🎮 Ready, Set - APE! Gaming is back!
PLUS are dApps the next frontier?
🗞 Market commentary.
GM and welcome again apes!
"Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
All of the above! Let’s dive back into this crypto rabbit hole, high spirits intact, even though there's an eerie feeling in the air, reminiscent of the time just before March 2020...
As our increasingly interconnected world becomes more fragile, so do the traditional, and even more connected crypto markets, which are currently under significant pressure. While BTC struts and is flexing pumps caused by false ETF news (yeah, before you go all-in with a 100x leverage, maybe keep an ear out for actual SEC notifications, points for Gary), the ETH/BTC chart looks, to put it mildly, pretty grim. Although we might be right in bounce territory, we should be cautious of another leg-down right after.
"Bitcoin for times of war, Ethereum for times of peace" is a saying that resonates now, especially as BTC Dominance exceeds 52% for the first time in two years. Not even Elizabeth Warren can undermine the current strength of BTC, as she doesn’t seem satisfied with the new war fronts of today's reality and plans to initiate another anti-crypto campaign with an army of 100 politicians. Good luck trying to halt decentralized networks, Liz. Just a heads up.
Not only is the crypto market gazing solely into the BTC price, but a shift in attention can now also be slightly - and tangibly - felt in DeFi and L2 fatigue. Gone are the days when every CT avatar under the open sky chased after that ARB airdrop and all new layer-2 networks were the center of all sights. A clear example is the recent mainnet launch of the promising zkEVM rollup Scroll. Although its TVL has been growing noticeably in the last few days, it's still far from the billion-dollar values of the Arbitrum season.
Contrary to the intuition of many, there's a bubbling comeback strength in the L1 sector. This can be seen in the traction of the Avalanche ecosystem and, for example, the strength of the SOL/ETH chart.
Which leads us nicely right to the Degen Corner...
🤓 In today’s email.
Degen corner. Crypto gaming is ready for an epic comeback
DeFi insights. From DeFi to SocialFi, we’ve got you covered
ICYMI. Interview with Mantle, Still Early with Shrapnel, research on GMX v2 and more
Tweet of the day. Strobe, are you a macro doomer for real?
And finally. SocialFi dApps showing the way
🔥 Degen corner.
A lot has changed in the crypto world during the times of the Big Bear. User accessibility is now stealing the spotlight, and the rapid development of account abstraction is cooking up the exact blend for the masses: a seamless crypto experience combined with viral apps.
Ask yourself (or your phone), what keeps you glued to the screen the longest? That’s right: social media and games.
Above you see the stickiness of active addresses in the Avalanche ecosystem. Moreover, StarsArena is a perfect example of how quickly a user spillover can occur with the viral onset of an accessible, user-friendly application combining a social layer with blockchain financialization.
We don't need to be geniuses to imagine the massive influx of users during the explosion of a viral game where players can truly own their items, weapons, and all kinds of loot. After all, we’ve got a live study of this phenomenon right before our eyes in the form of CS:GO boxes:
"OK, but isn't crypto gaming dead after the 2021 crash?" Quite the contrary...
The average game development time ranges from three to five years. The blockchain gaming industry experienced its first euphoric wave in 2021, and now we are beginning to see the arrival of the first AAA titles that use blockchain in the background.
Although the crypto scene now seems as barren as a Sahara dune, but behind the scenes, hundreds of developers are actively brewing magic.
You may have noticed the multi-weekly strength of Merit Circle (MC), which brings us back to the Avalanche network.
"In Merit Circle, we realized that the best way is to have our own blockchain. Avalanche Subnets are the perfect solution, providing us with all the necessary infrastructure." This is what the CTO of Merit Circle, Brandon Aaskov means by subnet Beam, specifically an EVM-compatible network directly prepared for Web3 gaming.
Moreover, after the euphoria and subsequent failure of the crypto-gaming wave of 2021, it became clear to everyone that Play-to-Earn as a concept is fundamentally dull.
Games are primarily Play-to-Play, and if the game itself is neither engaging nor addictive, then none of the players will be interested in daily gold farming and the subsequent forging of a legendary axe made of ultra-rare neoplasmin, just to show it off in the capital city just like a rare Pudgy Penguin flex on CT.
So, if we manage to create a user experience similar to World of Warcraft combined with a cross-game economy backed by tokens and NFTs, then we are talking about a completely new frontier of gaming worlds.
We will continue to monitor this sector for you so keep your eyes peeled.
In the meantime, you can check out a few previews of upcoming games in the Avalanche ecosystem, it seems things are about to get cooked and ready to serve:
· Shrapnel (Don’t miss the Still Early interview below)
Lastly, it's worth noting the campaign launched this week, Hyperspace AVAX, which by the way attracted more than 15,000 users in its first week. Thank us later – first, feel free to create your own referral link and enjoy the incentives.
👀 DeFi insights.
The important bits.
Lybra (LSD) - Among LSD Protocols Seeing Increase in TVL - read
Premia (Options) – New Masterclass available, put your learning hat on - read
Avalanche (L1) – Introducing Avalanche Community Proposals (ACPs) - read
PintSwap (OTC/P2P Dex) – PINT token is live - read
Berachain (DeFi L1) – Berachain announces one last NFT rebase - read
StarsArena (SocialFi) – Liquidity is back on the rise - read
DPX & RDPX (Options) – Leading the 7-Day inflow on Arbitrum - read
Immutable (Gaming, L2) – $67M token vesting delayed by another year - read
Lido (LSD) – Stopping support for Solana - read
CowSwap (DEX) – will help circumvent Uniswap 0.15% fees - read
Polkadot (L1 interoperability) – announces a 40% workforce cut - read
📰 DeFi news.
Even more important bits.
Reddit Rugged Community Points – Keep it crypto, frens, the Web2 geezers have no idea what they’re doing - read
SEC Drops the Ripple Case – Garlinghouse wins and is about to flip that switch! In all seriousness, this is good for our beloved alts - read
Bitcoin Hash Rate is Off the Charts – The BTC miners are taking no prisoners as the HR is 3x higher than at the peak of the 2021 bull - read
ETH Validator Queue Cleared Out – For the first time since the Shanghai upgrade, the validator path is cleared out – ETH/BTC reset coming soon? - read
US Government Now Holds $5B in BTC – do these guys have diamond hands like Saylor though? - read
Life gets busy so here’s what you’ve missed.
🐥 Tweet of the day.
To save you doom scrolling.
Strobe might just be trolling here, but this meme is definitely on point…
🦍 And finally…
If there is something we can take away from the events of 2023, it is the fact that, despite seemingly unfavorable winds from the real world, crypto is continually able to present new and unexpected opportunities.
We've experienced the January NFT and DeFi season, an unexpected memecoin bull run caused by the extreme surge of the PEPE token, the successful Shappella upgrade of Ethereum, and the explosion of SocialFi... all at a time when crypto is completely off the mainstream radar.
The vibes? Damn reminiscent of 2019's, and looking back, it was precisely during this era that we saw potentially generational entry points.
However, if we can take one significant point for the future, it is the power of viral applications. In a time when we have an absolute overflow of free and fast blockspace, it's time to refocus on user-explosive dApps – the rapid influx of users that we've observed in the case of Friend.Tech or StarsArena should not be underestimated. It's a clear demonstration that a single application has the potential, in the future, to surpass the activity of several L1 networks at once.
Friendship with infrastructure is over, now dApps are my best friend.
Bottom line? Buckle up: we are not only here at the right time, but still early...
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🤝 A final word.
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