Weekly News Digest 30

Shanghai District Launches Taxation Metaverse Platform

Shanghai’s Fengxian is launching digital taxation services with its metaverse-based self-service tax desk. The mixed reality system was unveiled earlier this month on April 10 and offers 3d modeling and remote consultation from virtual assistants to provide support to the 60,000 corporate taxpayers in the area. This effort is part of the government’s plan to digitize the tax system by 2025 and is part of efforts to digitize many processes across the country. We can see these efforts as part of a more widespread movement by governments to move their services and offerings into virtual spaces for greater accessibility and convenience such as South Korea’s replica of Seoul.

LandVault and Super League Announce Strategic Partnership

LandVault, a prominent metaverse construction company and Super League, a major publisher of immersive experiences have formed a partnership to serve the GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). The cooperation focuses on building a bridge between Web2 and Web3 and “provides third parties throughout the region with an end-to-end solution for the creation, distribution, marketing, and monetization of metaverse initiatives”. Alongside the announcement Super League has named LandVault the official builder of Web3 platforms for the GCC region with focus on the UAE. “While our vision of the metaverse has a Web3 component, today Web2 has huge platforms like Roblox and Fortnite, which are attractive to brands,” explains Samuel Huber, CEO of LandVault. “For the past few years, Super League has built a strong track record in these platforms, just like we have in Web3. Together, we therefore marry the best of both worlds, to propose a stronger offering to brands, with a clear focus on GCC and UAE, where we see the strongest traction.”

Metaverse Standards Forum Announces Incorporation as a Non-Profit

The Metaverse Standards Forum recently posted an announcement on their official incorporation as a non-profit consortium. Per their announcement, “The Forum’s mission continues unchanged—to enable, foster and promote cooperation and coordination over metaverse-related interoperability between standards organizations, companies, and universities.” The forum itself does not create any standards but instead allows members to collaborate and come to a consensus on what it deems to be best practices in the interest of the industry.

U.K Forms New Department for Metaverse & Web3 Strategy

The new Department of Science, Innovation, & Technology will focus on Metaverse and Web3 strategies according to data from CoinDesk. According to the Spring 2023 Budget, there is a goal to “lead on the future of web technology, sometimes known as Web3 or the metaverse.”. Plans are vague for now but looking at other countries efforts to move tax services and other government agencies into the metaverse for digital service offerings we may be able to expect something along those lines. “The Government is committed to ensuring the U.K. is ahead of the curve on the future of web technology and maximising the potential of Web3 and Metaverse,” A Department for Science, Innovation and Technology spokesperson said. “Across the board, our teams are working to deliver a pro-innovation approach, maximising the potential of new technologies while minimising any harms to the economy, security, and society.”

ROBLOX Reaching Older Audiences

ROBLOX, a leading gaming platform is stepping up its efforts to bring in older users as part of their mission to “bring a billion people together”. At the end of 2022 the platform reached 59 million daily users, up 19% from the year prior and triple what it was in 2019. Data from FastCompany indicates “The fastest-growing age group is 17-to-24-year-olds, a demographic that grew by 33% year over year and now accounts for 22% of all users. A full 55% of its users are older than 13.“. By targeting older audiences with more money to spend, the platform can better use and target ads, build more experiences, and create a more welcoming environment. As an example, the Alo Yoga Sanctuary on the platform is one such experience older audiences may take an interest in and has been visited over 70 million times.