To infinity...Despite today's token unlock, Axie Infinity's native token has been pushing into the green.
- AXS, the token of web 3 game Axie Infinity, has been on a rally recently – rising by 40% on Sunday. The rally brought the token to a new four-month high yesterday, and the value locked in perpetual futures linked to AXS rocketed by 156% from Sunday to Monday.
- The price pump was in anticipation of the unlocking of 4.8m tokens (currently worth around $58m), which happened today. Token unlocks tend to cause token value to decrease afterwards, as they allow the holders of the unlocked tokens to sell large quantities for profit.
- 2023 has been a fantastic year for GameFi tokens so far, with the native tokens of Decentraland and The The Sandbox up by 141% and 107% respectively since it began. How long they’ll be able to sustain these gains for however, remains to be seen.
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Putting the fun in non-fungibleMetaverse and NFT-focused cryptos took center stage on Monday with Axie Infinity giving major main character energy.
- Quite out of nowhere, metaverse and play-to-earn tokens went soaring on Monday to be the stars of the crypto recovery show. Axie Infinity, a super popular token, saw explosive gains of nearly 50% before closing the day up over 27% at its highest price since early November – others that enjoyed a rally included Sandbox, Apecoin, and Flow.
- Monday’s action came with a sharp increase in sales volume, and Axie was potentially given a boost by an announcement that it has selected 700 team members to build the future of the platform. Despite the day’s fun, Axie’s token has had a melancholic 2022, still down over 90% for the year so far.
- NFT-related news from across the globe keeps trickling in as the industry remains in view – the token of Crypto.com announced a deal with Coca-Cola to release of 10k World Cup NFTs and its token popped as much as 14% at one point, and China continues to lay new laws to govern the industry.
Axie unlockedAxie’s token unlock plan has sparked both fear and excitement in the community as they wonder – pump, dump, or both?
- AXS has begun its planned token unlock which will see 21.5m tokens released into circulation; 10m of which will be sent to early investors in the platform and insiders. Some receiving firms including Arca have already moved their 427k tokens to FTX which implies a sell-off could be imminent.
- Before the token unlock, AXS had been one of the worst performing recently, dropping by 24% in one week which caused short-positions on AXS to slowly build. Recent optimism however caught short sellers off guard, with $1.6m of positions liquidated in one day.
- However, investors are still unsure what effect the unlock will have on the token’s price. AXS dropped by around 7% over the past week, but over the past two days it’s seen a rally of 11%. If project insiders decide to dump their large holdings, it might turn that rally upside down.
Game over for GameFi tokens?Investors are worried that the GameFi industry could be running low on lives, with pressure mounting for gaming tokens.
- Axie Infinity experienced significant selling pressure over the last few days, plummeting by more than 20% since Tuesday to reach $8.70 – a far cry from its all-time high of $164.90 in November last year. To make matters worse, there’s a $215m token unlock set to go ahead soon, which some think will only accelerate the sell-off.
- Declining player count sure ain’t helping with that pressure. Axie Infinity’s player base has regressed to a level not seen since January last year, representing a pretty substantial 74% decrease. I guess play-to-earn gaming just isn’t that fun in a bear market.
- GameFi tokens have been leading the crypto losses recently, after a worse-than-expected US price report last Thursday sent tokens plummeting. Sports NFT platform CHZ and metaverse token APE both saw losses of around 8% this week, with popular play-to-earn gaming projects SAND and MANA following suit.
Chainalysis saves LunaciaThe magical land of Axie Infinity is looking a little brighter today as funds were recovered from its damaging hack in March.
- Chainalysis has announced it helped the US government recover $30m of the $622m stolen from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge. The protocol was attacked by North Korean hacking group Lazarus in March, and Chainalysis Senior Director of Investigations Erin Plante said this is the first time that crypto has ever been recovered from the group’s exploits.
- The Axie Infinity hack was one of the largest in crypto history and the damage is still far from mitigated. The funds were intercepted when the attackers were attempting to exchange the crypto for fiat currency. If there’s a silver lining, it's that the value of the assets stolen by the attackers has dropped by more than 50% since the attack. Karma, I guess.
- Axie Infinity remains the most popular blockchain-based game in the world by far, despite the setbacks suffered in March. The project’s marching on since the attack and has facilitated a whopping $4bn in NFT trading volume to date, despite the ~56,000 ETH hole that remains in its treasury. Let bygones be bygones!
Pepi Stojanovski / Unsplash
Axie’s founder faces fresh backlashAxie Infinity is facing controversy after controversy, this time with its founder and his alleged ‘insider trading’ activities in focus.
- Axie CEO and co-founder Trung Nguyen is in hot water after Bloomberg essentially accused him of insider trading. It was found by a small YouTuber that hours before Axie owner Sky Mavis announced the $600m Ronin Bridge hack, a wallet belonging to the founder made a large transaction that included $3m worth of AXS tokens.
- The tokens were moved from Axie’s blockchain onto Binance, a smart move for anyone who had an insider inkling that all the wallets on the blockchain were about to be frozen and wanted to potentially cash out.
