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In this week’s What’s Appening, we have a look at Google’s developer conference, which announced a slew of new products and updates, including a bunch of stuff Apple has already done. Elsewhere, we have a peek at Instagram NFTs, with Meta sounding a little cautious about how it deals with the web3 community. We refuse to do a full take on Elon Musk & Twitter, but we have added a link in case you want to read about the hold up on the takeover. And What’s dAppening and our Stat of the Week both look at the latest crypto crash as Terra comes hurtling down to earth.

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🎬 Takes

📱 👓 Google I/O – Google Channels Its Inner Apple

Google’s annual developer conference just wrapped up, but despite the fanfare, it seemed the biggest headlines were eerily familiar to past Apple events. So, what exactly did Google announce? Let’s dig in: Android 13 is coming and it will include an updated Google Wallet that will, like Apple, enable digital IDs (eg. for state licenses). Cross-device handoff has also arrived on Android, meaning that just like on iPhone and Macs, you can copy and paste across devices. On the hardware front, Google’s first-ever smartwatch is coming and so is a new Pixel Tablet (Google hasn’t produced their own Android tablets in a while) and new versions of Pixel Buds Pro. We love Android Pixel phones, so we’re not complaining, but like Apple, perhaps they’ve just accepted that if you want it done right, you do it yourselves. Sorry (not sorry) Samsung fans! Now there’s a lot more to cover, and you can dig deep if you like, but most interesting to us was a security update to Google Chrome – the auto-generation of virtual credit card numbers for purchases with Google Pay. So while your credit card gets charged, your number stays put. Finally, there was the potential return of Google Glass, or should we say, the attempted rehabilitation, given the embarrassment caused by the “glasshole” era. Anyway, Google CEO Sundar Pichai talked us through an interesting teaser video showcasing their vision for the next generation of AR smart glasses. The concept was themed on ‘understanding each other’, with the glasses being able to provide subtitles for the wearer when hearing someone speak another language. With Apple also rumored to be releasing AR glasses soon – might Google be trying to get ahead of the competition? #GoogleChannelsApple Read more here.

📷 🖼 Instagram – Social Media Platform Joins Twitter on the NFT Bandwagon

Speaking of copycats and catching up, Instagram has announced it has joined Twitter as the latest social media platform to jump into the world of NFTs. The Meta-owned brand announced it would allow a select group of creators to create and share NFTs on the platform, with a wider roll-out expected soon. Similar NFT functionality is expected to come to Facebook in the coming months. The NFTs will be supported by the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, with Flow and Solana also being incorporated in the near future. Several crypto wallets, including MetaMask, will be supported. Meta has been very careful in its language around NFTs, noting that many in the web3 community prize the concept of decentralization (i.e., no Big Tech control) above anything else. Instagram said it recognized it was a fully centralized entity, and one of the reasons it was starting off small was that it was willing to listen and learn from the web3 faithful. Meta also announced that it was working on AR NFTs – basically, 3D NFTs – that could be brought to life in Instagram Stories using the company’s AR platform, Spark AR. #InstaNFTs Read more here.

🤷🏻‍♂️ 🤦‍♂️ Twitter – Musk Deal Hold Up Comes as a Surprise to Absolutely Nobody

Yawn. Who called it? We refuse to talk again about Musk and Twitter this week but if you really, really wanna know, then read more here. Otherwise, why not forget all about it, and instead just treat yourself to this dose of nostalgia from Mac Rumors… looking back at the history of the iPod, a game-changing device to which we bid a fond farewell this week. #AnythingButMusk

🧐 Stat of the Week – $275B – Single Day Crypto Loss 💸

In the space of 24 hours last Thursday, an estimated $275B was lost from the value of cryptocurrencies – around one-fifth of the total market cap. 😓  The market crash bought out the crypto naysayers in force, with many column inches and Twitter posts devoted to gleefully saying, “we told you so”. But it’s a little bit more complex than a bubble bursting, and it’s important to note that many crypto-focused projects have simply shrugged off the losses, kept calm, and carried on. You can find out more about what’s dAppening in Cryptoland below. #CryptoCrash Read more here

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

🪙 📉 Terra Luna – Crash of Stablecoin Provokes Comparison with Lehman Brothers Collapse

As noted in the Stat of the Week, crypto got hammered last Thursday. Much of it was driven by the collapse of TerraUSD, an algorithmic stablecoin that is supposed to retain a value of $1 at all times. We could go into all sorts of crypto market theories here, but it’s enough to say that Terra’s value as a stablecoin (one that is pegged to the value of a real currency) could only be valid as long as there was perceived value in its sister cryptocurrency, Luna. Suddenly, there wasn’t, with Luna falling 99% and collapsing Terra at the same time. Other stablecoins, notably Tether, briefly lost their peg to fiat currencies for a while before their mechanisms put them back on track again. Away from Terra and Luna, the dust seems to have settled on the market sell-off, but volatility in cryptocurrency has been highlighted yet again. #TerraFallsToEarth Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

At last, finally, we had our first in-person leadership team meeting in 2.5 years, and it was fantastic! Chloe flew in from Bristol – and Darren from Chicago to meet with Kate, Mark and Paul in Washington DC. We’ve come a long way since pre-pandemic 3Advance but nothing beats a team get-together. Lunch with the DMV crew was followed by some fast flowing foosball… Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon. 🍻 ⚽️ ❤️