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Is Disney stepping into the cryptoverse? The firm’s accelerator certainly hints at a move to web3

Is Disney stepping into the cryptoverse? The firm’s accelerator certainly hints at a move to web3

Is Disney stepping into the cryptoverse? The firm’s accelerator certainly hints at a move to web3
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 2, 2022 7:52:05 PM IST (Published)

The American entertainment conglomerate has included several blockchains, NFT, web3, AR and AI firms in its accelerator program, which hints at a possible move into the cryptoverse. So, let’s find out more about Disney’s Accelerator program and the firms that are part of this initiative.

Even as bears continue to grip the market, big brands keep jumping into the digital asset space. For instance, a multinational retail corporation, Walmart, marked its foray into the Metaverse with Roblox earlier in September. And just last week, world-renowned fashion brand Gucci launched its virtual world in The Sandbox. Other brands that have entered the web3 space in recent times include Nike, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Adidas,  etc.

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Now, another big name that seems to be paving its way into the Metaverse is Disney. The American entertainment conglomerate has included several blockchains, NFT, web3, AR and AI firms in its accelerator programme, which hints at a possible move into the cryptoverse. So, let’s find out more about Disney’s Accelerator programme and the firms that are part of this initiative.
What is the Disney Accelerator programme?
The Disney Accelerator programme is an initiative that is designed to promote the growth of innovative technology firms. According to its website, the programme helps “venture-backed, growth-stage start-ups” make an impact “on the future of technology and entertainment.” More importantly, it provides the participating companies with investment capital and guidance from the top entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders from the tech and entertainment industry.
This year’s participating firms hint at a web3 project
In July 2022, Disney made headlines after selecting Polygon (MATIC) for its accelerator programme. Polygon is a layer-2 blockchain developed as a scaling solution for Ethereum. The project was launched in 2017 and is currently the 11th largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation.
The move indicates that Disney and Polygon could work together to develop blockchain-based assets such as NFTs. Polygon could also help integrate cryptocurrencies into Disney’s payment systems. Either way, the possibility of Disney venturing into the web3 space seems all the more likely when you consider the other firms participating in the accelerator programme.
For instance, the programme also includes an NFT-based social platform called Flickplay. Also on the list is Inworld, a platform that lets users create AI-powered virtual characters. Add to that, you have Lockerverse, a South American start-up that helps digital creators and brands tell stories on web3. Finally, you have Obsess and Red 6. The former is an experimental e-commerce platform that helps brands create immersive 3D virtual stores, while the latter has patented AR technology for outdoor, high-performance environments.
All put together, Disney has everything it needs to develop a metaverse of its own. However, until now, the entertainment giant has yet to make any comments about a virtual reality platform. It has filed for a metaverse-themed technology patent to create personalised interactive attractions for its theme park visitors. However, while announcing the initiative at the D23 Expo, Company CEO Bob Chapek explicitly chose to avoid the word Metaverse, instead referring to the project as next-generation storytelling.
Conclusion
The firms that are part of the Disney Accelerator programme revolve around Web3, AR, AI, creative storytelling, 3D virtual stores, e-commerce, and blockchain. Therefore, while Disney’s theme park experiences are sure to improve in leaps and bounds, you imagine something much bigger is also on the cards. With the assortment of web3 firms at hand and a whole universe of Disney characters and worlds to play with, the possibilities could be endless, should the entertainment conglomerate choose to enter the Metaverse.
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