August 20, 2022
Issue No. 16
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: Starkware Launches Recursive Proofs to Scale L2 Transactions; Do Kwon Tells His Side of the Story in an Interview
- NFTs: Paradigm Leads $20M Round for Fractional NFT Protocol
- Gaming: Three Key Pillars that make great MMORPGs; ArchLoot Closed Beta and Plans for the Community
- Ather Labs’ Backers: Dragonfly Capital Acquires Hedge Fund and Participates in $200M Web3 Fund
- Legal Landscape: Crypto Firms Face South Korea’s Regulatory Scrutiny for Operating without Registration
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Tether Engages New Accounting Firm for Monthly Attestations; Reveals 57% Reduction of Commercial Paper from $20 Billion to $8.5 Billion
Tether, the company behind the popular stablecoin $USDT, has arguably taken steps to improve transparency by committing to monthly attestations of its assets through the Accounting Firm, BDO Italia. In the first of its attestations through BDO Italia, Tether was reported to have reduced its unknown grade of commercial paper holdings by 57.5% from the previous quarter.
Starkware Launches Recursive Proofs to Scale Layer-2 Ethereum Transactions
Starkware has announced that they have the capabilities to fit ‘tens of millions of NFT mints into a single recursive proof’ on their roll-up product, StarkNet, which can then be confirmed in a single Ethereum transaction, drastically scaling the potential throughput of its layer 2 blockchains. To learn more about this implementation and the technical aspects behind it, please refer to Starkware’s Medium article.
Do Kwon, Co-Founder of Terra, Tells His Side of the Story in an Interview
A likely scripted interview (roughly 30 minutes long) with Do Kwon by Coinage (which was invested in by TerraForm Labs), was released on 16 August 2022. This is Do Kwon’s first public interview since the collapse of $UST in May 2022. The interview broadly explores Do Kwon’s feelings of responsibility for Terra’s failure, and his irrational overconfidence in maintaining $UST’s peg, alongside more controversial topics like his confirmed involvement in another failed stablecoin, Basis Cash, among others.
Paradigm Leads $20M Round for Fractional NFT Protocol
Fractional, a technology that facilitates community ownership and control of non-fungible tokens(NFT) is rebranded as Tessera and reveals a $20 million fundraising round headed by crypto-native investing giant Paradigm that concluded this summer.
While NFTs are singular by definition, fractional NFT ownership is possible when the asset is locked into a decentralized platform and is then split into multiple fungible tokens. Fractional NFT ownership opens up bragging rights and loan collateral for expensive or highly desired assets, reducing both the costs and the risks. “NFTs are transforming how people interact, build community, and view governance, so we’re transforming, too – from a simple smart contract to full-blown NFT infrastructure to support the future of collective ownership,” the Fractional (now rebranded as Tessera) team wrote in a Medium Post.
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Three Key Pillars that make great MMORPGs!
Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). Most of us have gotten our hands into one of these games. It appeals to both adults and children alike. Stories of real-life romances and great friendships have been forged in these virtual worlds. The ability to marry your virtual girlfriend, fight in raids with your closest friends and look glamourous with transmogs and mounts that you grinded months for are all some of the greatest memories that will live with us in eternity.
But what are the specific key points that make MMORPGs so great? Let’s visit some of these points!
Key Pillar #1: Gameplay is KING
Gameplay is the foundation for building any strong game, including MMORPGs. Creating balanced classes or jobs while creating strong depth with intricate rotations and at the same time ensuring smooth and seamless gameplay is crucial! Take the Dragoon Job in Final Fantasy 14 for example. The game guides the player to execute simple but effective combos. True Trust into Vorpal Thrust for increased Combo Potency or True Trust into Disembowel to attain a damage buff
As you progress, new skills are added which make your combos more effective and allow you to do more damage in Dungeons and Raids. Even though these combos seem difficult, the introduction of these skills paced by character level isn't as daunting as the player will get to practice these combos bit by bit.
Key Pillar #2: Social Interactions
Social Interactions are the backbone of Massive Multiplayer Online games. Developers often guide players to interact with each other in a vast number of ways. These can be trading exchanges, crafting services, or lockpicking services. These can also be “looking for group” broadcasts, finding players to finish tasks in the game, asking for directions, asking for help to fight with real players, begging, or even getting married.
With the introduction of Guilds, Players can form in-game organized communities to participate in Dungeons and Raids. An organized hierarchy is formed, veteran players who are often high-ranking guild members provide unsolicited advice to newer members and help them through content
In Maplestory, players would often gather in central city locations and “Look for Girlfriend/Boyfriend” whom they would later get married to!
After the wedding, guests are given items as a show of gratitude for attending. Couples will receive a variety of rewards and benefits, including the Couple Chat, Special Effects, Anniversary Packages, etc.
Key Pillar #3: The World Setting
A great world brings the characters, enemies, and cities to life. It creates realism and fosters a sense of belonging for the players who log in to inhabit these spaces for a few hours every day.
In the new MMORPG that Riot Games is planning, the World is pretty much done! And it's been finished for quite a few years! The continents, the zones, the cultures, the races, and every zone even has its own history and storyline!
With the deep and rich history for each region in the World of Runeterra, Riot games have the ability to meld the player into the world by creating engaging quests and delivering amazing stories.
