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Facebook could become a “metaverse”

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During a recent interview , the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg , has said the company could turn into a “metaverse” . 

The term metaverse refers to a shared collective virtual space in which physical and virtual reality converge and coexist, in a sort of augmented reality on the Internet.

The word is composed of the prefix “meta” , which means beyond, and the root “towards “, extracted from the universe.

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The idea described by Zuckerberg is actually quite complex, and imagines a kind of online virtual universe, composed for example of many persistent 3D virtual spaces, and which does not concern a single platform or a single company (Facebook), wanting instead to cross the boundaries between the different platforms, and the different tools.

The famous Facebook co-founder said that even his idea of ​​a metaverse is “a vision that spans many companies – the whole industry”. 

To tell the truth many years ago Facebook had already in mind to incorporate the internal web into some part to become its main access door, but this project has failed thanks above all to fierce competition, primarily that of Google. Today the idea is proposed in a different way, that is apparently not competitive but cooperative.

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For Zuckerberg this metaverse would be “the successor to the mobile Internet”, and will not be built by a single company, but thanks to a collaboration between different companies, creators and developers.

He describes the metaverse as a kind of Internet so immersed in physical reality that it allows users to feel part of it, as if they were physically in it. On the other hand, Facebook has been working with virtual reality and augmented reality for some time, so Zuckerberg’s vision is absolutely plausible.

To work on this metaverse, the company will create a team that will be part of its virtual reality group, Reality Labs, thanks in particular to Portal and Oculus.

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Zuckerberg said:

“And my hope, if we do it right, I think in the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our company, I think we will actually move from people who see us primarily as a social media company to a metaverse company.” 

A curious thing, however, which the co-founder of Facebook did not mention, is that nowadays there are already metaverses, albeit generally still limited to a single platform, and in general they use cryptocurrencies to regulate exchanges. Given that Facebook is presumably about to release the stablecoin it has developed together with other companies (Diem) to the market in the near future, it is more than plausible that this will be the native currency of this metaverse, or at least one of the coins used within it.

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Grayscale’s Top Executive Joins Robinhood as New Chief Compliance Officer

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Robinhood hires a new CCO, the chief compliance officer of Grayscale

Robinhood brokerage app has welcomed Benjamin Melnicki as a new Chief Compliance Officer, who is also the holder of the same position at Grayscale Investments. He joined Grayscale in early January this year.

At the moment, Robinhood’s cryptocurrency arm is facing scrutiny from financial regulators. Last year, Robinhood was a target of an investigation connected to anti money laundering and certain cybersecurity problems experiences by its crypto division.

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As reported by U.Today previously, later this year, the brokerage firm plans to roll out cryptocurrency wallets for its users. The trials of wallets will kick off in October and will allow customers to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies to addresses beyond Robinhood seamlessly.

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Average Aussie crypto portfolio grew 258% in FY 20-21, survey reveals

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The average portfolio size on Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has grown from $577.65 (795.5 Australian dollars) to $2,069.16 (2849.5 AUD) in the financial year 2021, signaling a 258.2% increase in portfolio holdings, according to exchange data compiled by Statista on a recent BTC Markets survey.

Data on the survey shows that the average portfolio size of female and male investors in fiscal 20-21 on BTC Markets was $1,924.30 (2,650 AUD) and $2,214.03 (3,049 AUD), respectively. However, in 2020, the average portfolio size of female Aussie investors exceeded male investors slightly. 

Transaction data on the exchange also showed a pattern of growing investment demand with aging. Considering the data provided by BTC Market on Australia’s average initial investment, investors above 65 years old have invested roughly $3,158.03, the highest ofall demographics.

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Following an incremental reduction across the various age groups, the youngest cryptocurrency traders, ranging from 18 to 24 years, tend to make comparatively small investments, standing at $792.96 on average. While older Australian crypto investors outweigh the new generation in initial investment, the younger crowd shows comparatively more activity in terms of daily trades.

Resonating the findings above, a September report from financial comparison website Finder shows that one in six Australians own cryptocurrencies, amounting to $8 billion in total investment. The report suggests that, like many other users in advanced industrialized countries, Australians were increasingly viewing cryptocurrencies as a new asset class. 

According to Cointelegraph’s report on the matter, Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular cryptocurrency for the Australian crypto market held by 9% of investors. Other popular investments include Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The report showed that, despite the growth in crypto investments, a significant barrier to entry for Australians is the difficulty in understanding crypto and the risks related to volatility.

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Switzerland to Impose Anti-Money Laundering Rules on Crypto Providers: Report

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FINMA requires all cryptocurrency providers to step up their game and monitor whether criminals use digital assets in illicit transactions.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority – FINMA – would reportedly require local digital asset providers to take additional steps in preventing criminals from employing cryptocurrencies. The watchdog would also turn its sight towards bitcoin ATMs as it believes that drug dealers often use these machines.

FINMA Targets Criminals Operating with Crypto

According to a Finews report, Switzerland’s financial regulator – the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority or simply FINMA – would closely supervise local crypto providers as an attempt to clamp down on money-laundering transactions.

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Swiss platforms and brokers dealing with digital assets would have to enhance their monitoring efforts and observe if bad actors employ cryptocurrencies. The Bern-based watchdog believes the initiative is “urgently necessary,” stressing that criminals use the asset class even to fund terrorism acts.

FINMA also turned its attention towards bitcoin automated teller machines. According to the regulator, drug dealers frequently use such ATMs as payment systems. It is worth noting that Switzerland is a relatively small nation, but its 130 Bitcoin automated teller machines place it in the sixth position among the countries with the most stations.

FINMA also passed an anti-money laundering provision according to which it lowered the threshold for unidentified crypto purchases from 5,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) to 1,000 CHF (around $1,080). Or, in other words, all financial providers dealing with digital assets have to collect data on anyone initiating transactions that exceed this amount.

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UBS: Crypto Regulations Could Spell Trouble

One of the leading banks in Switzerland – UBS – recently shared its views on the hot topic of digital asset regulations as it indicated that implementing certain rules might negatively impact the market.

Furthermore, the bank warned its customers that regulatory crackdowns can pop the “bubble-like” crypto markets. The Swiss bank also labeled the asset class as “speculative” alerting that it could be dangerous for professional investors:

“While we can’t rule out future price gains in cryptos, we see this as a speculative market that poses significant risks to professional investors.”

On another note, though, when the cryptocurrency market was booming at the beginning of May, UBS demonstrated a different attitude. Back then, it intended to enable its wealthy customers to receive digital asset exposure later in 2021 through third-party vehicles.

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