NFTs are all everybody has been talking about this last week in the crypto space, even as the market slips to levels not seen since November 2021. Major tech firms have announced developments in NFTs and the metaverse, CBDCs, and blockchain innovation are taking center stage.

Highlights:

  • Meta is set to announce that its social media app Instagram will allow NFTs from Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow.
  • Spotify has entered the metaverse through a collaboration with Roblox, creating a “sound paradise,” where users can have interactive experiences.
  • The CryptoPunks NFT Collection crossed $2 billion in all-time sales; the series is now only behind Axie Infinity in terms of all-time sales.
  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a paper on CBDCs. Over 90% of the banks surveyed are considering CBDCs.
  • The state of Utah in the United States established the Blockchain and Digital Innovation Task Force, aiming to promote innovation in the state.

This Week in Crypto

Instagram Will Allow NFTs From Several Blockchains

Meta’s love of NFTs and the metaverse seems to be becoming a weekly feature, and this week CoinDesk reported that its ubiquitous social media platform Instagram would allow NFTs from Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and Flow. The company has long been looking at working NFTs into the photo-sharing app, but details have been few and far between all this time. The app will use MetaMask and other popular wallets initially.

The latest announcement is the most significant piece of information that Meta has offered regarding the nature of NFTs. The firm has already made it clear that it wants content creators to make use of NFTs, and it says the first batch will include a select group of individuals who are familiar with the special assets.

Spotify Enter the Metaverse

The latest entrant into the metaverse space is none other than music streaming giant Spotify, which announced that it would create a “sound paradise” in collaboration with Roblox. The Spotify Island on Roblox is a place where players can make music, travel around for experiences, complete interactive missions, and more.

The metaverse has quickly become a place for major brands and companies to create engaging experiences for consumers. It has gripped the imagination of corporations and users, though there are some in the latter group that are skeptical of the metaverse’s grand ambitions. Still, Spotify’s interactive experience is a sign that some of these ambitions are materialising.

CryptoPunks Hits $2 Billion in All-Time Sales

Speaking of NFTs and the metaverse, the CryptoPunks NFT series crossed over $2 billion in all-time sales in the first week of May. The Yuga Labs-owned NFT series hit the major milestone just as some of its other NFT and metaverse initiatives have made their own big steps forward, most notably the Otherdeeds sale for the Otherside metaverse. The only NFT collection that has seen more sales than CryptoPunks is Axie Infinity, which is far ahead with over $4 billion in all-time sales.

CryptoPunks has enjoyed a good 2022, with trading being strong this year. The likes of these collections have spurred companies outside the crypto space to consider the special asset, including Visa.

Over 90% of Central Banks Thinking About CBDCS

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are now all but a surety, and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has confirmed that by reporting in a paper that 90% of central banks it surveyed were considering a digital currency format. Most are currently in the proof-of-concept stage, but that is likely to convert into experiments judging by the positive sentiment showcased in 2022.

The number of central banks working on a pilot for CBDCs has nearly doubled this year alone. By the end of the year, we could see a lot more countries turn their proof-of-concepts into pilots, which should create an interesting situation for the crypto market.

Utah Governor Establishes Blockchain Force

The United States has a handful of lawmakers who are keen on crypto, whether that’s allowing taxes to be paid in crypto or encouraging innovation. Utah joined this set of enthusiastic states after governor Spencer Cox signed a bill to create a Blockchain and Digital Innovation Task Force. The group will be tasked with promoting innovation in blockchain and fintech adoption.

Such localised initiatives are popping up across the world, with the officials hoping to boost the local economy and increase the exposure of their regions. So far, it seems to be working, and entrepreneurs and companies have flocked to places like Dubai to establish their base.

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