Skip to main content
All Posts By

Franco Breciano

Web3 games user acquisition: challenges & secrets

Web3 games User Acquisition

Web3 games offer new opportunities for developers — but also new challenges. therefore, This article will cover the Web3 user acquisition challenges and secrets for games, along with tools and past real launch cases.

Free to play games

Free-to-play games are all about acquiring players at a reasonable cost and making sure the Average Revenue Per User (aka ARPU) exceeds it, producing a profit. Hence, this article we’ll cover everything about the CAC and LTV challenges and secrets.

Web2 businesses are all about investing less to acquire new users (CAC) than the economic value they produce (LTV), in short: CAC < LTV. This is better explained in the diagram below:

All businesses need to satisfy the formula: CAC < LTV

Firstly, let’s do a brief refresh of what these metrics mean:

CAC = Customer Acquisition Cost

This is how much it costs to get a new user and the calculation depends on the company setup. The most common way to calculate it is to divide costs / new customers acquired given a period:

CAC = Salaries + Revenue share + Fees / # of new customers

ARPU = Average Revenue Per User

This metric is the average amount of money generated per user over a period of time. Many companies use ARPDU for daily check on what is going on.

1.4 LTV = Lifetime Value

There are quite a number of ways that you can work this out. As a rough starting point LTV is calculated by multiplying ARPU by the average player lifespan (which you can work out from churn rates).

Consider this example: with an ARPU/month of $5 and a player lifecycle of 5 months, the LTV equals $25.

Web3 games user acquisition challenges

Comparatively with Web 2, in the Web3 world Wallet addresses are anonymous, all the previous logic changes completely. As a result, we can’t target users based on their social network profile, and this fact changes everything. We’ll cover in the rest of the article the Web3 CAC and LTV challenges and secrets:

Web3 games user onboarding introduces high friction

Generally, Web2 games introduce no additional friction to new player: just find the desktop or mobile game you want to try and start playing with a brief tutorial and a bunch of free coins.

Comparatively, the Web3 games customer journey is completely different: as you can see in the list below, each steps introduces friction to the user, increasing the CAC for the game:

  1. Create your Wallet using an easy to use product (ie Metamask)
  2. Do the KYC process (upload your ID, etc)
  3. Fund your Wallet using your bank account or credit card
  4. Buy Ethereum, USDT or MATIC tokens
  5. Go to the Polygon Bridge, transform your tokens to MATIC
  6. Buy the game token (for many games, users need two tokens)
  7. Go to OpenSea, connect your Wallet, learn how to use it
  8. Learn about the game NFTs using Youtube or Discord
  9. Buy your first NFTs
  10. Access the game, connect your Wallet and start playing

In case you are wondering how this User Experience can improve, Constanza Caballero, UX Lead at Mighty Block has written about this topic.

User segmentation

A common practice for Web2 companies to acquire users is to define their Ideal Customer Profile and then segment their paid campaigns to find more of them.

The web2 customer acquisition funnel
The web2 customer acquisition funnel

As shown above, this strategy is possible because users sign up to social networks and search engines using their personal information and perform activities that are a clear sign of their interest.

Segmenting user profiles in Web3 games (and any web3 company for the purpose) is not possible because the analogous to the user profile is the Wallet address (an alphanumeric string).

Web3 Look-a-Like audiences?

Lookalike audiences
Lookalike audiences could be a key strategy for web3 GTM strategies

Measuring Lifetime Value

Free To Play games are used to calculating the economic value of their paying users, also known as “Lifetime Value”: they have the revenue per user in a long period of time and can calculate an average aggregated revenue per user over time.

Although at first sight it seems simple to calculate a web3 LTV (for example calculating inflows vs outflows of an Address), once one puts more thought into the problem, it becomes clear that calculating economic value entering or leaving the game can be ambiguous and confusing.

Fiat Inflow
The relationship between fiat inflow, outflow, Advertisers and a Game Economy

Hence, I believe some questions that will need to be answered to calculate a standard LTV across the gaming industry:

  • Should the NFT marketplace fees (ie: OpenSea) be considered in the LTV calculation?
  • Should the LTV consider only Fiat purchases for game tokens or NFTs?
  • Should the DeFi token pools (ie: Sushi swap pools) be taken into consideration?
  • Should asset prices (ie: NFT floor) be taken into consideration to calculate an LTV over time?

My opinion is that the industry will have to agree on what is to be included into the LTV and what is not: a new standard for the Web3 version of the LTV.

Finally, I believe we’ll need tools to help us track all of this activity to calculate the LTV correctly (new article focusing on this coming soon).

Acquisition channels

Generally, Web2 companies are used to acquiring users through a mix of well established platforms:

  • Google Search
  • Youtube
  • Tik Tok
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Discord
  • Reddit

All of these platforms allow marketers to segment their campaigns with personal data (user location, age, gender, etc) and user activity within the platform (Post View, Likes, Shares, Video engagement, etc).

The challenge for Web3 games is that the “Web2 segmentation data” is not so relevant. For example: how do you create your campaigns for a new Web3 RPG game when Instagram won’t show 1) if the User has a Wallet and 2) if the user has shown any interest in Web3 games?

Also, some Web3 companies are trying to segment Addresses based on their past activity in the blockchain, emulating Facebook’s Look-a-Like algorithm to send highly targeted Airdrops to be redeemed in the game, acquiring a new user.

Lookalike audiences could be a key strategy for web3 GTM strategies

To me, it’s unclear if approaches like this will work, although this strategy seems similar to the already successful Web2 user acquisition strategy.

Finally, as any active OpenSea user can testify, if you are interacting with DeFi protocols or just swapping tokens, your Address is a target to receive lots of Airdrops (aka the Spam of Web3) as you can see in this OpenSea account:

The Web3 spam:
The Web3 spam: a view of all the NFTs sent to an Address without it’s consent

Free mint as a user acquisition strategy

One trend that was very strong during 2022 was Free Mints. It is true that selling 10,000 high priced NFTs in 15 seconds was one of the most important reasons for a lot of teams to start developing a blockchain game.

However, everybody realized how unsustainable that was since you needed to justify the incredibly high prices of those NFTs.

The F2P (Free to Play) model was there from the beginning for every game developer, but it seems like everyone was waiting for one successful example which came with Digi Daigaku.

Gabriel Leydon announcing the Digi Daigaku Free NFT mint


We have finally covered the Web3 CAC and LTV challenges and secrets throughout the article. Do you see any other important challenges and differences between Web2 and Web3 games that we missed?

This is obviously an open topic, and the gaming industry will evolve these metrics as new products are launched. I expect to see new standards defined, new tools created to measure accurately and a new set of best practices iterate Web3 games.

