On May 2, Sports Illustrated’s ticketing subsidiary SI Tickets launched the “Box Office” platform, a self-service event management and primary ticketing solution powered by the Polygon blockchain.
Built in conjunction with Web3 software developer ConsenSys, Box Office enables “owners, organizers and hosts the ability to create, manage and promote a fully scalable, paid or free ticketed live sporting event.”
Sports Illustrated Turns To Ticketing
As part of the new platform, SI Tickets and ConsenSys are partnering to develop a “Super Ticket” that allows hosts to remain connected to their attendees through highlights, collectibles, exclusive offers and loyalty benefits via NFT technology. “Blockchain is the future of ticketing,” SI Tickets CEO David Lane said.
“From the moment we launched our global event marketplace, which now boasts 50 million tickets to over 250,000 sports, concerts and shows, we have been preparing to enter and disrupt the primary ticket market.”
Super Ticket alliance
Through Super Ticket, attendees can scan their NFTs for expedited entry passes, drink coupons and music downloads before the event and can receive post-event video content and rewards thereafter. “Guests will keep their tickets to your event in their digital wallet forever,” the new website tells event organizers.
Launched in June 2021, SI Tickets has grown to over $2.5 billion in marketplace inventory. The platform claims to charge zero transaction fees on any purchase and guarantees a 100% refund if an event is canceled for any reason. Box Office said it would charge $1.40 and 3% commission per ticket plus 3% merchant pass-through fees for event organizers.
Uniswap, the leading decentralized exchange by trading volume, is set to launch its V3 iteration on Avalanche, an Ethereum-compatible Layer-1 blockchain with over $1.5B in total value locked.
LayerZero has been chosen as the bridge for the Avalanche deployment as it supports both the Ethereum and Avalanche networks. LayerZero investors include Uniswap Labs, a16z, and Coinbase.
“The primary urgency behind this proposal is the upcoming BSL expiration on April 1st.” the proposal reads.
Two years after the launch of Uniswap V3, its Business Source License (BSL) is set to expire on April 1, after which developers will be free to copy the codebase. Under BSL, the V3 codebase is closed-source, and can only be used with Uniswap’s permission.
It can be surmised that Uniswap is looking to deploy V3 across the DeFi ecosystem before any potential forks establish themselves.
Uniswap V3 was launched in March 2021, and its concentrated liquidity feature has been hailed as a breakthrough for automated market makers (AMMs), as it offers far improved capital efficiency.
After the Avalanche deployment is complete, the Uniswap protocol will be available across seven chains, including Ethereum.
Contentious BNB Deployment
Last week, Uniswap was deployed on the BNB Smart Chain, with Wormhole being chosen as the bridging solution.
However, venture capital heavyweight a16z voted against the deployment.
It later came to light that a16z would have voted for the proposal if LayerZero, one of its portfolio companies, had been picked as the bridging solution.
In response to the infighting, Uniswap created the Uniswap Bridge Assessment Committee, tasked with selecting bridges for future deployments of the protocol. The committee is currently assessing 8 bridges and three bridge-agnostic solutions.
Uniswap’s UNI token is down 8% in the past 30 days, according to The Defiant Terminal.
CCP Games has raised $40 million in funding to make a new triple-A blockchain game set in the Eve universe.
The new game is a big project and that’s why Reykjavík, Iceland-based CCP Games went beyond its owner Pearl Abyss to look for external funding. Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) led the round, with participation from Makers Fund, Bitkraft, Kingsway Capital, Nexon, Hashed and additional participants.
This financing will allow CCP Games to build upon the discoveries of its research and development team to enable the full-scale development of a new triple-A title utilizing blockchain technology, said CCP Games CEO, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, in an interview with GamesBeat.
With key game systems developed on-chain, this new project will also leverage smart-contract blockchain technology, focusing on persistence, composability and truly open third-party development to create a new relationship between virtual worlds and players.
