Wednesday, 2024 February 21

Daily Digest | Masters of the universe

Hey. Brady here.

Here is an unexpected thing that we encountered yesterday: Baidu registered a trademark for Du Universe, an app that it released in 2018. The idea is that people could join up, play games, and earn “Elements,” which are basically the in-app resource.

Our story was meant to be about metaverse patents, which major tech companies have been applying for, either as part of their long-term strategy, or simply to ward off patent trolls.

But explore a bit more—knowing that the app incorporates blockchain features—and you’ll realize that Du Universe looks a lot like a crypto mining app. We’re not suggesting that Du Universe is a mining app, but the same DNA is there, which implies Elements carry some traits of crypto.

The fact is the players of Du Universe inject a dose of financial speculation into their gameplay (or mining, depending on how you look at it). There are forums, including boards on Baidu’s own Tieba (like Reddit), where they discuss short-term and long-term financial profits to be gleaned from Elements.

Du Universe suspended new registrations not long ago, and new terms and conditions came into effect today. This is likely a response to the recent criminalization of crypto transactions in China. Or maybe it’s all just a coincidence.

Mengyuan had the story. You can read about it here.

Daily Roundup

Indonesia needs a data protection authority, but can’t decide how to create one.

Faraday Future founder sued for dodging debt payments again.

The Philippines goes after social media influencers’ unpaid taxes.

China’s largest property broker KE Holdings trims staff as revenue slides.

Automobile platform CarDekho becomes unicorn with USD 250 million pre-IPO round.

India’s stock trading apps bloom amid unprecedented IPO scene.

VinaCapital to invest USD 100 million in Vietnam’s sizzling solar sector.


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