This week in The Metaverse: Coinbase HODLs, a rift opens up on Roblox

Things are moving quickly 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 the recent crypto crash, Coinbase is rolling out new advertising and in-app features

In the midst of a historic crash in the crypto market, Coinbase – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges – appears to be sending a single message to the crypto world: HODL (hold on tight for life). This morning the company aired its second national TV spot to celebrate its 10th anniversary. (The first ad aired during the last Super Bowl.) The ad, titled “Long Live Crypto,” pokes fun at the much hasty praise for crypto that has been posted online by those skeptical about the virtual cryptocurrency’s longevity . The message in the new 30-second ad appears to be: crypto has weathered storms in the past — and it will weather the ones it’s currently caught in. In addition to its new ad, the company announced earlier this week that it will be rolling out 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 sentence” on whether its users will now be able to access decentralized applications (DApps) – like the popular NFT marketplace OpenSea – on the Ethereum network, creates a more robust and unified crypto trading ecosystem. According to the blog, legitimate users can now also access decentralized exchanges (DEX) and interact with a range of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. The news follows the recent crypto market decline that wiped out billions of dollars worth of major coins and caused Coinbase shares to fall sharply.

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 children’s video game that has grown into a major shopping mall in the Metaverse. The “Club Roblox Shop,” as the activation calls it, is being built in partnership with SuperAwesome, a tech company that works with “hundreds of brands and content owners to bring safe digital engagement to users under the age of 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 foray into the expanding world of Web3. In January, the retailer unveiled its first-ever NFT collection, which it developed in collaboration with artist Brandon Sines, creator of the famous Frank Ape character. Gap’s upcoming virtual store, set to open this Friday, follows a series of similar activations by youth apparel brands – like PacSun and American Eagle – built in Roblox and designed to increase engagement with younger and more knowledgeable fans. .

The US Army uses Metaverse for training exercises

The Metaverse seems to be keeping some senior Pentagon officials very busy. According to a new report from Wired, the US military has invested in new technologies that merge the virtual and physical worlds to streamline its training methods. Red 6 — a company that, according to its website, is “revolutionizing augmented reality (AR) for military training applications” — is reportedly developing “a hybrid of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and video game graphics.” This will theoretically allow “American fighter pilots to train in air combat against virtual opponents, including Chinese and Russian fighter jets, while firing multiple Gs,” according to WIRED. Daniel Robinson, founder and CEO of Red 6, told WIRED that his company is building “a military metaverse… like a multiplayer video game in the sky.” Simulating combat in virtual worlds for military training purposes is nothing new. In the 1980s, the US 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.” the Defense Technical Information Center. Video games have also long been used for recruitment purposes: in 2002, a first-person shooter video game called “America’s Army” was released “to aid in US Army recruitment,” according to the game (the video game was discontinued earlier this month.)

The Cannes Film Festival is preparing its first 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 discussion about the interface between entertainment and Web3. On May 23rd, the first-ever NFTCannes Summit begins at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France. “The first annual event is designed to bring together leaders from the traditional media and entertainment fields with the best Web3 innovators, creators and investors, signaling a paradigm shift and building meaningful bridges to the burgeoning metaverse,” said the event organizers. in a report. Recognizing the rapidly accelerating mainstream culture adoption of Web3, the invitation-only event will also aim to “explore topics that include the future of current NFT applications in entertainment… fan education and community opportunities, live events and experiences, and redesigning the metaverse as an integration of digital and physical life.

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