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Blockchain Games Key to Onboarding a ‘Critical Mass of Users Onto Web3’ — Claudio Riff

Blockchain Games Key to Onboarding a ‘Critical Mass of Users Onto Web3’ — Claudio RiffAccording to Claudio Riff, the CEO of Pooky, a sport prediction game powered by blockchain, gaming may be one of the more effective ways of getting users to experience the potential of blockchain and Web3 without dealing with the associated complexities. Onboarding People to Web3 Through Gaming Pointing to the gaming industry’s appeal and reported […]

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MetaMask Enhances Privacy With Mobile DApp and Browser Extension Upgrades

MetaMask Enhances Privacy With Mobile DApp and Browser Extension Upgrades

Metamask is rolling out a new update for its mobile app and browser extension that fixes the privacy issues that users encounter when using the popular crypto wallet. In a statement, Metamask says that the new MetaMask mobile now allows users to choose which account in their wallet should be associated with a decentralized application […]

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Hedera confirms exploit on mainnet led to theft of service tokens

Hedera said the March 9 smart contract exploit has not impacted the network or its consensus layer.

Hedera, the team behind distributed ledger Hedera Hashgraph, has confirmed a smart contract exploit on the Hedera Mainnet that has led to the theft of several liquidity pool tokens.

Hedera said the attacker targeted liquidity pool tokens on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) that derived its code from Uniswap v2 on Ethereum, which was ported over for use on the Hedera Token Service.

The Hedera team explained that the suspicious activity was detected when the attacker attempted to move the stolen tokens across the Hashport bridge, which consisted of liquidity pool tokens on SaucerSwap, Pangolin and HeliSwap. Operators acted promptly to temporarily pause the bridge.

Hedera didn’t confirm the amount of tokens that were stolen.

On Feb. 3, Hedera upgraded the network to convert Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible smart contract code onto the Hedera Token Service (HTS).

Part of this process involves the decompiling of Ethereum contract bytecode to the HTS, which is where Hedera-based DEX SaucerSwap believes the attack vector came from. However, Hedera didn’t confirm this in its most recent post.

Earlier, Hedera managed to shut down network access by turning off IP proxies on March 9. The team said it has identified the “root cause” of the exploit and is “working on a solution.”

"Once the solution is ready, Hedera Council members will sign transactions to approve the deployment of updated code on mainnet to remove this vulnerability, at which point the mainnet proxies will be turned back on, allowing normal activity to resume," the team added.

A notice posted by Hedera on its status webpage cautioned users that its network would not be accessible. Source: Hedera

Since Hedera turned off proxies shortly after it found the potential exploit, the team suggested tokenholders check the balances on their account ID and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) address on hashscan.io for their own “comfort.”

Related: Hedera Governing Council to buy hashgraph IP and open-source project’s code

The price of the network’s token Hedera (HBAR) has fallen 7% since the incident roughly 16 hours ago, in line with the broader market fall over the last 24 hours.

However, the total value locked (TVL) on SaucerSwap fell nearly 30% from $20.7 million to $14.58 million over the same timeframe:

The TVL on SaucerSwap fell sharply following the news of the exploit. Source: DefiLlama

The fall suggests a significant amount of tokenholders acted quickly and withdraw their funds following the initial discussion of a potential exploit.

The incident has potentially spoiled a major milestone for the network, with the Hedera Mainnet surpassing 5 billion transactions on March 9.

This appears to be the first reported network exploit on Hedera since it was launched in July 2017.

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‘CryptoGPT’ Twitter accounts spring up as hashtag trends on Twitter

Dozens of Twitter accounts have emerged on Twitter claiming to be related to "CryptoGPT."

A Twitter hashtag relating to a purported artificial intelligence (AI) crypto token called “CryptoGPT” has been trending on Twitter.

Alongside it, a number of very similar-looking Twitter accounts have also sprung up — some of which have been touting likely fake giveaways.

As of the time of writing, “Download CryptoGPT” is trending with 6,185 tweets associated with it. GPT-4 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4), an unreleased neural network created by OpenAI, is also trending with 4,683 tweets.

