This Week in the Metaverse: Barca’s Web3 Game and Roblox Pay Tribute to Parkland Shooting Victim

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Things are changing rapidly in the metaverse – and in 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…

11 charged by SEC in $300 million ‘crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme’

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has indicted 11 people for promoting a “fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme,” according to a statement released by the agency on Monday. The agency says the program, called Forsage, “has raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors globally, including in the United States.” Among those charged are the four founders of Forsage, who the SEC said last lived in Russia, the Republic of Georgia and Indonesia. Three U.S.-based Forsage promoters “and several members of the so-called Crypto Crusaders, the program’s largest promotional group that operated in the United States from at least five different states,” were also charged.

Forsage.io was reportedly launched in January 2020 as a platform for retail investors to transact using smart contracts. The SEC claims that “Forsage allegedly operated as a pyramid scheme for more than two years”, allowing investors to reap profits by recruiting others. Forsage also deployed “a typical Ponzi scheme structure” to pay early investors using the assets of new investors, the SEC claims.

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Joaquin Oliver’s avatar poses in front of a virtual portrait of Oliver. (Credit: Rock Paper Scissors, Inc.)

The news comes on the heels of an investigation launched by the SEC into the popular crypto exchange company Coinbase, aimed at determining whether or not the company illegally allowed US customers to trade unregistered securities in the form of digital assets.

Ethereum Founder Rains on Meta Parade

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Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin believes that Meta, despite its best efforts to grow the metaverse, will miss the mark. “We don’t really know the definition of ‘metaverse’ yet, it’s way too early to know what people actually want,” wrote the 28-year-old entrepreneur – whom Time magazine has dubbed “the prince of crypto.” — in a tweet on July 30. “So anything Facebook creates now will fail.” Also on July 30, Buterin clarified his view on corporate efforts in the metaverse, tweeting, “‘Metaverse’ is going to happen, but I don’t think any of the existing corporate attempts to intentionally create the metaverse leads nowhere.”

Virtual Guacathon Party Celebrates the Life of Joaquin ‘Guac’ Oliver

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‘Guacathon’ – an annual birthday celebration for Joaquin ‘Guac’ Oliver, who was killed in the Parkland, Florida shootings in 2018 – hosts a party in the metaverse.

As of 2020, Guacathon has been hosted by Change the Ref, an organization founded by Oliver’s parents that aims “to raise awareness of mass shootings through strategic interventions that will reduce NRA influence at the federal level”, according to its website.

Hosted on Roblox, this year’s virtual Guacathon party will feature a performance by rapper Denzel Curry and a portrait of Oliver designed by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who was also behind the brand’s iconic illustration. Obey and Obama’s “Hope” poster. A virtual avatar of Oliver will also be present. “We don’t have a moment of silence… We’re having a party,” Oliver’s mother, Patricia, said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the metaverse, for having a place where my son can help people connect and share his life. I want his peers to enjoy a party in his honor and befriend his me metaverse.”

The Roblox event – which was developed in partnership with metaverse design studio Melon – was designed to be “a virtual urban festival, filled with people listening to music, interacting with art and shooting hoops”, according to A press release. It takes place today – Oliver’s 22nd birthday – accompanying an exclusive in-person celebration in New York.

FC Barcelona launches its presence on the web3

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Socios.com – which describes itself as a “blockchain-powered fan engagement and rewards platform” – has announced a new partnership with FC Barcelona. Widely regarded as one of the most popular football clubs in the world, the aim is to establish the club’s presence in the web3 space. As the club’s “strategic technology partner”, Socios.com will be responsible for “accelerating the club’s blockchain, NFT and web3 strategies”, according to a press release. Chiliz, the company that owns Socios.com, also invested $100 million and received a 24.5% stake in Barça Studios – the club’s digital content production and distribution arm – as part of the new deal. .

Hackers steal millions of crypto assets from Solana

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The Solana blockchain ecosystem was hacked on Wednesday leading to thousands of users’ wallets being breached and millions of dollars worth of crypto stolen.

The hack happened just a day after hackers broke into the Nomad token bridge, taking away nearly $200 million worth of crypto assets. Wednesday afternoon, the attack was still ongoing. It’s not yet clear how much in total was stolen, though estimates are as high as $8 million according to The Verge. Solana tweeted on Wednesday that engineers were working with audit and security experts “to investigate the root cause of an incident that resulted in the draining of approximately 8,000 wallets.”

News of Solana’s hack comes less than a week after the company announced it had opened a physical store, called Solana Spaces, in Manhattan.

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