#1: BAYC Hack Dampens Otherside Launch Plans
Much like Sky Mavis was victim to the Ronin hack just prior to launching Axie Infinity: Origin beta, Yuga Labs experienced a BAYC hack as it attempts to roll out plans for its metaverse project Otherside. The popularity and cost of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs has made them a popular target for scams and theft over the last few months.
This time hackers were able to gain control of the BAYC Instagram account and use it along with a fake BAYC website to convince NFT holders to sign a wallet transaction for the promise of a land airdrop. Overall, over $3M in 91 NFTs were stolen from victims who fell for the scam. According to DappRadar and their Portfolio tracker, the scammer initially stored the NFTs here. But the stolen goods are long gone from there and the legion of blockchain detectives are busy searching for where they’ve gone. It’s too early to say exactly who is guilty and where the loot currently sits.
While the $3M hack is <1% of Yuga Labs’ recent $450M seed round, it is not a great look to have while they are in the process of building up hype (and trust) for the launch of Otherside on April 30th, which will include a land auction/minting. The land minting itself is not without controversy, as the unannounced way to get on the approved list involves KYC checks at somethingisbrewing.xyz. It’s only now, with the announcement of the land auction, that the purpose of the KYC checks was revealed.
#2: Axie Infinity: Classic’s Final Season is Upon Us
With Axie Infinity: Origin in active beta, Sky Mavis are running Season 21 of Axie Infinity: Classic as the final competitive season. With no additional utility for SLP in Axie Infinity: Classic, yet the ability to earn it still, this will continue to cause the token price to creep downward, potentially even crossing below $0.01. Sky Mavis is increasing AXS rewards for the top 300k players to try and keep players motivated to play while helping test and balance Origin, which does not have any token earnings yet. The season is set to last until June 24th, which puts Sky Mavis on a bit of a clock to get Origin ready and transition players over once the season ends
Related to transitioning over to Axie Infinity: Origin, Sky Mavis is also finally moving forward with increased utility for RON, the Ronin token, on April 28th. The big change is doing away with most free transactions on the chain, with an allowance of a few free ones based on holding Axie or Land NFTs.
Further, Sky Mavis recently released a full post-mortem of the hack, which detailed a number of security improvements it’s looking to make. But more importantly, this post-mortem mentioned - “Now that the hackers have been identified, and all user funds are in the process of being restored…”. Yes, all user funds, which equates to 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC. While “in the process of being restored” could mean a lot of things, it could include a mix of their recent $150M raise, funds from Sky Mavis’ balance sheet (not Axie’s community balance sheet/wallet), and maybe even funds from Sky Mavis’ leadership selling a portion of their own AXS tokens. Not to mention the $5.8M they already were able to recover with the help of Binance.
The reason all this is very important for Axie Infinity: Origin’s future is because Sky Mavis not only needs to transition players over, but also it needs to transition player trust. Who’s to say this scale of a hack won’t happen again to Sky Mavis? And will existing players have the appetite for taking that risk? While Axie’s community retention and belief in the project’s future should not be underestimated, there is definitely an opportunity cost.
- Fancy Birds, a clone of Flappy Bird but with earning and breeding, went live on April 25th. Link
- ChainMonsters, a Pokemon-like MMO revealed the details for its beta phase 2. Link
- Habbo, an early virtual world, announced an NFT-powered version dubbed Habbo X. Link
- Snoop Dogg is partnering up with MOBLAND for interactive digital weed farming. Link
- Benji Bananas, a mobile game that recently added earning of Yuga Labs’ APECoin, is adding a second token called Primate. Link
- Mines of Dalarnia, an action mining game, launched its mainnet version. Link
- Meda Shooter, a side-scrolling action game, is adding tournaments and NFT weapons. Link
- Geno Pets, a tamagotchi-like move-to-earn game, released its game mechanics litepaper. Link
- CyBall introduced a V2 for its CyLoands program, with a new feature called Flash mentoring.
- SIPHER, a sci-fi shooter looter, offered up a sneak peek of forthcoming gameplay. Link
- Crabada’s new Idle-Game alpha v2 is available on its Swimmer Avalanche-subnet testnet.
- Nakamoto Games launched its metaverse land sale and a new P2E Match-3 game called Zaka. Link
- Polygonum Online released Alpha 2 of its open world shooter. Link
- Crypto Unicorns is running an event leading up to its official launch on May 2nd. Link
- Undead Blocks, a zombie shooter, announced a staking-based weapon minting program. Link
- Thetan Arena released a new character, Shanna, in special boxes. Link
- Gala Games released a roadmap and more info on its Fuzzle AI-powered NFTs. Link
- Gino’s Big Town Chef announced a partnership with Polychain Monsters.
