Značka: games

Going meta: Disney, Second Life and K-pop

Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranding in a shift towards the Metaverse, many projects have started similar initiatives entering the virtual space, from buying property to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer. Visit Disneyland… in the Metaverse?The entertainment company behind some of the most popular theme parks in the world recently had a patent approved for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue.” Though the Los Angeles Times reported that Disney had “no current plans” to use the simulator in the near future, the application does suggest Disneyland and Disney World guests may eventually see Metaverse attractions at one or more of the parks in the United States, Hong Kong, China, France, and Japan. Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Source: PexelsThe tech would work by tracking visitors using their mobile phones and generating and projecting personalized 3D effects onto nearby physical spaces, such as walls and other objects in the park. According to the patent application, Disney’s possible foray into the Metaverse could “provide users with realistic and highly immersive individualized 3D virtual experiences without requiring those users to wear an augmented reality AR viewing device.”K-pop in the Metaverse?On Monday, Metaverse concert organizer Animal Concerts announced it had inked a deal with South Korean unicorn Kakao’s Klaytn network as part of a plan to increase its exposure to the country’s entertainment industry. Animal Concerts CEO Colin Fitzpatrick said that “Klaytn’s major goals are NFTs and Metaverse.”“Technical limitations prohibit how many people can actually attend a concert in the Metaverse,” said Fitzpatrick, referencing scalability issues. He aims to build a network of virtual venues across existing and new Metaverse platforms to host concerts with a variety of talent, seemingly including K-pop artists.Second Life creator returns as project goes metaLinden Lab, the company behind the virtual online world Second Life, announced on Thursday founder Philip Rosedale would be rejoining the project as a strategic adviser along with Metaverse team members of San Francisco-based VR company High Fidelity. According to the firm, the addition of the new and old talent would facilitate Second Life’s entry into the Metaverse.“Virtual worlds don’t need to be dystopias,” said Rosedale. “Big Tech giving away VR headsets and building a metaverse on their ad-driven, behavior-modification platforms isn’t going to create a magical, single digital utopia for everyone.”Launched in 2003, Second Life was one of the earliest virtual world experiences before the connectivity of modern social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Rosedale departed as the CEO of Linden Labs in 2008 before going on to found High Fidelity in 2013. His return could mark a significant milestone for incorporating new Metaverse-themed ideas into established platforms:Philip Rosedale returning to Linden Labs (breaking news today) definitely reminds me of Steve Jobs in the 90s returning to Apple #secondlife #metaverse— Andrew Oleksiuk (they/them) (@Andrew_Oleksiuk) January 13, 2022

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NFT sales and blockchain games continue to grow despite the recent market slump: Report

January 2022 continues to be rough for crypto investors as current markets see turbulent fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Some have attributed the slump to recent federal intentions to introduce new rate hikes, and the political turmoil in Kazakhstan which significantly lowered the hash rate of bitcoin. On Jan. 14, the price of Bitcoin dipped below $42,000 as traders continued to hold out hope for bullish signals. NFT trading and blockchain games on the other hand seem to have resisted the dip. According to reports from DappRadar, NFT transactions continued to increase amidst declining crypto prices. The report stated that “the number of UAW connected to Ethereum NFT dapps grew by 43% since Q3 2021.” Numbers from the report also show that the money generated by NFT trading went from $10.7 billion in Q3 2021 to $11.9 billion in the first ten days of 2022. Recent developments in the NFT space such as the launch of the LooksRare marketplace may have also contributed to this growth. The report also stated that “blockchain games continue to be widely used”, and noted that they “represent 52% of the industry’s usage.” Expanding metaverse developments alongside the growing success of the play-to-earn model have also strengthened the case for blockchain games to continue growing throughout 2022. The growing interest in NFTs and blockchain gaming during this market slump can partially be attributed to Chinese audiences, which coincides with the recent announcements from China that say that the country will begin developing its own non-crypto NFT industry. According to DappRadar’s report, “China is now the country with the most extensive user base…increasing 166% from the numbers registered in November.”Even though the United States is now second in terms of overall traffic, the country still saw 175,000 new users in the NFT ecosystem, a growth of around 38%. This comes in part from the growing interests among younger audiences as millennials and generation Z start to account for a higher percentage of traffic. DappRadar reported that “30% of its traffic came from users from this age group… [with millennials] growing from the 36% observed from last year.”