- Nguyen has vehemently denied the claims. He has in fact owned up to transferring the tokens off the blockchain, but says that he did it to “ensure that short-sellers, who track official Axie wallets, would not be able to front-run the news”. People don’t seem so sure, but Axie’s native token actually gained on the news, so investors must be taking everything with a grain of salt.
This story includes speculation of insider trading. These accusations are baseless and false. In fact, the Founding Team even deposited $7.5M from a known Axie multi-sig wallet TO Ronin Network prior to the bridge closing to avoid triggering any short-sellers watching.
GameFi makes a comebackAs crypto games exit the lobby, Axie Infinity is coming up with new ideas to draw peeps back in.
- AXS pumped almost 30% on Monday thanks to its new “Builders Program” getting underway. Sky Mavis (the dev team behind the game) said the first batch of projects has been accepted onto the program, which basically means software developers can now create stuff like apps and tools on Axie Infinity’s ecosystem.
- Of the 2k projects submitted, only 12 were accepted. So, either the projects were really bad, or Axie Infinity are being v selective about what makes the cut. The projects lucky enough to be selected receive a grant of at least $10k in AXS to fund development.
- GameFi and play-to-earn have taken a big hit since all-time highs. Indeed, AXS is down over 85% from its peak of $171 in November, and its active user base has dropped 23% in the last month alone – so we imagine it would like this expansion of its ecosystem to work out. And also for there to be no more $625m hacks within its ecosystem, obvs.
Igor Karimov / Unsplash
Infinite gains do not exist in cryptoThings just haven’t been the same for Axie Infinity – and it’s not because of the $625m that was looted in the Ronin Bridge hack.
- AXS dumped nearly 30% last week to close April down more than 54%. There are around 13m users on the platform rn, which is a dramatic drop from its February high of 60k – so the mega-hack can’t take all the blame, ‘cuz this decline was two months before the Attack on Ronin Bridge.
- Transaction volume fell off a cliff in February too, dropping from 78k to the high-30k region. This could be bc of its play-to-earn workers leaving the game’s economy due to insufficient rewards, or even peeving landlords who have since seen the price of their Axie land plummet.
- It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Axie Infinity is still up there with the most popular play-to-earn games in the cryptoverse and continues to pluck away at new milestones, boasting $4bn in all-time NFT sales in Feb.
Raising money outta thin airSky Mavis (the peeps behind Axie Infinity) somehow cobbles together $150m to reimburse users that lost out in De-Fi’s biggest ever hack.
- Sky Mavis has raised $150m from a funding round led by Binance in order to pay back users who lost assets when the Ronin Bridge (which connects Axie Infinity to other blockchains) was drained of a record-breaking $625m. Binance is also covering Sky Mavis’ ass with its speedy restart of ETH transactions to the network.
- The hacker has already run for the hills after moving the stolen ETH through privacy protocol Tornado Cash earlier this week. That’s only a portion of the eye-watering 173k ETH swiped in the attack, so there’ll prolly be plenty more laundry being done in the upcoming weeks.
- The native AXS token skydived 13% on Wednesday, but we shouldn’t be too harsh – the entire crypto market took a knock yesterday, with the overall crypto market cap sinking a whopping 6.16% in its worst day in over a month.
Eyestetix Studio / Unsplash
Axie: Infinity WarWatch out Thanos, cause there’s a new super villian in town, who’s just achieved the biggest hack in De-Fi history with a simple snap (or is tap?) of their fingers.
🔍 Key points:
- Around $625m worth of Ether and USDC has been stolen from Ronin, which is the network underlying the popular crypto pay-to-play game Axie Infinity. An attacker hacked private keys to forge fake withdrawals, and it immediately became the biggest De-Fi hack ever, outpacing 2021’s $600m Poly Network hack.
- The hackers targeted the Ronin bridge that connects Axie to other blockchains like Ethereum. Many of De-Fi’s latest exploits have happened on bridges – often the computer nodes on bridges aren't audited, making it easy for an attack to slip under the radar. This one took six days to notice…
- The RON token associated with the Ronin network sank 23% within 15 minutes of the news breaking on Tuesday. Though Axie’s token dropped momentarily, it closed down just over 2% after Sky Mavis (the peeps that back the game) assured investors that AXS tokens hadn't been compromised.
Axie shows off its hot bodAxie Infinity gives its “Axies” characters some new accessories and investors are excited to play with their new toys.
🔍 Key points:
- The Axie Infinity token soared 11% on Wednesday and continued the rally by a further 10% in Thursday morning trading to hit their highest levels since early Feb.
- New features on its NFT game are to thank for the boost. Characters on Axie Infinity are called Axies and have body parts that have corresponding battle moves – and ‘Axie ears’ have been given their own cards for the first time. Which is exciting, apparently.
- Axie Infinity NFTs hit $4bn in all-time sales last month as play-to-earn crypto games soar in popularity, becoming the first NFT collection to do so.
Do not make market decisions based on these teasers, they are meant to serve as a taste of what’s to come in Origin and allow you all to start theory-crafting.