August 27, 2022
Issue No. 17
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: Coinbase Announces cbETH; Samsung Plans to Launch Crypto Exchange in 2023
- NFTs: Reddit - Participate and get Rewarded; Pudgy Penguins Expanding IP with Children’s Book
- Gaming: Whose Opinions Matter More: Esports Players or Casual Players?; Cross-Industry NFT Partnerships
- Legal Landscape: Singapore Intensifies Questioning of Crypto-Related Firms
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Coinbase Announces Liquid ETH Staking Token, cbETH
Coinbase has announced the launch of its own wrapped liquid staking ETH token within its exchange, giving consumers another stable option apart from Lido’s stETH. Users who stake ETH in the Coinbase platform will be able to receive cbETH, which can then further be sold or sent off the platform.
Samsung Plans to Launch Crypto Exchange in 2023
Samsung looks to penetrate the hypercompetitive crypto exchange scene in 2023, with the launch of its own cryptocurrency platform under its Samsung Securities arm. It was earlier deterred from entering the sector when it was reportedly unable to hire the right professionals to head it.
Coordinape launches Decentralized and Automated Compensation Tool for DAOs
Coordinape, a Web3 platform that helps DAOs to manage and distribute resources to contributors, has launched CoVaults - a self-custody smart contract that enables teams to fund and pay contributors on-chain with any ERC-20 token. Most importantly, it is able to automatically coordinate compensation by pre-setting fixed payments for salaries and recurring grants. Furthermore, teams are able to choose the option to earn a yield on their compensation treasury, by leveraging a Yearn-backed vault with DAI or USDC.
Reddit - Participate and get Rewarded!
Projects have come up with creative ways to engage with their communities and various mechanics to allow their members to mint NFT collectibles. From the traditional Pay to Mint to other creative ideas such as Own to Mint or Stake to receive airdrops have been introduced. Reddit has adopted another airdrop idea that might be the most creative way to reward its hardcore users.
Reddit recently announced that the platform would airdrop free NFT avatars based on its Snoo character, to users who have earned a considerable amount of karma points. Karma Points are accumulated by Reddit users based on how much they have contributed to the Reddit community. The NFTs will be awarded on a user-by-user basis and are not limited to certain discussion communities, per the post. In the past, Karma points were regarded as merely just a number and in certain cases a flex if a user had accumulated a large amount of Karma. With the introduction of the Reddit NFT airdrop, dedicated users can now feel a sense of achievement while Reddit strengthens its foothold in the Blockchain arena.
CryptoPunks Briefly Flip Bored Apes as NFT Prices Continue to Crater
The floor price for CryptoPunk non-fungible tokens (NFT) briefly passed that of rival blue-chip collection Bored Ape Yacht Club on Monday, highlighting the battle for top dog in the cooled-off NFT market.
The event is one of the many “flippenings” to happen in the crypto world, with both communities having long desired to be the most valued PFP in the digital collectible space.
Floor prices are the lowest price for which an individual NFT in a collection can be purchased. High floor prices indicate growing demand.
This flip didn't hold for long. By late morning New York time, Bored Apes had retaken the lead on trading venue OpenSea, where both collections' floors hovered in the 66-67 ETH range, around $104,000.
Pudgy Penguins Expanding their Web3 IP Functionality with Children’s Book
The Pudgy Penguins Children’s Book will feature penguin characters and are licensed by owners of the Pudgy Penguins NFTs. Check out the announcement tweet below:
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Whose Opinions Matter More: Esports Players or Casual Players?
Some players just want to get into a game a few hours a day and have some fun. They might not be the most experienced players or be even good at the game for that matter, however, they do take up a large portion of the player base. These gamers are commonly known as casuals
On the other end, there are some who spend most of their day playing just one game. They compete in the highest level tournaments and dedicate thousands of hours to master mechanics. You might know them as Esports players.
When a game introduces a new patch or a new mechanic, whose opinions are more important? The Esports player who has thousands of hours of experience or the casuals who don’t want their fun experience snatched away with unnecessary nerfs?
Halo Infinite released the clip of an upcoming gun for the multiplayer mode, the Bandit Rifle, a semi-automatic firearm that strikes a near-identical silhouette as the Halo 4 and Halo 5 version of the DMR. Unlike those previous iterations, however, the bandit rifle does not have a scope. You can aim down the sights using your visor’s built-in zoom function.
Halo Infinite pro player Tyler “Spartan” Ganza, who is now affiliated with Faze Clan’s pro team said it’s close to a “god tier” gun, but needs to “slow down [the] fire rate, remove the bloom, [and] add descope.”
The problem is that the gun is not released yet, and is not available for play. Casuals were quick to shoot down the comment as some like @ShittyHaloTakes said “My brother in Christ, no one has even used this weapon yet”
Another player @ManhoodMagic tweeted that “Esports ruined gaming and I will die on that hill” raking in over 51,000 likes.
It seems any decision made by developers at this point would upset some portion of the player base. Nerf the weapon and get criticized by the casuals or keep the weapon as it is and it might never be used in tournaments. Maybe developers can find a balance…but is there ever such a thing?