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

ApeCoin integrates with Polygon amid NFT mint backlash and speculation

Mighty Block

ApeCoin (APE) announced its integration with Ethereum (ETH) sidechain Polygon (MATIC) after the recent Yuga Labs’ Otherdeeds nonfungible token (NFT) minting incident led to speculation about a new chain for APE.

On Sunday, Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, opened the minting for Otherdeeds NFT land. The drop gained overwhelming support from its community, with an estimated $300 million in sales. Despite this, the drop encountered a list of issues such as pushing ETH gas fees to unprecedented highs, which meant that users paid around 2 to 5 ETH for gas.

Because of this, users who failed to mint NFTs but still paid ETH gas fees were outraged and expressed their frustration through Twitter — some even tweeted that they are pulling out of their APE-related investments.

While Yuga Labs promised to refund their gas, some users speculated that the failure was a planned marketing stunt, i.e., highlighting a problem, then announcing a new chain for APE. However, an ApeCoin decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) representative denies this.

ApeCoin DAO board member Yat Siu clarified that this was not the case. While Yuga Labs encourages the DAO to think of migrating to a new chain, Siu noted that there was no discussion among the DAO’s board members nor with other parties about the possibility of an APE chain.

Despite the clarification, some are not convinced and are still unhappy wiith the results of the event. Twitter user MetaMan said that the facilitators of the event should simply admit that they messed up and that it was a bad idea.

The event also led to the burning of 55,817.39 ETH ($158 million), putting the Otherdeed NFTs at the top of the ETH 7-day burn leaderboard and pushing the Ethereum network’s burn to a new all-time high of 70,000 ETH.

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

Disney is working on a metaverse game plan

Disney CEO

Walt Disney Co. has brought its characters to life in its theme parks and expanded its franchises through streaming services.

Now it’s hoping to keep up with the times again by preparing for the internet’s next evolutionary leap.

The Burbank entertainment giant has begun developing a strategy for its approach to a future version of the internet that blends the physical with the digital and the virtual, dubbed by futurists, tech executives and investors as the metaverse, or Web3.

This week, Mike White, the Disney executive charged with leading the company’s foray in the space, met with senior Disney leaders to lay out the broad strokes of a metaverse strategy in terms of what they’re calling “next-generation storytelling,” according to people familiar with the talks who were not authorized to comment.

White has been meeting with leaders throughout various Disney businesses in recent weeks to establish a task force and develop early models for how to best approach the emerging technology, these people said.

This week’s meeting included top Disney leadership such as Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Chair Kareem Daniel and Parks, Experiences and Products Chair Josh D’Amaro, plus creative executives from parks and Imagineering, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek has strongly signaled his interest in the metaverse. Speaking to CNBC in February, Chapek called it a “third dimension of the canvas” for Disney creatives.

“[I]t’s going to take all the great things that we as a media company have with Disney+ and use that as a platform for the metaverse,” Chapek said. “But at the same time, we have something that no one else has, and that’s the physical world, a world of our parks. And so, if the metaverse is the blending of the physical and the digital in one environment, who can do it better than Disney?”

In 2020, a Disney parks executive published an essay on LinkedIn that hinted at a future in which wearable tech and smartphones would be used to “transcend the physical and digital barrier.”

Disney declined to comment for this story.

The specifics of what Disney’s strategy will look like are not yet formed. A key goal of the meetings is for Disney to figure out what it actually means when it talks about the concept, loosely defined as a new version of the internet based on decentralized digital ledgers known as blockchains.

One thing is becoming clear: Disney is not necessarily thinking about the metaverse in terms of creating full-fledged digital worlds in the way that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. are trying to do. Don’t expect a VR hug from Mickey Mouse in a virtual park anytime soon.

Instead, White and Disney executives are thinking about ways to better connect physical spaces like the parks to digital ventures such as streaming service Disney+, as well as virtual environments as they emerge. How, for example, could Disney+ and the Disneyland app’s park navigation service, known as Genie, work together to make a more complete experience?

Chapek in February appointed White as senior vice president of next generation storytelling and consumer experiences. White, who joined Disney in 2011, previously held roles leading technology groups at Disney divisions including parks, products and experiences. Before Disney, White worked at the Apollo Group after spending a decade at Yahoo.

The company has already experimented with blockchain-based technologies such as NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, which are essentially unique computer code meant to authenticate ownership of items. Last year, for example, it unveiled a series of “Golden Moments” NFTs resembling statues inspired by stories from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.

Multiple entertainment companies are dipping their toes into metaverse technologies. Studios including Sony, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate took part in the NFT craze during the last year or so by minting collectibles related to their movies.

Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar earlier this year spoke to The Times about ideas for creating interactive worlds where fans can live and breathe the Wizarding World of Harry Potter virtually. (Kilar departed when Discovery took over WarnerMedia assets this month.)

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger, who retired from his post as executive chairman at the end of last year, recently invested in a company called Genies that makes avatars for virtual experiences.

Analysts have been split on metaverse hype in Hollywood. Some see it as a promising opportunity to expand entertainment franchises. Skeptics, though, worry that it’s just the industry’s latest buzzword and that the NFT market in particular is prone to grifts. Developing the technology has not been cheap or easy. Meta Platforms lost $10 billion on its metaverse business, Reality Labs, in 2021.

But Disney could be in a prime position to benefit from innovations that bring the internet to life through apps, virtual reality, augmented reality and NFTs.

The company is known for building physical worlds, like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, that re-create the universe of the films for guests. In a world where people can go to virtual concerts and buy virtual clothes from virtual stores, Disney may spot opportunities.

Disney has a mixed track record when it comes to new technology. Its streaming service Disney+, launched in November 2019 to compete with Netflix, has already grown to about 130 million subscribers global subscribers.

Less successful efforts have included Disney’s $500-million purchase of the digital video creator network Maker Studios and the online video game Club Penguin. Unlike Warner Bros., Disney no longer publishes its own video games, choosing instead to license its properties to game makers. Gaming is essential to most people’s understanding of the metaverse.

In February, one analyst, speaking on a conference call to discuss earnings, noted that software development has been one area in which the company has struggled. As Disney gets further into businesses including the metaverse and sports betting, that will have to change. Chapek said that making technology a core competency of the company would be “top of mind” as Disney expands.

“We realize that it’s going to be less of a passive-type experience,” Chapek said. “And this is a very top-of-mind thing for us because we are continuing over time to augment our skills and the types of people that we attract into the Walt Disney Company to reflect the aggressive and ambitious technology agenda that we have.”

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

Blockchain games are leading the DApp industry, says latest DappRadar report

Mighty Block

Market tracker DappRadar and the Blockchain Game Alliance, or BGA, published the Blockchain Games Report for Q1 2022 on Wednesday. After citing that $720 million was invested into blockchain games and infrastructures in February in a previous report, the latest number for total Q1 investment is $2.5 billion. Venture capitalists and other investors raised $4 billion in 2021.