“Since its inception, CCP Games’ vision has been to create virtual worlds more meaningful than real life. Now, with advancements made within blockchain, we can forge a new universe deeply imbued with our expertise in player agency and autonomy, empowering players to engage in new ways,” said Pétursson. “This financing has marked an exciting frontier in our studio history as we begin our third decade of virtual world operations. We are humbled by the confidence from our partners in the development of this new title.”
Eve Online launched in May 2003. In September 2018, Black Desert creator Pearl Abyss of South Korea bought CCP Games for $425 million. It was a huge sum for a company running a game that has been around for almost 20 years and is still a big success. But this new idea called for outside investment.
Innovative Approach to Game Development
“CCP Games is a pioneer in virtual worlds and digital economies with 25 years of experience creating living sandboxes with unparalleled depth,” said a16z General Partner, Jonathan Lai, in a statement. “They’re a veteran team and we believe in their ambitious vision to deliver incredible player experiences at the intersection of best-in-class game design and blockchain technology.”
“The depth and nuances of EVE have become a frequent point of reference in blockchain gaming and we are therefore thrilled to support the team’s impressive vision of expanding the EVE Universe utilizing this technology,” said Makers Fund principal Alli Óttarsson, in a statement. “As a former employee, it’s a great personal joy to be reunited with CCP and to witness their continued passion for creating truly meaningful virtual worlds.”
“We’ve long marveled at stories of interstellar war, spaceships forever lost, and the constant challenges of staying ahead of emergent, sovereign play patterns,” said Bitkraft Ventures partner Carlos Pereira, in a statement. “Hilmar and the team’s experience is unmatched, and we’re excited to see how they use blockchain to let players dream further.”
Alongside independent financing, this new title’s production is separate from current and previously disclosed projects, including Eve Online, which is now in its landmark 20th year.
There are a lot of people who want blockchain games to stand and deliver. And 2023 is likely to be the year when we get some answers about whether high-quality games will show up using the technology.
Urvit Goel, vice president of games at Polygon, recently talked to games beat about how the blockchain protocol company is trying hard to make that happen.
“Specifically in gaming, 2023 will be the year that blockchain and gaming will be judged heavily on all of the promises that are being made about great games,” Goel said. “We need to start seeing some of those games. There will be enough to start making a determination about quality. A lot of these builders in stealth mode haven’t launched a product yet.”
He notes that Polygon has been at the forefront of Web3 gaming with its recent integration of the popular NFT marketplace Magic Eden as well as top games in the industry such as The Sandbox, Dencentral Games, and more.
While the collapse of FTX set the industry back, DappRadar reported that the Web3 blockchain gaming sector has seen continued investment north of $500 million between October and November, even after the FTX debacle.
“Our focus will be on helping these builders come to market, whether that is with broad tooling to make it easier to launch or new technology for scaling,” Goel said.
Goel joined Polygon about a year ago, diving into Web3 for the first time after a decade of service at Amazon in game-related roles. He serves as the head of games at Polygon, with the goal of driving the adoption of blockchain technology by game developers. He reports to Ryan Wyatt, who previously headed YouTube Gaming and now oversees all of the vertical industries at Polygon.
A $100 million fund
Goel’s job is to connect developers to technology and marketplaces to build better products. Polygon set up a $100 million fund to invest in Web3 gaming and other verticals, using a lot of its own money from when it raised a $450 million funding round.
Goel believes that the blockchain game industry is getting closer to being an adult. In its early years, during the bull run for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, people brought out very simple experiences that took advantage of the financial opportunity but were viewed as a bunch of noise by gamers.
With the bear market, Goel believes the “true builders” who have been working for multiple years are pushing through and removing a lot of the noise.
“What’s left is the high-quality builders in the space who are committed to building great and fun experiences for customers,” Goel said. “These are well-funded teams that have the runway to build great games. Or it’s large Web2 developers who have Web3 initiatives and can continue to build. I’m not seeing a slowdown.”
As for the competition among blockchains, he believes we’ll see many successful blockchains. He doesn’t view others as competition. Rather, the main task is to evangelize the tech so that more people are willing to adopt Web3 gaming. Different blockchains are trying different experiments.
