This Week in the Metaverse: Researchers are making strides toward creating a ‘smellaverse’

Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and the metaverse. Email with tips.


Are you curious what the metaverse smells like? Chinese researchers may have the answer, according to a new paper in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers tested a wearable device that attaches to a person’s upper lip and can heat scented wax in seconds to generate smells for people in virtual reality, as reported by The Daily Beast.

They already have 30 different scents, including pineapple, rosemary, mint, watermelon, vanilla, coffee, ginger, strawberry, and lavender.

In a video example, researchers used the device to simulate smelling flowers.

It’s unclear what practical uses the technology might have—especially since adoption of the technology has slowed and the de facto leader in the space, Meta, has shifted priorities—but the research brings new meaning to immersion in a VR-based metaverse world.

Spotlight on NFTs

Despite the slowdown in NFT sales last year and the collapse of FTX, the NFT market has continued growing, according to data from DappRadar.

The number of daily unique active wallets that interacted on-chain with dapps has increased by 50% since 2021, and the average in 2022 was 2.37 million daily unique active wallets. NFT marketplaces and dapps have kept up too, growing by 18% over the past 12 months.

In other news

Elon Musk tweeted a meme that featured the NFT project Milady and it quickly skyrocketed as much as 60%. The NFT project is controversial because of statements made by its founders. Musk has previously caused the memecoin Dogecoin to spike in value with his tweets.

Turbo, the memecoin created by digital artist Rhett Mankind almost entirely with A.I. chatbot GPT-4, jumped into the top 300 cryptocurrencies on CoinGecko on Wednesday before retreating. The cryptocurrency was the 414th biggest as of Friday, with a market cap of $50 million. Mankind still owns 10% of the 69 billion tokens.

Illustration of memecoin Turbo
The meme cryptocurrency Turbo was created by Rhett Mankind with the help of the A.I. chatbot GPT-4.

Courtesy of Rhett Mankind

Binance said it would add support for Ordinals, or Bitcoin NFTs, this week as the new tech has pushed transactions on the network to all-time-highs. Binance also said it would let its users buy the Bitcoin NFTs directly from their Binance accounts. The changes are supposed to go into effect by the end of May, the company said.

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