Interpol has launched a metaverse specifically designed for law enforcement.

The global police organisation unveiled the virtual world during its 90th general assembly in New Delhi, India. 

Fully operational, the metaverse allows registered users to tour a virtual facsimile of its general secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France without any geographical or physical boundaries, interact with other officers via their avatars and take immersive training courses in forensic investigation and other policing capabilities.

During an interactive session, delegates were able to digitally enter the Lyon building through avatars using virtual reality headsets.

“For many, the metaverse seems to herald an abstract future, but the issues it raises are those that have always motivated Interpol – supporting our member countries to fight crime and making the world, virtual or not, safer for those who inhabit it,” said secretary general Jürgen Stock.

“We may be entering a new world, but our commitment remains the same.”

Using the interpol metaverse

An expert group on the metaverse has also been created to represent the concerns of law enforcement on the global stage.

With crime increasingly moving online as the pace of digitalisation increases, Interpol says police must enhance their awareness of the threats while also harnessing the opportunities of virtual worlds.

“As the number of metaverse users grows and the technology further develops, the list of possible crimes will only expand to potentially include crimes against children, data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, and sexual assault and harassment,” Interpol stated.

“For law enforcement, some of these threats are likely to present significant challenges, because not all acts that are criminalised in the physical world are considered crimes when committed in the virtual world.”

Madan Oberoi, Interpol’s executive director of technology and innovation, said: “By identifying these risks from the outset, we can work with stakeholders to shape the necessary governance frameworks and cut off future criminal markets before they are fully formed.

“Only by having these conversations now can we build an effective response.”

Cryptocurrency shorts

The UK recorded the highest crypto transaction value of any European nation and sixth highest in the world in the year to June 2022, according to data from the annual Chainalysis report. It also moved up the overall crypto adoption index from 21st last year to 17th – the highest in Europe after Russia and Ukraine.

Crypto exchange Coinbase is to waive commission fees for USD Coin sales and purchases made in any fiat currency to promote the wider global adoption of its stablecoin.

Twitter is taking its Tweet Tiles – trialled with publishers including The Guardian – to the world of NFTs. Tweet tiles are posts with larger images, variable fonts and prominent call-to-actions. OpenSea, Rarible, Magic Eden, Dapper Labs and GuardianLink’s marketplaces will be able to share tiles to showcase NFTs and collectibles.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky decentralised social network received 30,000 signups to its beta waitlist in the first 48 hours. The network will allow users to move their accounts between providers.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 21,400 coins is at $913 billion at the time of writing (7am UK),  a 0.8% decrease in the last 24 hours.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.