The biggest deals listed in the report include Animoca Brands raising $360 million, bringing its valuation to $5 billion and becoming a leading Web3 brand. Sequoia Capital led a $450 million investment in Polygon (MATIC), while Yuga Labs, the studio behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) nonfungible tokens (NFTs), received a $450 million investment led by Animoca Brands, with The Sandbox, FTX and Coinbase to launch its Otherside metaverse with play-to-earn (P2E) games.

According to DappRadar, Blockchain games attracted 1.22 million unique active wallets (UAW) in March, and more than half of the industry’s activity came from game decentralized applications (DApps) or gaming applications with play-to-earn incentives. Splinterlands is named the number one play-to-earn DApp. And Polygon is the layer-2 (L2) sidechain with the top played P2E games, such as Crazy Defense Heroes, Pegaxy, Arc8 and Aavegotchi. 

Cointelegraph asked Sebastian Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox metaverse and president of the Blockchain Game Alliance, why he thinks Polygon has benefited the most from P2E mechanics and NFTs compared to other ecosystems like Wax, Harmony and BNB Chain. He listed a few main reasons; namely, that Polygon remained Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible and the Polygon Foundation supported them heavily in marketing and grants. Another reason is that guilds easily migrated their users to Polygon while keeping MetaMask as the main wallet.

Borget also pointed out that Polygon was the first L2 blockchain for NFTs on OpenSea, which drove additional liquidity for NFTs. He predicts that the emergence of NFTs and blockchain-based games on ImmutableX (IMX, Tezos (XTZ), Solana (SOL) or BNB Smart Chain (BSC) will “definitely shift the distribution in the second half of 2022.”

“NFTs represent an opportunity for game developers to create games with player-owned economies; where the community of holders are both the early supporters of the game but also the main actors of its development and true stakeholders of its success.”

Sebastian Borget

The report also found that the metaverse is “one of the most exciting opportunities in the blockchain industry.” Even though the trading volume in virtual worlds decreased slightly from Q4 2021, it reached over $430 million in Q1 2022. Platforms like The Sandbox, which completed its second Alpha season, are attracting players and brands like Warner Bros, Ubisoft and HSBC. At the same time, lifestyle metaverse Decentraland hosted a Fashion Week in March for brands to further engage with consumers.

DappRadar underscores an important point when it comes to the Metaverse: “The ownership entitled by NFTs and the underlying financial ecosystem enabled by cryptocurrencies and play-to-earn games will shift the paradigm from the traditional metaverse that is limited to a virtual, augmented reality.”

Additionally, while Axie Infinity (AXS) is among the top 10 most played games based on daily usage, the report pointed to a decrease in UAW after the $650 million hack of Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge in mid-February. 

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

Fortnite creators Epic Games raise $2B from Sony and LEGO to fund metaverse plans

Mighty Block

Epic Games, the video game publisher behind the popular PC and console game Fortnite, announced a $2 billion funding round with plans to accelerate the company’s vision to make its mark in the Metaverse. The deal, which is still subject to customary regulatory approvals, would bring Epic’s equity valuation to $31.5 billion.

This round includes a respective $1 billion investment from existing investor Sony Group Corporation and from KIRKBI, the holding company behind the LEGO Group. Sony, the company behind PlayStation consoles, also invested $200 million into Epic in April 2021.

According to a statement, the three partners plan to combine expertise and technologies to influence the future of entertainment and digital play by developing new virtual production initiatives and digital fan experiences in sports and gaming. 

Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer and founder of Epic Games, stated that this investment will serve to “create spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive.” 

The capital raise follows an announcement by Epic and the LEGO Group to partner to make the Metaverse “safe and fun for children and families.” They intend to build provide kids with access to “tools that will empower them to become confident creators” in a positive and family-friendly digital space.

Epic Games also developed Unreal Engine, one of the biggest platforms used to create games, rivaling the likes of Microsoft and Valve. Its latest update, Unreal Engine 5, facilitates the creation of NFT-based play-to-earn, or P2E, games.

In a string of recent large deals within the gaming industry, Sony acquired video game maker Bungie, the studio behind the Halo and Destiny franchises, for $3.6 billion. This move followed Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard, home to Call of Duty and Candy Crush, for the massive sum of $69 billion.

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

Blockchains Have a ‘Bridge’ Problem, and Hackers Know It

Mighty Block

THIS WEEK, THE cryptocurrency network Ronin disclosed a breach in which attackers made off with $540 million worth of Ethereum and USDC stablecoin. The incident, which is one of the biggest heists in the history of cryptocurrency, specifically siphoned funds from a service known as the Ronin Bridge. Successful attacks on “blockchain bridges” have become increasingly common over the past couple of years, and the situation with Ronin is a prominent reminder of the urgency of the problem. 

Blockchain bridges, also known as network bridges, are applications that allow people to move digital assets from one blockchain to another. Cryptocurrencies are typically siloed and can’t interoperate—you can’t do a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain using Dogecoins—so “bridges” have become a crucial mechanism, almost a missing link, in the cryptocurrency economy. 

Bridge services “wrap” cryptocurrency to convert one type of coin into another. So if you go to a bridge to use another currency, like Bitcoin (BTC), the bridge will spit out wrapped bitcoins (WBTC). It’s like a gift card or a check that represents stored value in a flexible alternative format. Bridges need a reserve of cryptocurrency coins to underwrite all those wrapped coins, and that trove is a major target for hackers.

“Any capital on-chain is subject to attack 24/7/365, so bridges will always be a popular target,” says James Prestwich, who studies and develops cross-chain communication protocols. “Bridges will continue to grow because people will always want the opportunity to join new ecosystems. Over time, we’ll professionalize, develop best practices, and there will be more people capable of building and analyzing bridge code. Bridges are new enough that there are very few experts.”

In addition to the Ronin heist, attackers stole about $80 million worth of cryptocurrency from Qubit Bridge at the end of January, roughly $320 million worth from Wormhole Bridge at the beginning of February, and $4.2 million worth days later from Bridge. Memorably, the Poly Network bridge had about $611 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen last August, before the attacker gave the funds back a few days later. In all of these attacks, hackers exploited software vulnerabilities to drain funds, but the Ronin Bridge attack had a different weak point.

Ronin was created by the Vietnamese company Sky Mavis, which develops the popular NFT-based video game Axie Infinity. In the case of this bridge hack, it seems attackers used social engineering to trick their way into accessing the private encryption keys used to verify transactions on the network. And the way these keys were set up to validate transactions was not maximally rigorous, allowing attackers to approve their malicious withdrawals.

“As we’ve witnessed, Ronin is not immune to exploitation, and this attack has reinforced the importance of prioritizing security, remaining vigilant, and mitigating all threats,” the company wrote in its initial statement about the incident on Tuesday. 

