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Quant (QNT), Decentraland (MANA) and One Ethereum-Based Altcoin Showing Good Signs for 2023: Santiment

Quant (QNT), Decentraland (MANA) and One Ethereum-Based Altcoin Showing Good Signs for 2023: Santiment

Prominent market analytics firm Santiment says that a trio of altcoins is showing healthy signs moving into 2023. According to the crypto intelligence firm, interoperability blockchain Quant (QNT), metaverse protocol Decentraland (MANA) and Ethereum-based (ETH) gaming blockchain Enjin Coin (ENJ) may have bright futures ahead of them. Santiment says there is a sharply diminishing supply […]

The post Quant (QNT), Decentraland (MANA) and One Ethereum-Based Altcoin Showing Good Signs for 2023: Santiment appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

Enjin co-founder: Here’s a roadmap for replacing shadowbans in the metaverse

Instead of using moderators to shadowban users à la Twitter, the metaverse could offer a mechanism operable across blockchains incentivizing us to police fellow users ourselves.

For all the hype around the metaverse, it is easy to forget it is still in its infancy. While the term has only recently entered the broad public consciousness, its impact on how we interact with technology is already expected to be deeply consequential. McKinsey & Company estimates that annual global spending within the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030 across domains as broad as gaming, social, fitness, commerce and remote learning. 

The question of how to define and build technology with such broad capabilities is in flux. While a number of games — such as Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft — have been hailed as early examples of successful metaverse platforms, a more holistic approach would see unrestricted interaction for players across these games. Interoperability between metaverse platforms is one key component that should be considered.

A new way of socializing

While only recently entering the public lexicon, the metaverse is not a new concept. The term was originally used to describe a fictional break from reality in Neil Stevenson’s Snow Crash. The popularity of digital entertainment surged massively during the pandemic. From games like Among Us to services like Netflix Party and Zoom, the opportunity to socialize virtually was highly appealing to many during a time of deep isolation.

Related: AI will help realize the true vision the metaverse hopes to achieve

These changes have fundamentally reshaped our ideas of how we socialize and work together, with enduring habits formed in connecting and collaborating virtually — an important factor accelerating engagement with the metaverse. Virtual experiences such as Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert have made positive steps forward in developing in-game socially immersive experiences. However, a multi-platform hypersocial virtual experience has yet to reach the market.

Moderation versus censorship

Freedom, community and collaboration are all defining characteristics of the metaverse. Achieving this requires infrastructure that can support the transfer of sensitive metadata across different blockchain protocols, metaverse platforms and gaming ecosystems in a blend of social media, crypto wallets and decentralized applications. So, before an interoperable metaverse introduces new business models and cross-platform capabilities, the issue of multichain identity and moderation must be addressed.

Decentralization brings with it the opportunity to experiment with community-led tactics, incentivizing certain behaviors and allowing the collective to dictate its own preferences. PubDAO, a publishing collective launched in conjunction with Decrypt, provides a good example of how these structures can function. Significantly, it makes a clear distinction between moderation and censorship. Pubbers are like-minded individuals, writers in this case, who get screened, onboarded and integrated into the culture of the community.

Scaling this model up to billions of people creates problems, as individual screening is unfeasible. Legacy social media is plagued with this issue, deploying shadow banning and other censorship tools to deal with the issue. A common solution proposed by Web3 advocates involves algorithmic detection and incentivized moderation to counteract abuse, and yet this fails to account for the nature of a multichain metaverse.

Even when done transparently and equitably, far too many abuses would slip through the net. Using the same machinations of the infamous Tornado Cash mixer, the laundering tool of choice for 52% of nonfungible token (NFT) scam proceeds prior to being sanctioned, one would be able to hide the origin of abusive messages in the name of free speech. Even if the perpetrator got doxed on one chain, they could hop to the next. This is not the type of metaverse anyone wants to inhabit.

NFTs make users trackable across chains

The potential solution lies in moving moderation tools upstream. Twitter has trialed such a process with success. By providing warning prompts prior to publishing tweets, 9% of users were encouraged to cancel their posts. Overall, the study concluded that there was a 6% reduction in offensive tweets as a result of this mechanism.

Number of accounts reported to Twitter by category from July-December 2021. Source: Twitter

Implementing a metadata standard and infusing it with decentralized identifiers (DIDs) could provide an avenue for ethical moderation, one that does not impose on privacy but ensures accountability. Such a multichain technical standard would ensure that tokens minted on any chain can be traced back to their origin within the metaverse. NFTs could be infused with verifiable credentials, enabling platforms to afford privacy to their users and define the terms in which these rights would be forfeited.