“A rising tide lifts all boats because we are in this phase of the mission where there are a lot of trials,” he said. “We’ve seen what hasn’t worked quite clearly. And if we continue to go through the trials, we can find what it is that will work. It’s similar to how mobile games took off. We’ve only seen the first iteration. The number of chains out there is actually helpful.”
The FTX crash is definitely a negative event that is hanging over the industry, Goel said. He said it’s worth noting there is a difference between a centralized exchange versus true blockchain technology enablement. The fallout from FTX will take months to unfold, he said.
The $100 million fund is an ecosystem fund that focuses on multiple verticals including gaming, where the company deploys capital to game builders. The fund is still operational and the company is looking at the builders applying to it. Goel said the fund has made hundreds of investments so far.
“The thought behind it is there are a lot of Web3 native builders, and they need support and they need capital,” he said. “We are in a lucky position to deploy part of our treasury to help the ecosystem. It gives builders confidence to see we support them.”
Goel said blockchain games are already strong, as the number of active wallets has been consistently going back up in recent months. And games are accounting for a large part of all blockchain transactions, according to DappRadar.
“The sector is down, but it has held quite strong,” he said. “The thesis is that players are going to play games whether we are in a bull market or a bear market. The other piece is there are a lot of free digital collectibles ready to drive the top of the funnel.”
It reminds him of the early day of free-to-play games where players eventually started making premium purchases.
“We’re still in the early early stages of blockchain gaming. So if you zoom out a little bit, it’s like making predictions about mobile games back in 2000 [before the iPhone came along] That was hard,” he said. “The focus is on helping developers get to the market. Consumers will tell us what they like.”
Goel said he doesn’t think of various segments of the blockchain gaming population yet because the industry is still so small. There is a contingent of crypto-savvy blockchain enthusiasts, and there aren’t enough blockchain games on the market yet. Goel believes the game startups and indie studios will lead the way in blockchain games, as they’re the ones who aren’t afraid to adopt new technology.
And coming up with new kinds of games is better than launching the blockchain equivalent of a Call of Duty game, he said.
“I think you will continue to see a disproportionate amount of funding go into blockchain games,” he said. “I’m bullish for blockchain games. There are more shots on goal at the end of the day.”
Of course, not everything is going swimming. Yosuke Matsuda, CEO of Square Enix, announced he will step aside and promote a younger executive to the top role in June. He was a big advocate of blockchain games and sold off the company’s Western studios to focus on new technologies. (It’s not clear if the new CEO will also focus on blockchain games). The number of active wallets in the blockchain is still pretty small. And the funding could dry up if the economic downturn starts to hurt companies even more.
The blockchain companies are also competing with each other for gaming customers, with ImmutableX poaching studios from both Solana and Polygon and so on.
Goel noted that some of the largest companies in South Korea and some of the largest gaming companies in Japan are still taking their intellectual properties into the blockchain space.
“We’re starting to see some of those dominoes fall. And then what’s that mean for Western game developers? I think that remains to be seen. But this industry is very global,” Goel said.
Meanwhile, the industry needs to improve its infrastructure, whether that is marketplaces, data analytics, wallets, or payment solutions. Game companies shouldn’t have to dedicate their internal staff to do that kind of work.
“We want to partner more closely with developers and help them,” he said.
Layer 2 Sets March 27 Launch Date for Ethereum Scaling Offering
Polygon, the Layer 2 blockchain, plans to deliver an Ethereum-compatible rollup powered by zero-knowledge proofs on March 27, the development team said on Tuesday.
The offering, which is called a zkEVM, is expected to offer enhanced privacy features and validate transactions faster than other Ethereum scaling solutions. Unlike other L2s powered by zero-knowledge proofs, developers will easily be able to deploy code written for Ethereum on Polygon’s offering.
‘Intense and Inspiring’
“After more than a year of intense and inspiring research, development, and testing, we are incredibly proud to launch the first-ever zkEVM mainnet,” Mihailo Bjelic, Polygon’s co-founder, said onTwitter.
The DeFi community is counting on rollups to scale Ethereum, which, despite its ubiquity, has proven ill equipped to handle the workload for decentralized finance. Rollups work by bundling together transactions on a Layer 2 network before submitting the bundle to Ethereum’s mainnet for processing. In other words, this innovation may be crucial in enabling Ethereum to fulfill its promise.
