July 9, 2022
Issue No. 10
EDWIN ONG, JOEL COLON, ASHRAF AHMAD
Welcome to this week's AtherXplorer, covering the latest in gaming, blockchain, and everything in between.
This week’s top picks include:
- Blockchain & Defi: Second Ethereum Testnet “Sepolia” Successfully Merged to Proof-of-Stake
- NFTs: Buy Now, Pay Later for NFTs; Reddit Launches 'Collectible Avatars' via New Storefront
- Gaming: Cookie Run Kingdom Latest Update Introduces the Master Mode; Gods Unchained Redefining Staking Rewards
- Legal Landscape: Discussions on NFT Platforms being subject to AML Rules Continue in the European Union
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Two Major Projects Push Plans to Develop Stablecoin
Two Top Crypto Projects, Aave and Shiba Inu, both announced plans to create their own Stablecoins this week. Aave: 1. Stablecoin, named GHO, will be pegged to the US Dollar. 2. GHO will be decentralized. 3. GHO will be over-collateralized. 4. Interest in GHO borrows will be revenue for the Aave DAO. Shiba Inu: 1. Stablecoin, named SHI, which is yet to be confirmed on which currency it will be pegged to. 2. SHI’s mechanism is yet to be determined. However, the way the update was positioned by the lead developer, Shytoshi Kusama, suggested that it may share more similarities to algorithmic stablecoins than overcollateralized ones like DAI.
Second Ethereum Testnet “Sepolia” Successfully Merged to Proof-of-Stake
Sepolia successfully merged to Proof-of-Stake (POS) as of July 7, 2022, reports Decrypt.
This release comes right after the heels of the first testnet merge of the Ropsten Testnet, which happened in June.
The next merge will be the final testnet merge on Goerli, after which the Ethereum Mainnet is next in line to move across to POS.
The Mainnet Merge is still expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Buy Now, Pay Later for NFTs
Decentralized lending protocol Teller wants to help make that price tag seem a little less daunting - buy a “blue chip” NFT now…and pay it off later!
The new Ape Now, Pay Later feature will be available for some of the most popular nonfungible tokens, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, Meebits, Cool Cats, and others. The service is participant-driven, meaning users will directly lend to and borrow from each other.
In order to secure financing with the new BNPL program, borrowers can submit loan requests through Teller and lenders will provide funding on a case-by-case basis, the company said in a press release.
Lenders can earn interest of up to 30% annually, and the market participants themselves will determine creditworthiness, the annual percentage rate, and the loan terms.
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Cookie Run Kingdom Latest Update Introduces the Master Mode
Cookie Run: Kingdom seems to be a simple game at first. Players put together a team of 5 cookies to fight battles and earn rewards. However, beneath what seems to be a fairly straightforward game lies a long layer of depth that only the most hardcore players would be able to reach.
Stats of the cookies can be adjusted and improved by using the topping system, research labs, bonds system, and some other tools. Using these systems, players are given the opportunity to hone their playstyle and improve on the cookies they really want to use in interesting ways. With a huge variety of PVE game modes and the PVP Arena that the game has available, players have free reign to customize stats as they wish on their favored cookies and explore theory crafting with different synergies to truly tip the scales of battle.
The latest update brings a whole new level of challenge that tests even the most veteran cookie runners. The Master Mode enables players to relive the cookie-run exploration questline at a significantly higher difficulty while also providing players with massive rewards. However, the modifiers to the quests make even the most hardcore players question their play style.
What is surprising is that the end-game content won’t just allow “whales” to blast through the content as it scales down the cookie level and skill level to 50 (max level 70) and caps stat upgrades. This gives a chance for newer players to compete among the whales on a more even playing field. As more mobile games normally opt to heavily monetize end-game content and have few game modes that reward real skill, this new content by Cookie Run: Kingdom, is a refreshing take on how end-game content can be enjoyable and challenging for all players.
Gods Unchained: Redefining Staking Rewards
Offering of the Gods is the name of the new staking system for players of the Gods Unchained and users of the $GODS token.
Unlike most staking programs, there is no token lockup. Also, it’s not completely passive. Users do have to meet certain weekly eligibility requirements before they can earn staking rewards.
Users will have to fulfill 2 criteria to meet staking rewards.