Ronin discovered the breach that day, but the platform’s “validator nodes” had been compromised on March 23. Attackers stole 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million USDC. Ronin Bridge has been down ever since, and users can’t carry out transactions on the platform.

“This hack is so concerning because it appears that the team failed to follow well-known basic security practices,” Prestwich says. “The hack went unnoticed for several days, which implies the team did not have basic monitoring of their system—standard security practices would have automatic email and SMS alerts for abnormal events or large movements of funds.”

The Ronin breach may represent an evolution of bridge hacks, given that it focused on a traditional social engineering attack and exploited security design issues rather than a specific software vulnerability, as in most other bridge hacks. In particular, other attacks have targeted bugs in how bridges implement “smart contracts,” little blockchain programs that are designed to run at certain times under specific conditions—essentially, a contract that executes itself. But social engineering to take over privileged target accounts is also a classic attacker strategy that has been used widely, including in decentralized finance.

“Social engineering and associated private key compromises have always been a vector of attack on DeFi platforms in general, not just bridges,“ says Arda Akartuna, a cryptocurrency threat analyst at the blockchain analytics and compliance firm Elliptic. “They have, however, been observed comparatively less often than code exploits. There is nothing to suggest that social engineering-based exploits are becoming more popular, though the success of the Ronin incident has the potential to inspire other hackers.”

Cryptocurrency platforms, and the decentralized finance movement in general, have been plagued by security issues as the underpinning technologies evolve and mature. And the services that are coalescing to form the backbone of this new financial ecosystem are experiencing a trial by fire as the cryptocurrency gold rush plays out. Bridge attacks may be the new cryptocurrency exchange hacks, but they prey on the same issues, with high-stakes platforms that store massive amounts of value being thrown together quickly to meet new demands.

Akartuna notes that better securing bridges will involve more oversight and audit of the platforms’ complex code. Services that liaise between already esoteric platforms can’t just be thrown together without extensive and continuous vetting.

But he adds that some bridge security issues actually have an underlying, external source.

“In some cases, bridges deal with lesser-known or more obscure blockchains where security auditing is not as yet widespread,” Akartuna says. “This means that the likelihood of there being unpatched security vulnerabilities in their protocols is greater in comparison to DeFi platforms operating solely on more well-known blockchains.”

For now, researchers warn, the blockchain bridge hacks are going to keep on coming.

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

How Blockchain Projects Are Solving The Challenges in The GameFi Industry

Mighty Block

The blockchain gaming ecosystem has experienced explosive growth in value over the past 18 months as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play-2-earn (P2E) games, and the “metaverse” went mainstream. However, the ecosystem is experiencing huge challenges in onboarding players and projects, with issues such as cost of entry, scalability, and technical prowess limiting the growth potential of the ecosystem. We highlight these challenges and present some of the projects developing solutions to enhance the GameFi industry.

The explosive growth of the GameFi ecosystem

Traditional gaming is expected to cross the $300 billion mark by the end of the year, according to a news report by DFC Intelligence. By mid-2020, there were over 3.1 billion video and online gamers worldwide, representing close to 40% of the world’s population. According to Statista, the number of gamers grew to 3.24 billion across 2021, with Asia and Europe leading with 1.48 billion and 715 million gamers respectively.

The gradual growth is set to continue in the coming years, and blockchain gaming could benefit greatly, alongside VR, XR, and AR gaming. The ecosystem is rapidly evolving with new upgrades and projects launched by the day. Blockchain games, unlike their traditional predecessors, operate on a ‘play-to-earn’ model rather than a ‘play-to-win’ model. This concept involves giving players financial incentives to play and progress through games, allowing players to earn passive or full-time income from participating in the ecosystem.

However, the demand for GameFi products is growing so fast that most projects or the ecosystem itself can’t keep up. This limits the mass adoption of blockchain gaming as the challenges present barriers to entry for new users in the space.

Understanding the pitfalls of the GameFi industry

As explained above, the blockchain gaming ecosystem suffers from various challenges, one of the most prominent being that most games are very expensive to start playing. For example, the top GameFi project Axie Infinity requires about 3 Axies (it’s in-game NFT), or about $90 for the cheapest Axies to start playing the game. This limits the number of gamers who would like to play, as these games could be more expensive to play than their traditional counterparts.

Secondly, the GameFi industry focuses too much on “earning” that they forget the entertainment value for games. If you have visited several blockchain gaming platforms you may have noticed they are simple clicking games that have little to no entertainment value. This arises from the difficulty of creating Call of Duty-Esque games on blockchains, lack of creative writing, and technical weakness in developing the gameplay.

Lastly, play-to-earn games are usually built as standalone projects with no gaming studio backing. This sets out the problem of non-continuity. This means that once a game is stale or overplayed, it simply goes dead instead of giving players more utility to keep them on the platform. New players entering such markets find themselves with no liquidity to play for, making it incredibly hard to earn on the game.

To solve these challenges, several development teams are creating solutions to this end. One of the projects providing the GameFi industry with solutions is Attack Wagon, a development studio for Free to Play and Play To Earn games. The development studio is soon to launch its first game, which is called Scrap Guilds.

A look into the future of the GameFi industry

Scrap Guilds

Attack Wagon’s Scrap Guilds is a sci-fi role-playing game that facilitates the use of the Attack Wagon token ($ATK) and includes a variety of different avenues for players to earn money, through playing as well as through passive means. With the recent challenges faced in the GameFi industry, Attack Wagon aims to provide lasting solutions to boost the mass adoption of blockchain gaming across the world.

First, the decentralized gaming project tears down any expensive paywalls, allowing every player to participate in the game. The development team has made the initial setup of the game free to play, with the player being able to build up the value of their account by playing, solving the cost barrier for new players. Another project that offers P2E gaming with no cost of entry is Liberty Gaming Guild. They call themselves the ‘gateway’ for gamers to gain access to expensive and inaccessible NFTs blockchain gaming and provide an ecosystem for gamers to learn and flourish within the gaming community. They do this by lowering the entry barrier for participants and offering scholarships.

On the issue of boring and non-entertaining games, many blockchain games such as Gala Games, Mobox, and Attack Wagon are creating games that offer more than earning features. Games on these platforms offer rich lore and backstory surrounding them, entertaining the gamers and grabbing more of their attention, which allows them to have fun while boosting their earnings. Imagine earning rewards to play Call of Duty, Unchartered, or FIFA. This is the future of blockchain gaming, with the most entertaining games attracting the most gamers.