- KingSpeed, an NFT racing game, is running a testnet tournament on May 1st. Link
- Blankos Block Party is giving out free NFTs as part of its new Brawl feature. Link
- Phantom Galaxies, a mech space shooter, announced Mintpass rewards allowing holders of certain NFTs the ability to mint new limited edition NFTs. Link
- Monkey League, a Solana PvP football game, now has its NFTs on OpenSea. Link
- The Sandbox is doing another Mega City land sale on April 28th. Link
- Foonie Magus raised $17.5M for its Apeiron game in a seed funding round led by Hashed. Link
- The Sandbox spent $1M on a single Moonbird NFT. Link
- Goons of Balatroon, a trading-card-game-focused metaverse, raised $2.46M in seed financing. Link
- Ola Guild Games, a Hispanic guild and YGG partner, raised $8M in a seed round. Link
- GamerGains raised $5.8M for its Solana P&E platform for Web2 games led by Cadenza Ventures. Link
- Metakey, developers of NFT innovation platforms, raised $3.5M in a funding round led by Animoca Brands. Link
- Polygon introduced a competitor to Avalanche subnets with its new Polygon Edge Supernets program and a $100M fund for projects using it. Link
- Yesports is launching Web3 esports in a partnership with Polygon Studios. Link
- C2X is starting a staking program to expand its platform on the Terra ecosystem. Link
- Ancient8 released a teaser of its GameFi research portal. Link
- Gala Games announced $4M in prizes for various programs throughout May. Link
- Yield Guild Games announced a partnership with Wildlife Studios on its NFT and token expansions for existing mobile game Castle Crush. Link
- Moonpay, a platform that’s made for easy fiat to token on-ramps for games, is partnering with MetaMask for improved accessibility. Link
Notable Market Moves
- Most of the overall market continued to see a slow downward trend, with two major exceptions this week.
- The main one being ApeCoin sitting firmly on top of the chart thanks to the upcoming Otherside Land auction in ApeCoin (see the top news item above). If the content reveals don’t disappoint, then the token could continue seeing some growth in the near future.
- The other big one being another popular newcomer is StepN. After a huge jump in the charts last week, we see it climb up another spot on top of Axie Infinity which continues to struggle. The biggest jump for StepN happened just recently on the 27th as Coinbase listed the GMT and GST tokens. Even though they were labeled “experimental,” GMT shot up from $3.30 to a same-day peak of $4.10.
- Overall the majority of the market may remain a little bearish for the short-term, but most of these tokens are following the general crypto market at the moment. It would not be surprising to see some more newcomers in the top 10, the same way that StepN and ApeCoin have done lately.
Content Worth Consuming
- Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney talks the metaverse, crypto, and antitrust (Fast Company) - “The idea of a digital economy that’s not gate-kept by any one company, which is decentralized and open to all participants and has incredibly low transaction fees, that’s an awesome aspiration. I support the idea of universal ownership–the idea that if you were to buy an avatar in one place that you’d own it in every other place where it’s conceptually compatible. That’s an awesome idea. I think there’s a lot of incredibly interesting technology foundation work being done there. The field of zero knowledge proofs–the idea that you can verify that something happened without receiving any private details about it–that powers a number of the cryptocurrencies in protecting privacy while running a decentralized system, I think that’s going to be the backbone of a large part of the next century in technology.” Link
- Animoca Brands ‘Not Done Acquiring’ Studios to Make NFT Games: Chairman (Decrypt) - “Why acquire game studios rather than partner with them via a publishing agreement? Siu said that for Animoca, it’s a matter of shouldering the risk and responsibility in launching Web3 games, which are still relatively new and rely on experimental business models. Such games can have temperamental economic models, too. Axie Infinity, by far the most prominent NFT game to date, went from a surging success in 2021—billions of dollars’ worth of NFT trades, millions of daily players—to an economic freefall over the last few months as its inventive play-to-earn model crumbled.” Link
- Playmint | Blockchain Gaming, Pt 3: Life as a CEO (LevelUp Podcast) - “What’s it like to build a blockchain company from the ground up? Hear it straight from the source. David Amor, CEO at Playmint - a blockchain gaming company founded in 2021 - discusses what it's like to be on the frontline of the blockchain gaming revolution. David is interviewed by Melissa Zeloof, VP Marketing at ironSource, Anton Backman, Principal at Play Ventures, and Kenrick Drijoningen, General Partner at Play Ventures, where they explore building his company, modern blockchain gaming technology, and comparing blockchain vs traditional gaming.” Link
- How a gaming executive Chris Heatherly red-pilled on crypto and joined Recur (Deconstructor of Fun podcast) - “Chris Heatherly’s long and accomplished career in the games industry spans toys, MMOs, mobile, free-to-play, and VR and includes work on some of the biggest brands in the world. He spent over 14 years at Disney where he worked on everything from leading smash-hit kid’s MMO Club Penguin, to leading their mobile initiative, to leading their toys business. After Disney, he joined NBCU to launch their games business where he developed games using world-famous brands including Jurassic Park, followed by a tour of duty at mobile, free-to-play developer N3TWORK leading Funko Pop! Blitz. Now, Chris has red-pilled on crypto and joined NFT collectibles startup Recur as their Head of Gaming & Engagement. Having already launched bespoke collecting experiences NFTU and Star Trek: Continuum, Recur is set to launch plenty more branded experiences as well as expand into play-to-earn gaming over the course of 2022. In this interview, learn why Chris red-pilled, what drew him to Recur, and how his experiences across toys, games, and kid’s MMOs influence his work building NFT experiences.” Link
- The Legal Side of Web3 (The Metacast by Naavik) - “Omri Bouton is a Blockchain, Crypto/NFT & Web3 Lawyer at Sheridans. He joins your host Nico Vereecke today to discuss the legal and regulatory side of Web3. We go into: #1 What is a DAO?, #2 Security vs Utility Tokens, #3 IP on the Blockchain, & More!” Link