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Sega will likely not introduce NFTs for play-to-earn if 'perceived as simple money-making'

The leadership at video game firm Sega Corporation’s holding company has suggested that they may avoid nonfungible tokens in play-to-earn model games based on the response from users.In a Dec. 14 meeting of Sega Sammy Holdings’ CEO Haruki Satomi, senior executive vice president Koichi Fukazawa, and Sega Corporation president Yukio Sugino, the trio said they needed to “carefully assess” how to potentially introduce nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, into Sega titles to “mitigate the negative elements” and work within Japanese regulations. The executives cited “negative reactions” from users overseas rewarded in NFTs for gameplay.“In terms of NFT, we would like to try out various experiments and we have already started many different studies and considerations but nothing is decided at this point regarding [play-to-earn],” said Sega. “We will consider this further if this leads to our mission “Constantly Creating, Forever Captivating,” but if it is perceived as simple money-making, I would like to make a decision not to proceed.”The executives added that any rollout of NFTs in play-to-earn model games would “be better to work with partners on new technologies and domains […] rather than dealing with them in-house.” It’s unclear how the video game company intends to move forward with gauging user interest.Related: Play-to-earn games are ushering in the next generation of platformsThe Sega Corporation is a Japan-based game developer and a subsidiary of the Sega Group Corporation, which merged with the Sammy Corporation in 2004. The company has been behind many popular games since the introduction of Sonic the Hedgehog in the 1990s — Sega’s latest title in the series, Sonic Frontiers, is scheduled to be released in 2022. In April 2021, the company announced it planned to expand into NFTs through a partnership with game developer double jump.tokyo. 当社は、double jump .tokyo株式会社との協業による、ブロックチェーンの技術を活用したNFTデジタルコンテンツについて、2021年夏頃を目途に販売を開始します。https://t.co/b8pMW6dg9G pic.twitter.com/3idW6RI71z— セガ公式アカウント (@SEGA_OFFICIAL) April 27, 2021Should Sega move forward with using NFTs in play-to-earn model games, it would be joining a variety of gaming companies incorporating the technology. In March 2021, France-based game publisher Ubisoft launched One Shot League, a fantasy soccer game developed in collaboration with the Ethereum-based game Sorare.

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GameFi apps revived interest in blockchain gaming: Huobi Research

Crypto exchange Huobi’s research arm, Huobi Research, has identified a rising interest in blockchain gaming as a direct impact from GameFi initiatives. GameFi implies the use of decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain gaming that incentivizes users based on a play-to-earn model. According to Huobi Research, on-chain data suggests that GameFi initiatives have seen a steep increase since June 2021, owing to a sizable reduction in transaction costs and improved user experience. Ways that GameFi reduces transaction fees. Source: Huobi ResearchThe research shows that popular blockchain games such as CryptoKitties recorded a maximum of 140,000 daily active users and 180,000 daily transactions back in November 2017 but lost over 90% user interaction within a few months:“Early blockchain games suffered from defects such as singular models, simplistic entertainment and poor experiences in general.”Changes in CryptoKitties daily active users and trading volume. Source: DappRadar, Huobi ResearchHowever, the blockchain gaming industry saw a comeback with integrating nonfungible tokens (NFT), DeFi and other play-to-earn elements. NFT-based pet game Axie Infinity made $9.72 million in a single day in June, surpassing Tencent’s record at the time.“DApp rankings show that five of the top nine apps are GameFi apps. As of early December [2021], GameFi’s weekly active users have reached 9.21 million, a record high.”Based on the above findings, Huobi Research concluded that transaction costs are essential in new institutional economics. While the gaming industry had already implemented play-to-earn features, “the society tends to choose the system with the lowest transaction costs to operate.”The research also highlights three fundamental aspects of how GameFi differs from other existing gaming models — free trading of game materials, free trading and pricing of game currencies, and protection of property rights. Moreover, GameFi developers have the advantage to deploy private property rights via NFTs at a lower cost:“This not only is a comparative advantage that traditional game developers never had, but also reflects the intrinsic value of blockchain technology in the gaming industry.”