Blockchain games also require a community to rally around them and a development studio to keep the games fresh and playable. With projects such as the above building development studios, these communities will be bringing out newer titles adding to their initial releases. Attack Wagon is also creating a long-term view on each of its games, allowing players to earn on multiple games, with the value generated being transferred over and continued across several titles and for the long term. Also, Liberty already had a wide game collection and is set to continue to expand. This way they can offer a wide choice to their community and meanwhile add more and more scholarships. They can be seen as the go-to guild for crypto play-to-earn games.

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

The Man Behind Ethereum Is Worried About Crypto’s Future


In a few minutes, electronic music will start pulsing, stuffed animals will be flung through the air, women will emerge spinning Technicolor hula hoops, and a mechanical bull will rev into action, bucking off one delighted rider after another. It’s the closing party of ETHDenver, a weeklong cryptocurrency conference dedicated to the blockchain Ethereum. Lines have stretched around the block for days. Now, on this Sunday night in February, the giddy energy is peaking.

But as the crowd pushes inside, a wiry man with elfin features is sprinting out of the venue, past astonished selfie takers and venture capitalists. Some call out, imploring him to stay; others even chase him down the street, on foot and on scooters. Yet the man outruns them all, disappearing into the privacy of his hotel lobby, alone.

Vitalik Buterin, the most influential person in crypto, didn’t come to Denver to party. He doesn’t drink or particularly enjoy crowds. Not that there isn’t plenty for the 28-year-old creator of Ethereum to celebrate. Nine years ago, Buterin dreamed up Ethereum as a way to leverage the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin for all sorts of uses beyond currency. Since then, it has emerged as the bedrock layer of what advocates say will be a new, open-source, decentralized internet. Ether, the platform’s native currency, has become the second biggest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, powering a trillion-dollar ecosystem that rivals Visa in terms of the money it moves. Ethereum has brought thousands of unbanked people around the world into financial systems, allowed capital to flow unencumbered across borders, and provided the infrastructure for entrepreneurs to build all sorts of new products, from payment systems to prediction markets, digital swap meets to medical-research hubs.

Time Vitalik
Photograph by Benjamin Rasmussen for TIME

But even as crypto has soared in value and volume, Buterin has watched the world he created evolve with a mixture of pride and dread. Ethereum has made a handful of white men unfathomably rich, pumped pollutants into the air, and emerged as a vehicle for tax evasion, money laundering, and mind-boggling scams. “Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong,” the Russian-born Canadian explains the morning after the party in an 80-minute interview in his hotel room.

Buterin worries about the dangers to overeager investors, the soaring transaction fees, and the shameless displays of wealth that have come to dominate public perception of crypto. “The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling,” he says, referring to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, an überpopular NFT collection of garish primate cartoons that has become a digital-age status symbol for millionaires including Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton, and which have traded for more than $1 million a pop. “There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos.”

Read More: Politicians Show Their Increasing Interest In Crypto at ETHDenver 2022

Buterin hopes Ethereum will become the launchpad for all sorts of sociopolitical experimentation: fairer voting systems, urban planning, universal basic income, public-works projects. Above all, he wants the platform to be a counterweight to authoritarian governments and to upend Silicon Valley’s stranglehold over our digital lives. But he acknowledges that his vision for the transformative power of Ethereum is at risk of being overtaken by greed. And so he has reluctantly begun to take on a bigger public role in shaping its future. “If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable,” he says, reedy voice rising and falling as he fidgets his hands and sticks his toes between the cushions of a lumpy gray couch. “And those are often far from what’s actually the best for the world.”

The irony is that despite all of Buterin’s cachet, he may not have the ability to prevent Ethereum from veering off course. That’s because he designed it as a decentralized platform, responsive not only to his own vision but also to the will of its builders, investors, and ever sprawling community. Buterin is not the formal leader of Ethereum. And he fundamentally rejects the idea that anyone should hold unilateral power over its future.

Buterin dons Shiba Inu pajama pants onstage at ETHDenver

Ethdenver 2022
Benjamin Rasmussen for TIME

Three days after the music stops at ETHDenver, Buterin’s attention turns across the world, back to the region where he was born. In the war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin, cryptocurrency almost immediately became a tool of Ukrainian resistance. More than $100 million in crypto was raised in the invasion’s first three weeks for the Ukrainian government and NGOs. Cryptocurrency has also provided a lifeline for some fleeing Ukrainians whose banks are inaccessible. At the same time, regulators worry that it will be used by Russian oligarchs to evade sanctions.

Which has left Buterin reliant on the limited tools of soft power: writing blog posts, giving interviews, conducting research, speaking at conferences where many attendees just want to bask in the glow of their newfound riches. “I’ve been yelling a lot, and sometimes that yelling does feel like howling into the wind,” he says, his eyes darting across the room. Whether or not his approach works (and how much sway Buterin has over his own brainchild) may be the difference between a future in which Ethereum becomes the basis of a new era of digital life, and one in which it’s just another instrument of financial speculation—credit-default swaps with a utopian patina.

Buterin has sprung into action too, matching hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants toward relief effortsand publicly lambasting Putin’s decision to invade. “One silver lining of the situation in the last three weeks is that it has reminded a lot of people in the crypto space that ultimately the goal of crypto is not to play games with million-dollar pictures of monkeys, it’s to do things that accomplish meaningful effects in the real world,” Buterin wrote in an email to TIME on March 14.

His outspoken advocacy marks a change for a leader who has been slow to find his political voice. “One of the decisions I made in 2022 is to try to be more risk-taking and less neutral,” Buterin says. “I would rather Ethereum offend some people than turn into something that stands for nothing.”

The war is personal to Buterin, who has both Russian and Ukrainian ancestry. He was born outside Moscow in 1994 to two computer scientists, Dmitry Buterin and Natalia Ameline, a few years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Monetary and social systems had collapsed; his mother’s parents lost their life savings amid rising inflation. “Growing up in the USSR, I didn’t realize most of the stuff I’d been told in school that was good, like communism, was all propaganda,” explains Dmitry. “So I wanted Vitalik to question conventions and beliefs, and he grew up very independent as a thinker.”

The family initially lived in a university dorm room with a shared bathroom. There were no disposable diapers available, so his parents washed his by hand. Vitalik grew up with a turbulent, teeming mind. Dmitry says Vitalik learned how to read before he could sleep through the night, and was slow to form sentences compared with his peers. “Because his mind was going so fast,” Dmitry recalls, “it was actually hard for him to express himself verbally for some time.”

Instead, Vitalik gravitated to the clarity of numbers. At 4, he inherited his parents’ old IBM computer and started playing around with Excel spreadsheets. At 7, he could recite more than a hundred digits of pi, and would shout out math equations to pass the time. By 12, he was coding inside Microsoft Office Suite. The precocious child’s isolation from his peers had been exacerbated by a move to Toronto in 2000, the same year Putin was first elected. His father characterizes Vitalik’s Canadian upbringing as “lucky and naive.” Vitalik himself uses the words “lonely and disconnected.”

