked that users would access the most significant NFT avatar, Bored Ape Yacht Club, by clicking on the provided link. And to make it real, the pop-ups featured an ape skull logo alongside the now-defunct domain, nftapes.win. Per the WHOIS lookup, the domain from where phishing attacks were being generated was registered on Friday, around 3:00 PM. ET.

The ad required users to connect their MetaMask wallets to use it on the site. Web 3.0 technology allows MetaMask wallets to authorize access to websites via smartphones and browser extensions. And since the fraudsters managed to place dodgy advertising scripts on reputational sites which have a trusted relationship with their audiences, many users fell into the trap and provided access to their wallets.

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Staying Safe

In order to avoid unnecessary phishing attacks, it would be advisable to wait and reconsider joining the metaverse. A congressional investigation of metaverse security and privacy practices will force changes in response to the “inevitable breaches.”

But the truth is, social media managers, brand advocates, and early NFT speculators will probably ignore this advice as many of them cannot wait to jump into the metaverse. Those who want to join the metaverse right away should ensure that they have enabled multi-factor authentication on their accounts to prevent the easiest type of account takeovers.

In the future, the metaverse could bring its own unique threats that take advantage of the anonymity afforded by the platform. Recently, the “deepfake,” one of the newest types of misinformation attacks that uses a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make images of fake events, was deployed during the war in Ukraine to perpetuate a false Ukrainian surrender. Hence, living in the metaverse won’t be as easy and fun as you thought because just like cryptocurrencies, this technology also comes with many risks including phishing attacks.

 

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Cyberbullying Is Slowly Moving From The Internet To Metaverse

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Cyberbullying Is Slowly Moving From The Internet To Metaverse

Metaverse has huge potential but it comes with risks like cyberbullying, privacy, harassment, safety, and more.

The metaverse is a hot topic in the world today. From tech giants like Meta and Microsoft to Nike and Tinder, everyone is placing their bricks for a future where interaction online takes place primarily in virtual environments. Metaverse has huge future potential but along with new worlds, new ideas, and new experiences, taking what Roblox, Second Life, and Minecraft offer to new heights there come risks like cyberbullying, privacy, harassment, safety, and more. This article features how cyberbullying is slowly entering the virtual world.

Many people are saying that the metaverse is capable of blurring the line between reality and virtual reality. In a persistent, all-encompassing digital world, the sensory experience is heightened, which in turn escalates the experience of harassment, assault, cyberbullying, and hate speech. 

 

Numbers Speak: Online abuse in the metaverse
  • 7 minutes: Researchers from the Center for Countering Hate found one incident of harassment and abuse on Facebook’s VR Chat every 7 minutes over a 12-hour period (Center for Countering Digital Hate)
  • 4 feet: Meta this month introduced a default personal boundary that prevents avatars from coming within 4 feet of each other in Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues spaces (Ars Technica) 
  • US$50 million: Meta said, it has invested US$50 million in global research to anticipate safety risks and develop its metaverse products responsibly (The New York Times)
  • 49 percent: 49 percent of women surveyed reported experiencing at least one incident of sexual harassment while using VR products including Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality (Extended Mind)
  • 80 percent: 80 percent of survey respondents, all of whom regularly use virtual reality, belief individually blocking harassers is the most effective tool to deal with them (Extended Mind)

 

Stranger Simulated Groping and Ejaculating

Last year in December, Chanelle Siggens strapped on an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset to play her favorite shooter game, Population One. Once she turned on the game, she maneuvered her avatar into a virtual lobby in the immersive digital world and waited for the action to begin.

But as she waited, another player’s avatar approached hers. The stranger then simulated groping and ejaculating onto her avatar, Ms. Siggens said in her statement. Shocked, she asked the player, whose avatar appeared male, to stop. But he didn’t.

 

Metaverse interactions as “uncomfortable”

Another incident took place with a female journalist who described her metaverse interactions as “uncomfortable” due to a lack of rules about etiquette in these spaces while another used the term “unnerving” when considering the unexpected and risky nature of certain rooms. 

The metaverse is being designed by various companies with various mechanisms in place to prevent interpersonal victimization, but standards and rules must be in place – and faithfully applied – when individuals are inevitably targeted and harmed. To wit, any virtual environment needs to have a robust (and frequently updated) set of Community Guidelines to define behavioural expectations, as well as to declare the existence of disciplinary policies for conduct breaches.

On Meta, thousands of content moderators work around the clock to flag posts for hate speech, misinformation, and more, with the support of software that can read text. But moderating behaviour in virtual reality is much harder, both computationally and manually. Instead of just scanning text, you have to process spoken language, visible gestures, how people are moving between one another, and more.  

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The flip side to this is contact theory, the notion that people are more tolerant when they meet in person and can make eye contact or hear someone’s voice. Is it possible people will just be nicer to each other in the metaverse?

 

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