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5 cryptocurrency projects that made waves in 2021

2021 was a breakout year for the cryptocurrency market in many respects and most investors are absolutely thrilled that Bitcoin (BTC) price established a new all-time high of $68,789. In the same timeframe, Ether (ETH) went on a parabolic rally which saw its price gain 565% from Jan. 1 to hit a record high at $4,859 on Nov. 10.While it was a banner year for large cap cryptocurrencies, some of the biggest gains and most impactful developments came from the altcoin market where decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) rallied by thousands of percent and helped to usher in a new level of awareness and adoption for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Here’s a look at five altcoin projects that made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2021. UniswapThe decentralized exchange Uniswap (UNI) has arguably had the greatest impact on the crypto ecosystem as a whole since launching in the summer of 2020, with the DEX seeing significant growth throughout 2021 as it helped facilitate the launch of thousands of new crypto projects by removing the barriers to launch that existed on centralized exchanges.Data provided by Dune Analytics shows that Uniswap has been the dominant DEX throughout the year and it has consistently seen more trading volume than all other DEXs combined. Monthly DEX volume by project. Source: Dune AnalyticsAs seen on the chart above, the volume traded on decentralized exchanges really started to ramp up in the second half of 2021 led in large part by activity on Uniswap. Throughout 2021 Uniswap led the field in development as well, with the developers behind the protocol announcing the release of Uniswap v3 in March. The v3 upgrade included multiple protocol upgrades and it built the foundation to integrate layer-two scaling solutions like Optimism and Arbitrum with Uniswap as a way to help reduce the transaction costs and processing times for users. AaveAave (AAVE) is a DeFi lending protocol that allows users to deposit their tokens and lend them out as a way to earn a yield or pledge them as collateral in order to borrow another asset.As the DeFi sector started to gain traction in early 2021, AAVE emerged as a community favorite thanks to the wide swath of crypto assets supported and the backing from some well-funded players.Over the course of the year, AAVE expanded its capabilities and reach with the release of AAVE v2 which added support for Polygon, a layer-two scaling solution, and Avalanche, which is a popular cross-chain blockchain network.Total liquidity on the AAVE protocol. Source: AaveAs a result of these added capabilities, the total liquidity available on the AAVE protocol has surpassed $25.7 billion, making AAVE the top-ranked DeFi protocol by total value locked (TVL). CurveCurve Finance is a stablecoin-focused protocol that utilizes an automated market maker to manage liquidity on the platform and across the DeFi ecosystem. Stablecoins have emerged as a foundational piece for the cryptocurrency community as a whole in 2021 because they provide sufficient liquidity for the market and a safe haven for traders seeking shelter during periods of high volatility. The growing importance that stablecoins have benefited Curve protocol and its native CRV by accelerating its integration of stablecoins into many of the top DeFi protocols, including the Yearn.Finance ecosystem and Convex Finance. Despite the fact that a significant portion of the assets locked on the Curve protocol are stablecoins, the platform now ranks as the second leading protocol in terms of TVL behind AAVE, with data from Defi Llama showing that $21.77 billion in value is now locked in Curve vaults. Total value locked on Curve. Source: Defi LlamaCurve has also integrated with many of the most active blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Avalanche, Harmony, xDAI, Polygon, Arbitrum and Fantom, which is further evidence of the protocol’s quest to be the stablecoin liquidity provider for the entire crypto market. Related: US Financial Stability Oversight Council identifies stablecoins and cryptos as threats to financial systemAxie InfinityAxie Infinity is a play-to-earn (p2e) trading and battling game that allows participants to collect, breed, raise, battle and trade NFT-based creatures called Axies. The p2e model emerged as a new fan favorite over the course of 2021 because it provides users with the ability to earn a daily income alongside their gameplay, which offers a few unique advantages when compared to the traditional pay-to-play model.Alongside the rise in popularity of Axie Infinity came a new all-time high for the platform’s native AXS token. As the token stormed to new highs, the platform generated a daily revenue of $17.55 million at its height on August 6. Axie Infinity price vs. total revenue. Source: Token TerminalAxie Infinity was also one of the earliest projects to establish the trend of migrating away from the Ethereum network because of high fees and slow transactions. Earlier in the year the project migrated to the Ronin sidechain and in November the project launched its own DEX called Katana.DogecoinDogecoin is an open-source proof of work cryptocurrency that leads the field of “meme” coins that made headlines all throughout 2021. While the project has few contributions on the technological or development front, frequent shilling from the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban helped to push Doge into a 23,746% rally that saw the price rise fr from $0.0031 on Jan. 1 to an all-time high of $0.74 on May 8. DOGE/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewOn top of the gains seen in DOGE price, the token received increased attention after it was announced that it would be used to help fund the launch of a lunar satellite by SpaceX and the Dogecoin movement also kicked off a meme-coin rally and spawned a bevy of copy-dog projects li Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON). 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.