Cross-Industry NFT Partnerships
PetaRush, Asia’s first cross-IP blockchain game, announced a strategic partnership with Melos Studio, the world’s leading NFT music platform. Melos Studio will use AI generation technology to create a unique BGM soundtrack for each NFT character in PetaRush.
The Sonus Technology from Melos Studio transforms image NFTs into music NFTs. When a player wins the game, all of the other players will hear the champion’s exclusive BGM. In the future, players will be able to create their own NFT soundtracks using the Melos Studio platform.
Yalu, the CEO of Melos Studio, mentioned, “Melos is committed to constructing an ecologically complete music NFT platform and is currently collaborating with PetaRush to expand the application of music NFT to the Web3 gaming industry. In addition, Melos Studio will provide innovative services not only to music creators but also to gamers in the future, strengthening the entire NFT ecosystem.”
The racing game Petarush is developed by METASENS, a Web3 gaming platform. PetaRush focuses on the “cross-IPs play together” feature, which supports NFTs from different projects to interact with each other in the game. The PetaRush demo version will be available worldwide by the end of August.
NFT Marketplace and AMM Sudorare Disappears With 519 Ethereum
SudoRare, an NFT platform that forked from SudoSwap and LooksRare, is just the latest crypto project to run off with users' funds. The project also deleted all of its social media accounts Tuesday morning.
Many in the Crypto Twitter community were skeptical, with 2shabby tweeting on Monday that SudoRare could be a scam, “Don’t participate unless you want to take the risk of losing your money. This team is [anonymous], won’t dox [disclose their identities], and the possibility of this being a scam is high.”
Another Twitter user 0xStanec had a high degree of suspicion, saying, “This Is like a 1,001% scam project that noobs will fall for it.”
SudoRare was an automated market maker platform and NFT marketplace, advertising staking opportunities for assets like Wrapped Ethereum (wETH), LOOKS, and XMON. LOOKS is the native token behind LooksRare, a fork of the leading NFT marketplace OpenSea.
Six hours after going live, almost 1 million LOOKS tokens were swapped into 154.5 Ethereum and another 230.6 LOOKS tokens into USD Coin (USDC), confirmed on Etherscan.
Ex-OpenSea Executive Files to Dismiss DOJ Case Alleging NFT Insider Trading
Nate Chastain, the former product head at non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea, has asked a U.S. court to dismiss insider trading charges involving the sale of NFTs on the popular platform, according to a motion filed early Monday.
Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the motion argued that NFTs cannot be classified as securities or commodities, a requirement for wire fraud charges.
“In any prosecution under a Carpenter wire fraud theory of insider trading, the existence of securities or commodities trading remains an essential element of the offense,” wrote lawyers for Chastain, referring to Carpenter v. United States, a 2018 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
His attorneys also said the NFT transactions in question were processed on the Ethereum blockchain. Given the blockchain's open-source nature and public viewing availability, the lawyers argued, the transactions could not have been used for money laundering.
National Policies & Legal Updates
Singapore’s Central Bank Intensifies Questioning of Cryptocurrency-Related Firms
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been increasing scrutiny of cryptocurrency firms operating under its framework over the past month, with questions primed towards gauging the financial soundness of the businesses, as well as their interconnectedness. Some of the data requested involve: 1. Top Tokens Owned 2. Top Lending and Borrowing Counterparties 3. Top Tokens Staked via DeFi Protocols According to legal experts, the fallout of high-profile cryptocurrency companies in Singapore (e.g. Three Arrows Capital, Zipmex, Hodlnaut, and Vault), and the rapid response from the authorities indicate that changes to cryptocurrency regulations are likely to happen soon.
Australian Government Begins Review of Crypto Asset Regulations
In the past years, Australia has been one of the countries most welcoming of the revolution brought about by cryptocurrencies - however, the incoming government feels that more can be done to “make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected”. The Australian Government will be undertaking a massive operation to conduct what they termed ‘token mapping’ of all digital asset tokens in Australia (e.g. $IMX - ImmutableX, $GODS - Gods Unchained), which involves the following: 1. Defining the type of Crypto Asset 2. Understanding its underlying code 3. Identifying any defining technological features of the token
Thereafter, the government intends to assess the risks of these tokens, and by doing so, identify gaps in the regulation, and create a licensing framework, custody obligations for custodians, and other additional consumer safeguards.
South Korea - Airdrops are Taxable; Binance Signs MOU with Busan to Develop Blockchain Industry
Changes to gift taxes in South Korea may see South Korean nationals having to pay between 10% to 50% tax on Crypto Token Airdrops, which must be filed within three months of the airdrop. The new law also includes gifted tokens from one address to another, however, NFT airdrops are currently excluded. Binance has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the South Korean city of Busan. As part of this MOU, Binance will support Busan with technological and infrastructure support for the development of the city’s blockchain ecosystem, the Busan Digital Asset Exchange, as well as the sharing of their order books. On the other hand, Busan will provide Binance with a blockchain regulatory-free zone to promote its blockchain initiatives and business.
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