Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and virtual worlds. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with tips.
As the FTX fallout continues, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison reportedly was spotted in New York, causing some to speculate that she’s working with federal authorities. The coffee shop where the photographs were taken is near the city’s FBI office and a U.S. Attorney’s office.
PLEASE CONFIRM: A user claims that they spotted Caroline Ellison at Ground Support Coffee on West Broad in SoHo Manhattan at 8:15 AM. This would mean she is not in Hong Kong and is in NY not in custody. pic.twitter.com/QUduYO9GfZ— Autism Capital 🧩 (@AutismCapital) December 4, 2022
A court in China said that NFTs should be considered online virtual property this week in what could represent a thawing of the country’s anti-crypto stance. According to the Hangzhou Internet Court, a specialist internet court, NFTs “have the object characteristics of property rights such as value, scarcity, controllability, and tradability,” CoinTelegraph reported.
The case was brought to court because the user of a tech platform sued a company (both anonymous) for canceling their NFT purchase because they entered a mismatched name and phone number.
The blockchain is already being used to track physical items, like the basic ingredients of whisky, but entrepreneur Mike Moldawsky, founder and creator of the Diamond Dawn NFT art project, is trying to bring the blockchain to diamonds. Moldawsky created the art project to put 333 GIA-certified diamonds on the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs. An exclusive list of people will be able to buy the diamonds, which vary from 0.4 to 0.8 carats, for 4.44 Ether (more than $5,600 at today’s prices).
In other news:
Budweiser recently launched Budverse Live Scoreboard NFTs tied to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The NFT gives buyers access to merch, an interactive penalty kick video game, and a special Discord for community members. Starting Dec. 2 NFT holders also get a 20% discount on Budweiser’s limited-edition football-themed merch line, which includes bucket hats, hoodies, sweatpants, and T-shirts.
Coca-Cola teamed up with Crypto.com to produce 10,000 Piece of Magic NFTs by digital artist GMUNK. The collection is inspired by the heat maps—data visualizations of players’ movements—created during World Cup matches. In a statement, the artist GMUNK wrote, “Coca-Cola ‘Piece of Magic’ uses football data as our paintbrush, defining densities, behaviors and applications of color to shape and create an immersive piece of art that embraces the spirit of football and depicts a visual story unique to each match.”
Checked out some of the @Braves opening festivities for ‘Digital Truist Park’ yesterday (built with @surreal_events) and it was 👌.— Neil Horowitz (@njh287) May 13, 2022
Interactive, fun novelty, felt ‘real,’ integrated outside video, p2p engagement. Def bullish.
A digital world worth spending time in for fans. 👏 pic.twitter.com/cyBZfvRrg0
The Atlanta Braves held the team’s first public event in Digital Truist Park, a metaverse replica of the actual stadium, on Thursday. Hosted by Braves in-game hype man Mark Owens, the evening of immersive virtual entertainment featured a set from comic Andrew Stanle and a fan Q&A with Atlanta Braves radio announcer Kevin McAlpin.
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