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NFT-collateralized loan platform Arcade raises $15M in funding round

Arcade, a platform that allows users to utilize nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as loan collateral, has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round with participation from Pantera Capital.In a Wednesday announcement, Arcade said Pantera, Castle Island Ventures, Franklin Templeton Blockchain Fund, Golden Tree Asset Management, Eniac Ventures, Protofund, Probably Nothing Capital and Lemniscap in addition to angel investors BlockFi CEO Zac Prince and Quantstamp CEO Richard Ma were behind the investment in an effort to connect NFT-collateralized lending with the decentralized finance space. The platform is also coming out of a private release with $3.3 million in total loan volume secured on a total of $10 million in assets.Arcade co-founder Gabe Frank said NFTs account for a significant portion of the ever-growing DeFi market, which is currently worth over $250 billion in terms of total value locked. “However, the lack of infrastructure in DeFi prevents NFT holders from achieving liquidity on their holdings despite massive market caps,” he said. Arcade’s LinkedIn page shows at least 10 U.S.-based employees, with the company currently hiring for various roles, including a senior software engineer, lead talent specialist and team coordinator. Lauren Stephanian, principal at Pantera Capital, said the platform’s collateralization of NFTs had the potential to incentivize participation from “institutional lenders, high-net-worth individuals, DAOs, companies with NFTs on their balance sheets and NFT collectors.”Related: Nexo partners with Three Arrows Capital to launch NFT lending & art financing serviceOther platforms have already launched or are in the process of launching services to facilitate loans against NFTs, including ETNA Network and Lithuania-based lending platform Drops. In March, lending protocol Teller Finance announced that some of its users would be able to obtain credit without posting collateral, accessible through special NFTs.

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NFT gaming generated $2.32B in Q3 — BGA report

Blockchain gaming continues to grow and dominate the nonfungible token (NFT) space with a share of roughly 22% of all NFT trading volume in the third quarter of 2021, according to a report released by the Blockchain Gaming Alliance, or BGA. The report showed that NFT games accumulated $2.32 billion in revenue between July and September. Metaverse-related activity was also highlighted in the report. It showed that virtual land sales reached $42.6 million while the total market capitalization for virtual world decentralized apps reached an all-time high of $4.6 billion at the end of November. Additionally, the report mentioned that there is a “6,566% increase in daily unique active wallets.” These are wallets that interact with smart contracts connected to games. The report also cited significant investments in blockchain gaming companies this year. Hong Kong-based game software company Animoca Brands raised $88 million in May, $138 million in July and $65 million in October, doubling its valuation to $2.2 billion. Additionally, Cryptokitties developer Dapper Labs shocked the world with $230 million in sales on its NBA Top Shot project. Meanwhile, Pokemon-inspired NFT battling gaming Axie Infinity currently holds the record as the highest NFT sales with almost $4 billion all-time sales. DappRadar co-founder Dragos Dunica believes that this growth will continue as everything comes together toward the metaverse. According to Dunica, the user growth of blockchain games will lead to something bigger and “potentially all-encompassing, the Metaverse.”The metaverse has been described as more than a game, but less than the real world. As our interactions become more virtual, NFTs appear to be a pivotal factor in accelerating the metaverse’s development. https://t.co/iE0pAlWkux— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) August 29, 2021Related: We saw mainstream adoption for NFT art kicking off in 2021, says NFT.NYC co-founder Cameron BaleAs the metaverse becomes more popular, major companies are jumping into the fray. In China, despite warnings from the government about NFTs and virtual assets, companies embarked on a race to register metaverse-related trademarks. More than a thousand companies applied to register 8,534 metaverse trademarks by Sunday.