Arbitrum and Optimism, the top Layer 2 networks by total value locked, both use optimistic rollups. Optimistic rollups offer easy compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), Ethereum’s core smart contract engine — meaning developers can easily port their from Ethereum’s mainnet to Layer 2.
Rollups powered by zero-knowledge proofs have long been touted as the holy grail for Ethereum scaling due to their improved performance and faster settlement compared to optimistic rollups.
Next Bull Cycle
“[ZkEVMs] will definitely help scale Ethereum to support more transactions in the future and will be a sorely needed addition to support the next bull cycle,” Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko, told The Defiant.
Ong added that the teams that are earliest to secure zkEVM market share will enjoy a significant first-mover advantage over their competitors.
However, existing solutions are not compatible with the EVM, meaning developers historically have needed to build code from scratch to deploy it on ZK-rollups.
But on July 20, 2022, Scroll, Polygon, and Matter Labs all announced they were developing rollups secured by zero-knowledge proofs, or zkEVMs. Consensys, the blockchain software company chaired by Ethereum co-founder, Joseph Lubin, also revealed it was working on a zkEVM in November.
While Polygon is the first team to publicly reveal a date for the launch of its zkEVM, Scroll has outpaced its rivals in terms of testnet adoption.
Driven by Speculation
More than 900,000 unique wallets have interacted with the testnet for Scroll’s zkEVM, compared to 544,309 for Matter Labs’ zkSync 2.0 testnet, 85,166 for Polygon, and nearly 20,000 for Consensys, according to Messari.
However, the high levels of testnet activity for Scroll and zkSync 2.0 may be driven by speculation that the projects may airdrop native tokens to early adopters in the future.
Zero-knowledge proofs are a privacy-preserving encryption method that was pioneered in the 1980s but struggled to find product-market-fit until Zcoin and Zcash leveraged the technology for privacy coins in 2016.
Def blockchain games are also capable of having their own native crypto tokens. There is no centralization involved in the trading of these tokens.
What are DeFi Games?
Decentralized and finance are the words that make up the term “DeFi.” The games operate decentralized, as the name might imply. Every transaction made during the game is recorded on a public blockchain. These games typically use NFTs to represent in-game items and follow a play-to-earn business model. The market in the game, as well as any other marketplace like OpenSea, is where non-fungible tokens can be bought. Within the game, the NFT assets can be traded.
Defi games are also capable of having their own native crypto tokens. There is no centralization involved in the trading of these tokens within the game. Players can profit by staking their holdings thanks to this. The in-game currency can be used to buy in-game items. Consider Minecraft or the well-known board game Monopoly, but with blockchain technology. The game’s economy runs entirely independently and without interference from any higher authorities.
Here are the top 5 DeFi Blockchain Games to watch in 2023
X World Games
Open-world fantasy battle game Illuvium was created on the Ethereum blockchain. Illuvium, which is frequently hailed as the first AAA game on Ethereum, aims to entertain casual gamers and die-hard DeFi fans through various collecting and trading features. The game combines elements of PVP combat and open-world exploration. Players have the option of exploring the vast game world or assembling a team of formidable beasts.
2. Star Atlas
A grand strategy video game with a space theme that uses the Solana blockchain is called Star Atlas. It is a massively multiplayer metaverse set in the year 2,620 in the far future. In order to produce video games and visual experiences of cinematic quality, the gaming platform uses Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite. Players on the Star Atlas metaverse can exchange, acquire, and create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) within the Star Atlas universe, taking advantage of an economy that replicates the tangible nature, right of ownership, and worth of real-world assets. It ranks among the most played Defi games.
MOBOX is a stage that is driven by the community and gives users power by rewarding them for their participation and enjoyment. GameFi, the new revolution in free-to-play, pay-to-win gaming, is made possible by the MOBOX Protocol, which combines the best elements of yield farming DeFi and gaming NFTs. MOBOX is a stage that is driven by the community and gives users power by rewarding them for their participation and enjoyment. To create GameFi, a truly Free to Play and Play to Earn ecosystem on the BSC ecosystem. However, MOBOX has developed a ground-breaking system that unites the best of DeFi Yield Farming and Gaming NFTs.
