Week In Review | Week #4, 2021 | by Ilya Abugov
The week was not short on drama. Crypto markets remained volatile, and while ETH briefly found a new all-time high, there was plenty of red across the charts.
Crypto Twitter was very vocal while watching the Reddit GME short squeeze story unfold, which made the announced partnership between Reddit and the Ethereum Foundation that much more exciting.
The arts and gaming and collectibles sectors continued to make noise, with incredible sales and auction figures. Flow’s NBA Top Shot has led the way, potentially providing a blueprint for rival chains to compete with Ethereum.
It’s time for V2
2021 has kicked off with a lot of activity, with many projects releasing updates. Earlier in the month, the Yearn ecosystem captured the spotlight, with SushiSwap and CREAM announcing plans for major upgrades. Yearn also saw the launch of its much anticipated V2 vaults. Now the rest of DeFi is following suit.
Alpha Homora will be releasing its own V2. Melon has rebranded to Enzyme as part of its own V2 release, while Kyber is moving to the 3.0 version and introducing a DMM or a dynamic market maker. ESD, which has been at the center of the new stable coin wave should also be getting its own V2.
This continuous development activity is very positive for the space, as it shows the projects’ willingness and ability to iterate and improve quickly on their existing products. This approach may help the industry grow in a healthier manner. Speculation is bound to accompany growth, but if teams focus on shipping new features and adapting to user behavior fundamentals may start to take the leading role.
Bitcoin getting the stablecoin treatment
While a good portion of the DeFi sector has been preoccupied with trying to get a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar, some have turned their attention to BTC.
Utilizing the popular mechanism, BadgerDAO has launched DIGG, a synthetic asset designed to follow the price of BTC. The project has conducted an airdrop of the token and has kicked off liquidity mining as well. Badger presents DIGG as a way to “hedge BTC volatility”, but it remains to be seen how the market will utilize this asset beyond yield farming.
Stablecoins were designed to make transacting simpler in a decentralized ecosystem, and require wide integration and adoption for a chance at long-term success. How and where DIGG will be used may become a blueprint for other major assets.
It is also interesting that while DIGG has implemented the “Ampleforth approach”, there is already a “Basic approach” variant in the market. Klondike finance has introduced a multi-token model designed to maintain an algorithmic peg between kBTC and BTC. Interestingly, Klondike finance may only be starting with BTC and if successful, move on to other crypto assets.
The two play on the popularity of BTC and algorithmic coins and combine them in a creative way. It will be difficult to assess whether the resultant assets have use in the industry until the yield farming hype settles. However, the fact that the Ethereum community’s efforts to integrate BTC into its ecosystem continue to expand, is likely a positive for the DeFi sector. According to DappRadar, BadgerDAO has already entered the top 10 by TVL assets.
Enjin is making moves
The Ethereum gaming space may be getting crowded. Despite the damaging gas fees, the community remains strong and projects have begun to utilize L2 or their own sidechain solutions to achieve scalability.
Enjin has been making headlines over the past few weeks, trying to assert itself as one of the dominant blockchain gaming platforms. Recently, ENJ got authorized by the JVCEA, and the project has kept piling on good news.
Steam’s wishlist for Age of Rust is now open, and given the $1M in anticipated crypto bounties, the excitement around the expected launch in March is growing. Furthermore, Enjin is working with NFT.io to create a new NFT marketplace on Efinity. Secondary marketplaces are incredibly important for supporting gaming and collectibles ecosystems, and with this development, Enjin may be on its way to creating a self-sufficient ecosystem while remaining connected to Ethereum.
That is not all though. Enjin is also working with MetaverseMe to enter the virtual fashion space. With virtual worlds growing in popularity, avatars and virtual fashion may become an important area of growth and adoption for the sector.
The battle for top sales
The collectibles sector has been heating up with sales numbers growing quickly. The top two projects making noise in that regard have been Ethereum’s Crypto Punks and Flow’s NBA Top Shot.
Crypto Punks has been delivering high-value sales. Most recently, the Alien CryptoPunk 2890 was sold for 605 ETH or over $760K. The NFT was acquired by FlamingoDAO and the purchase gives further indication that Crypto Punks have cemented themselves as prime collectibles in the industry.
NBA Top Shot has also seen impressive sales figures, but perhaps more importantly it has seen greater volume and AUW. The project has already surpassed CryptoKitties to become the top collectibles project in terms of all-time sales volume, but ownership figures are also very impressive. Having eclipsed 26K owners, NBA Top Shot is now approaching Axie Infinity territory. Given the NBA’s brand power and the friendly UX, NBA Top Shot may have a much easier path to broader market adoption than Crypto Punks.
The virtual real estate space is growing
Another Citadel has been sold in the upcoming RPG Mirandus, and while there are not a lot of details available, the sale could have been as high as $1.6M. The price for the next Citadel has been set at 2,733.687 ETH or over $3.5M.
The astounding numbers produced by the ongoing Mirandus sale may end up affecting other projects as well. The Sandbox will be having its public LAND sale in February, and given the promotional effort from CoinMarketCap could get a lot of interest from the crypto community.
The information provided here is for informational purposes only. This is not investment advice and should not be treated as such. Strategic Round Capital and/or the author of this article holds a position in BTC, ETH, YFI, KBTC.