Vitalik kid
Buterin on his IBM. Courtesy Dmitry Buterin

In 2011, Dmitry introduced Vitalik to Bitcoin, which had been created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. After seeing the collapse of financial systems in both Russia and the U.S., Dmitry was intrigued by the idea of an alternative global money source that was uncontrolled by authorities. Vitalik soon began writing articles exploring the new technology for the magazine Bitcoin Weekly, for which he earned 5 bitcoins a pop (back then, some $4; today, it would be worth about $200,000).

Even as a teenager, Vitalik Buterin proved to be a pithy writer, able to articulate complex ideas about cryptocurrency and its underlying technology in clear prose. At 18, he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine and became its lead writer, earning a following both in Toronto and abroad. “A lot of people think of him as a typical techie engineer,” says Nathan Schneider, a media-studies professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who first interviewed Buterin in 2014. “But a core of his practice even more so is observation and writing—and that helped him see a cohesive vision that others weren’t seeing yet.”

As Buterin learned more about the blockchain technology on which Bitcoin was built, he began to believe using it purely for currency was a waste. The blockchain, he thought, could serve as an efficient method for securing all sorts of assets: web applications, organizations, financial derivatives, nonpredatory loan programs, even wills. Each of these could be operated by “smart contracts,” code that could be programmed to carry out transactions without the need for intermediaries. A decentralized version of the rideshare industry, for example, could be built to send money directly from passengers to drivers, without Uber swiping a cut of the proceeds.

Read the rest of Buterin’s interview in TIME’s newsletter Into the Metaverse. Subscribe for a weekly guide to the future of the Internet. You can find past issues of the newsletter here.

In 2013, Buterin dropped out of college and wrote a 36-page white paper laying out his vision for Ethereum: a new open-source blockchain on which programmers could build any sort of application they wished. (Buterin swiped the name from a Wikipedia list of elements from science fiction.) He sent it to friends in the Bitcoin community, who passed it around. Soon a handful of programmers and businessmen around the world sought out Buterin in hopes of helping him bring it to life. Within months, a group of eight men who would become known as Ethereum’s founders were sharing a three-story Airbnb in Switzerland, writing code and wooing investors.

While some of the other founders mixed work and play—watching Game of Thrones, persuading friends to bring over beer in exchange for Ether IOUs—Buterin mostly kept to himself, coding away on his laptop, according to Laura Shin’s recent book about the history of Ethereum, The Cryptopians. Over time, it became apparent that the group had very different plans for the nascent technology. Buterin wanted a decentralized open platform on which anyone could build anything. Others wanted to use the technology to create a business. One idea was to build the crypto equivalent to Google, in which Ethereum would use customer data to sell targeted ads.The men also squabbled over power and titles. One co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, appointed himself CEO—a designation that was of no interest to Buterin, who joked his title would be C-3PO, after the droid from Star Wars.

The ensuing conflicts left Buterin with culture shock. In the space of a few months, he had gone from a cloistered life of writing code and technical articles to a that of a decisionmaker grappling with bloated egos and power struggles. His vision for Ethereum hung in the balance. “The biggest divide was definitely that a lot of these people cared about making money. For me, that was totally not my goal,” says Buterin,whose net worth is at least $800 million, according to public records on the blockchain whose accuracy was confirmed by a spokesperson.“There were even times at the beginning where I was negotiating down the percentages of the Ether distribution that both myself and the other top-level founders would get, in order to be more egalitarian. That did make them upset.”

how ro send money on ethereum


Buterin says the other founders tried to take advantage of his naiveté to push through their own ideas about how Ethereum should run. “People used my fear of regulators against me,” he recalls, “saying that we should have a for-profit entity because it’s so much simpler legally than making a nonprofit.” As tensions rose, the group implored Buterin to make a decision. In June 2014, he asked Hoskinson and Amir Chetrit, two co-founders who were pushing Ethereum to become a business, to leave the group. He then set in motion the creation of the Ethereum Foundation (EF), a nonprofit established to safeguard Ethereum’s infrastructure and fund research and development projects.

One by one, all the other founders peeled off over the next few years to pursue their own projects, either in tandem with Ethereum or as direct competitors. Some of them remain critical of Buterin’s approach. “In the dichotomy between centralization and anarchy, Ethereum seems to be going toward anarchy,” says Hoskinson, who now leads his own blockchain, Cardano. “We think there’s a middle ground to create some sort of blockchain-based governance system.”

With the founders splintered, Buterin emerged as Ethereum’s philosophical leader. He had a seat on the EF board and the clout to shape industry trends and move markets with his public pronouncements. He even became known as “V God” in China. But he didn’t exactly step into the power vacuum. “He’s not good at bossing people around,” says Aya Miyaguchi, the executive director of the EF. “From a social-navigation perspective, he was immature. He’s probably still conflict-averse,” says Danny Ryan, a lead researcher at the EF. Buterin calls his struggle to inhabit the role of an organizational leader “my curse for the first few years at Ethereum.”

It’s not hard to see why. Buterin still does not present stereotypical leadership qualities when you meet him. He sniffles and stutters through his sentences, walks stiffly, and struggles to hold eye contact. He puts almost no effort into his clothing, mostly wearing Uniqlo tees or garments gifted to him by friends. His disheveled appearance has made him an easy target on social media: he recently shared insults from online hecklers who said he looked like a “Bond villain” or an “alien crackhead.”

Yet almost everyone who has a full conversation with Buterin comes away starry-eyed. Buterin is wryly funny and almost wholly devoid of pretension or ego. He’s an unabashed geek whose eyes spark when he alights upon one of his favorite concepts, whether it be quadratic voting or the governance system futarchy. Just as Ethereum is designed to be an everything machine, Buterin is an everything thinker, fluent in disciplines ranging from sociological theory to advanced calculus to land-tax history. (He’s currently using Duolingo to learn his fifth and sixth languages.) He doesn’t talk down to people, and he eschews a security detail. “An emotional part of me says that once you start going down that way, professionalizing is just another word for losing your soul,” he says.


Buterin, seen through a monitor at ETHDenver

Benjamin Rasmussen for TIME

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and a major crypto investor, says being around Buterin gives him “a similar vibe to when I first got to know Sir Tim Berners-Lee,” the inventor of the World Wide Web. “He’s very thoughtful and unassuming,” Ohanian says, “and he’s giving the world some of the most powerful Legos it’s ever seen.”

For years, Buterin has been grappling with how much power to exercise in Ethereum’s decentralized ecosystem. The first major test came in 2016, when a newly created Ethereum-based fundraising body called the DAO was hacked for $60 million, which amounted at the time to more than 4% of all Ether in circulation. The hack tested the crypto community’s values: if they truly believed no central authority should override the code governing smart contracts, then thousands of investors would simply have to eat the loss—which could, in turn, encourage more hackers. On the other hand, if Buterin chose to reverse the hack using a maneuver called a hard fork, he would be wielding the same kind of central authority as the financial systems he sought to replace.

