Metaverse bank robberies, Trump NFT biz prefers crypto over cash and more

Stick em’ up! Bank robbery drills in the metaverse

The Bank of America (BoA) is mixing a virtual reality (VR) metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI) to train new employees on everything from handling angry customers to bank robberies.

On July 13, Bloomberg reported that the bank’s 2,000 new hires undergo a week-long training regime that includes slipping on a VR headset to practice responding to a variety of simulated situations.

The VR modules include mundane situations, like helping an upset customer or quizzing one who asks for a large amount of cash, and extreme ones, like a full-blown bank robbery.

The newcomers can also just chill out in VR by riding a unicorn or sitting on an island.

An upset virtual customer that the new BoA staff have to calm. Source: Bloomberg

AI is also deployed in the training, with the new hires practicing conversing with a bot acting as a customer and being helped through the conversation by another AI bot.

Over 200,000 global BoA staff have been privy to the virtual training. The bank’s call centers also have an AI coaching bot to assist in drilling conversations with clients, and managers can handball further staff training to the bots.

The innovation and design executive of the BoA’s Academy, Mike Wynn, told Bloomberg that the training is advantageous as these scenarios are “hard to teach traditionally.”

“VR creates anxiety, it gets your heart rate up. It makes you nervous,” he added.

Use of its metaverse is also being mulled for use at job fairs to entice a younger audience for an enthralling career in banking by having them virtually live out the hum-drum of a bank associate.

Donald Trump’s NFT business opts to hold funds on-chain

Former United States President Donald Trump’s nonfungible token (NFT) licensing business is seemingly choosing to hold its funds on Ethereum, with recently updated disclosures showing next-to-nothing in its bank account.

The update disclosures filed by Trump with the Office of Government Ethics made public on July 13 provided more details on his finances and business dealings — a legal requirement as he again makes a bid for the presidency.

CIC Digital, the firm that gains the revenue from licensing fees for the NFT collections that use Trump’s likeness, has a U.S. bank account with a balance of less than $1,000.

Meanwhile, the company’s Ethereum wallet holds anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000.

In a previous April disclosure, Trump said he earned anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million from his NFT licensing deals.

Trump’s renewed bid for president legally requires him to file a “Personal Financial Disclosure,” which can be broad, but it’s unclear why he updated his financial disclosures to be more specific.

Two rounds of NFT collections have been released bearing Trump’s image, the last of which, released in April, sold out on the first day.

Siemens $560,000 campus to be built in the metaverse first

German tech conglomerate Siemens has committed to building a 500 million euro ($560,000) new tech campus near Nuremberg, Germany, but it will first appear digitally in the metaverse.

On July 13, Siemens said it’s investing 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) to make a “blueprint for the industrial metaverse” in the country. Half that amount is going to the campus with the goal of making it a hub for what it calls the industrial metaverse — a digital recreation of locations used for troubleshooting and analytics.

The campus will be built just north of Nuremberg, and before construction starts, the buildings will be planned out and simulated in the metaverse, then copied into the real world, according to Siemens.

The digital replica will allow the layout to be optimized and adjusted before breaking ground. The campus will sit alongside its existing factory that makes electronic components.

The funding is part of the firm’s 2 billion euro ($2.2 billion) investment plan announced last month, which aims to build the company’s new education centers and regional hubs.

Puma sneaker NFTs let you listen to tracks, while on track

Sportswear company Puma, NFT company Legitimate and rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment agency Roc Nation have teamed up for a sneaker collection integrated with NFTs.

The collection, dubbed The Evolution of the Mixtape, was released on July 14 and features three sneaker models called Disc, Cassette Tape and Playlist.

The tongue of the left shoe features a near-field communication (NFC) chip that can be tapped with a phone to grant access to an exclusive portal featuring unreleased music from Roc Nation artists, video content and a documentary.

Related: ZachXBT’s research cited in Canadian NFT rug pull class-action lawsuit

The shoes are priced at $130 a pair, and Legitimate touts NFC tags can be linked with an NFT that authenticates the real product.

Such “phygital” streetwear has proven popular. In June, French luxury brand Dior shipped a new line of sneakers with one pair that came with a “digital twin” — an NFT.

More Nifty News:

NFT firm Dapper Labs had its third round of layoffs in nine months on July 13, with 51 full-time staff and contractors let go, which is around 12% of the company’s staff. In November 2022 and February 2023, it reduced headcount by 22% and 20%, respectively.

An NFT collector shared how they secured a $35,000 decentralized finance loan by putting up a Patek Phillipe luxury watch as collateral which was then made into an NFT granting ownership of the watch to secure the transaction.

NFT Collector: Interactive NFTs the future for sport, Vegas Sphere excites

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