Epic Games raises $2B for Metaverse, Mastercard scales NFT plans and other news

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A week in review: April 10–16

We've selected the hottest materials of the past week for you to stay up to date with the latest crypto news:

#1. Fortnite creators Epic Games raise $2B from Sony and LEGO to fund metaverse plans

Epic Games, the creators of the wildly popular Fortnite game, raised $2 billion in funding at a valuation of $31.5 billion. The round was led by Sony and The Lego Group's holding company, Kirkbi.
The funds will go towards scaling Epic Games' Metaverse plans, with chief executive officer and founder Tim Sweeney stating that the capital will help create "spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive."
While there may not be a crypto or NFT link there specifically, Epic Games is also the developer of Unreal Engine, one of the most prominent game engines. The latest iteration, Unreal Engine 5, is able to facilitate the creation of NFT-based play-to-earn (P2E) games, offering a strong signal that the firm is eyeing the sector.
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#2. Mastercard files 15 metaverse and NFT related trademarks

Multinational payments giant Mastercard filed 15 applications for NFT and metaverse trademarks, joining the ranks of competitors Visa and American Express who have taken similar action recently as well.
Notable applications include those for an online marketplace for digital goods, virtual reality events and communities, and Mastercard payment processing in the Metaverse. Furthermore, the firm is aiming to virtually trademark its "Priceless" slogan via tokenized text, audio and video.
Another filing outlines an intention to get Mastercard's branding and name on sponsorship deals for metaverse-based sporting events, concerts and festivals.
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#3. Ripple claims 'a very big win' in SEC case

Ripple Labs scored a "very big win" in its long-running dispute with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week, according to Ripple community lawyer James K. Filan. While both parties have traded many blows during the legal battle, Ripple appears to be growing confident that its arguments against XRP being a security will hold up in court.
Presiding Judge Sarah Netburn denied the SEC's request to reconsider shielding important documents under privilege relating to a June 2018 speech made by the SEC's former Director of the Division of Corporate Finance William Hinman, who stated that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) were not securities.
"The SEC seeks to have it both ways, but the Speech was either intended to reflect agency policy or it was not. Having insisted that it reflected Hinman's personal views, the SEC cannot now reject its own position," said Judge Netburn.
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#4. Prediction of the week. Bitcoin keeps falling as former BitMEX CEO gives $30K BTC price target for June

This week, Bitcoin's price traded downward and somewhat sideways for the most part, breaching below the $40,000 mark on multiple occasions, according to Cointelegraph's BTC price index. BTC traded above $43,000 and below $39,500 inside the week.
Arthur Hayes, BitMEX's former CEO, expects lower prices for Bitcoin in the weeks ahead. His reasoning: central banks have recently made it their mission to combat inflation — or at least make it seem like they're fighting inflation. Whether they're serious or not in combating inflation, they still need to raise interest rates and reduce the magnitude of their quantitative easing programs. These actions will have a negative impact on the "debt-based global economy" of which crypto and Bitcoin are a part, according to Hayes.
"By the end of the second quarter in June of this year, I believe Bitcoin and Ether will have tested these levels: Bitcoin: $30,000; Ether: $2,500," Hayes wrote in the blog post.
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#5. FUD of the week. Facebook whistleblower warns Metaverse will repeat 'all the harms'

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has slammed Meta in a new interview, warning that the firm could once again repeat the data- and power-hungry tactics that made the social media platform so successful.
Haugen highlighted that the Metaverse will give Meta even more opportunity to spy on its users than before and that the world will simply have to trust that the company does the "right thing" with all of its users' data.
"They've made very grandiose promises about how there's safety-by-design in the Metaverse," she said. "But if they don't commit to transparency and access and other accountability measures, I can imagine just seeing a repeat of all the harms you currently see on Facebook."
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#6. FUD of the week. Wikimedia community supports proposal to stop foundation from accepting crypto donations

The Wikimedia Foundation community has voted in favor of a proposal to stop accepting crypto donations, citing the reputational risk of accepting digital assets along with the environmental impacts of Bitcoin's mining practices. Wikimedia is the non-profit organization that hosts the popular Wikipedia website.
The anti-crypto vote was in the strong majority, with around 71% of the 326 votes from Wikimedia contributors requesting that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting crypto donations.
"Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most highly-used cryptocurrencies, and are both proof-of-work, using an enormous amount of energy. [...] The current models continue to be extremely damaging to the environment. While there are eco-friendlier cryptocurrencies, they are less widely used," the proposal read.
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