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Qualcomm, Liquid Avatar investments bring digital identity tools to metaverse

Industry report on metaverse emphasizes the need for authenticity
Qualcomm, Liquid Avatar investments bring digital identity tools to metaverse

Qualcomm and Liquid Avatar Technologies unveil their latest metaverse digital identity investments through a fund worth up to $100 million and a loyalty earning payment card, respectively. And a report from Accenture about the future of the metaverse explores how the metaverse may change how we interact with technology, with an importance on the need to authenticate the identities we will interact with.

Liquid Avatar launches payment and loyalty card for metaverse

Liquid Avatar is debuting a payment card and loyalty program for the metaverse, which the company claims is the first in the world for this purpose.

The Toronto-based digital identity and blockchain developer says the ‘LQID card’ is a physical prepaid debit card powered by OptimizeFT’s Engage360 payment card and digital banking solutions platform. The card, currently available in the U.S., aims to increase widespread adoption and participation in the metaverse through a loyalty program that earns the holder cashback by shopping at ‘Liquidshopz’ and points by participating in activities in Aftermath Islands Metaverse, an interactive virtual world set to release in mid-2022.

Liquid Avatar says it can lower the barriers to entry for the metaverse by accepting traditional forms of payment combined with a loyalty program, unlike most metaverse environments that only accept cryptocurrency. The points can be used for virtual gift cards to purchase goods in the Aftermath Islands Metaverse and Virtual Land.

“We’re excited to offer the very first payment card for the Metaverse, supporting individuals and entities as they engage in virtual activities,” says Michael Konikoff, chief revenue officer of Liquid Avatar Technologies. “In addition to retail and online payment opportunities, users of the LQID card will be able to experience exciting Virtual Land and NFT opportunities at Aftermath Islands and other immersive experiences.”

Other metaverse projects that Liquid Avatar has promoted include the ‘Meta Hero Project’ and the ‘Multiverse Collective.’

Qualcomm opens a $100M metaverse fund

Qualcomm, a telecommunications technology, semiconductor, and biometrics provider, announces a fund worth up to $100 million named the ‘Snapdragon Metaverse Fund’ to support developers in the metaverse and related technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence.

The fund will allocate capital through venture investments in extended reality (XR) companies by Qualcomm Ventures, and a grant program by Qualcomm Technologies for developers in gaming, health and wellness, media, entertainment, education, and enterprise. The company will focus on foundational technologies to enable the metaverse, and based on the use of SnapDragon processors in biometric systems, those seem likely to include digital identity tools.

Qualcomm says the fund will accelerate innovation across the metaverse ecosystem through venture investment and developer ecosystem grants for content projects. Recipients of the fund will also gain access to XR platform technology, hardware kits, a global network of investors, and co-marketing and promotion opportunities.

“We deliver the groundbreaking platform technology and experiences that will enable both the consumer and the enterprise to build and engage in the metaverse and allow the physical and digital worlds to be connected. Qualcomm is the ticket to the metaverse,” says Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm. “Through the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund, we look forward to empowering developers and companies of all sizes as they push boundaries of what’s possible as we enter into this new generation of spatial computing.”

Applications for the fund will open in June.

Authenticity to become crucial in metaverse: Accenture report

An industry report titled ‘Meet Me in the Metaverse’ from Accenture that previews the rapidly adapting world of the metaverse and its potential impacts on the future highlights the importance of authenticity in the digital sphere, including digital identity authentication, as threats and shifts across the spectrum challenge our notions of reality and trust.

The proliferation of “synthetic realness” is outlined, as AI-generated data, deepfakes, disinformation, and bots project a reflection of the real world. Accenture notes how AI-powered synthetic data can help researchers with COVID-19 and chatbots expedite the customer service experience, but the downsides of synthetic realness extend to deepfakes, echo chambers, misinformation, disinformation, and bad actors like scammers.

To rectify this problem that Accenture says is leading to declining trust in technology and harm to public discourse, the professional services firm concludes that authenticity is key. To ensure authenticity – a sense of genuineness and being true to oneself – Accenture says one solution could be widespread adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain services, like those offered by Liquid Avatar.

Accenture also suggests awareness of policies and laws related to generative AI, governance structures in a company to ensure responsibility of AI, and establishing the ability for customers to attest to genuineness with verifiable identity markers to prevent malicious attacks.

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