Global Web3 metaverse and tax initiatives continue in the face of a market meltdown


In her month-to-month Expert Take column, Selva Ozelli, a global tax legal professional and CPA, covers the intersection between rising applied sciences and sustainability, and gives the latest developments round taxes, AML/CFT rules and authorized points affecting crypto and blockchain.

In 2021, nonfungible tokens turned the largest disrupter in artwork, with artists minting, exhibiting and auctioning them and buyers shopping for, promoting and buying and selling them. But by May 2022, NFT gross sales had dropped 92% from the market peak. According to information aggregator, greater than 17,000 expertise laborers misplaced their jobs in May. The current downturn is just like 2018, when main cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) fell by 80% or extra.

Related: 2021 ends with a query: Are NFTs right here to remain?

Immune to the digital asset market’s manic depressive volatility, Web3 builders, institutional buyers, and regulators making ready to tax metaverse income are calmly persevering with with enterprise as traditional throughout the world.

The NFT bear market may need cautioned high-level financiers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as central banks begin to tighten financial coverage in opposition to a backdrop of slowing financial exercise. And gone are the days when central bankers fretted hedge fund managers — they’re extra involved about the new crowd at the door, the “Metaversians,” who’re digitizing numerous facets of life in 3D with synthetic intelligence.


The digital asset market meltdown was foreseen by Brian Shuster, founder and CEO of Canada-based Utherverse, who has developed greater than 100 patents and pending patents for core web applied sciences and the Metaverse. He advised me: “There’s a ton of corporations on the market constructing out the Metaverse, and frankly, most corporations claiming to supply properties and tokens have dangerously underestimated the complexity of the job at hand.” He continued:

“The digital asset market meltdown is wholesome for these corporations which supply viable and sustainable Web3 merchandise and applied sciences similar to Ethereum and Avalanche to continue on. I can be launching my Utherverse utility token throughout 3Q of 2022.”

Meanwhile, Calgary-based Accelerate Financial Technologies introduced it could set up the Accelerate Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Fund, targeting high-net-worth buyers keen to take a threat on Web3 funding merchandise and digital collectibles out there on the blockchain.

Related: Crypto in Canada: Where are we right now, and the place are we heading?


With the ground value of some main NFT collections crashing over 50% over the previous month amid broad sell-offs, the digital asset market meltdown has not slowed down infrastructural funding into the Metaverse in China, with NFT funding funds and fund of funds popping up day-after-day.

Yifan He, CEO of Red Date (Hong Kong) Technology — a Chinese state-backed blockchain firm — advised me: “Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) will launch the nationwide NFT infrastructure in China. The NFT is a digital certificates or a unit of information being saved on the blockchain. Owing to their uniqueness and indivisibility, NFTs are extensively used in digital artwork and copyrighted content material. However, their potential use circumstances go properly past what we see right now in the artwork world. Technically, an NFT may be utilized to any situation the place proof of curiosity is required, from collectible possession and IP of inventive works to documentation similar to ID playing cards, educational certificates, actual property licenses, and so on. The expertise can be utilized to confirm the authenticity of paperwork whereas additionally stopping them from being tampered with or stolen, in addition to facilitating verification, affirmation and monitoring.”

He added: “However, most NFTs right now are minted on public chain applied sciences that aren’t allowed in the Chinese market. To assist NFT expertise improvement in China, the BSN has modified the public chain applied sciences to ‘open permissioned blockchains’ (OPBs) to beat the regulatory hurdles in China by changing cryptocurrency with fiat forex to pay fuel charges and requiring permission for node deployment. To decouple the pure affiliation with public chains and cryptocurrency, NFT is renamed Decentralized Digital Certificate, or DDC for brief.”

According to He, “BSN-DDC is a digital certificates infrastructure community on BSN China that features 10 OPBs. BSN-DDC affords community entry, core APIs, and SDKs — a one-stop store for companies to develop person portals or apps for all sorts of NFT functions. All funds and transaction charges are paid in fiat forex by way of BSN-DDC portals. BSN-DDC encourages digital certificates utilization past the discipline of artwork and leisure collectibles with assist for all sorts of digital certifications, paperwork, tickets, identification, mental property and extra.”

“The BSN-DDC community at present is the most various, clear, reasonably priced, user-friendly blockchain infrastructure that helps the authorized deployment of NFTs inside China. It will formally launch by the finish of January 2022 to assist the mass adoption of NFTs in China,” concluded He.

