June 11, 2022
Issue No. 6
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: Paypal allows withdrawals of Cryptocurrencies off its Platform; Ethereum Testnet Ropsten successfully transitioned to PoS
- NFTs: Pay for your NFT with Mastercard; X2Y2 Surpassed OpenSea Trading Volume for One Day
- Gaming: Illuvium Raises $72M from Land Sale; Epic Games starts the blockchain gaming ball rolling!
- Legal Landscape: Stablecoin Regulations heat up Across Various Jurisdictions
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Litecoin ($LTC) upgrade with Privacy Features faces Delisting Woes
Litecoin ($LTC), one of the oldest Crypto Tokens, having launched in 2011, has recently had an upgrade that gives users greater privacy on transactions - where users can have an option to not expose transaction information. In light of compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, South Korean exchanges, Bithumb and Upbit have decided to delist $LTC from their exchange, reports Decrypt. This move also likely suggests that more exchanges headquartered in Countries with strict AML policies will probably follow in the same footsteps.
Paypal allows withdrawals of Cryptocurrencies off its Platform
After slightly more than a year since Paypal allowed purchases of Cryptocurrencies on its platform, the company has finally delivered a feature where users can withdraw their Cryptocurrencies to their Web 3.0 Wallets or other Exchanges. As one of the most prevalent and well-known payment providers, this feature would serve as a technical ‘on-ramp’, where Users can buy Crypto using Paypal and then withdraw to use on the various blockchains.
Ethereum Testnet Ropsten successfully transitioned to Proof of Stake
Ropsten’s Merge, whereby the Testnet shifted to Proof of Stake took place on Wednesday, reports Blockworks. While so far the Testnet transition has not brought up any major issues, Founder Vitalik Buterin cautioned that there were many more stress tests and unforeseen issues which could come - MEV, staking, and protection against DoS attacks, just to name a few. However, is a good step forward to bring the Ethereum Mainnet to its Proof of Stake transition, which is likely to happen in 2023.
Pay for your NFT with Mastercard!
As part of its new branch into the blockchain arena, Mastercard will work with a number of Web3-native firms, including; ImmutableX, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Nifty Gateway, Moonpay, and Spring. This is in addition to its existing offering through Coinbase’s recently launched marketplace.
In a Mastercard survey, eighty-five percent of people say they used at least one emerging digital payment method in the past year, according to a global consumer survey of 35,040 respondents in 40 countries conducted by the Harris Poll and Mastercard. An overwhelming 93% say they are likely to use one of these methods in the next year.
Mastercard also ensures that besides aiming to allow crypto to be more accessible and help the NFT ecosystem keep growing, they will maximize their efforts to reinforce customer safety, giving people similar protections to the ones they enjoy when making transactions in a store or online with a Mastercard card.
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Illuvium Raises $72M from Land Sale!
On the 5th of June, Illuvium tweeted the massive success of its Land Sales. Besides earning a whopping 72 million in sales (approx 40,000 ETH) in a bear market, the sILV2 raised from the sale was burned, destroying 2.39% of its supply.
The sale also highlighted extremely low gas fees, with fees as low as $20 per transaction. This might be due to the sale being held on Immutable X. Illuvium founder, Kieran Warwick estimates that leveraging Immutable drove a 60% reduction in gas fees.
Illuvium Land is used to extract fuel which plays a critical role in catching and upgrading Illuvials in the main game. Landowners will also be able to scan their land to identify Illuvials that pass through to make blueprints for new skins. Fuel is harvested by landowners and the amount of fuel harvested is based on the Land Tier. There are 5 tiers that are available for purchase and higher tiers represent increasing rarity and higher fuel generation.
In the Dutch Auction Sale, Tier 1 plots were purchased for between 0.3 ETH and 2 ETH, while Tier 2 plots ranged from 0.97 ETH and 6 ETH, Tier 3 parcels were secured for 3.67 ETH to 20 ETH, and Tier 4 lands sold for between 13.6 ETH and 76 ETH.
Epic Games starts the blockchain gaming ball rolling!
Developer and publisher Epic Games will start distributing their first-ever blockchain game later this year. Gala Games announced at its Galaverse convention on June 6 that it had “signed a partnership with Epic,” so there will be additional Gala blockchain games eventually coming to Epic’s digital marketplace. In contrast to Steam banning NFT games last year, Epic’s platform takes the first big step to integrate NFT games which are considered to be the future of gaming.
