May 14, 2022
Issue No. 2
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 Developments
Compound’s Institutional Solution is the first DeFi Protocol to be formally rated by Standards and Poor
This marks a big milestone forward for DeFi, representing and acknowledging a small step in maturity for the sector at large.
Bancor launches its 3rd Major Protocol Update
Formally, LP providers had to provide liquidity for a minimum of 100 days in order to benefit from Bancor’s 100% IL protection. However, with the latest update, this protection is extended immediately once users deposit their tokens.
The update also brings a whole host of UX improvements, most notably including, a) no more deposit limits on pools, b) auto compounded rewards, and c) reduced transaction costs via the ‘Omnipool’ feature, all of which are detailed here.
So far within the first 12 hours of launch, Bancor 3 has attracted $75 million in liquidity from only 4 tokens, $ETH, $BNT, $DAI, and $LINK, which is no small feat in the current market environment, with more than 150 Tokens to come.
Current APYs for Single-Sided Staking (@May 13, 2022):
dYdX launches Mobile App
On May 10, 2022, dYdX announced the launch of ‘dYdX Mobile’ on iOS devices, with an Android App being actively worked on.
The app will feature the same gas-free deposits and trading as the web browser version, and integrates with most of the well-known Cryptocurrency Wallets, the Cointelegraph reports.
The Cointelegraph report goes on to discuss the state of DeFi and the lack of DeFi mobile apps, which were suggested to be exacerbated by major app store policies, which in this case, Apple, who prohibits the inclusion of payment on-ramps beyond those offered by Apple itself, while also charging upwards of 30% commission on all in-app purchases.
Madonna to release her own NFTs!
As more celebrities enter the NFT scene, there are also a handful among them who go a step further and release their own NFT collections
Rapper Snoop Dogg released his NFT collection called “A Journey with the Dogg" featuring Snoop’s memories from his early years, NFT-inspired artwork, an original track called “NFT," and “Snoop Dogge Coins.”
Paris Hilton dropped her first NFT with Super Plastic, a vinyl toy, and digital collectibles company backed by the likes of Google Ventures and Justin Timberlake.
Lindsay Lohan launched her own token on Rarible in February 2021, which reportedly sold for $50,000.
Shawn Mendes joined the NFT marketplace OpenSea and launched an NFT based on his album, ‘Wonder’ with Genies. Now the Queen of Pop, Madonna is releasing her very own NFTs!
However, unlike any other NFT collection, Madonna shocks the world yet again upon the release of her and Beeple's new collection of sexually graphic NFTs, which include explicit footage of the singer giving birth to trees, butterflies, and robotic centipedes. The graphic nature of the images has left some NFT enthusiasts squealing while others take the stage on Twitter to voice their concerns.
According to the official launch site, the proceeds from the sale of the 3 different NFTs in this collection will benefit three nonprofits focused on supporting women and children around the world. As of 8.12 AM UTC, all 3 of her NFTs have bids of around 15ETH each (estimated $30,000). Nevertheless, we can always count on Madonna for some drama!
- (Warning: Sexually explicit images)
- Project Official Website: MOTHER OF CREATION
- Make your bids here: Series MOTHER OF CREATION | SuperRare
- Madonna Gives Birth to Trees and Butterflies in Fully Nude NFTs (yahoo.com)
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Monster Hunter - The Game with the “perfect” feedback loop?
Monster Hunter is one of Capcom’s best-selling video game franchises of all time. As of Dec 2021, the fifth installment of the game: Monster Hunter World, surpassed 20 million global unit sales making it the single best-selling entry in Capcom’s History. The Gameplay seems simple & excruciatingly repetitive. You prepare to hunt a monster, you hunt monster, you craft new gear, and repeat from step 1. However, as we dive further into the positive feedback loop that monster hunter provides, we understand why the game is so very.....addicting. Preparation phase
The part of the game where you craft materials before you go on your next hunt. This phase changes & evolves along with your gameplay. Every time you complete a monster hunt and get back into this phase, the game opens up a variety of new crafting options such as a new trap you can use to snare your monster or a new armor set that opens up just by using the materials you carved up from your latest hunt.
Repetitions made fun
Similar to many roguelike games, monster hunts can involve playing the same “stage” over & over to get the materials you need to craft the gear you want. However, with monster hunters, every hunt is different. Monsters can spawn in different biomes where users can leverage on terrain to fight the monster or require the player to adapt to the terrain making the fight more challenging, there can be several different monsters interrupting your battle making the fight as annoying as much as it can already be quite challenging. There will be no way for a player to predict before an encounter where the monster will spawn, what moves they will use, and when they will enter a rage. It’s dynamic!
No experience points
Unlike a traditional RPG game, where users gain experience points to level up and are stuck to these levels & stats for the entirety of the game, Monster Hunter skips the need for experience points entirely. Players are provided a choice to switch out their weapons and armor to a lower level one to learn a new weapon, explore different elemental weapons and mechanics or make the game more challenging as they fight these older monsters to test their skills.
Monster Hunter achieves a well-balanced feedback loop by providing a challenging experience for its players and providing a dynamic and evolving experience for players to walk through as they go through the stages in the game. Similar to Hades, each stage provides the player with a different experience every time.