Trending topics on Twitter. Source: Twitter

Meanwhile, dozens of Twitter accounts sporting the name "CryptoGPT" can also be found on Twitter, with some offering likely fake giveaways or airdrops

Many of these accounts describe the purported project as allowing users to use blockchain to monetize their data with AI. The system is based on Ethereum and scales with a zero-knowledge rollup layer-2 network.

The project purportedly aims to attract decentralized application developers to build on its blockchain. CrypoGPT will offer its GPT tokens as payment for anonymous user data generated from the usage of these DApps.

Contrary to what its name may suggest, however, the project doesn't appear to be directly related to the ChatGPT AI chatbot that has taken the internet by storm in recent months.

A snippet of Twitter accounts with names relating to "CryptoGPT" Source: Twitter

The crypto token also appears to have backing from certain crypto exchanges, at least from a listing perspective.

On Mar. 8, Bitfinex announced a listing of GPT on Mar. 10, describing CryptoGPT as a project that aims to offer users an opportunity to earn crypto for sharing their anonymized data. Other exchanges that will reportedly list the GPT token include PancakeSwap, ByBit, Gate, MEXC, Bitget, among others.

Related: ChatGPT learns Bitcoin will end central banking and fiat currency

Earlier this year, blockchain analytics firm PeckShield warned its followers about dozens of alleged "pump & dump" tokens purporting to be related to ChatGPT and Bing AI, in a Feb. 20 Twitter post. 

A pump-and-dump scheme typically involves the creators orchestrating a campaign of misleading statements and hype to persuade investors into purchasing tokens, then secretly selling their stake in the scheme when prices go up. 

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NEAR protocol releases blockchain operating system for Web3

Cointelegraph interviewed the protocol team at ETHDenver 2023 about the new operating system and funds raised to help Ukrainians last year.

The decentralized application (DApp) NEAR protocol is releasing a new blockchain operating system, focusing on improving user experience on Web3 through a common layer for browsing and discovering open web resources, the company disclosed at the Web3 and innovation festival ETHDenver 2023.

In an interview with Cointelegraph's Turner Wright during the event, NEAR co-founder Illia Polosukhin spoke on how the ecosystem is moving closer to user's needs and the release of the Blockchain Operating System (BOS).

According to the NEAR's team, the system works with any blockchain or Web2 backend, allowing users to have the experience of using a single app, even when switching between applications or chains. For developers, the solutions promise to deliver decentralized and composable frontends, enabling the fork of pieces and components, and built-ins such as payments, profiles, and notifications without any hosting involved.

Polosukhin noted about the blockchain operating system: 

"The iOS provides developers a place to show their app in front of billions of users, and it gives them all the services and the infrastructure underneath to build, so you kind of just plug in here. That's what we're trying to do, trying to kind of give the distribution here, give the platform underneath and let developers build."

The protocol, which is a competitor of Ethereum offering smart contract capable and a proof-of-stake blockchain, sought a 10x growth on key metrics last year, including number of transactions, active monthly wallets, projects onboarded, developers and money invested within the ecosystem, claimed the co-founder. 

Related: Smart contracts to power day-to-day Web3 company operations

"A lot of projects just migrated over to NEAR," noted Polosukhin about last year's growth, combined with an effort to search for existing applications with a user base:

"They came to us, some of them because they saw you can write in JavaScript smart contracts. That's like three times cheaper to hire developers. This is just more usable not just for users, but for developers as well."

Unchain Fund

Polosukhin is also one of the developers behind the Unchain Fund, a fundraising effort created last year to help Ukrainians affected by the war. As of early 2023, the fund had raised over $9 million in donations, almost entirely in crypto assets.

According to him, the raised funds were crucial to support the people of Ukraine in the first weeks of war, while international help was still underway at a lower pace:

"The Red Cross, UNICEF, they take months to spin up all of their systems when something happens, that's just that's how they are. They're slow [...] but when they get there, they have the procedure, and they set it up, they build the supply chain, logistics, and then they can start delivering. So, in a way, crypto funds covered in the beginning, like spin-up time for a similar government aid."

Part of the raised funds were used for a program dedicated to women with children who run away from home, providing weekly payments of 25 euros to roughly 6,000 Ukrainian women. The funds were also used to purchase ambulances through the global initiative United24. 

