Playboy is to enter the metaverse with a self-styled ‘MetaMansion’.

The American ‘Lifestyle brand’ founded by Hugh Hefner is famous for its bunnies – scantily-clad women dressed as rabbits – at the Playboy Mansion.

The virtual version of this mansion – being developed by The Sandbox gaming platform – will host gaming, social and programmed events, along with non-fungible token releases.

Playboy already has one NFT project, Rabbitars, 11,953 tokenised bunny avatars that sold for around $800 apiece in October 2021 and are currently worth around $200. Owners of these NFTs will be able to access exclusive experiences at the ‘MetaMansion’.

There will also be the opportunity to buy virtual land plots next to the mansion.

“Playboy is emblematic for its charm, lifestyle and entertainment content that has transcended generations and that has already stepped into Web3 with early success,” said The Sandbox COO and co-founder Sebastien Borget.

How to protect yourself from crypto scams

Crypto fraud has rocketed in the last year as criminals target people struggling during the economic downturn.

Despite the cryptocurrency market crash, which has seen the overall market cap drop from more than $3 trillion to less than $900 billion today, fraudsters are more likely than ever to steal virtual currencies.

New data from cybersecurity company NordVPN reveals an increase of 58% in the past 12 months, with victims in the UK generally losing £36,250 per malicious act.

Dan Holmes, head of fraud SME at Feedzai, says “during an economic downturn, we tend to see an increase in customers falling for scams like this”. 

He added: “Struggling consumers tend to become more emotionally and financially vulnerable, and the lure of making high returns from investments like crypto creates a heightened susceptibility to scams which fraudsters prey on.

“The intricacies of crypto scams can vary wildly, but ultimately the macro level convincer is always the same – the promise of something for free.”

Feedzai is a data science company which develops machine learning technology to manage financial risk for the world’s largest banks, merchants and processors.

“Consumers can follow some simple guidance to avoid becoming victims of these scams,” said Holmes. 

“Ignore any advert that creates a ‘too good to be true’ proposal like guaranteed huge returns on investments and free coins as a sign-up bonus. Thoroughly check out any crypto advert that uses a celebrity endorsement, as it is likely fake.”

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Although banks in the UK will consider refunding scam victims under the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM), there is no regulatory guarantee that a victim will get their money back. 

The latest UKF paper, for example, showed that in 2021 only 51% of consumers who fall victim to scams are reimbursed by the banks. 

“This should be the biggest trigger for a consumer and should always prompt a final check before executing a payment,” explained Holmes.

“It’s worth knowing that banks will do all they can to block transactions where they suspect a customer is being scammed – the technology that enables this is extremely sophisticated and passive to the consumer, so they don’t know it is happening. 

“However, despite best efforts it will never be possible to stop them all, but do heed extra warnings from banks in the form of ‘in-the-moment’ education and awareness and overt warnings. 

“If in any doubt whatsoever about a call you have received or a payment you are making, call your bank and seek immediate advice.”

Cryptocurrency shorts

The founders of collapse crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital have gone into hiding, according to a filing by advisory firm Teneo, which is expected to liquidate its remaining assets. A Reuters report said no one has been seen at its Singapore offices since late May or early June. 3AC possessed $3 billion in assets at the end of April and $10 billion in cryptocurrencies as of early this year. Christopher Farmer and Russell Crumpler, designated as liquidators by a British Virgin Islands court, say there is an “imminent risk” that Kyle Davies and Zhu Su will move its remaining assets offshore.

More than $4.7 million has been stolen in a Uniswap fake token phishing attack.

Brazilian FinTech PicPay is to launch a crypto exchange as well as a stablecoin pegged to the Brazilian Real. The company has 30 million active users.

Black Seed Ink is to create a crypto storage solution for ledger nano wallets, launching a Kickstarter campaign – ‘The X Series’ – to potentially organise millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency.

42% of crypto exchange Coinbase’s assets are in Bitcoin, up from 40% late last year. Edith Reads, financial lead at, which analysed the data, said: “Coinbase has always held Bitcoin and other cryptos since inception. It has done so driven by its firm belief in BTC’s and the crypto economy’s long-term potential.”

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Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 20,100 coins is at $889.8 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 2.6% decrease in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – dropped 3% to $19,950. BTC is 2% down in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – shed 5% to $1,085. ETH is 6% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token lost 3% to $225, leaving it 4% down over seven days.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP lost 1% to 31.5 cents, with its price 4% down on seven days ago.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, shed 3% to below 44c and is 7% down in a week.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token dropped 5% to $33.75 and is 6% lower than its price a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE lost 5% to 6.2c, leaving it 10% down in a week.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, shed 3% to $6.57 and is 7% down on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token lost 5% to $17.58 and is 2% down in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and 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.