4. X World Games
X World Games was founded in 2019. It is a decentralized gaming ecosystem built on the Binance Smart Chain. Players and creators can acquire the X World Games (XWG) tokens through a number of cutting-edge games. It is a multiplayer builder game where anyone can buy and possess digital dream cards, gather and create exciting items, and make new friends through community and battles. There are four parts of the X World Games ecosystem for users and creators. However, they are the game itself, a marketplace, a card creator, and a card collector.
On March 3, 2021, the digital artist myoo unveiled the gorilla-themed CyberKongz NFT collection. However, he went on releasing 1,000 “Genesis” Kongz for a mint price of just ETH 0.01. People quickly realized that pixelated Kongz made ideal profile pictures. Also, it gave the project some energy. The Kongz has grown in popularity from being NFT profile pictures to a mature community project with various use cases and niche characteristics, which has increased their value and created a significant buzz about their potential development. Those who own Cyberkongz gain access to private groups, airdrops, and alpha. It is a play-to-earn NFT game.
The gamified expansion of its Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem involves minting a free Sewer Pass to play a game called Dookey Dash.
Introduction to the Expansion and Free Sewer Pass Mi
Yuga Labs, the creative studio behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has announced an expansion to its non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem that starts with a free mint and a skill-based game.
The unique drop, which involves multiple steps, begins on Jan. 17 with a free mint for existing Bored Ape Yacht Club/Mutant Ape Yacht Club holders called Sewer Passes. These tokens are the key to unlocking a skill-based game called Dookey Dash, which opens for gameplay on Jan. 18.
Gameplay and Rewards for Sewer Pass Holders
Dookey Dash will be playable to anyone who holds a Sewer Pass, including those purchased on the secondary marketplace. Holders are able to play the game an unlimited amount of times, with the goal of receiving a score higher than 0 to validate their Sewer Passes and “transform them into a mysterious power source.”
The results of this wacky process will reveal itself on Feb. 15 when Dookey Dash gameplay ends.
“Sewer Pass holders will compete for the highest score and earn their new power source,” BAYC wrote in a series of tweets on Wednesday. “The highest single-run score on your specific Sewer Pass and accompanying wallet that achieved the run will determine what it reveals.”
The team also hinted that whatever is revealed will “evolve throughout 2023” and will be used in future “battles.” You can read a long explanation of the mechanics of the game here.
The Otherside and the Narrative Experience
It’s clear that this new NFT mint, which began with a silly and NSFW animated video on Dec. 21 called “The Trial of Jimmy the Monkey,” is part of Yuga’s broader plans to develop an interoperable metaverse experience called “The Otherside.” The platform will allow players to own land and turn their existing NFTs into playable characters.
“All of the projects that we have are deeply important to us,” Wylie Aronow, one of the co-founders of Yuga Labs, told CoinDesk in an interview last month. “Wherewe see the Otherside is at that intersection.”
According to the road map of Yuga Labs’ latest project, NFTs created from this month-long experiment will be part of a narrative experience called “Chapter 1” at a later date.
The blockchain gaming platform will serve as SuperLayer’s preferred liquidity service provider for projects.
Forte has teamed up with SuperLayer to expand its ecosystem beyond web3 gaming.
The blockchain game developer also invested $5 million in the venture studio.
The funds will be used to incubate startups in SuperLayer’s $25M fund announced in August.
Forte has announced a partnership with SuperLayer in a strategic deal that seeks to expand its ecosystem beyond web3 gaming. The company also revealed a $5 million investment in the venture studio’s $25 million fundraising announced in August.
The venture studio wants to use the partnership in a strategic move that will see it expand its ecosystem to other web3 segments.
According to CoinDesk, Linda Chew, Chief Development Officer at Forte said: “The core tenets of blockchain are applicable much more broadly than just games, whether it’s e-commerce or loyalty systems or social. There’s really a number of different verticals where we see enormous potential.”