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GameFi analytics help blockchain gamers sift through crypto games

How and where to get analytics on the emerging projects in the GameFi space.

From the massive fall of Bitcoin’s (BTC) price to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, 2022 was full of upheaval for the blockchain industry. But the blockchain community has always been resilient, finding new ways to develop in the most challenging times.

A striking example of optimism and growth is the development of the GameFi industry, which combines gaming, decentralized finance (DeFi), nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.

In 2021, GameFi became a growth leader in the crypto space, with successful projects like Gala Games, Decentraland, The Sandbox and Axie Infinity.

The GameFi sector has continued to develop, attracting more and more investment. In 2022, the volume of venture investments in Web3 games and the metaverse amounted to $7.6 billion. Some analysts predict a valuation of $2.8 billion for the GameFi sector by 2028.

However, a sudden influx of investors in this growing sector has also resulted in many low-quality games suffering from poor in-game economics, as well as monotonous and underdeveloped gameplay.

How can a gamer looking for a good project find the right one? Cointelegraph has found several GameFi analytics resources to help potential gamers weigh the pros and cons of each platform.


DappRadar is one of the most popular decentralized application (DApp) analytics services. Founded in 2018, it provides statistics on DeFi, GameFi and NFTs. The platform has data for over 2,000 NFT games.


One of the most popular features of DappRadar is located in the “rankings” tab, which allows users to rank several DApps related to GameFi, DeFi projects, gambling, exchanges, NFT collections, marketplaces, social networks and different blockchains. DApps are ranked according to criteria such as the number of unique active wallets (UAW), number of transactions, transaction volume and the total balance of funds in the smart contract.

Screenshot of ranking tab

The page of an individual project contains its rating, tags and links to social networks, as well as its description. In the middle of the page, standard indicators (UAW, number of transactions, volume, balance) are displayed in addition to a graph of changes for different periods. 

General statistics on DApps can be obtained in the “Industry Overview” tab after selecting the period, category and protocol. DappRadar also periodically publishes analytical notes, which are located in the “Reports” and “Blog” sections.

Recent: Could NFTs and crypto help Japan’s ‘Cool Japan’ strategy?

There are two additional options for NFTs. First is the NFT Explorer, in which users can sort not only the general list of collections, but also the NFTs of an individual collection and even a general gallery of NFTs from different collections. The page for an individual NFT shows its name, owner, minimum price, last sale price, blockchain, NFT metadata and trading history. A second option is the NFT Value Estimator, which displays the expected price of an NFT based on current and past price performance.

Screenshot of NFT explorer

For game developers, DappRadar has a “Developers” section where game founders can promote a new product through advertising campaigns and other marketing techniques.


The wealth of information provided for each project could prove difficult to navigate for newcomers who may only want basic information about a project.

Another disadvantage of the platform is that, for a long time, the selection of NFT games was limited to those on the Ethereum blockchain, while projects on other blockchains were not taken into account.

The situation improved this year when the site increased the number of monitored blockchains from three to 48. Considerable funds have also been allocated for the development of new technical solutions.


Dapp.com is the world's largest DApp distribution platform. Dapp.com lists over 8,000 DApps built on more than 20 blockchains like Ethereum, EOS, TRON, Steem, TomoChain, IOST, Stacks and others. The platform showcases DApps based on data analytics, community feedback and user comments. 


The platform has a built-in wallet called DappStoreWallet so that users can easily access and use DApps associated with various blockchains.

The ecosystem of the project is powered by Dapp Token (DAPPT). Token holders are able to participate in voting on the platform, launch projects on the platform through staking, and more.

The platform has a “Market Report” section where users can view quarterly reports in various areas, including games.

The advantages of the platform include a simple interface and navigation, where users can view game ratings according to various criteria — for example, by increasing or decreasing prices for tokens, by user reviews, or by level of risk.

Screenshot of game ratings

Users of the platform can not only see the ratings of NFT projects themselves, but also read general news about NFT projects. 


For an inexperienced user, it is almost impossible to find the quarterly analytical reports section. The link to the page with reports is at the very bottom of the page and represented by small text.