Related: Chinese Blockchain-Based Mobile Payment Revolution: How the Biggest CO2 Polluter Is Becoming the World’s Leading Producer of Solar Panels


The movie trade is tapping NFTs for funding films, with nonfungible tokens making a huge splash at the Cannes Film Festival.

In France, the film Plush, which is ready to be launched in 2023, can be co-produced by the investing neighborhood by way of the sale of NFTs. NFT holders will obtain a share of the movie’s income and be granted attendance at particular screenings, and they could even see their beloved NFTs come to life in the film.


Harshavardhana Kikkeri, founder and CEO of HoloWorld — a metaworld that hosts “phygital” (bodily and digital) metaverses in training, sports activities, robotics and safety — has designed HoloSuit, which comprises 40 embedded sensors to trace the actions of a wearer’s arms, legs and fingers, presenting them digitally to reinforce interactions in the phygital world.


Japanese multinational firm Sony intends to be a chief in the metaverse and AI areas by leveraging “the distinctive strengths offered by its various companies and experience in recreation expertise, which can type the foundation of leisure experiences going ahead.”

The firm has partnered with Manchester City FC and plans to create “new leisure experiences” round stay sporting occasions, and it’s additionally wanting into the music trade and the potential of providing stay digital performances from Sony Music artists. As Sony’s CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, defined:

“The metaverse is at the similar time a social area and stay community area the place video games, music, films and anime intersect.”


Riaz Mehta, founder and CEO of Singapore-based Ritestream, defined to me: “We are the workforce behind the main watch-to-earn platform, Ritestream — a movie and TV launchpad to fund, monetize and distribute content material by way of leveraging blockchain expertise. On the interactive app, you possibly can watch your favourite reveals and get rewarded in $RITE coin; get pleasure from metaverse cinemas and digital date nights; and assist content material, actors and celebrities by buying restricted version NFTs. Not solely can these NFTs assist fund the reveals, however additionally they permit customers to purchase and personal half of them, giving them producer credit and future incomes potential ought to the reveals develop into standard. We have an unique deal to subject NFTs for the upcoming movie Stealing McCloud, impressed by John McAfee, the controversial software program mogul who was discovered useless in a Spanish jail cell in 2021 [where he was being held] for U.S. tax evasion. We’re excited to be revolutionizing how all of us eat and fund content material with an app the place it fairly merely pays to look at.”

Metacurio VS Singapore, a new three way partnership between Metacurio and VS Media, can be the unique residence for VS Media and its mental property, spanning segments like creating, advertising and distributing NFTs. Metacurio will supply its expertise in Web3-focused inventive and NFT collectability methods and extra. It may even deliver its consumer base, having relationships with over 70 prime abilities and manufacturers.

Persistence is constructing an ecosystem of multichain Web3 merchandise for retail and institutional customers, permitting for the creation and change of NFTs throughout chains and constructing merchandise to generate alternatives and tackle challenges round the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism in a multichain surroundings.

Related: Why Singapore is one of the most crypto-friendly international locations

South Africa

Nelson Mandela, a revolutionary and anti-apartheid chief who served as the first democratically elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, entered the Metaverse with the first Mandelaverse NFT — a collaboration between the Mandela household, TinyWins, Phoenix James Art Haus and Range Media Partners. The charitable Web3 challenge consists of 4 NFT collections whose proceeds profit the Mandela Education Program, an initiative to develop entry to books to youngsters in Africa and past and revolutionize how philanthropy can work.

Related: South African President Steps Down as Banks Embrace Blockchain Technology


Following Avalanche’s first-ever summit in Barcelona, the first Spanish Ethereum convention can be held in the similar metropolis from July 6 to eight. This comes as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is looking for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-like safety for small crypto buyers in the face of the current market meltdown.

Roberto de Arquer, co-founder and chief metaverse officer of Spain-based Gamium, defined:

“We are constructing the first decentralized social metaverse and the digital identification of people.”

Gamium World is a 3D, absolutely immersive surroundings that enables customers to entry Gamium’s decentralized social metaverse. Player avatars create the world and can construct experiences by way of the Gamium software program improvement package, together with shopping for and promoting land.

