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A Few New Developments in the USA –  Shopify; Drones; SEO and AI, Meta’s Cryptocurrencies, and, of course, the Metaverse

Shopify has announced a new tool called Commerce Components, which targets large enterprise retailers. Big businesses can now more easily integrate Shopify’s mainstay tools, such as checkout, into their existing systems. While  Walmart has announced that it completed over 6,000 drone deliveries in the US in 2022. Currently, 36 Walmart stores in 7 states operate drone deliveries in partnership with DroneUpFlytrex, and Zipline.

Readers may have seen the developments at Bankrate.com (https://www.bankrate.com). Bankrate is a consumer financial services company owned by Red Ventures and based in New York. Recently it has announced that it is using Artificial Intelligence to create the SEO for providing the right information and services to its clients. Although this may be in testing stage with a few businesses, the fact that Bankrate.com, which deals with confidential financial data, should embrace AI so publicly has prompted the head of Google SEO to say that this marks a new chapter in the design and use of SEO.

Meanwhile, some old news, Meta announced that it will shut down its Novi crypto payments wallet pilot some months ago. This marks the end of Meta’s Libra stablecoin experiment that started 3 years ago, and was more or less dropped after regulatory blowback from a number of central banks. The Novi pilot enabled crypto-based remittances using the Paxos stablecoin (USDP) for testers in the US and Guatemala. However, Meta has said it plans to use Novi’s wallet tech in future products, like its metaverse project, as it rolls out support for digital collectibles.  And as we go to press the cryptocurrency Genesis Global crashed out, going bankrupt, and further shaking trust in cryptocurrencies.

Finally, Elon Musk’s take over of Twitter has raised more questions about the ethics of Social Media – should ‘the mad, bad and dangerous to know’ be allowed on social media? And what about the Metaverse? It is essential that user safety be a top priority in the Metaverse. According to experts, the good news is that Social extended reality (XR), which is set to become the new standard for online interaction, can tap into the vast knowledge about online safety developed for today’s social media to sidestep avoidable mistakes and define priorities for the road ahead. At least that’s the theory.

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Alastair Tempest

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