The feeling of accomplishment and rewarding the player adequately is significant for most games, especially in games in the play-to-earn genre, where the player does not only feel rewarded by how much is earned but the number of accomplishments that can be achieved. This makes the player keep coming back for more regardless of how much could be potentially earned.
- Level 4.4: Feedback Loops: Game Design Concepts (canvas.net)
- Game systems: Feedback loops and how they help craft player experiences • Machinations.io
- Examining the Perfect Feedback loop of Monster Hunter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaqS-reQzS4
Dalarnias Mining for Hope of Recovery
Highly Anticipated Play to Earn Game Mines of Dalarnia launched on the 26th of April followed by their $DAR token soaring in trading volume (over 2200%) and the $DAR token reaching heights of up to $1.80 per token from consolidating at $0.90 range for months. Popular Youtube and Twitter personality Alex Becker even listed Mines of Dalarnia as one of the games under his “moist list”
However, the excitement after launch was short-lived as servers could not handle the huge demand & influx of bots, followed by the economy quickly becoming unstable and unsustainable for earners. The $DAR token also quickly reached its all-time low weeks after launch. Their most recent announcement on Discord suggests the team will be doing everything possible to nurse the state of the economy back to good health.
Botters have posed severe risks for play-to-earn games in general. Considering the simple early gameplay for most play-to-earn games, botters have managed to leverage this loophole to accumulate large balances by optimizing the gameplay of their bots specifically for these early and easier areas. Some upcoming play-to-earn games are able to solve this issue by introducing intricate gameplay mechanics that a bot would be unable to navigate through. Only time will tell if the bottlers can continue to take advantage of the play to earn space.
Ather Labs’ Backers
Bitkraft and Hashed Lead a $3M Raise for Ready Games—to Bring Web 2 Gaming to the Web 3 World
Ready Games raised $3 million in a sale of its new AURA token to develop a Web 3 mobile gaming arm, the company announced Friday.
This raise was led by Bitkraft and Hashed, which are a couple of Venture Capitalists that participated in the Seed Round of Ather Labs’ SIPHER.
GBV Capital Participates in a $2.1M Seed Investment Round for TimeShuffle Game
OpenSea Improves its Collection Verification Process
OpenSea, in a bid to address the opacity and cumbersome nature of obtaining the verification badge for Collections, announced on 11 May 2022, that they are rolling out some changes.
Now, collection owners with at least 100ETH in volume will be automatically invited to apply for verification, where they will be required to connect a Twitter account and provide an email address, amongst other tasks, in order to get verified. OpenSea has also committed to the creation of a dedicated customer support team primarily focused on verification, with a goal of reducing response times within 7 days.
X2Y2 Sends out Grants to Builders; Integrates with NFTNerdsAI
X2Y2 sent grants of 5,000 $X2Y2 (Currently valued at $1.1K USD) to a couple of their builders for their contributions to the NFT Marketplace. Additionally, as part of their continuous journey to improvement, X2Y2 integrated with the NFTNerdsAI tools. This helps bring more features that add value to their users.
National Policies & Legal Updates
Global Financial Stability Board to Start Work on Developing Global Regulation and Supervision Polices on Decentralized Finance
The Financial Stability Board (FSB), in its latest annual meeting, and under calls from various member countries looking into developing an international framework for the sector will prioritize policy work on crypto assets, Coindesk reports.
The FSB is currently working on a policy/regulatory framework for Stablecoins, and it is expected to be shared in October. This could have far-ranging effects on the various Stablecoin issuers, depending on whether the G20 adopts its recommendations.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi), while the FSB recognizes that the sector is “challenging to monitor and supervise”, is also being analyzed for its impacts on global financial stability, in order to identify regulatory gaps, and areas to extend relevant consumer and investor protection, where applicable.
The FSB is an international body governed by G20 Ministers and/or Presidents of the Central Banks of the various member countries, whose responsibilities lie in monitoring and developing regulatory, supervisory, and other financial sector policy recommendations.
Germany outlines favorable tax guidelines, and gains on BTC and ETH sold after a year of tax-free
Germany’s Finance Ministry has released new cryptocurrency tax guidelines with no tax payable on gains from BTC and ETH sold 12 months after acquisition.
The Federal Ministry of Finance (BaFin) published a 24-page document on Tuesday outlining clear income tax rules for cryptocurrency and virtual assets. Tax practitioners, businesses, and individual taxpayers now have clear directions on the tax requirements for acquiring, trading, and selling cryptocurrencies.
The key takeaway is that individuals who sell BTC or ETH more than 12 months after acquisition will not be liable for taxes on the sale if they realize a profit. Parliamentary State Secretary Katja Hessel also addressed questions about the long-term staking of cryptocurrencies:
“For private individuals, the sale of purchased Bitcoin and Ether is tax-free after one year. The deadline is not extended to ten years if, for example, Bitcoin was previously used for lending or the taxpayer provided ETH as a stake for someone else to create their block.”
Subscribe to our newsletter today and be the first to receive Sipher news, AtherXplorer weekly issues, and new AtherXperiment posts. Sign up now and get ahead of the game!