Elsewhere in the Metaverse, holders of NFTs associated to online game actual property have misplaced 1000’s to tens of millions of {dollars} from transaction charges, phishing assaults, rug pulls and extra. In a Reddit remark, u/MDKAOD just lately explained the digital actual property enterprise: “Entropia Universe (previously Project Entropia) has had land deeds since the early 2000’s. John ‘Neverdie’ Jacobs is the huge title DJ who owns a complete area station in that recreation and now there are entire ‘accomplice planets’ owned (at the very least in historical past) by Lemmy from Motorhead, Michael Jackson’s property (at the very least was in talks at one level, I don’t know if it ever materialized) and at the very least one different huge profile title that escapes me.” He continued:

“Virtual actual property has all the time been unobtainable and so far as I’m involved has all the time been a strategy to launder cash.”

Related: Spain tackles corruption with blockchain AI and amendments to its anti-corruption legal guidelines


Mehmet Eryilmaz, founder of Turkey-based Faro, defined to me: “Faro is a tokenized leisure firm that produces movies and TV content material, owns music catalogs and IP, and manages stay leisure and Web3 illustration rights. The firm leverages peak curiosity in native content material, hovering manufacturing budgets, Turkey’s content material export success and post-COVID stay leisure demand with forward-looking Web3 themes of collective possession and fan-based utility-focused new companies. Faro’s operations are backed by bodily world recurring income media property. Faro tokenholders can make investments and revenue from income rights from all Faro productions and property. Furthermore, they get entry, utility and generate revenues from all fan-centric NFT choices.” He added, “Faro needs to scale its enterprise throughout rising markets with the similar mannequin.”

Refik Anadol, the first artist to make use of synthetic intelligence in an immersive public art work — and whose work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York — has been unphased by the NFT market downturn. During April and May, he continued to promote his NFTs. The gross sales for his “An Important Memory for Humanity” assortment totaled $6.2 million, and a one-of-one NFT titled “Living Architecture: Casa Batlló” fetched $1.38 million by way of his first public sale at Christie’s.

Related: Crypto and NFTs meet regulation as Turkey takes on the digital future

United Arab Emirates

Lokesh Rao, CEO and co-founder of Trace Network Labs — which has places of work in the United Arab Emirates — defined to me that his platform “permits manufacturers, particularly trend, to create new classes of distinctive digital merchandise which can be utilized to change product particulars with numerous Web2 and Web3 platforms.” Recently, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Tribute Brand, The Fabricant, Institute of Digital Fashion and Red DAO showcased trend NFTs at the Decentral Art Pavilion in Venice and mentioned the future of the trade.

By 2030, metaverse expertise is expected to contribute $4 billion to the financial system of Dubai and assist the creation of 42,000 digital jobs.

Related: The United Arab Emirates’ inexperienced digitization imaginative and prescient

United States

Popular NFT assortment Bored Ape Yacht Club, created by United States-based Yuga Labs, noticed its ground value plunge to 88 Ether (ETH) (about $153,000) on May 27, down from 138 ETH (over $390,000 at the time) a month prior.

In a Reddit remark, u/Dr_Eastman shared their market evaluation for the extreme drop in costs:

“Seriously why the fuck would I need to purchase a receipt of a monkey pic for larger than what the first purchaser purchased it for?”

This is especially salient on condition that U.S. courts say computer- or AI-generated artwork and music has no copyright safety.

Nevertheless, Bill Starkov, founder of the Apocalyptic Apes NFT challenge, thinks “a correction is tremendous wholesome for the crypto/NFT area,” as he advised me. The challenge’s female-led Queen Ape assortment and second NFT drop raised over $1.5 million and bought out in underneath three hours, simply earlier than the downturn. Investors in the area are actually utilizing this downturn to go NFT buying prefer it’s Black Friday. 15 Queen Ape NFTs had been just lately revealed to be one-of-one music NFTs, paired with songs by rising music artists. “This is a enormous alternative for rising artists to push ahead their careers by way of Web3 by attaching themselves and selling their music to an already established, loyal and passionate NFT neighborhood,” said Starkov. “In addition, we’re giving a beneficiant income share of 45% streaming to the holders of these Queen Ape music NFTs. This is a chance for rising artists to be launched to 1000’s of individuals who can be incentivized to advertise them.” Other female-led NFT tasks embody DeadFellaz and Gutter Cat Gang.