A Closer Look at SuperLayer and its Backers
SuperLayer was founded by blockchain gaming pioneers Kevin Chou and Mahesh Vellanki, who also co-founded Forte. The San Fransisco-based studio is backed by some of the leading web3 companies including Polygon, which anchored the $25 million round in August.
On the other hand, Forte reached Unicorn status in 2021 after raising more than $910 million across two funding rounds.
Forte’s Role as SuperLayer’s Preferred Provider
Forte is a web3 platform that enables game makers to easily integrate blockchain gaming elements and NFTs into their titles. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a blockchain-based representation of a digital collectible, digital art, or JPEG. The NFT technology can also be used to turn regular gaming assets like character avatars, weapons and skins into tradable items on the blockchain.
Forte wants to expand its ecosystem to other aspects of web3 through its partnership with SuperLayer. According to the announcement, Forte will become SuperLayer’s ‘preferred crypto payment and liquidity services provider for projects, with the venture studio providing the infrastructure that Forte requires to expand to other verticals of web3.
The investment also gives Forte access to exciting web3 projects in SuperLayer’s incubator program.
A new report by MarketsandMarkets revealed core market growth data on blockchain gaming.
Revenue Projections and Growth Drivers
The revenue impact and advisory company, MarketsandMarkets, has shared its Global Blockchain Gaming Market report. The report covers a forecast period between 2022 and 2027, predicting the market will reach $65.7 billion by 2027.
The current market size of $4.6 billion is expected to grow at a CAGR of 70.3% within the five-year period. MarketsandMarkets stated that BNB Chain’s growth would see the highest CAGR growth of any platform during the forecast period.
Investments, Play-to-Earn, and NFTs
The increase in investments and funding in blockchain games have been identified as core drivers of market growth. Other drivers have been determined as the elevation in popularity of the play-to-earn model, along with the rising NFT trends.
MarketsandMarkets stated that the Ethereum (ETH) segment would see the most prominent market size during the forecast period. The major blockchain games using this platform, such as CryptoKitties, The Sandbox, Gods Unchained, and My Crypto Heroes, will impact that growth.
The company expects the Asia Pacific region to account for the largest market size in the next five years. About half of the world’s 3 billion gamers are located in the Asia Pacific region. Due to the region’s current interest, MarketsandMarkets identifies Southeast Asia as a quickly developing blockchain gaming hub for the community.
The 155-page report contains lots of essential information about the current situation and future of the blockchain gaming market. You can access the research here.
The city will allow taxpayers to make crypto payments through third-party service providers.
The city of Rio de Janeiro is seeking crypto firms to operate its tax property seasoning in 2023, according to a decree published on Oct. 11, allowing taxpayers to use crypto alongside fiat currency to pay tributes. The move makes Rio the first Brazilian city to accept digital assets as payment for taxes.
It is expected that taxpayers will be able to pay with more than one crypto asset and that other types of taxes will be enabled in the future, the city stated. The decree also states that companies willing to provide the services must be registered with the city and comply with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirements.
The hired companies will provide cryptocurrency payment services and convert crypto into fiat currency. Funds will be transferred to the city in local fiat currency without any additional cost to taxpayers. Mayor Eduardo Paes said in a statement:
“Rio de Janeiro is a global city. Therefore, we are following technology and economic advances in the universe of digital financial assets. We have a look to the future and we want to become the country’s capital of innovation and technology. Our city is the first in Brazil to offer the taxpayer this type of crypto payments.”
Similar actions have been taken around the world. In September, the United States state of Colorado started accepting crypto payments for any taxes owed. The legislatures of Arizona, Wyoming and Utah have all introduced bills to accept tax payments in the form of digital currencies to varying degrees.
Rio de Janeiro’s initiative is another example of the efforts being made in the country to broaden adoption. Recently, the number of companies holding cryptocurrency in Brazil has reached record highs as of August, as the local taxation authority, Receita Federal do Brasil, recorded 12,053 unique organizations declaring crypto on their balance sheets in August, up 6.1% over July.