Buterin took a middle ground. He consulted with other Ethereum leaders, wrote blog posts advocating for the hard fork, and watched as the community voted overwhelmingly in favor of that option via forums and petitions. When Ethereum developers created the fork, users and miners had the option to stick with the hacked version of the blockchain. But they overwhelmingly chose the forked version, and Ethereum quickly recovered in value.

To Buterin, the DAO hack epitomized the promise of a decentralized approach to governance. “Leadership has to rely much more on soft power and less on hard power, so leaders have to actually take into account the feelings of the community and treat them with respect,” he says. “Leadership positions aren’t fixed, so if leaders stop performing, the world forgets about them. And the converse is that it’s very easy for new leaders to rise up.”

Over the past few years, countless leaders have risen up in Ethereum, building all kinds of products, tokens, and subcultures. There was the ICO boom of 2017, in which venture capitalists raised billions of dollars for blockchain projects. There was DeFi summer in 2020, in which new trading mechanisms and derivative structures sent money whizzing around the world at hyperspeed. And there was last year’s explosion of NFTs: tradeable digital goods, like profile pictures, art collections, and sports cards, that skyrocketed in value.

Skeptics have derided the utility of NFTs, in which billion-dollar economies have been built upon the perceived digital ownership of simple images that can easily be copied and pasted. But they have rapidly become one of the most utilized components of the Ethereum ecosystem. In January, the NFT trading platform OpenSea hit a record $5 billion in monthly sales.

Conference­goers line up to ask Buterin questions after his keynote
Conference­goers line up to ask Buterin questions after his keynote

Benjamin Rasmussen for TIME

Buterin didn’t predict the rise of NFTs, and has watched the phenomenon with a mixture of interest and anxiety. On one hand, they have helped to turbocharge the price of Ether, which has increased more than tenfold in value over the past two years. (Disclosure: I own less than $1,300 worth of Ether, which I purchased in 2021.) But their volume has overwhelmed the network, leading to a steep rise in congestion fees, in which, for instance, bidders trying to secure a rare NFT pay hundreds of dollars extra to make sure their transactions are expedited.

Read More: NFT Art Collectors Are Playing a Risky Game—And Winning

The fees have underminedsome of Buterin’s favorite projects on the blockchain. Take Proof of Humanity, which awards a universal basic income—currently about $40 per monthto anyone who signs up. Depending on the week, the network’s congestion fees can make pulling money out of your wallet to pay for basic needs prohibitively expensive. “With fees being the way they are today,” Buterin says, “it really gets to the point where the financial derivatives and the gambley stuff start pricing out some of the cool stuff.”

Inequities have crept into crypto in other ways, including a stark lack of gender and racial diversity. “It hasn’t been among the things I’ve put a lot of intellectual effort into,” Buterin admits of gender parity. “The ecosystem does need to improve there.” He’s scornful of the dominance of coin voting, a voting process for DAOsthat Buterin feels is just a new version of plutocracy, one in which wealthy venture capitalists can make self-interested decisions with little resistance. “It’s become a de facto standard, which is a dystopia I’ve been seeing unfolding over the last few years,” he says.

These problems have sparked a backlash both inside and outside the blockchain community. As crypto rockets toward the mainstream, its esoteric jargon, idiosyncratic culture, and financial excesses have been met with widespread disdain. Meanwhile, frustrated users are decamping to newer blockchains like Solana and BNB Chain, driven by the prospect of lower transaction fees, alternative building tools, or different philosophical values.

Buterin understands why people are moving away from Ethereum. Unlike virtually any other leader in a trillion-dollar industry, he says he’s fine with it—especially given that Ethereum’s current problems stem from the fact that it has too many users. (Losing immense riches doesn’t faze him much, either: last year, he dumped $6 billion worth of Shiba Inu tokens that were gifted to him, explaining that he wanted to give some to charity, help maintain the meme coin’s value, and surrender his role as a “locus of power.”)

In the meantime, he and the EF—which holds almost a billion dollars worth of Ether in reserve, a representative confirmed—are taking several approaches to improve the ecosystem. Last year, they handed out $27 million to Ethereum-based projects, up from $7.7 million in 2019, to recipients including smart-contract developers and an educational conference in Lagos.

The EF research team is also working on two crucial technical updates. The first is known as the “merge,” which converts Ethereum from Proof of Work, a form of blockchain verification, to Proof of Stake, which the EF says will reduce Ethereum’s energy usage by more than 99% and make the network more secure. Buterin has been stumping for Proof of Stake since Ethereum’s founding, but repeated delays have turned implementation into a Waiting for Godot–style drama. At ETHDenver, the EF researcher Danny Ryan declared that the merge would happen within the next six months, unless “something insanely catastrophic” happens. The same day, Buterin encouraged companies worried about the environmental impact to delay using Ethereum until the merge is completed—even if it “gets delayed until 2025.”

Brent Burdick
ETHDenver attendee Brent Burdick checks his phone in an NFT gallery room

Benjamin Rasmussen for TIME

In January, Moxie Marlinspike, co-founder of the messaging app Signal, wrote a widely read critique noting that despite its collectivist mantras, so-called web3 was already coalescing around centralized platforms. As he often does when faced with legitimate criticism, Buterin responded with a thoughtful, detailed post on Reddit. “The properly authenticated decentralized blockchain world is coming, and is much closer to being here than many people think,” he wrote. “I see no technical reason why the future needs to look like the status quo today.”

Buterin is aware that crypto’s utopian promises sound stale to many, and calls the race to implement sharding in the face of competition a “ticking time bomb.” “If we don’t have sharding fast enough, then people might just start migrating to more centralized solutions,” he says. “And if after all that stuff happens and it still centralizes, then yes, there’s a much stronger argument that there’s a big problem.”

As the technical kinks get worked out, Buterin has turned his attention toward larger sociopolitical issues he thinks the blockchain might solve. On his blog and on Twitter, you’ll find treatises on housing; on voting systems; on the best way to distribute public goods; on city building and longevity research. While Buterin spent much of the pandemic living in Singapore, he increasingly lives as a digital nomad, writing dispatches from the road.

Those who know Buterin well have noticed a philosophical shift over the years. “He’s gone on a journey from being more sympathetic to anarcho-capitalist thinking to Georgist-type thinking,” says Glen Weyl, an economist who is one of his close collaborators, referring to a theory that holds the value of the commons should belong equally to all members of society. One of Buterin’s recent posts calls for the creation of a new type of NFT, based not on monetary value but on participation and identity. For instance, the allocation of votes in an organization might be determined by the commitment an individual has shown to the group, as opposed to the number of tokens they own. “NFTs can represent much more of who you are and not just what you can afford,” he writes.

