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A Week In 29.06.2023

I've seen some damning stuff this week on Linkedin, but if you’ve seen it for yourself, it’s a big wow moment for all of us and a bit of a low moment for the tool who wrote it. Meanwhile on Twitter the shillers be shilling and it really feels like we’re ready for something organised, structured and legitimate (no I’m not talking about Twitter).

The Metaverse: Still a ‘thing’

Tech-savvy enthusiasts rejoice! The metaverse is still alive, and it’s worth a few bob, to be fair. From immersive experiences, virtual real estate, and digital assets gaining a degree of value still, the metaverse intends to transform the way we socialise, work, and entertain ourselves. The market is witnessing a sudden flurry of activity, with companies investing heavily in metaverse development, STILL. The surge isn’t exactly unprecedented, but it is expected to to grow from USD 61.8 billion in 2022 to USD 426.9 billion by 2027, at a remarkable Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 47.2%. We hope and let’s keep everything crossed here that the rise will come from the availability of affordable hardware. But also, a few industries are now seeing the increased benefits of metaversing their value offering: from an increased demand for extended reality in healthcare, and virtualisation in fashion, art, and retail spaces. Is the metaverse reshaping industries and offering new avenues for self-expression? I’ve only been banging on about this since I started

From Catwalk to Crazy

This story is definitely in my toolset. Video games and digital fashion are the two things I can talk about with the most confidence and you know what? I’m not sure about this, at all. As an acolyte of the mighty Amy Jo Kim, she of Covet and The Sims, listen, I completely understand the appeal of Drest on one side of the boardroom table. But this new news about a whopping £15 million in funding? I’m a bit loath to gob off, which is unusual for me. I just don’t believe that a new game is the answer to anything but the video games sector, which let’s face it is going through something of a crisis right now. I’m always ready to be proved wrong but do we really need a game when in my research particularly no one cares about the setting as much as they care about the goods. We live in digital asset class times, do we need another walled garden? We really need a proliferation of products across devices and platforms and I’m not sure Drest can deliver. I’m just sayin’.

Fintech needs love too

JPMorgan, that financial titan of everything web3 ish, is doubling down on its blockchain efforts by rolling out euro-denominated payments using its native digital currency, JPM Coin. When any journalist describes something as groundbreaking, I am already cold. Listen, I write groundbreaking as much as the next person, but I am very aware of when grounds have been broken and Bitcoin already did it. So did Ethereum. So this “groundbreaking move” aiming to revolutionise cross-border transactions for corporate clients is a bit boring by this newsletter’s standards. Surely we’re living our best lives with Bitstamp or [insert your fave exchange here]. Do we really need JPM Coin, or is this something for our Richie Rich pals who need that extra something that us poor folk are just getting by with existing tech? They say that by leveraging blockchain technology, JPMorgan provides a faster, more secure, and efficient payment solution. The launch of euro payments follows the success of their US dollar-denominated transactions on the JPM Coin platform. As other financial institutions struggle to harness the potential of blockchain, JPMorgan's foray into the world of digital currencies marks a significant milestone, or so they say—homogeneity is definitely one of these big financial institutions' strong skills. Prepare for a new era of fintech flexes from the same old bricks and mortars with perhaps some added flexibility for the neobanking fans.

The Goose Got Game

I love NFT art when it’s done proper. Picasso and Dali in equal amounts understood the importance of fractional ownership and transmedia to take their art to more places (and put food in their bellies) as you can imagine, I write about and understand this quite a lot. So before you read this, just know that I like this particular piece of artwork, but not as much as say, the wonderful artwork in Massican’s current digital wine collection, wink, wink. 'The Goose', by Dmitri Cherniak is a non-fungible token (NFT) piece which captivated collectors with its unique charm and digital allure and fetched $6.2 million in a New York City auction. As NFTs continue to redefine the concept of ownership and the value of digital art, 'The Goose' serves as a symbol of the rising popularity and intrigue surrounding these intangible treasures. It's a reminder that in the digital age, imagination knows no bounds, and even the most unexpected creations can find a place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts. What I’m trying to say is, art is always worth what people are prepared to pay.

Holodecks are coming

Accor Hotels, a prominent player in the hospitality industry, is taking a bold step into the metaverse, offering customers a tantalising taste of their renowned accommodations through immersive digital experiences. I love it when a plan comes together—this is exactly what the metaverse was made for. Embracing the power of virtual reality, Accor allows users to explore hotel rooms, discover stunning destinations, and interact with virtual staff members. This innovative foray into the metaverse not only showcases Accor's commitment to providing exceptional hospitality but also offers a glimpse into the future of travel and entertainment. This is day one of the heralded Holodeck, and what I particularly love about this story is that the hotel brand is actually listening to visitors when they say things like “where’s my Philippe Starck sink mixer”. This is a world builder style hotel experience where the hotel brand is the moderator. And it’s very cool if you ask me.

Slam Dunk the Funk

Gird your hoop dreams for a fashion revolution as Puma, in collaboration with Web3 streetwear brand Gutter Cat Gang and NBA sensation LaMelo Ball, unveils an extraordinary collection of NFT sneakers. The highly anticipated "GutterMelo MB.03" collection, designed by Ball himself, combines cutting-edge digital art with tangible footwear, creating a groundbreaking fusion of physical and digital fashion. Anyone and everyone will have the opportunity to own a piece of this innovative collection, which will be minted on the renowned NFT marketplace OpenSea. Puma's visionary approach is a bit enlightening for me and though this partnership not only embraces the metaverse but also redefines the boundaries of self-expression and individual style, I’m kind of wondering whether Diadora and Kappa might follow suit? I hope so because I want those 1987 Pat Cash sneaks. On a pure anecdotal level, I saw these in action last week at Art Basel, and I have to say, they are pretty damn cool.

That’s enough metaverse for this week.

I’m off to oil down Elon Musk in preparation for his cage fight with Mark Zuckerberg.


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