PolyientX, a Web3 innovator offering instruments to achieve extra worth and utility from NFTs, launched a product permitting NFT holders of chosen tasks to say weekly rewards. “In the years we’ve got been innovating in the NFT area, two issues have develop into painstakingly clear,” said PolyientX’s head of product, Nick Casares.

“NFTs have super progress potential and NFT communities need extra worth. PX Drops serves to merge these alternatives.”

Thirty years after releasing her notorious guide Sex, pop icon Madonna collaborated with digital artist Beeple to create three charitable NFTs portraying her nude avatar with environmental themes. Hip-hop legend Jim Jones teamed up with Mogul for an NFT, whereas musical legend Katy Perry provided her De Soi NFTs by way of FlickPlay — “a social metaverse platform that’s interoperable with Tik Tok-like engagement, Pokemon Go-esque gameplay, and AR digital camera options constructed to supply real-world utility to digital NFT equipment,” Pierina Merino, FlickPlay’s founder and CEO, defined to me.

In the world of sports activities, baseball dwelling legend Miguel Cabrera partnered with FlickPlay, basketball stars Andre Drummond and Ty Jerome partnered with Chibi Dinos, former basketball champion and trend icon Dennis Rodman partnered with Jeff Hood of MetaCurio, whereas the McLaren Formula 1 Team and McLaren Shadow esports workforce partnered with OKX to launch their NFTs.

In the world of video games, “NiftyChess, a Web3 startup, established in partnership with to create the first NFT market enabling the buy, sale, creation and assortment of NFTs of chess video games, together with by chess masters, without having to purchase cryptocurrency first,” defined co-founders Patrick Gallagher and Joseph Schiarizzi.

But you needn’t be a legend, icon, star or grasp to get seen in the metaverse, consider Akbar Hamid and Simone Berry, founders of People of Crypto Lab (POC) — a inventive and innovation lab devoted to rising variety, participation and illustration in Web3. Its mission is to construct the metaverse blueprint for inclusion throughout Web3 by creating, investing and selling manufacturers with various tales, groups and tasks. Berry explained:

“I firmly consider that Web3 can solely scale if variety and inclusion are rooted in the basis of what’s being constructed. Black and brown girls, individuals of colour and LGBTQIA+ individuals have mixed spending energy and unprecedented cultural affect that dwarfs the affect of some other neighborhood. Culture drives commerce, which is why we have to actively educate and onboard these communities in order to make sure an equitable, worthwhile future for Web3.”

Microsoft, Apple and Meta lead in creating metaverse expertise. Web3 recreation developer Epic, which hosted pop star Ariana Grande’s metaverse live performance, has proven unprecedented world scale and income throughout the pandemic. It can be embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit with Utherverse and has said it’s going to combat Apple and Google to maintain the Metaverse open.

Fidelity launched two exchange-traded funds to take a position in metaverse Web3 applied sciences, whereas a16z rolled out its fourth fund, value $4.5 billion.


Regarding Vietnam, Tri Pham — co-founder of KardiaChain and founder of Whydah — advised me: “KardiaChain is the first decentralized interoperable and self-optimized blockchain infrastructure. We purpose to create a unified platform that mixes all contributors’ collective strengths to put the basis for world blockchain mass adoption.”

OECD’s digital asset public session doc

Digital property and companies established in the Metaverse are amongst a number of points presenting challenges for international locations regarding cross-border tax, cash laundering, shopper safety and private information laws. For this purpose, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a public session doc on March 22 on a new world framework for fiscal transparency that will permit the presentation of reviews and the change of data concerning crypto property. It additionally covers proposed amendments to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for international locations’ computerized change of data concerning monetary accounts.

The new framework would enhance the means of taking part international locations’ tax authorities to observe the transactions residents make on overseas cryptocurrency exchanges. Most, if not all, of the 100-plus international locations taking part in the CRS are anticipated to undertake it.

The U.S. has already adopted measures requiring taxpayers to report digital asset tax data.

Related: Tips to say tax losses with the US Internal Revenue Service

At a public session assembly on May 23, the crypto trade urged the OECD to implement the framework in phases.

The views, ideas and opinions expressed listed here are the creator’s alone and don’t essentially mirror or symbolize the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA, is a global tax legal professional and licensed public accountant who continuously writes about tax, authorized and accounting points for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, different publications and the OECD.


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