1) Hold $GODS in an Immutable X wallet connected to the Gods Unchained ecosystem 2) Interact with one aspect of the platform at least once a week. Be it playing the game, using the marketplace, or minting NFTs, a simple click of a button will result in contention.
The total token distribution will be over one million GODS tokens. However, only two-thirds of that will go towards this staking program. Gods Unchained plans to distribute the remaining tokens as a retroactive, surprise reward.
Ather Labs’ Backers
KyberSwap Launches New Protocol — KyberSwap Elastic
KyberSwap Elastic brings takes things a step further with concentrated liquidity. This new protocol allows Liquidity Providers (LPs) to have more flexibility when supplying liquidity to an Elastic pool. They can set custom price ranges to determine liquidity concentration, which in turn uses liquidity in pools more efficiently (i.e. more liquidity, better slippage, volume, and earnings for LPs.)
The key improvements in KyberSwap Elastic, as compared to KyberSwap Classic are:
- Customizable Concentrated Liquidity: Adding liquidity to a specific price range of their choice. LPs get an NFT that represents their liquidity position and their share of the pool.
- Flexible Strategies: More customizability options, allows LPs to better plan investment/exit strategies depending on their risk tolerance.
- Risk Control: Retain more control over the tokens’ buy/sell range. This increased control allows you to mitigate losses brought about by Impermanent Loss.
- Multiple Fee Tiers and Fee Auto-Compounding
- New Farming Mechanisms: KyberSwap Elastic’s Liquidity Farming mechanism distributes farming rewards to users according to Active liquidity contribution (i.e. the liquidity provider’s contribution to the corresponding pool’s active liquidity) and Active liquidity contribution + trade volume supported (based on the total trade volume that is supported by the liquidity position(s) of the users)
Arrington Capital Welcomes New Partner, Keli Callaghan
Reddit Launches 'Collectible Avatars' via New Storefront
Reddit is allowing users to purchase blockchain-based profile pictures for a fixed rate – is open for business, the company said Thursday.
The Collectible Avatars series is composed of “limited-edition avatars” made by independent artists that partnered with Reddit. Owning an avatar allows users to set them as their Reddit profile Avatar, which provides a “glow-like effect” in certain sections of Reddit, such as when the user adds comments.
These can be purchased directly from Reddit, and are backed by Reddit’s own blockchain wallet, Vault, which is currently used to earn blockchain-based community points and spend them on in-app features such as badges.
Redditors can purchase them in the near future. However, as of now, they are allowing first-look early access to a limited number of Redditors who join the r/CollectibleAvatars community. In that community, people can learn more about how to purchase Collectible Avatars, set up wallets to store them, and get to know our artists with behind-the-scenes posts, AMAs, and more.
LooksRare Improves their UI
Although the UI is very similar to that of OpenSea, there are some notable UI features or improvements such as:
- Viewing Collection Floor price from within the NFT details page
- Display of an NFT’s Rarity Rank from within the NFT details page
- Showing the floor price of each individual trait, from within the NFT properties
National Policies & Legal Updates
Singapore’s Financial Regulator Considering Crypto Restrictions on Retail Consumers
Following highly publicized Crypto-related troubles like 3AC and Vauld recently from the city-state, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has shared that they have been actively considering additional consumer protection safeguards which may come in the form of: 1. Limits on Retail Participation (be it in $-value or on which projects and tokens are allowed) 2. Rules on Leverage Used This would mean that exchanges offering products and services to the Singapore public would likely need to curate their offerings sooner than later, and likely implies that IDO/ICO participation in the state would be looked into sooner rather than later as well. For now, NFTs remain broadly exempt from MAS’s regulations in Singapore for the time being, unless they “have the characteristics of a capital markets product under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA)”, as shared earlier in 2022.
Discussions on NFT Platforms being subject to AML Rules Continue in the European Union
Proposed amendments to AML laws were discussed in the European Parliament this week to include NFT Trading Platforms as subject to AML Rules within the EU, reports Coindesk. If the amendment is accepted and passed into law, NFT marketplaces, both present and future, provide services within the EU and will need to: 1. Assess the risk of Illicit Finance Flowing through their Systems 2. Conduct Identity Checks on New Customers 3. Conducts Investigations on Suspicious Transactions
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