The first game to make it to the Epic Games Store will be a Western-themed battle royale called Grit launching sometime in 2022. The Epic Games store describes the game as “the world's first Web3 battle royale.” with “an economy based on ownership and rewards”
GRIT is said to feature some in-depth character customizations, a variety of cowboy and gunslinger to own and use in battle as well as bonding features with your horse similar to Red Dead Redemption 2.
GRIT will feature land ownership in the form of NFTs where players can actually own virtual land and monetize it, in addition, collectibles such as artwork, skins, weapons, apparel avatars, and vehicles can be owned and traded between the players.
Gala Games will also offer 10,000 player avatars for its upcoming title with unique looks and characteristics in the form of mystery boxes.
Ather Labs’ Backers
Defiance Capital, Delphi Digital, and BitkraftVC Led a $7.5M Funding Round in Tatsumeeko
Tatsumeeko raised $7.5 million in seed funding to fund its cross-platform fantasy online game with blockchain technology.
The Singapore-based company is making a massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) lite game. And it is using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can authenticate unique digital items, to enable a new business model for the game.
DeFiance Capital, Delphi Ventures, and Bitkraft Ventures co-led the round. Other investors include Binance Labs, Animoca Brands, Dialectic, GuildFi, and more.
Congrats to our backers: Defiance Capital, Delphi Digital, and BitkraftVC 🎉
Arrington Capital and Moonbeam Foundation Raise $100 Million for an Ecosystem Fund
Arrington Capital, a digital asset management firm in blockchain-based capital markets, and the Moonbeam Foundation are pleased to announce the launch of a new $100 million ecosystem fund dedicated to supporting projects building on Moonbeam, the top destination for multi-chain applications on Polkadot. The Arrington Moonbeam Growth Fund is intended to spur additional development and growth on the network, which already has more than 100 projects live or soon to be launched, including top-tier DeFi initiatives.
This is the first ecosystem fund for the Moonbeam Network. The entirety of the funds will go toward helping new projects develop and scale multi-chain applications, including new use cases that leverage the interoperability potential of Polkadot and innovative general message-passing technologies outside of Polkadot. The fund is designed to benefit projects across all categories, including DeFi, marketplaces, NFTs, and gaming.
Congrats to our backer: Arrington Capital 🎉
OpenSea and Dune Analytics Announce Bounty Program Winners
The contest focused on analyzing which NFT projects brought in the most real unique (user) wallets (not alts!) into NFTs.
X2Y2 Surpassed OpenSea Trading Volume for One Day
National Policies & Legal Updates
Stablecoin Regulations heat up Across Various Jurisdictions
In the wake of the UST debacle, the rush to regulate and provide consumer protection on stablecoins has been accelerated across the globe. Japan Japan’s parliament passed a stablecoin bill that effectively does the following for the first time, and is to take effect within 1 year: 1. Defines what is a Stablecoin to Japan - “Digital Money” 2. Attaches conditions to being defined as a Stablecoin - the need to be linked to any legal tender currency. 3. Controls who can issue Stablecoins in Japan - Licensed Banks, Registered Money Transfer Agents (e.g. Wise), and/or Trust Companies. However, the policy does not yet address existing asset-backed Stablecoins like USDC, USDT, or even algorithmic Stablecoins like USDD, leaving its legal status in limbo.
England The Central Bank of England has also taken steps to propose regulatory oversight to future Stablecoin Issuers within the UK: 1. Defines Stablecoins to the UK - “Digital Settlement Asset” that also is a “Store of Value”. 2. Proposes that the Bank of England will have the option to intervene if a Systemic Collapse of Stablecoins Issued in the UK happens that threatens the UK financial System - which gives a safety net measure to the Stablecoins issued in the UK. The United States of America - State of New York The New York Department of Financial Services, the main overseer of regulated crypto companies in New York has published its guidance to Stable Coin Issues operating in its state: 1. The Value of the stablecoins must be fully backed by select low-risk Assets and Custodied in approved Institutions. 2. Independent Audits and Attestations Monthly - with a 30-day time limit. 3. The Holder of a Stablecoin must be able to redeem directly from the Issuer in a timely manner. While regulators are taking a good step forward in terms of consumer protection and legitimacy, this also further cements the centralization of control in Stablecoin Issuers, which runs contrary to the push for decentralization across borders.
- Japan: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-03/japan-passes-stablecoin-bill-that-enshrines-investor-protection?sref=PFCuwcPr&utm_content=crypto&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_source=twitter#xj4y7vzkg
- England: https://decrypt.co/101772/bank-england-rescue-collapsing-stablecoin-issuers-if-theyre-big-enough
- US (New York): https://www.ledgerinsights.com/new-york-nydfs-stablecoin-regulation/
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