Related: Get ready for the feds to start indicting NFT traders

More importantly, at a time where cybersecurity is an increasingly greater concern, a metadata standard would afford individual users more protection. Data breaches in gaming are notoriously common, with more than half of frequent gamers targeted by hacks, according to a 2020 report from Akamai. The wealth of victims and the prevalence of in-game microtransactions make a lucrative target for cybercriminals. On top of that, users tend to use the same password across accounts, making credential stuffing a serious issue with the potential to percolate across industries.

While certainly not a panacea, an interoperable standard would go a long way to consolidating individual security needs. Web3 is set up to accommodate an identity system that removes the need for sensitive data to be stored on centralized servers, making it harder for hackers to access. In the event that personal assets are compromised, a metadata standard imbued with DIDs would enable traceability across the multichain metaverse.

Data standards will dictate the evolution of the web, so it is important that we get them right. Interoperability is easier to set up from the outset than retrofitting it in. By learning the lessons offered by the development of the internet, we can together build a revolutionary metadata standard that fosters a positive, shared techno-social experience on Web3.

Witek Radomski is the chief technology officer and a co-founder of Enjin, a blockchain tech company building products for next-generation NFTs. Witek is the author of the ERC-1155 token standard, the only token standard that enables the configuration of both fungible tokens and NFTs in a single smart contract.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

Video Game Giant Square Enix Plans to Drop a Final Fantasy VII NFT Collection in 2023

Video Game Giant Square Enix Plans to Drop a Final Fantasy VII NFT Collection in 2023According to the non-fungible token (NFT) company Enjin, the firm has inked a deal with the Japanese entertainment conglomerate and leading video game developer Square Enix. The partnership will produce the launch of Final Fantasy VII 25th Anniversary cards and figures on the cross-chain network platform Efinity. Japanese Software Developer Square Enix to Issue Final […]

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

What is Enjin (ENJ) and how does it work?

As an ERC-20 compatible token, Enjin, a cryptocurrency introduced by the Enjin corporation, may be transmitted and received using an Ethereum wallet.

What is Enjin and what are its main features?

With blockchain-based nonfungible tokens (NFTs) powering the rise of Web3, a number of NFT-based projects are gaining significant importance, as they provide the technological means of assembling important data on blockchains in a visually appealing manner.

Related: Nonfungible tokens: How to get started using NFTs

Leading among them is Enjin, a world-class blockchain software co-founded by Maxim Blagov and Witek Radomski in 2009. Enjin helps build an entire Enjin ecosystem consisting of products that individuals, businesses and developers can use to develop, trade, monetize and market NFTs.

Allowing users to manage NFTs and crypto through the Enjin wallet, lets them share NFTs through simple QR codes and provides them access to a dedicated marketplace to trade and collect rare NFTs. All transactions in the Enjin ecosystem are powered by the native Enjin (ENJ) token and the platform offers the functionality of managing all digital assets through a simple mobile app.

It enables entrepreneurs to conceive gaming, art, music and sports-based NFT projects with the functionality to create custom coins without any coding requirements. The Enjin platform facilitates gas-free transactions for NFTs and ENJ through JumpNet, allowing for a seamless user experience that is made possible by its integration with all of its other products like Enjin Beam, Marketplace and Wallet.

Combined with Efinity, a Polkadot-based parachain, Enjin allows creators to mint tokens on specialized blockchains that are focused on core functionality and provide superlative chain stability. With companies such as Microsoft, Samsung and BMW having integrated Enjin’s products and services into their blockchain-based rewards platforms, Enjin is enabling millions of users across the globe to safely manage and store their digital assets.

Related: What is Polkadot (DOT): A beginner's guide to the decentralized Web 3.0 blockchain

As the adoption of NFTs among individuals and companies across the world grows at an exponential pace, Enjin is well poised to emerge as one of the most important blockchain companies and this should translate into value creation for token holders of the native ENJ token.

What is an Enjin coin (ENJ) and how does ENJ work?

Launched by Enjin in 2017, ENJ is an ERC-20 compatible token that can be sent or received using an Ethereum wallet. ENJ is primarily used in various operations including purchasing, selling or trading NFTs using the various products provided by Enjin.

