Weekly Essentials

EDITION #1 - 21 JAN 2022

Edition #4 - 11 FEB 2022

 

 

A sea of green is dominating the crypto charts this week, whilst OpenSea incurs a drop of 30% in daily active user volume. 

Latest data from Coin Metrics shows “no correlation” between NFT and cryptocurrency prices.

gaming developments

  • New week, old news – Splinterlands, once again, remained the most popular blockchain game this week. The trading card game interacted with just under 500 thousand unique active wallets over the last 7 days, according to data from DappRadar;

  • Sky Mavis introduces an economic overhaul to its flagship P2E game Axie Infinity by drastically reducing in-game SLP rewards; 

  • Mobile gaming giant Zynga is set to "future proof" itself by increasing its web3 acquisitions and offer NFT games in 2022.

metaverses & vr

  • BlackRock, the worlds largest asset manager, predicts 2022 to be a game-changer for the metaverse;

  • Apple has reportedly leaked its VR/AR headset's OS code, titled realityOS;

  • Consulting and research giant Gartner forecasts 25% of the global population and 30% of businesses adopting the metaverse by 2026;

  • McDonald's is set to open a virtual restaurant in the metaverse, as virtual goods patent filings emerge;

  • A couple in India held a marriage ceremony on the blockchain - complete with a digital priest, OpenSea NFTs and ethereum smart contracts.

 

zen portfolio highlight

This week we highlight our portfolio company Zen Fighters, an up-and-coming fresh take on VR e-sports, complete with competitive 1-on-1 battles, upgradable NFT fighters and play-to-earn opportunities.

 

Zen Fighters is already available as a highly-anticipated early demo release fully fledged in VR - give it a go and take part in the ongoing efforts of blurring the lines between traditional sports and e-sports gaming.

 

Keep up with the latest updates on development and the upcoming token and NFT launches by joining their growing communities on Twitter, Discord and Telegram.

defi

  • Assange-Pak NFT was sold for $53 million earlier this week in one of the largest single NFT sales to date. The purchase was made by AssangeDAO, an organisation focused on providing legal aid to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks;

  • Last week we noted the Wormhole heist - the second largest DeFi hack to date of $320 million. The team has since issued a detailed statement and timeline of the incident;

  • Avalanche, a top 4 DeFi blockchain, has reached $10 billion TVL for the first time;

  • US government's reported total holdings of Bitcoin exceed $4 billion, trailing only MicroStrategy and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

funding rounds

  • Polygon, a Layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution, has completed a raise of $450 million lead by Sequoia, Tiger Global and SoftBank at $20 billion valuation;

  • Alchemy, a crypto infrastructure and software developer, completed a Series C round of $200 million, bringing its valuation to $10.2 billion - more than triple the valuation of the last funding round in October;

  • Aleo, a privacy focused blockchain, has closed its Series B of $200 million this week, valuing the company at $1.45 billion.

In another blow to Meta (previously Facebook), a recent survey on the metaverse adoption, conducted by metaverse infrastructure provider Advokate Group, revealed that 87% of consumers do not want a metaverse that is run by Meta and would prefer a decentralised alternative, with 77% sharing concerns about Meta's private data mismanagement.

 

Screenshot 2022-02-11 at 02.13.33.png

Subscribe to Weekly Essentials

Edition #3 - 4 FEB 2022

 

 

OpenSea, the premier NFT marketplace, reaches $5 billion in NFT volume traded over January, an all-time high for a calendar month. 

 

January's volume is almost 50% greater than the previous high of August 2021. The record month also lead to over $1 billion worth of ETH being burned during the period. 

gaming developments

  • Splinterlands is once again the most popular blockchain game this week, with just under 500,000 unique wallets connected in the last 7 days, according to data from DappRadar;

  • A piece of virtual real estate on Decentraland was sold in a mortgage-financed deal last week, the first in the metaverse. TerraZero, a metaverse land development company, provided their client with majority of the funds to buy the digital asset in question in exchange for land collateral. TerraZero is already planning to expand “metaverse mortgages” to a wider retail market;

  • Warner Music Group (WMG) partners with The Sandbox gaming metaverse to create the first ever music-themed world, concerts and music experiences;

  • Quantum Economics CEO: crypto is key for future of gaming, off-chain games to struggle in the next 5 years;

  • Agriculture simulation game DeFi Land announces the start of its highly-anticipated NFT sales.

metaverses & vr

  • Metaverse growth, investment activity and mass NFT adoption is expected to continue in 2022 - Newzoo's Metaverse and Blockchain gaming prediction for 2022;

  • Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) lost over 20% of market cap in Wednesday's aftermarket. Meta, for the first time, revealed financials for Reality Labs, its metaverse building division, with net losses of over $10 billion in calendar year of 2021, totalling to over $20 billion since 2019;

  • Fidelity Investments is seeking approval for a launch of a Metaverse ETF, comprised of companies generating at least 50% of their revenue from gaming and wearable technology, digital infrastructure and computing hardware;

  • Coachella, one of the most popular music festivals in the world, announces the launch of its proprietary NFTs. The auction dropincludes 10 Infinity Keys – lifetime VIP passes to the festival – the first ever for Coachella;

  • The first NFT-only museum opened its doors to the public last week. The Seattle NFT Museum is spread over 3,000 square feet, exhibiting artwork and galleries designed to highlight “the most innovative” crypto art;

  • Ever wanted to get baptised in virtual reality? Meet DJ Soto and his metaverse church with a 200-strong congregation.

 

zen portfolio highlight

This week we highlight our portfolio company Mars4, a triple-A survival VR metaverse game on Mars - a colony in an atmospheric, first-person struggle against the harsh realities of life on the red planet. 

 

Over 55 thousand Mars4 land plots have been sold already, representing geographically-exact plots of land across the face of Mars. Created based on data from NASA and other space agencies, the world of Mars4 is to be fully realised in unparalleled 3D graphics - all with passive income and NFT monetisation potential.

 

Move into Mars and expand your colony in Q3 2022. For now, find out more by engaging with Mars4 communities on TwitterDiscord and Telegram.

defi

  • Sifu, the treasurer of Time Wonderland, was doxxed last week as Michael Patryn, a convicted fraudster and a co-founder of the now infamous QuadrigaCX exchange. In response, the holders voted Patryn out and even held a no-confidence vote for winding down of the DAOs $300 million treasury;

  • Snowball DAO and Teddy Cash stablecoin voted to merge this week, marking the first DAO merger on Avalanche;

  • Grayscale, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, launches its first Future of Finance index ETF;

  • Wormhole Network, a cross-chain bridge protocol, was hacked for $320 million this week in the second largest DeFi heist to date.

funding rounds

  • Unblocked, an NFT startup, raises $10 million Seed round, at a valuation of $90 million, lead by Tiger Global, Oaktree and Jay-Z;

  • Dune Analytics, a blockchain research provider, raises $69.4 million Series B lead by Coatue. The round completion confirms Dune’s unicorn valuation at $1 billion;

  • Phantom, a leading Solana wallet, raises $109 million in an equity Series B round, lead by Paradigm, valuing Phantom at $1.2 billion. Existing investors a16z, DeFi Alliance and Solana Ventures, amongst others, top up their holdings.

 

 

QuBit Finance was also breached this week, with the hacker confirmed to have dispossessed circa $80 million. As a last resort, QuBit resorted to pleading with the hacker on Twitter by offering a $2 million bounty in exchange to returning the stolen funds. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2022-02-04 at 10.44.03.png
 

Subscribe to Weekly Essentials

Edition #2 - 28 JAN 2022

Coinbase released its highly anticipated "Year in Review" report for 2021 this week

 

Total value locked in DeFi protocols has jumped from about $17 billion at the start of the year to around $250 billion by the end;

Ethereum’s share of DeFi TVL went from nearly 99% at the start of 2021 to about 60% at the end;

Decentralized exchanges reached cumulative volume of over $1 trillion in 2021. Uniswap's protocol accounted for circa 78% of the activity, with instances where it even surpassed Coinbase in trading activity.

 

Check out this week's big read here.

 

gaming developments

 

  • Splinterlands, the leading P2E game, surpassed 1 billion card battles this week in a “historic moment” for the P2E genre. Splinterlands remains the most popular P2E game, with over half a million wallets connected over the last week;

  • One of the most anticipated play-to-earn games – Illuvium, launches private beta testing. Only 500 spots are available for registration, which is likely to increase overtime;

  • SkyMavis is attempting to battle rapid inflation of NFTs in its flagship P2E game Axie Infinity. The developer introduces Axie burning (releasing) mechanism in exchange for Lunar New Year cosmetic items and entries into raffle draws;

  • Last week we highlighted the launch of the first official tennis grand slam in the metaverse – Australian Open on Decentraland. The event has been drawing in around 5,000 unique visitors daily, peaking at over 28,000. The experiment is on track to be the most successful Decentraland’s event to date.

