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    This Week in the Metaverse: IHOP’s fake NFT and key Meta Connect takeaways

    Things are moving fast in the metaverse, and in the wider world of web3 as a whole. Here are the top-5 stories from this past week:

    1. The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) released an “NFT” that’s actually a new item on its breakfast menu. The restaurant chain’s “New French Toast” was clearly an attempt to catch the attention of a younger, more tech-forward audience.

    2. Iconic toy brand Barbie announced a new partnership with NFT company Boss Beauties. The two brands are developing an NFT campaign — slated to launch later this year — celebrating the 250 professions that Barbie has occupied since her 1959 release, as well as the brands’ “shared passion to champion the next generation of female leaders.”

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    3. Meta had big news at its 2022 Connect conference. During the virtual event, the company finally unveiled the Quest Pro, its new VR headset that costs just shy of $1,499. Meta founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called the Quest Pro both “the next major step for VR” and “a high-end device designed for work.” Meta also announced new partnerships with a number of brands — including Microsoft and Zoom — during its Connect conference. All of these are in various ways geared towards developing its vision for the metaverse, and pushing for its mainstream adoption.

    4. Google announced a new partnership with leading crypto exchange company Coinbase. 

    Through the partnership, Google will reportedly begin allowing some of its customers to pay for cloud services using “select cryptocurrencies,” such as Bitcoin. Coinbase will keep a portion of each transaction, likely providing the company with a much-needed financial boost as it continues to navigate its way out of the “crypto winter.” 

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    5. As part of our Globalization Deep Dive, The Drum covered Web3 adoption in five separate countries.

    Spoiler alert: El Salvador’s “Bitcoin City” plans have not been shaping up so well. Read more here. 

    For more, sign up for The Drum’s Inside the Metaverse weekly newsletter here.

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