Apart from this core purpose and the fact that it can integrate with multiple gaming platforms, ENJ can be used just like any other cryptocurrency and can be traded across crypto exchanges. Considering the maximum number of use cases in the gaming industry, ENJ allows gamers to store unique game items such as characters or accessories in the form of bespoke tokens, which can then be liquidated for ENJ when needed.

Facilitated through the Enjin wallet, gamers can thus access various partner gaming platforms, keep track of the various tokens or collectibles and sell these digital assets for ENJ at their own convenience. For NFT fans, the Enjin platform and marketplace are emerging as one of the best options to discover and trade in NFTs, with Enjin’s software development kits (SDKs) enabling the creation and integration of digital assets into games and apps with ease.

Each of these in-game items is ascribed a value in ENJ and allows gamers to trade NFTs, coins and other items outside of the gaming environment with utmost security. What makes ENJ unique is that, unlike many popular cryptocurrencies, it has established itself as a token with a number of Enjin use cases and is a viable option for those looking to invest in cryptocurrencies for the long term.

How and where to buy Enjin coin?

Enjin’s vision has resulted in the development of a scalable and cross-chain token network that is making the process of minting, trading and converting NFTs into tangible token value that is very user-friendly. Additionally, it has made NFTs far more accessible and affordable, with faster and cheaper transactions leading to a significant increase in the overall NFT trading volume.

As NFTs witness increasing adoption among industry participants and users alike, tokens like ENJ will play a key role in unlocking immense value through unique digital and real-world assets like game tokens.

Available on leading crypto platforms and exchanges like Binance US, Crypto.com, Bithumb, Gemini, Swissborg, Kriptomat, Voyager and Blockchain.com, anyone can purchase ENJ using fiat currencies like the United States dollar or by trading other cryptocurrencies. If you are looking to buy and exchange the ENJ tokens, follow the steps below-

Is ENJ a good investment?

By enabling developers to mint items for gaming environments in the form of NFTs, the Enjin platform and the ENJ token will be one of the most preferred options for both users and businesses alike.

As more users get involved in this rapidly growing virtual economy, NFTs and cryptocurrencies will take center stage in fortifying the metaverse and are bound to emerge as the primary mediums for transacting in the digital space.

In that sense, Enjin and its native token ENJ have the potential to assume leadership status in this bustling space, something that token holders and potential investors could benefit from. As the number of platforms using Enjin’s suite of products increases, there will be an associated increase in demand for ENJ tokens, a factor favorable for further price appreciation.

What’s more, every time developers need to mint NFTs for their respective projects, they will lock the value in ENJ into a smart contract and the same is released when the item is sold. With a maximum supply limit of 1 billion tokens, ENJ’s value is poised to appreciate as demand for the token increases amid the backdrop of scarcity in supply.

Moreover, the United Nations Global Compact has accepted Enjin as a participant and the network is exploring ways on how to use NFTs to promote sustainability and equality. The token also has the distinction of being the first regulatory-approved gaming token in Japan, a feat ENJ achieved in January 2021 when it was legally authorized for trade by the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association.

With the help of Enjin’s technology prowess and its solid footing as a secure platform for NFT-based applications, Enjin’s founders are committed to achieving net-zero emissions from electricity consumption and plans to enable carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030.

With the max supply of ENJ tokens capped at one billion, there could be market scarcity in the future which will help in controlling the token’s inflation rate. ENJ empowers its holders to access the Enjin ecosystem, one which is ever-expanding with new innovations and presents a unique opportunity for those who would like to invest in the future of virtual asset trading.

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

Time to accumulate? 5 sectors to watch during crypto winter

Crypto prices have dropped to multiyear lows, raising the question of which assets from which subsectors are ready for accumulation.

It’s weird to think that anyone could look forward to downturns in the crypto market, but that is precisely the position held by many developers and project creators who enjoy the low-pressure environment that exists during a bear market. 

As the saying goes, bear markets are for building, and now is one of the best times to survey the landscape to see which sectors of the market are most active in designing the platforms that will soar to new heights in the next bull cycle.

Here’s a look at five sectors of the blockchain ecosystem that may present some of the best opportunities for accumulation while prices are low and demand is non-existent.

Layer-1 protocols

Layer-1 (L1) protocols like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) form the foundation that much of the cryptocurrency ecosystem is built upon and enable most of the other sectors of the market to exist.

That being said, currently, there are not many options available for launching other protocols on the Bitcoin network and Ethereum has well-known limitations in terms of scalability, which can lead to high transaction costs and slow processing times.

Due to these factors, there remains a significant opportunity for other L1 protocols to establish themselves and carve out a good slice of market share. The total revenue generated by a protocol is one metric that can be used to determine which networks see the most usage.