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MGA Entertainment and Ioconic launch L.O.L. Surprise NFT platform in 20,000 retail stores worldwide

Toy company MGA entertainment announced Tuesday that the first NFT-based cards for the L.O.L. Surprise trading card game are now available for purchase.The company entered into a partnership with digital asset consultancy firm Ioconic in September, and now hopes that the $25 billion L.O.L. Surprise brand will succeed in ushering its young fans into the NFT ecosystem.10 million physical packs of the card game, containing 50 million individual cards, are to be delivered to global retailers before the end of the year, according to the announcement. L.O.L. Surprise collectors will receive a QR code that can be scanned to redeem online rewards in the Play L.O.L Surprise portal. Rewards include digital trading cards, tokens, NFTs or a digital version of their physical collectible. Users can view their collection in their L.O.L. Surprise Art Gallery, and purchase additional NFTs in the L.O.L. Art Shop when new collections become available through limited drops.Related: $25B toy brand to launch L.O.L. Surprise NFT collectiblesIn a statement shared with Cointelegraph, Jamie Lewis, CEO of Ioconic, said that the game will, “launch in 20,000 major retail outlets across the globe, including Walmart, Target, and Walgreens in the US, and Tesco, Asda, Smyths, and Amazon in Europe.”All transactions will be powered by the Polygon blockchain, while Forte integrates the blockchain technology into the games. Forte, a U.S.-based startup that provides blockchain solutions for game publishers, recently raised $725 million in its Series B round. Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon Cofounder, added that “Polygon is delighted to support the fastest-growing global toy doll brand, L.O.L. Surprise as they move these beloved toys on-chain with the help of Ioconic. L.O.L. Surprise NFTs will provide an innovative way to increase fan engagement.”Physical L.O.L Surprise dolls first launched in 2016, and have been annually listed as the No. 1 U.S. Toy Property by market researcher the NPD Group ever since. MGA Entertainment also owns brands such as Bratz and Rainbow High.

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NFT partnerships and protocol integrations boost Tezos, WAX and Aleph.im