Read More: How Crypto Investors Are Handling Plunging Prices

While Buterin’s blog is one of his main tools of public persuasion, his posts aren’t meant to be decrees, but rather intellectual explorations that invite debate. Buterin often dissects the flaws of obscure ideas he once wrote effusively about, like Harberger taxes. His blog is a model for how a leader can work through complex ideas with transparency and rigor, exposing the messy process of intellectual growth for all to see, and perhaps learn from.

Some of Buterin’s more radical ideas can provoke alarm. In January, he caused a minor outrage on Twitter by advocating for synthetic wombs, which he argued could reduce the pay gap between men and women. He predicts there’s a decent chance someone born today will live to be 3,000, and takes the anti-diabetes medication Metformin in the hope of slowing his body’s aging, despite mixed studies on the drug’s efficacy.

As governmental bodies prepare to wade into crypto—in March, President Biden signed an Executive Order seeking a federalplan for regulating digital assets—Buterin has increasingly been sought out by politicians.At ETHDenver, he held a private conversation with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat who supports cryptocurrencies. Buterin is anxious about crypto’s political valence in the U.S., where Republicans have generally been more eager to embrace it. “There’s definitely signs that are making it seem like crypto is on the verge of becoming a right-leaning thing,” Buterin says. “If it does happen, we’ll sacrifice a lot of the potential it has to offer.”

To Buterin, the worst-case scenario for the future of crypto is that blockchain technology ends up concentrated in the hands of dictatorial governments. He is unhappy with El Salvador’s rollout of Bitcoin as legal tender, which has been riddled with identity theft and volatility. The prospect of governments using the technology to crack down on dissent is one reason Buterin is adamant about crypto remaining decentralized. He sees the technology as the most powerful equalizer to surveillance technology deployed by governments (like China’s) and powerful companies (like Meta) alike.

If Mark Zuckerberg shouldn’t have the power to make epoch-changing decisions or control users’ data for profit, Buterin believes, then neither should he—even if that limits his ability to shape the future of his creation, sends some people to other blockchains, or allows others to use his platform in unsavory ways. “I would love to have an ecosystem that has lots of good crazy and bad crazy,” Buterin says. “Bad crazy is when there’s just huge amounts of money being drained and all it’s doing is subsidizing the hacker industry. Good crazy is when there’s tech work and research and development and public goods coming out of the other end. So there’s this battle. And we have to be intentional, and make sure more of the right things happen.”

Originally posted at Time Magazine

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇

Bored Ape Yacht Club creator buys CryptoPunks and Meebits

Mighty Block

Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club, announced today that it had acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. CryptoPunks is one of the oldest and most valuable brands in the NFT world, and Meebits quickly joined the list of most valuable NFT collections after launching last May.

Yuga Labs hopes to foster a “community of builders” creating derivative works around the two projects. To do that, it plans to grant intellectual property and commercialization rights to CryptoPunks and Meebits owners, allowing them to create works and products based off their NFTs the same way that Bored Ape owners have.

“Everybody knows CryptoPunks, everybody loves CryptoPunks,” Greg Solano, a Bored Ape Yacht Club co-founder who goes by the pseudonym Gargamel, tells The Verge. “It’s just iconic, ahead of its time. It’s visionary, and it’s gonna be here forever. We were just immediately excited about it without knowing at all what we would want the next step to be.”


Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the co-founders of Larva Labs, said that they thought Yuga Labs would be better stewards of the projects going forward. The duo launched CryptoPunks in 2017 as a “sort of a digital art project,” Hall tells The Verge. “We felt like we were less and less suited to this as a couple of software developer experimentalist kind of people.”

Yuga Labs is also acquiring more than 400 CryptoPunks and 1,700 Meebits from Larva Labs as part of the deal. The company declined to share the sale price. Larva Labs will continue to operate independently and work on new projects.

More than $1 billion worth of Bored Apes have been traded to date, according to OpenSea, which ranks the collection as the second-largest NFT collection of all time by trading volume. It’s beaten only by CryptoPunks, at $2.2 billion. Meebits have traded around $227 million in volume, according to OpenSea.

The acquisition comes as the NFT market has started to cool off. After a rapid rise in sales volume and value throughout much of last year, the market began to dip around the holidays and has yet to pick back up. The sales tracker NonFungible pegs yesterday’s NFT sales at around 12,000 transactions with a total value of $30 million. Transaction totals were 10x higher than that through August and September of last year; even a month ago, sales numbers and value were twice as high as today.


But while today’s purchase turns Yuga Labs into even more of a juggernaut in the NFT space, its founders are looking beyond NFTs when thinking about what’s next. The company has already launched merch drops, released a limited-time mobile game, and held a celebrity-packed party in Brooklyn.

“We see ourselves with tentacles into all those things: streetwear, events, gaming, NFTs, et cetera,” says Wylie Aronow, another co-founder of Bored Ape Yacht Club, who goes by the pseudonym Gordon Goner. “It’s just a matter of figuring out and extending that utility to these new IPs.”

The team is also going to need to figure out ways to monetize its new acquisitions, which weren’t making money for Larva Labs. Though Yuga Labs takes a cut every time a Bored Ape is resold, Larva Labs doesn’t do that with CryptoPunks and Meebits. Yuga Labs doesn’t intend to change that, so they’ll have to figure something else out. Yuga Labs declined to comment on future plans for CryptoPunks and Meebits. They don’t want to repeat Bored Ape’s “membership club” model with CryptoPunks and Meebits, Aronow said.

Yuga Labs has also been growing rapidly. Yuga Labs had 11 employees as of January. Today, the co-founders say that number is closer to 50. The company has reportedly been in talks with Andreessen Horowitz about a multi-million dollar investment at a valuation approaching $5 billion. Yuga Labs declined to comment on a potential investment.

The acquisition is a big deal for another reason: it’s perhaps the first sign of the NFT space professionalizing and consolidating. Outside of the NBA’s Top Shot, most of the big brands in the NFT space have been eccentric projects with names like Cool Cats and Pudgy Penguins that seem to be operated out of Discord servers. Yuga Labs is starting to act like a real company — and like any company staking a claim in a growing market, it’s looking to consolidate.

We are always looking for Web3 talent !

Mighty Block is one of the partners of Forte, a platform to enable game publishers to easily integrate blockchain technologies into their games. We believe blockchain will enable new economic and creative opportunities for gamers around the world and have assembled a team of proven veterans from across the industry (Kabam, Unity, GarageGames, ngmoco, Twitch, Disney), as well as a $100M developer fund & $725M funding, to help make it happen. That’s where you come into play.

Feel free to browse all our current open job opportunities in the following link 👇