Cumulative total revenue for the top L1 chains over the past 180 days. Source: Token Terminal

According to data from Token Terminal, the top five L1 protocols in terms of total revenue over the past 180 days, excluding Bitcoin and Ethereum, are BNB Smart Chain (BNB), Avalanche (AVAX), Helium (HNT), Fantom (FTM) and Solana (SOL).

Layer-2 protocols

As mentioned above, the Ethereum network has limitations in terms of scalability that won’t be solved during the upcoming Merge, leaving an opening for layer-2 protocols to fill the need by helping to reduce the activity that occurs directly on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to L2Beat, which tracks the stats on the top Ethereum L2s, Arbitrum is ranked number one in terms of total value locked (TVL), followed by Optimism and dYdX.

Top 8 L2 networks by total value locked. Source: L2Beat

One network that was curiously left off the list provided by L2Beat, but remains the most highly adopted L2 in terms of active wallets and protocols launched is Polygon (MATIC), which currently has a TVL of $1.59 billion, according to data from DefiLlama.

As for the Bitcoin network, the main L2 solution that is currently seeing increased inflows is the Lightning network, but there is no token involved with the protocol. Instead, users can opt to run a node if they want to support the network as well as earn passive income.


The gaming sector of the cryptocurrency ecosystem has proven to be one of the more resilient in terms of keeping users engaged during the current crypto winter.

The emergence of play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity (AXS) helped shine a spotlight on the possibilities of blockchain-based gaming during the bull cycle of 2021 and has led to an offshoot of numerous “-to-earn” type protocols such as move-to-earn and learn-to-earn.

Data from DappRadar shows that some of the top games in terms of active users include Alien Worlds, Splinterlands and Farmers World, all of which operate on the WAX network while Axie Infinity is the top game in terms of the value of assets held in its smart contract.

Top six games in terms of currently active users. Source: DappRadar

There are also a host of other games that are still in development but nevertheless attracting a lot of attention, including Illuvium and Aavegotchi, as well as tokens that represent gaming ecosystems such as Enjin Coin (ENJ), Gala (GALA) and Ultra (UOS).

Social platforms

One sector of the cryptocurrency landscape that has yet to really get established in a notable way but represents a good opportunity to help increase adoption is social engagement platforms similar to Twitter, Facebook or Reddit.

Previous front runners in the social media landscape include Steem and its community-driven offshoot Hive, but neither protocol has really achieved widespread adoption to date.

While no other protocols currently in operation have managed to crack the code that attracts a lot of users who stay engaged long-term, events in the wider world including the ongoing drama around Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter show that social media remains in need of an openly accessible community-focused platform.

Related: 34% of gamers want to use crypto in the Metaverse, despite the backlash

Metaverse and NFT launchpads

A final sector worth keeping an eye on due to its widespread appeal with mainstream society including efforts that are already underway to integrate it into daily life is the Metaverse.

To help simplify matters, th Metaverse is a virtual reality representation of all the data and interactions that occur on the internet, built on top of blockchain technology.

While the concept of the Metaverse is still in its infancy, it’s a popular topic of conversation around the crypto sphere and is already attracting large investments from some of the most well-known and recognizable brands in the world.

In addition to the Metaverse, platforms that specialize in the creation and launch of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are also worth paying attention to as the NFT sector has been shown to be popular with the general public.

Some of the most developed and adopted Metaverse and NFT platforms currently in operation include The Sandbox (SAND), which recently partnered with Playboy to launch a MetaMansion social game on the platform, as well as Decentraland (MANA) and ApeCoin (APE).

Want more information about trading and investing in crypto markets?

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

How will NFTs bridge traditional gaming with blockchain? Enjin’s CTO Witek Radomski explains

"There's also a hugely untapped mountain of gold in gameplay possibilities with NFTs," says Radomski.

When it comes to nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, the subject is often a hit or miss for traditional gamers. While some players welcome the idea of being able to trade in-game digital collectibles for real money, others lament that NFTs could potentially take away the inherent entertainment built within games. So can NFTs contribute any additional value to traditional games, other than turning them into play-to-earn "moneymakers?"

