Paris Hilton, Times Square and ETFs

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Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company will be rebranding towards Metaverse, many projects have launched similar initiatives that are entering virtual space, from buying real estate to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer.

Virtual ball release on New Year’s Eve

The Ethereum-based virtual reality world Decentraland announced on Wednesday that a New Year’s Eve party will take place in the Metaverse. Grayscale owner Digital Currency Group has partnered with real estate company Jamestown to create a virtual One Times Square – the iconic place in New York City where a giant ball falls on a flagpole and stops at midnight for the start of the New Year . The virtual event, which begins at 11:00 p.m. EST, features a live feed of real Times Square, as well as crypto art galleries, games, and virtual gatherings.

“The metaverse is rapidly evolving to bring together the most interesting and seductive parts of our favorite physical locations around the world,” said Simon Koster, Head of Real Estate for the Digital Currency Group. “This event shows how virtual events can be integrated into real ones in order to provide unique experiences for so many who otherwise would never have been able to attend.”

Times Square in the Metaverse. Source: Decentraland

Celebrity benefits from the place

Reality TV star Paris Hilton has her own New Years Eve party plans with the Metaverse – and these are (almost) far from the hustle and bustle of Times Square. The Roblox gaming platform hosts a virtual island called Paris World, where the celebrity will be playing an electronic set for virtual customers on December 31st.

With the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US and worldwide, it is unclear how many people will be attending Metaverse events instead of celebrating the New Year in person. Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that NYE events in Times Square are limited to 15,000 people – there are typically 58,000 in attendance – with everyone wearing masks and showing proof of vaccination.

Exchange traded funds go into the meta

At least three companies in the United States and Canada have launched or plan to launch publicly traded products with exposure to Metaversum-related companies.

In November Evolve Funds Group and Horizons ETFs Management listed their Metaverse ETFs on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the latter tracking the performance of the Solactive Metaverse Theme Index (SOMETAV). The index includes the technology companies Apple and Nvidia as well as the social media giant Meta. The shares in the offering have fallen approximately 5% and 3%, respectively, since launch on November 29th.

Related: Baidu Metaverse App would take 6 years to complete, says VP

However, in the United States, the first company to successfully launch an ETF with exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) futures began looking at the metaverse. A filing by the Securities and Exchange Commission filed on Tuesday shows that ProShares plans to launch a metaverse-focused ETF tracking SOMETAV. The SEC has yet to approve the offer.


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