At the same time, the reports themselves clearly stalled for a couple of years, with the most recent appearing for Q2 of 2020. At the same time, the quality and depth of analytics is almost on par with that of DappRadar.

The project listings are not informative and contain only a brief description of the project in a couple of sentences without the current price of the token or the number of active users. Such information must be viewed in the overall rating of projects, which is inconvenient. The majority of the page for each project is occupied by user comments, which are very important, but it seems that Dapp.com is primarily aimed at creating a community and not at providing analytics.


CryptoSlam is an NFT market data aggregator. The platform can be used to analyze trading volumes in the NFT market, identify the most popular collections of digital assets, and track release dates for new tokens.

The CryptoSlam team has included various information about the projects on the pages of the collections and the individual NFTs themselves. The project description has a section on online sales statistics, which the system updates as owners change. The platform can also be used to collect data on NFTs of interest.


The main feature of the platform is its real-time data showing movement in the NFT industry. Featured data includes the volume of sales of NFT tokens, the number of token holders, on which blockchain an NFT resides, and the number of holders.

It is convenient that users can sort NFT projects in several tables on one web page by various parameters like sales volume within a particular game, or by the price of tokens.

Table of NFT projects by sales

One unique feature of the platform is its live sales section, where one can see which user sold an NFT token and at what price, including from which address and to which address. This parameter is constantly updated automatically.

This platform is a very convenient service for the continuous tracking of the work of an NFT project, within which real transactions can be traced.

Another plus of the platform is that it is developing. In January 2023, the Forkast.News company and CryptoSlam teamed up to create the Forkast Labs project. The product could offer users a new media analytics platform for the digital economy. According to the team, the decision to create Forkast Labs was made due to the lack of a standard methodology for determining the true value of digital assets, which is mainly measured by current prices for cryptocurrencies. The timing of the launch of the project is still unknown.


One con is that the platform doesn’t have any analytical reports. The service only allows for the monitoring of NFT projects, albeit in real time, but does not evaluate activities for a particular period. Perhaps this defect will be corrected after the launch of the Forkast Labs project.

Another downside is the inability to separate NFT projects by indstury — gaming, gambling or finance, for example. If the user wants to see only NFT gaming projects and allocate them to a separate slot or table, then they will not be able to do this since the service does not have such a function.

Just like Dapp.com, this platform contains a lack of detailed information about projects, such as creators, at what stage of development the project is, news about collaborations, etc.


The main reason for using NFT analytics tools is to help limit the amount of fraud in the major marketplaces. Investing in NFTs can be time consuming, somewhat risky and nearly impossible unless users spend hours on social media platforms and NFT trading platforms looking through the myriad NFTs available.

As can be seen from the description of the most popular analytics platforms, there is no perfect one that contains all relevant information in one place, but such projects are critical for crypto enthusiasts.

Recent: Is the SEC’s action against BUSD more about Binance than stablecoins?

Sebastien Borget, president of the Blockchain Game Alliance, told Cointelegraph that he believes that analytics platforms should pay more attention not only to numbers, but to players and users:

“NFT games analytics platforms should expand beyond just the on-chain transaction data to reflect what's happening in a game or how popular it actually it, and work on broadening to all the activities games have to offer to players — to show that games are first and foremost fun entertainment products where people spend time, and transactions are not the only gameplay in them.”

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How Fantom and Optimism’s DeFi and DApp development directly affects FTM and OP price action

Despite similar price action, Fantom and Optimism ecosystems are moving in opposite directions and this is reflected in each token’s price.

The price action of Optimism (OP) and Fantom (FTM) tokens have been quite identical since the last quarter of 2022. The difference is, volatility is slightly higher for OP, which surged 240% year-to-date, compared to the 180% gains seen in FTM.

The Fantom Foundation has made several improvements since Q4 2022, which have catalyzed an uptrend in the token’s price. However, Fantom’s ecosystem remains primitive while its competitors expanded to support new use cases.

On the other hand, Optimism has shown robust community and decentralized application (dApp) development thanks to the loyalty of Ethereum developers and the Optimism Foundation’s effective strategy in aligning token incentives with governance.