     

metaverses & vr

  • Goldman Sachs: metaverse is an $8 trillion investment opportunity. The premier investment bank joins the likes of Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, BlackRock and Cathie Wood amongst others in backing of digitalised metaverse assets;

  • UFC, the leading MMA promoter, is actively planning to arrange a VR fight in the metaverse, UFC’s president Dana White confirms;

  • YouTube's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, hints NFTs and other blockchain integration in the platform's 2022 Priorities newsletter;

  • A new survey by Obsess, a virtual store creator and e-commerce platform, found 7 out of 10 customers visiting a virtual metaverse store to make at least a single purchase, 60% of customers are likely to return and do so again. In comparison, global conversion rates for standard e-commerce stores average at circa 3%.

zen portfolio highlight

This week we highlight our portfolio company Spellfire, a collectible card game presenting players with unique experiences in its rich fantasy world consisting of diverse lands, mythical creatures, unique races and magical capabilities.

With a backing of top tier VC funds, private funding round oversubscribed twice and already returning an ROI of circa 400% since it's 27th of January public listing on Huobi Prime, Gate, MEXC and leading DEXs, Spellfire's team is on track to establish this classic 90s card game for the metaverse age.

 

Find out more by joining Spellfire's vibrant communities on TwitterDiscord and Telegram.

defi

  • DeFi protocol use for money laundering activities increased almost 20x YoY, amounting to 17% of the total value of funds laundered via Crypto;

  • veDAO, a new DeFi project built on Fantom to qualify for Andre Cronje’s ve(3,3) accumulates $2.7 billion of TVL in the first 48 hours after launch;

  • Tantra, a proprietary crypto trading firm offering fixed-rate retail products, forced to liquidate after a string of poor performance, citing "collapsing interest spreads" and a "historical GBTC discount".

funding rounds

  • Crypto Exchange FTX US raises a Series A of $400 million at a valuation of $8 billion, with Softbank, Paradigm, Three Arrows Capital and Lightspeed Ventures leading the round;

  • Fireblocks, a digital asset custody platform, raises $550 million in Series E, lead by Spark Capital and and D1 Capital Partners. The conclusion of the funding round quadrupled Fireblocks’ value to $8 billion since its valuation during Series D in the summer;

  • BreederDAO, a Filipino led gaming guild specialising in lending out NFTs for play-to-earn games, completed a $10 million Series A this week, lead by Andreesen Horowitz and Delphi Digital.

 

 

 

Another rough week for Solana, as it endures its sixth outage this month. This time, for 48 hours straight, causing liquidations across the network. In response, co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko tweets out "lol".

Screenshot 2022-01-28 at 11.06.27.png

Subscribe to Weekly Essentials

 

 

 

Edition #1 - 21 JAN 2022

 

Play-to-earn, metaverses and VR are going mainstream in 2022. Or, at least, getting the recognition they deserve.

 

Check out the full Newzoo's 2022 gaming market prediction.

 

gaming and metaverses

 

vr developments

  • Disney is optimistic that VR will showcase a clear implementation of metaverse to the physical world;

  • Apple reportedly does not intend to follow Meta (formerly Facebook) in their metaverse push - instead, the company's "mixed reality" headset will be focused on shorter periods of gaming, communication, and content consumption.

 

zen portfolio highlight

This week we highlight our portfolio company Ertha, a real world simulation, crypto based NFT game featuring a player driven economy, wars and politics.

With a backing of top tier VC funds, 20,000 NFT sales to date and yielding an ROI of circa 2,000% since it's record breaking 4th of January listing on Huobi Prime, Ertha is already in pole position to be the leading metaverse.

 

Find out more about Ertha and keep in-the-loop with the latest developments on TwitterDiscord and Telegram.

 

defi

  • The first decentralised bond market, SuperBonds, launches on Solana after raising over $3 million during an oversubscribed Seed round in November. DeFi’s debutant fixed-interest rate market aims to pioneer anchored yield instrument alternatives for stablecoin returns;

  • Multichain, the premier Cross Chain Router Protocol, has warned of a potential security breach affecting the platform. Two days later, reports of stolen funds emerge, with user losses reaching an estimated $3 million.

 

funding rounds

 

  • Animoca Brands closes another funding round (its 4th since May) by raising $358.8 million with a pre-money valuation of over $5 billion.

  • DeFi API start-up Conduit raises $17 million with a round lead by Portage Ventures, including the ex-partner of a16z, Rex Salisbury;

  • DeFi Alliance, a web3 start-up accelerator raises $50 million in a bid to shift to DAO structure;

  • Stader Labs, a Luna staking management platform, raises $12.5 million from Three Arrows, Accel and GoldenTree, closing the round at a valuation of $450 million.

Governments around the world are tightening cryptocurrency regulations, with Singapore and UK watchdogs announcing proposals to limit crypto advertising.

Screenshot 2022-01-18 at 11.21.43.jpeg

Subscribe to Weekly Essentials