August 6, 2022
Issue No. 14
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: Dtravel, Web3 AirBnB Platform, Completes First Smart-Contract Vacation Rental Booking
- NFTs: NFT Textbooks coming soon?
- Gaming: Diablo 3 End Game; NFT Game StarHeroes X Microsoft
- Legal Landscape: Robinhood Fined $30M for Violations of AML and Cybersecurity Regulations; US Senate Introduces Bill that Gives Regulatory Oversight of Majority of Crypto Tokens and Exchanges to the CFTC
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Messari Acquires Dove Metrics (Web3 Version of Crunchbase)
Dove Metrics “tracks crypto-funding rounds and the investments of venture capital firms, hedge funds and investment decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)”. Messari has integrated Dove Metrics Dashboard into its Client Platform, which further expands its already robust Business Intelligence suite.
Web3 AirBnB Platform, Dtravel Completes First Smart-Contract Vacation Rental Booking
Dtravel, which is currently in Private Beta, has completed its first successful smart-contract rental booking for a stay in a property in London. Dtravel’s believes that its USP lies in: 1. Hosts own their own smart contract (that represents their property) and payment flow. 2. Eliminates all third-party platforms, and gives hosts full autonomy over the terms of their hospitality. 3. Users can choose to pay in stablecoins, USDC, USDT, and BUSD, with more options down the line. 4. Participants will be awarded their native token, TRVL, which forms the basis of the Dtravel DAO. Public access to the platform is planned for within the next two months.
NFT Textbooks coming soon?
The chief executive officer of Pearson PLC, one of the world’s largest textbook publishers, said he hopes technology like non-fungible tokens and the blockchain could help the company take a cut from secondhand sales of its materials as more books go online.
“In the analog world, a Pearson textbook was resold up to seven times, and we would only participate in the first sale,” CEO Andy Bird told reporters following the London-based company’s interim results on Monday, talking about technological opportunities for the company. “The move to digital helps diminish the secondary market, and technology like blockchain and NFTs allows us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it goes through its life,” by tracking the material’s unique identifier on the ledger from “owner A to owner B to owner C,” said Bird
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Diablo 3 End Game: Seasons!
Whether you are grinding raids in Destiny or rushing dungeons in World of Warcraft, the objective is usually the same, to get the “best in slot” gear for your character. This is usually what happens when players reach the “end-game”, the player has completed the base content for the game but still has gaps that can be fulfilled and objectives to be completed. The problem is that for most RPGs, players eventually reach a point where they have maxed out their characters. At this point, the player leaves and wait’s for the next update or expansion which can take months or even years. Diablo 3 has found a way to keep its fans consistently engaged even after 10 Years from its release.
The season's feature from Diablo 3 will allow players to create a fresh character to start grinding all over again! But why would players want to even create a seasonal character? There are a few reasons to highlight
- Seasonal Leaderboard: The leaderboard, only open for seasonal characters is the ultimate test of skill and grind. Players compete with each other to achieve the top place on the leaderboard with the highest greater rift clear in the fastest time!
- Seasonal Objectives: Each season has a brand new set of objectives for players to go through. By completing these objectives, seasonal players are rewarded with season-exclusive Pets or Portrait frames.
- Seasonal Perks: Each season brings in small unique perks or boons that change the way you play. The Upcoming Season 27 brings in Angelic Crucibles, which are artifacts that can be used to ‘sanctify’ any equippable level 70 legendary item. Sanctified items gain two specific benefits – firstly, they are reforged to have perfect ancient-level stats on all the item’s affixes while still preserving their legendary power. The real excitement, however, comes from the addition of new, unique, class-specific powers to the sanctified item.
- Time Limit: The most important factor which makes seasons work. Each season lasts only for a limited time (an average of 15 weeks). This amplifies the value of all the points above. Players who want to show they are the best, need to do it quickly! Players can't take their own sweet time to achieve objectives! There is a higher stake for every seasonal player in exchange for the excitement that the season has to offer!
Seasons are a great way to have engaging end-game content. Top Content creator’s like Rhykker & Wudijo are able to engage their audience with Diablo 3 Content and Theory craft new builds because every season brings something new to the table!
NFT Game StarHeroes X Microsoft
StarHeroes is a fast-action space shooter (TPS) where you explore the Universe, as well as combat other players in several multiplayer modes. In the center of this decentralized galactic, you will find a collection of iconic NFTs, with multiple in-game utilities. By developing your NFT hero you unlock special skills and improve your abilities to fly certain spaceships.
Gamers will also play to earn $STAR tokens as they eliminate enemies’ spaceships. Plus, $STAR tokens will be extremely scarce as there will be no pre-sale of the token to anyone, including the development team. The primary way to acquire the tokens will be to play the game or participate in a special pre-farming event.
The creators recently discussed the aforementioned significant accomplishment, namely StarHeroes receiving a grant from a tech behemoth, Microsoft. This grant allows them to work with reputable studios like Ubisoft and Microsoft Studios. All this opens doors to great success as it creates many incredible opportunities for development – both for StarHeroes and its developers.
The grant is also indicative of the change in the attitude of major companies as an increasing number of institutional businesses, firms, and large-scale organizations have continuously expressed a fundamental interest in incorporating blockchain technology into their daily routines, services, products, and features.
Magic Eden Expands to the Ethereum Blockchain
Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Magic Eden is going multi-chain, on Tuesday integrating Ethereum-based NFTs into its previously Solana-only platform.
The marketplace said it will offer the same “go-to-market” benefits for Ethereum NFT creators as it does for its Solana users, including its popular minting toolkit, whitelisting tools, and marketing support.
The company is also prepping a “cross-currency trading product” that will allow users to purchase both Ethereum and Solana NFTs in either blockchain’s native currency, along with its own cross-chain analytics dashboard.
“We don’t think winning on ETH will happen overnight. We are entering the market with humility and are prepared to build for a long while,"
Zhuoxun Yin, the co-founder of Magic Eden, told CoinDesk.
"With that being said, we have a strong conviction for our hypothesis on what NFT creators and collectors need from their marketplace."
National Policies & Legal Updates
Monetary Authority of Singapore Reviewing Risks of Stablecoins
In the wake of the recent UST crash, Singapore’s Central Bank, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is reviewing and considering its overarching regulatory approach towards stablecoins. Currently, the regulator considers stablecoins as a Digital Payment Token, and regulation primarily revolves around money laundering/terror financing and technology risks. However, MAS is now exploring the merits and needs targeted at stablecoins used within the country, specifically “regulating the reserve requirements and the stability of the peg” of stablecoins, which might affect the use of stablecoins with opaque reserves like USDT or other algorithmic stablecoins.
Robinhood Fined $30M for Violations of AML and Cybersecurity Regulations
The popular online financial services company was fined $30 Million for “significant violations of AML and Cybersecurity Regulations”, arising from providing Crypto-related services to its user base without sufficient documentation and robust monitoring processes, especially given the transaction volumes and customer profiles that it served. It is worthwhile to note that Robinhood derives about 25% of its revenue from its Crypto Trading Services.
US Senate Introduces Bill that Gives Regulatory Oversight of Majority of Crypto Tokens and Exchanges to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The bipartisan bill is notable for the following (if it is passed): 1. Gives the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulatory oversight over Crypto Exchanges 2. While CFTC does not have the authority to set defining boundaries for what Tokens are considered a Security or a Commodity, any Crypto Tokens not considered by the US Securities Exchange Committee to be a Security would fall under the CFTC’s regulations instead 3. BTC and ETH were noted as examples that will fall under CFTC’s regulations
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