OP/USD (orange) and FTM/USD (blue) price chart. Source: TradingView

Fantom’s ecosystem development stalls

The Fantom ecosystem received an adverse blow in early 2022 due to the departure of leading DeFi architect Andre Cronje. The blockchain’s ecosystem development stalled after Cronje’s departure. At the same time, Fantom’s competitors, like Polygon (ATOM), Arbitrum and Optimism continued to host various popular applications.

Cronje rejoined Fantom development efforts in November 2022, however, it appears it was too late by then. The lack of sustainable yields in a bear market has restricted liquidity inflows to Fantom.

Fantom TVL over time. Source: DefiLlama

The Fantom community also aimed to improve the quality of decentralized applications on the blockchain through an ecosystem development fund built by reducing the portion of burnt fees from 20% to 5% in December. While the number of smart contracts created on Fantom has spiked significantly since Q3 2022, the quality of dApps still needs to improve compared to its competitors.

Number of smart contracts created on Fantom. Source: Dune

The 30-day activity billboard from Nansen shows that top dApp activity on Fantom was limited to simple swaps, which is discouraging as other activities like derivatives trading, social media platforms and NFT trading are prospering on competing chains like Arbitrum, Polygon, and Optimism.

The most used dApps on Fantom between Jan. 20, 2023, and Feb. 20, 2023, is XEN Crypto, a free mint Ponzi scheme-like application. The application first appeared on Ethereum in October 2022 with a lot of excitement in the first few days of launch. However, the hype subsided after the mint became unprofitable as many users crowded the platform.

Top Fantom dApps by usage in the last 30 days. Source: Nansen

Optimism developers find success with new use cases

At the same time, Optimism has successfully attracted liquidity and activity to its ecosystem after launching the Optimism token and accompanying airdrop campaigns. In April 2022, the Optimism team stated there would be a “season of airdrops,” and launched an Optimism Quest campaign.

The layer-2 network saw increased usage from users for collecting its non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which would likely make them eligible for the airdrop. The Quests ended in January 2023, following which there was a steep decline in activity. However, the DeFi liquidity remained sticky.

The total liquidity on Optimism. Source: DefiLlama

Moreover, the list of most used decentralized applications on Optimism includes yield platform Pool Together, derivatives platforms Synthetix and Perpetual Protocol and leading lending platform Aave.

Optimism also hosts a decentralized blogging platform, Mirror, which allows content writers to issue their articles as NFTs. The platform has gained significant usage, with 2.7 million hits on its website.

Top Optimism dApps by usage in the last 30 days. Source: Nansen

Comparing the tokenomics of FTM and OP

One drawback of the Optimism token is that it is only a governance token and doesn’t entitle users to real yields in gas fees. The OP tokens’ supply will inflate at 2% per year, along with investor and team unlocks, starting April 2023.

However, the Optimism team has incentivized participation in governance, which improves the protocol’s governance and also aligns incentives with its intended use, i.e., higher voter participation.

Optimism’s governance has proved more efficient than competitors like Uniswap (UNI) and Compound (COMP) in promoting decentralization. The layer-2 network’s ecosystem is also expanding by supporting diverse applications. Optimism also stands to benefit from Arbitrum’s native token launch, which can likely add fuel to the layer-2 token narrative, pushing the OP token’s price higher.

Related: Vitalik shows support for Optimism’s governance structure and OP gas proposal

For Fantom, despite implementing a burn feature in its protocol, the real yield of the platform is still negative, around -0.93%. The blockchain’s fees and liquidity must improve considerably to enhance the value of FTM. Otherwise, it risks becoming irrelevant alongside many other layer-1 protocols in the market.

Technically, FTM can see more upside while it holds support above $0.38 and target the $0.95 support and resistance area. A breakdown below $0.38 could see it dropping toward $0.19.

FTM/USD weekly chart. Source: TradingView

For OP, its price surged above its previous peak of $2.30, which will now act as a support for further upside as it experiences a price discovery. On the flipside, a breakdown below this level could see the token’s price drop toward $1.30.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

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Coinbase launches its own layer-2 network for building decentralized apps

The network, known as Base, is designed to be a low-cost, secure, developer-friendly environment that Coinbase said will serve as a bridge to bring users into the crypto economy.