The roller coaster ride that is the cryptocurrency market continued its volatile ways on Dec. 8 as Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly slipped below the $49,000 level. Despite the setback, there are still clear signs that crypto mass adoption is taking place, a prime example being Visa’s announcement that it will launch crypto consulting and advisory services for merchants and banks. Analysts expect that Bitcoin will continue to search for firmer footing and while this process plays out, Ether and a handful of mid and low-cap altcoins are booking moderate gains.Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProData from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24 hours were Tezos (XTZ), WAX (WAXP) and Aleph.im (ALEPH). Ubisoft launches NFTs on Tezos Tezos is a layer-one blockchain protocol that includes a built-in mechanism that allows the network to evolve and upgrade over time without the need for hard forks. VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for XTZ on Dec. 5, prior to the recent price rise. The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. XTZ price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for XTZ began to pick up on Dec. 4 and climbed to a high of 87 on Dec. 5, around 21 hours before the price increased 60.5% over the next two days.The surge in XTZ price took place after Ubisoft, one of the top three video game companies, announced that it would be releasing its first line of in-game playable NFTs on the Tezos network, beginning with Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.WAX welcomes Amazon and Mattel to its ecosystemWAX is a purpose-built NFT blockchain designed to provide brands with all the tools necessary to launch a NFT collection and make e-commerce transactions faste and more secure for all parties involved. VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for WAXP on Dec. 4, prior to the recent price rise. VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. WAXP price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for WAX spiked into the green zone on Dec. 4 and reached a high of 81 around 40 hours before the price increased 84.8% over the next two days.The spike in momentum for WAXP comes as it was announced that Amazon had entered the WAX ecosystem after making an investment in the collectible marketplace Dibbs while it was also announced that three leading toy companies, Funko, Mattel and Hasbro, have partnered with WAX for “Sellout Collections.” Related: Bitcoin rebounds on Wall Street open as exchange BTC reserves plunge after $42K dipAleph provides analytics support for SerumAleph.im is a cross-chain protocol focused on the creation of a decentralized database including file storage, computing and a decentralized identity (DID) framework.VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for ALEPH on Dec. 5, prior to the recent price rise. VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. ALEPH price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for ALEPH hit a high score of 80 on Dec. 5, around 31 hours before the price increased 38% over the next two days. The climbing price of ALEPH comes after the protocol announced that it is now providing its indexing solution to the Solana-based decentralized exchange Serum, a move which should help to increase the ability to obtain DeFi analytics on the Solana network. The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.373 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 40.1%.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.

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3 reasons why Tezos (XTZ) price broke its downtrend with a 50% rally

2021 has been a breakout year for the cryptocurrency market and aside from Bitcoin price soaring to new highs, the emergence of a vast decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem and the rising popularity of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has thrust blockchain technology into the mainstream in a way that looks guaranteed to ensure mass adoption. One project that has benefited from its focus on NFTs and the ongoing green revolution is Tezos (XTZ), a layer-one smart contract protocol that is capable of evolving its network without needing to undergo a hard fork. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $3.23 on Dec. 3, the price of XTZ reversed course, gaining 68% to reach an intraday high of $5.45.XTZ/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewThree reasons for the price recovery seen in Tezos are the launch of Ubisoft NFTs on the Tezos blockchain, the projects’ focus on creating an environmentally friendly blockchain platform and rising transactions and protocol revenue on the Tezos network. Partnership with UbisoftThe most recent development for Tezos, which really got the price moving, was the announcement of a significant partnership with video game maker Ubisoft.  The gaming company is launching Ubisoft Quartz, a platform where users can acquire unique NFTs called Digits, which can be used in-game and the platform will utilize Tezos blockchain..@Ubisoft Quartz is built on @Tezos, an energy-efficient and self-upgradable Proof of Stake blockchain.Learn more at https://t.co/MzfgmL4IrX#Tezos #CleanNFT #BlockchainEvolved https://t.co/XlSEZeVlmM— Tezos (@tezos) December 7, 2021Blockchain-based gaming has emerged as one of the hottest sectors of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the second half of 2021 and a partnership with one of the largest video game makers in the world could lead to long-term bullish outcomes for Tezos.The beta for Ubisoft Quartz is scheduled to launch on Dec. 9 and will be open to players of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Players who meet certain criteria will be able to claim three free cosmetic NFTs from drops for early adopters of the platform. Focus on environmental sustainabilityAnother reason for the growing strength of Tezos is the protocol’s focus on creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable blockchain network. The network utilizes a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism that is known to offer an energy-efficient alternative to more traditional proof-of-work blockchains such as Bitcoin (BTC).According to a report released by the project, “the total annual carbon footprint of the Tezos blockchain is equivalent to the average energy footprint of 17 global citizens.”Reducing the energy required to operate the Tezos network, which has been a goal of the project for some time, has resulted in a 70% increase in energy efficiency on a per-transaction basis for the network in 2021, resulting in the “electricity requirement per transaction being less than 30% in 2021 than what it was in 2020.”Related: Tezos blockchain records 70% increase in energy efficiency in 2021: PwC reportTransaction volumes and revenues riseIn just the past few days, the Tezos network has seen an increase in transaction volume and protocol revenue as each spiked to the highest levels seen in 2021. XTZ daily transaction volume vs. total revenue. Source: Token TerminalAs seen in the graph above, the transaction volume on Tezos surged to a record-high $369 million on Dec. 3, which could be a hint that some investors had caught wind of the Ubisoft news. The jump in activity and revenue came as the project announced the completion of its Hangzhou upgrade, the eighth protocol upgrade for the Tezos network, which demonstrated the project’s ability to self-amend and upgrade without the need to conduct a hard fork. VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for XTZ on Dec. 5, prior to the recent price rise. The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. XTZ price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets ProAs seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for XTZ began to pick up on Dec. 4 and reached a high of 87 on Dec. 5, around 21 hours before the price increased 49% over the next two days.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.