Gameplay, Social Interaction, and World-Setting can be 3 key pillars to keep in mind for not just an MMORPG game but for any game that the developers want to be engaging and fun for their players. MMOs released in recent years fall short in fulfilling these pillars for players and are still unable to compete with older games like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy 14. Unfortunately, no “WOW Killer” has been found….not yet!
ArchLoot Closed Beta and Plans for the Community
ArchLoot is an NFT-based UGC game with loot-style composability and playability. Built on BNB Chain, its interactive gameplay fully enables on-chain implementation of upgradeable characters/props NFTs and unleashes its potential for playability and user-generated content robustness.
The second phase of the Closed Beta Test allows invited users to try out an early version of its upcoming official game. For the second phase, the game is not only providing enhanced gameplay smoothness and graphics, but is also ready to roll out brand new features like squads, hidden maps, 3v3 battles, and more.
- Bug Bounty: With the closed beta, ArchLoot involves the community and aims to tackle bugs and exploits with a Bug Bounty program where every valid report gets at least $20, and discovering a major flaw can win up to $5,000 in total. All submissions will be carefully evaluated and vetted by both the game development team and the blockchain development team.
- Competitions: Even in closed beta, ArchLoot will reward players for PVP. The savvy players who are able to occupy the PVP leaderboard during CBT will be rewarded with the ArchLoot Governance Token ($ALT).
Involving the community with Bug Bounty programs, Tournaments, or other simple PVP events during closed beta or even alpha phases might be a great way for blockchain games that are not close to launching but still want to deliver engagement and revive hype for their gaming community!
Ather Labs’ Backers
Dragonfly Capital Acquires Hedge Fund and Participates in $200M Web3 Fund
Ather Labs’ Backer Dragonfly Capital acquired a digital asset-focused investment fund for an undisclosed amount — a move that managing partner Haseeb Qureshi said mirrors the broad consolidation trend underway in the industry.
Bloomberg reported Monday that Dragonfly purchased MetaStable Capital, a hedge fund co-founded by Naval Ravkiant in 2014, for an undisclosed sum. In doing so, Dragonfly dropped the word “Capital” from its name and underwent a complete rebranding to reflect its growing mandate in the digital asset space.
DAM facilitates purchasing power from the broadest range of blockchain-secured collateral, including the long tail, yield-generating, and real-world assets. In the protocol, borrowers deposit baskets of tokens in a single transaction to mint dPRIME, a Dotsama stablecoin on Moonbeam.
Prior to being acquired, MetaStable described its strategy as “long-term value investing” in the cryptocurrency sector. As of July 31, the company had over $400 million in assets under management.
Dragonfly Capital also participated in a funding round by Shima Capital, a new venture firm focused on early-stage blockchain projects. Shima Capital launched its debut fund to support emerging digital asset companies — and has received considerable backing in doing so.
The Shima Capital Fund I raised a combined $200 million from several high-profile crypto investors, including Animoca Brands, and OKX, the company announced Wednesday. The fund is set to deploy between $500,000 and $2 million in pre-seed funding for crypto- and blockchain-focused companies at the intersection of consumer products, decentralized infrastructure, and futuristic blockchain technology.
Dapper Labs Launches NFT Platform “NFL All Day”
The National Football League (NFL), the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and Dapper Labs have publicly launched NFL All Day, an official non-fungible token (NFT) video digital collectible platform.
Similar to NBA Top Shot, the NFL All Day platform allows fans to buy and sell NFTs based on officially licensed footage involving NFL players, teams, and moments.
The official debut follows a soft launch last year, with new and existing users who will be eligible to receive a free NFT featuring Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will serve as an ambassador for the All Day venture.
“Today, we welcome fans worldwide to NFL All Day, allowing them to experience their fandom in a new way that bridges the emerging technology of NFTs with our game,” said Joe Ruggiero, senior vice president of consumer products at the NFL.
Tencent Halts NFT Sales on Its Huanhe Platform Amid Regulatory Scrutiny: Report
The company's Huanhe NFT platform, which started up last August, will no longer sell NFTs starting on Tuesday, Reuters said. Customers who own NFTs, however, will still be able to hold, display or request a refund for the digital assets. This follows the prohibition of crypto and NFTs in China.
National Policies & Legal Updates
Yuga Labs releases IP Rights of NFT Holders of Meebits and CryptoPunks
The IP licenses agreement for owners of Meebits and CryptoPunk NFT owners was officially published on 16 August 2022, clarifying owners’ various rights to commercial and personal licenses (which are technically on loan from Yuga Labs), reports CoinDesk. Most importantly, as part of the IP licenses agreement, owners are now able to monetize their NFTs through derivative works.
Crypto Firms Face South Korea’s Regulatory Scrutiny for Operating without Registration
The Korean Financial Intelligence Unit has flagged 16 Crypto Firms that had ‘advertised crypto and offered services to Koreans without obtaining the requisite registration’, which includes popular exchanges, Kucoin, Poloniex, Phemex, and MEXC, among others. As part of actions taken by the South Korean authority, these firms may face: 1. Fines and Jail Terms of up to five years for its Executives 2. Be barred from registering as a Virtual Asset Service Provider in South Korea for an unspecific period of time 3. Have credit card and crypto transfers to and from these firms blocked
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