To answer this, Cointelegraph Markets Pro spoke to Enjin's chief technology officer and co-founder Witek Radomski via an ask-me-anything session. Enjin offers a comprehensive suite of products for creating, tokenizing, trading, distributing and integrating NFTs into the virtual world of GameFi. Notable projects using the service include Lost Relic. In addition, Microsoft Azure is working with Enjin to gamify their developer experience with Azure Heroes NFTs. When asked about the future of GameFi, Radomski explained that it's difficult to build a good-looking game that's also fun to play, and it's even harder to grow a community around a game that sticks:

"We'll experience a renaissance of blockchain gaming once things settle down with the bear market and more established developers focus on fun games, NFT utility and thinking beyond simply earning crypto coins through playing a game."

Radomski is a big believer in using NFTs to gamify businesses. "Anywhere you can grant users access, special experiences, or exclusivity, NFTs are amazing. Nearly everyone online is creating some kind of digital content these days, and easy-to-use NFTs can help people give history, ownership, digital rights, and utility to everything being created." Radomski elaborated that NFTs fit specifically into this niche as game developers are constantly creating insanely cool games and content and need a way to present their idea to gamers that's immutable. In addition, he emphasized their role in validating one's digital identity in the face of a looming impersonation crisis:

"In a couple of years, bots can perfectly deepfake any human or artwork. Artists, designers, and musicians may have identity crises where celebrities, politicians, game streamers, and eventually, ordinary people will be constantly scammed by them. If you value your digital identity, your consciousness, and your validity in the new society, blockchain is the only thing that can both prove you created something."

To bridge the utility gap, Enjin is creating a complete end-to-end platform for building and using NFTs. Game developers would need to have their own blockchain development team pumping in months or years of effort to develop an NFT solution without such a platform. By building on Enjin, they can directly access the middleware and backend APIs, wallets, an internal marketplace, and a blockchain (Efinity) that is built for user experience with NFTs.

As for the ecosystem, Enjin's namesake coin can also be infused into NFTs on Ethereum. Its decentralized, cross-chain network for NFTs, dubbed Efinity, is built on Polkadot (DOT). It is designed for optimization of games and the capacity to mint and distribute potentially millions of NFTs. The overall Enjin community of users and developers has grown significantly over the years, with 150,000 Enjin Coin wallet addresses alone.

Join Cointelegraph's markets intelligence platform Markets Pro for an exclusive AMA with leading figures in the blockchain industry every week. 

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Cardano, Terra, Dogecoin and One Ethereum-Based Altcoin Looking Strong as ‘Mini Altseason’ Approaches: Crypto Analyst

A veteran crypto trader has his eyes on a slew of different altcoins while anticipating a “mini altseason” kicking off in the near future. The pseudonymous trader and analyst known as Kaleo says Cardano‘s (ADA) recent bounce may be a signal of what’s to come in the altcoin market. “Impressive move by ADA so far […]

The post Cardano, Terra, Dogecoin and One Ethereum-Based Altcoin Looking Strong as ‘Mini Altseason’ Approaches: Crypto Analyst appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

World’s Largest Ethereum Whale Initiates Massive Altcoin Purchase – Here’s a Look at the Trader’s Top Crypto Allocations

The king of all Ethereum (ETH) whale wallets just added another big stack to its expanding trove of crypto holdings. Whale-tracking bot WhaleStats reports that Light, the biggest Ethereum wallet on record, scooped up 500,000 tokens of ETH layer-2 scaling solution OMG Network (OMG) for a whopping $2.06 million. The latest buy puts Light’s OMG […]

The post World’s Largest Ethereum Whale Initiates Massive Altcoin Purchase – Here’s a Look at the Trader’s Top Crypto Allocations appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

As Bitcoin and Ethereum See Sharp Drops, 18 Crypto Assets Captured Double-Digit Gains Last Week

As Bitcoin and Ethereum See Sharp Drops, 18 Crypto Assets Captured Double-Digit Gains Last WeekWhile the crypto economy shed billions in value this week, 18 different digital assets have accrued double-digit gains during the last week. At the same time, the top two leading crypto assets by market capitalization, bitcoin and ethereum, have lost between 2.8% to 6.2% in value in seven days. 18 Crypto Assets See Values Increase […]

Ethereum (ETH) Competitor Avalanche (AVAX) Suffers Brief Network Outage Amid Upgrade

Cointelegraph Consulting: Gaming tokens usher in altcoin season

Gaming tokens are preceding an altcoin season with substantial rallies as the DeFi sector posts losses against Bitcoin.

While Bitcoin remains in a cool-off period after thrusting to its all-time high in early November and the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector in an apparent dry spell, gaming tokens seem to have taken the spotlight as massive gains are seen across the industry. 