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Binance Smart Chain and Animoca Brands form $200M fund for GameFi projects

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Animoca Brands are launching a $200 million investment program to incubate early cryptocurrency-focused gaming projects building on BSC.BSC and Animonica announced Dec. 6 that they are co-investing up to $100 million each to support game projects in the GameFi sector.One of the largest blockchain ecosystems, BSC will be investing from its $1 billion accelerator arm for decentralized finance (DeFi), nonfungible tokens (NFT) and GameFi. The fund was set up earlier this year to extend BSC ecosystem services and drive mainstream adoption across the fintech sector.Animoca Brands is a major player in blockchain gaming and the open metaverse, working on providing property rights via NFTs and gaming. The firm has invested in major NFT-related projects including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Bitski, Harmony and others.“With this co-investment, projects building on BSC will get the opportunity to gain insights and expertise from leading gaming giants such as Animoca Brands, along with collaboration opportunities with blockchain experts from the BSC Community,” BSC investment director Gwendolyn Regina said.Related: Animoca Brands raises $5M for NFT marketplace, QuiddGameFi, a mix of gaming and DeFi, has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the cryptocurrency industry recently alongside the concept of the metaverse. GameFi refers to the financialization of video gaming and operates under a play-to-earn model instead of play-to-win. A number of major crypto companies and investment firms have been investing in GameFi over the past couple of months, including Huobi crypto exchange, Solana Ventures, FTX, Sanctor Capital, and others.

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Edward Snowden says gamers could be vulnerable to exploitation using NFTs

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said he was concerned with how some privileged individuals or firms in the digital space might be able to use nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, in the gaming industry.Speaking with Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood at the BlockDown DeData online conference on Friday, Snowden said though he had seen some use cases for nonfungible tokens to raise funds for causes, he is concerned with the technology “creeping into gaming.” The whistleblower described certain aspects of the metaverse as “horrible, and heinous, and tragic” for aiming at capitalizing on users’ virtual escapes. “We have people that are trying to [inject] an artificial sense of scarcity into a post-scarcity domain,” said Snowden. “I think the community should very much be trying to bend the arc of development away from injecting artificial, unnecessary scarcity entirely for the benefit of some investor class.”Edward Snowden speaking at BlockDown DeDataWood seemed to disagree with Snowden’s claims regarding NFTs in gaming, equating virtual artifacts within games to artists selling NFTs of their own music. However, Snowden countered that gamers were “not paying for a guaranteed product” but rather purchasing the “chance at something, without the promise of something,” leaving the space open to exploitation. “I don’t have any issue with game developers restricting access to their product in the same way that they already have for decades before,” said Wood. “I see NFTs as a more agile way of restricting access to their product.” Snowden’s and Wood’s comments come as gaming firms seem to be casting a wider net for adoption of digital assets and NFTs. Andrew Wilson, CEO of major video game company Electronic Arts, said in November that NFTs and play-to-earn games are the future of the industry. There seems to be interest from users as well — on Wednesday, the NFT game Guild of Guardians announced it had sold more than $5 million of its native tokens in advance of its Q1 2022 launch.Related: Bitcoin got stronger despite government crackdowns, says Edward SnowdenSpeaking from Russia where he has been in exile since 2013, Snowden has continued to give interviews and express his opinions on Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto space. The NSA whistleblower used BTC to pay for the servers he used to leak thousands of documents to journalists before leaving the United States.

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