On Feb 23, crypto exchange Coinbase announced the launch of Base — an Ethereum layer-2 network. The company claimed that this new network will offer a low-cost, secure, developer-friendly environment for building decentralized apps (DApps) on the blockchain.

According to Coinbase, Base is designed to be a bridge for users into the crypto economy, offering access to other L1 ecosystems like Solana and making it interoperable with other chains. It will also provide access to Coinbase’s products, users and tools as well as easy fiat on-ramps and powerful acquisition tools. The company said it has no plans to issue a new network token.

Base will be built on the “OP Stack” used by Optimism. It will start off highly centralized, though Coinbase has released a detailed plan regarding how the network will decentralize over time.

In its announcement, Coinbase said that Base will be “fully open source and freely available.” The company said it is joining the OP Stack core dev team to “ensure it’s a public good available to everyone.”

According to the announcement, Coinbase will continue to integrate as an exchange with other networks, and Base itself will be “a bridge, not an island.” Coinbase intends Base to be an easy-to-use network for its customers to get familiar with using crypto, but it will encourage users to “start on Base, but go everywhere.”

In its decentralization plan, Coinbase said that it is working with Op Labs and the Optimism Collective to decentralize the Optimism ecosystem by creating a “Superchain” of connecting networks built on the OP Stack. The company judges that the current version of Optimism is a “Stage 0 rollup,” citing Vitalik Buterin’s post on the decentralization of rollups. By the end of 2023, Coinbase said it plans to have progressed Base to “Stage 1.”

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Fast-Rising Ethereum Rival Defies Bitcoin and Crypto Dip, Jumps 62% in One Week

Fast-Rising Ethereum Rival Defies Bitcoin and Crypto Dip, Jumps 62% in One Week

A crypto project that’s expanding its capabilities to include smart contracts and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility is defying this week’s market pullback. The decentralized storage platform Filecoin (FIL) is up 5.1% in the last 24 hours, at $8.24. The altcoin has ignored this week’s macro economic fear and Bitcoin’s retracement, with a seismic 62% […]

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ConsenSys eyes Web3 notification service refinement with Hal acquisition

The acquisition will allow ConsenSys’ Web3 API provider Infura to integrate Hal’s configurable webhooks or notification service in its developer stack.

Blockchain technology services provider ConsenSys acquired Hal, a no-code blockchain development tooling platform, to disrupt alerts and notifications at the protocol level in Web3.

The acquisition will allow ConsenSys’ Web3 API provider Infura to integrate Hal’s configurable webhooks or notification service in its developer stack. As a result, the move will help developers create alerts and notifications at the protocol level for various signals.

According to ConsenSys, Infura offers a suite of tools to connect apps, which the developer community can use to connect apps to the Ethereum network and other decentralized platforms.

A workflow showing how Infura facilitates access to Web3. Source: ConsenSys

Infura co-founder Eleazar Galano revealed the company intends to fill the gaps in the building process of apps for the crypto ecosystem. Speaking about ConsenSys’ acquisition of Hal, Galano stated: 

“Enabling developers a seamless end-to-end experience is a key goal and one of the most important trends is low code / no code solutions.”

In February 2022, ConsenSys acquired Ethereum wallet interface provider MyCrypto to improve the security of MetaMask and its user experience. 

ConsenSys acquired Hal to build upon this year-old initiative and enable MetaMask to offer a dynamic, personalized notification system.

Related: ConsenSys founder ‘bullish’ on Ethereum following crypto winter performance

ConsenSys CEO Joe Lubin recently told Cointelegraph that “we’ve retained virtually all of our capabilities” despite having to lay off 11% of its workforce.

Lubin highlighted concerns around raising cash in the crypto ecosystem at the Web3 builder-focused event, Building Blocks 23, in Tel Aviv, Israel. He added:

“And VCs are not kind and generous. They’re going to withhold until some sort of shakeout happens in the tech space, I believe.”

Regarding the job cuts, Lubin believes ConsenSys is now in a stronger position to withstand unforeseen global economic troubles.

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