The Sandbox’ SAND captured headlines as it spearheaded the enthusiasm for gaming tokens, with over 340% gains in the past month. Another one is GALA, with a similar 300% rally in November. Such coins, including those under the metaverse sphere like Decentraland’s MANA and Illuvium’s ILV, gained momentum after Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, suggesting that gaming tokens could be preceding a new altcoin season.

An altcoin season is defined as when a majority of the top altcoins outperform Bitcoin (BTC) over a set period. For example, Cointelegraph Markets Pro uses two weeks in its algorithm, and it currently broadcasts a 40% reading in favor of altcoins. This means altcoins have fared better than BTC over the two-week time period.

However, the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization had mixed results against BTC over the past month, and it is the leading tokens in the gaming sector that outclassed Bitcoin. SAND, of course, has been the frontrunner since October, but Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), Enjin Coin (ENJ), ILV and Ultra’s UOS had better gains compared with Bitcoin throughout November.

An investment in ILV back in September would be up by more than threefold and one in SAND by at least sevenfold. Overall, most of the tokens in the gaming sectors have appreciated by more than 100% against Bitcoin in the last month.

Why did gaming tokens take off?

The apparent popularity of gaming tokens stems from the marriage of cryptocurrencies and gaming. The two are forging a new ecosystem where crypto enthusiasts and gamers intertwine. Most are aware of Axie Infinity by now, as the Pokemon-like game exploded in popularity due to its play-to-earn (P2E) model. Initially, players breed monsters called “Axies” using experience points rather than a “currency” within the game. The Smooth Love Potion (SLP) token was not introduced until the release of the Community Alpha on Dec. 19, 2019. From there, the game picked up steam, particularly among developing countries like the Philippines since it provided a way to earn income amid the pandemic last year.

Moreover, nonfungible tokens also play a part in the success of the sector. The NFT hype was hot on the heels of 2020’s DeFi summer, and 2021 has been its breakout year. While artworks and collectible items gained the most publicity early on, games like Axie Infinity and Dark Country buffered the industry in May’s market downturn.

NFTs introduced the element of ownership within games. For Axie Infinity, this could be the Axies, which are valued by their rarity and aesthetic elements or its game’s in-game assets. Battle of the Guardians has quite the same concept, while for something like Splinterlands, these are the trading cards. Ostensibly, the capability to uniquely verify the attributes and uniqueness of digital assets is what breathed a new dynamic for gaming.

Attracting investments

As the popularity of gaming tokens continues to rise, more investments get funneled into the space. In 2021, about $3.7 billion has been raised by blockchain companies involved in gaming, a 414% increase from 2020, per BlockchainGamerBiz.

Forte, the most notable among these, secured $725 million in a Series B funding round led by Sea Capital and Kora Management. Forte plans to expand its product offerings and services and attract more game publishers onto its blockchain gaming platform. Fantasy soccer game Sorare also bagged a whopping $680 million back in September, which boosted its valuation to $1.2 billion.

OpenSea, an NFT marketplace that deals with game assets and other digital assets, is also among the unicorns in the space. Such deals signify the burgeoning growth of this class of tokens.

Future of blockchain gaming

The gaming sector of the broader cryptocurrency market is still relatively small. The top gaming tokens only boast about a $21 billion market cap — which is inconsequential compared with Bitcoin. This means that sector dominance is still there for the taking, as the market can change rapidly, especially since games, by design, may come and go. The argument, however, is whether the play-to-earn model can keep everyone interested.

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For instance, Axie Infinity’s scholarship program lets users with more capital bear the initial costs of playing the game for players (called “scholars”) who can't afford them, and the two parties share the SLP generated.

Axie Infinity has created a new digital ecosystem, and it continues to rake in more users. However, if players are more interested in playing for money — i.e., cashing out — then the price of SLP suffers. This has been the case for a while now. Suppose it gets to a certain level where players under its scholarship programs find the dollar value of SLP (after profit sharing) to be significantly less. In that case, it could discourage them from spending time playing the game at all.

However, Sky Mavis has also entered the Metaverse, as it recently sold virtual land for 550 Ether (ETH), or $2.3 million. It also plans to have developers create other games to keep things interesting for users, hoping to attract players drawn in by playing the game rather than the financial aspect. But whether this could buoy the price of SLP in the future remains to be seen. 

The gaming industry appears to have more advantages when merged with blockchain. If the current altcoin season seeps into 2022 with new developments, particularly the Metaverse, market dominance could quickly shift between tokens that further advance in the space.

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