Around the Blockchain: What's New on SOL, WAX, and FLOW
Welcome to another edition of the Around the Blockchain. It was another wild week that served as yet another reminder to always be careful. Just like any other financial market, the blockchain, crypto, and NFT space is littered with fraud and scams. Sometimes it comes down to bad luck, and there is not much to do other than to accept losses and move on. But in other instances more due diligence is required. To stay ahead of scams, refer to our guide on staying safe from popular NFT scams. Let’s jump right into the best of the blockchains this week.
The general cryptocurrency market seems to be leveling off a bit after starting the year on a deep downswing. Over the past 7 days as of this writing, as per CoinMarketCap, ONE (15.41%), SOL (6.55%), ADA (3.7%), AVAX (1.47%), XTZ (0.41%) were all back in the green, although they’ve all retraced in the past 24 hours, leaving them still below the all-time highs of 2021. Only $FLOW (-2.3%) and $WAXP (-2.47%) continued downward on a 7-day lookback of the typical blockchains followed by this column.
This Week in Solana
The previously mentioned, quickly popular Wolf Game-style Solana game Cops game started out very promising. Then this happened:
Later that same day, an announcement was made in the Cops Game Discord: “We've had a tough call to make to temporarily pause the game for a few days. We've found a major exploit that allowed malicious users to unstake & harvest another users' cop/robber which served as 'stealing' it by abusing a mechanic implemented.” Not ideal, to say the least. As of this writing, the game is still paused, but $LOOT has been distributed to NFT holders to compensate for the earnings missed. The expectation is the game will be back online within the next 24 hours and that the project has a plan to help recover from this unfortunate setback.
Hacks that affect projects are clearly the responsibility of the developers, but not something done in malice. A scam, or a rug, on the other hand, involves a lot more blame on the developers’ end, as any scam is clearly malicious intent and effectively theft. This one in particular, though, was especially egregious. According to this tweet by NFT Gurus (@NFTGurus), Big Daddy Ape Club, supposedly a legitimate project selling for 1 SOL each, gave every single attempted purchaser a transaction failure, while still taking their funds. The scammers made off with a total of 9,041 SOL and not a single NFT was delivered, probably never even created. This may not have been foreseeable, but always be vigilant and if something seems off, be extra careful.
On a better note, this week saw several legitimate projects mint out extremely quickly, including Sol Kitties on Wednesday, Secret Sphinx Society on Thursday, and Soul Dogs City on Friday. The interesting piece of Secret Sphinx Society in particular is the project’s unique “binding” process. Original minters of each NFT get the creator royalties, in perpetuity. Meaning the actual creators, after the initial sell out, earn no continuing royalties (limiting incentive to continue work on the project), and buyers on the secondary marketplace do not get any future royalties for reselling (limiting their own financial incentive to continue buying and selling). Despite the actual minters seeming to be the only real winners in this model, including the obvious incentive to paper hand the collection, there are, as of this writing, only 192/1,500 listed on Magic Eden and the floor price sits at 4.99 SOL.
This Week in WAX
Faithful readers will recall the mention of Dibbs in the first rendition of this article as it was reported in the news that Amazon had invested in the platform. The company crossed an important milestone this week. On Thursday, the first ever fractionalized sale of a user-submitted card took place. Prior to this, all the cards offered on the site were purchased and owned directly by Dibbs before shares were sold to users. The card, a 2003 Pokemon Skyridge Charizard Holo, reportedly was last sold globally for $17,000 and is being offered at a slight discount, a $16,500 valuation on Dibbs. Close to 90% of the shares have been sold thus far.
It was almost a year ago that Street Fighter NFTs were launched on the WAX blockchain, utilizing the buy with fiat, sell with crypto easy introduction into the world of NFTs and $WAXP. The drop was initially popular and correlated with a large jump in $WAXP value (from roughly $0.10 to around $0.30 before settling in around $0.20-$0.25). However, values on the series 1 set quickly dropped, and when series 2 came out it did not get nearly as much volume. Therefore, it remains to be seen how the newest edition, the “classic collection” will fare. Launching this coming week, on January 20th, will be an extremely limited drop of just 1,000 packs. This time, buyers will need to use $WAXP to purchase, in an equivalent pricing of $100 USD. Learn more about the drop and make your purchase here.
This Week in FLOW
As was announced last week, NBA Top Shot’s Hustle and Show, series 3 edition, was dropped on Tuesday. For $14/pack, buyers received a 5-card pack including 4 base set common moments and one limited edition Hustle and Show moment (out of 18,000 of each moment). The first challenge utilizing these moments earned collectors a special Hustle and Show Kristaps Porzingis moment. A second Hustle and Show-based challenge is expected shortly.
Dapper Labs, the company behind both NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day, announced a new partnership with the San Francisco 49ers for a special collection of NFTs on their own white labeled marketplace. These commemorative 49ers coin NFTs, in various mint editions, dropped throughout the day on Friday in prices ranging from $9.49-$949. Dapper has teased upcoming, similar partnerships with several more teams throughout the NFL. When those will be released and they will look like remains to be seen.
Other Blockchain News
While Defi Kingdoms continues to grow in popularity, however the Harmony blockchain itself has had issues. As of Friday morning, the entire blockchain was shut down as physical server repairs were necessary to try and resolve the clogging issues troubling the network all week. It remains to be seen how quickly and effectively the Harmony team can fix their blockchain. If something were to cause Defi Kingdoms to need to switch chains, it would be less than ideal for that project, but potentially disastrous to the long-term success of Harmony.
Finally, The Gap announced a new line of NFTs to launch on the Tezos blockchain. In another interesting cross between NFTs and IRL, holders of Epic rarity tier Gap NFTs will qualify to receive actual, Gap-artist-designed, unique merch. To get the Epic, collectors will need to hold and fuse 4 Common and 2 Rare NFTs from the same series into a “collector’s special NFT”. However, there will be a short, 48 hour window post-drop to achieve this fusion of an Epic. The first of a series of 3 drops will begin at noon Eastern time on Saturday, January 15 here.