How much do cryptos pollute? Stellar’s answer

Stellar Foundation: how much do cryptocurrencies pollute?

How much do cryptos really pollute? With Stellar and Pwc we can finally quantify the blockchain’s environmental impact

How much do cryptocurrencies pollute? Or rather, how much do blockchains pollute? The debate on this thorny question has been going on for some time now. The peak of media coverage was definitely reached in May 2021, more precisely on the 13th, when Elon Musk, in one of his frequent exploits, tweeted that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin because of the strong environmental impact of mining.

The tycoon’s sensationalist statements aside, the pollution generated by blockchains – particularly those that still possess Proof-of-Work type consensus mechanisms – is a hot topic in the industry. For example, Ethereum, through its upcoming update “The Merge”, is in the process of switching to another mechanism, used by most blockchains, Proof-of-Stake. This consensus mechanism, in fact, does not require the large amount of computing power generated by mining rigs composed of very powerful and energy-intensive hardware, but, instead, relies on the staking of cryptocurrencies. Like Ethereum, other blockchains are striving to solve this problem once and for all. PwC – Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a multinational providing management, strategic consulting, financial statement auditing and legal advice – and Stellar have started collaborating on this. The aim is to develop a framework to assess blockchain protocols’ electricity consumption and emissions.

Stellar’s performance

SDF (Stellar Development Foundation) and PwC US analysed data on electricity use, greenhouse gas emissions and electronic and organic waste. In addition to the environmental impact, the framework also assessed the different consensus mechanisms’ performances. The research showed that Stellar’s network consumption is low compared to the average. Thanks to the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), a low energy consensus mechanism based on the proof-of-agreement algorithm, the Stellar grid currently uses an estimated 481,324 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. This translates into approximately 173,243 kilograms (kg) of CO₂ emissions per year, which is equivalent to the average CO₂ emissions produced by the electricity use of 33.7 US homes in one year. Despite the already low energy consumption of the Stellar blockchain, SDF has committed to offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions generated since 2015, the year of its foundation. and Biochar Life’s venture – how is biochar produced and used? is another Stellar initiative aimed at reducing environmental impact beyond blockchain technology. It is a mobile-first project built on the Stellar blockchain that helps social organisations collect data, provide incentives and report on their environmental impact. Among other partners, Task works with the impact venture Biochar Life to educate and engage smallholder farmers in developing countries on how to produce and use biochar. Biochar, or charcoal, is a substance obtained by burning organic agricultural waste (also called biomass) in a process in which very little oxygen is used. At the same time, when the materials burn, they release a reduced amount of carbon dioxide. Biochar is then used as fertiliser, compost and animal feed.

Stellar’s role: Data immutability and the STS token

How is the blockchain used in this process? The data collected by mainly includes the following variables – how the biochar was produced, how much biochar was produced and how it was used. Once submitted, the data is verified by the Biochar Life team and placed within the Stellar blockchain to ensure that it is immutable and publicly available.

For every tonne of carbon used in the charcoal production process, a Stop the Smoke (STS) token is issued on Stellar, which is later sold to people who want to offset their carbon footprint. A portion of the funds is then returned to farmers to incentivise the production of more biochar. To date, 34 STS tokens have been minted, meaning that 34 tonnes of carbon have been disposed of through the Biochar Life and Task partnership.

More and more blockchains are starting to take action to reduce their environmental impact. Polygon and Algorand, in particular, have implemented a plan to make their networks green.

Solana, Polygon and HTC: the smartphone challenge to win over the Web3

Which is the best crypto smartphone? Solana, Polygon or HTC

The best crypto smartphone? Solana, Polygon and HTC launch their smartphones in a challenge to lead the Web3 sector

A flaw often attributed to Web3 platforms is their lack of usability. Finding a solution to facilitating processes such as buying and selling NFTs, interacting with play-to-earn games, and making this all happen securely, is a challenge crypto companies are forced to tackle.

Polygon, Solana and HTC are presenting possible solutions and are ready to venture into an area still unexplored by blockchain companies – the crypto smartphone sector. 

Polygon & Nothing – the Web3 in the palm of your hand

Which will be the best crypto smartphone around? Let’s take a look at the MATIC blockchain’s plan – Polygon has announced a collaboration with Nothing, a London-based start-up that is making quite a splash with its environmentally friendly smartphone Phone (1). Nothing has already shown an interest in interacting with the Web3 universe. For the launch of its first product, it created an NFT collection on Ethereum, the Nothing Black Dot, which will be distributed by airdrop until the 26th of September to people who have pre-ordered the product. These NFTs will grant holders certain benefits, such as early access to all the brand’s products and the chance to participate in exclusive events.

As far as integrating Ethereum’s Layer 2, Polygon’s Phone (1) will allow easier access to Dapps, Web3 games, and greater security for cryptocurrency payments. Nothing’s product is in a mid-range price bracket, the technical specifications are intermediate, and it can be found on Amazon at the price of €579 (in Italy). 

HTC Desire 22, the key to the metaverse

HTC has always been committed to intercepting and developing new technology trends. Indeed, through its Vive side-brand, it was one of the first companies to develop virtual reality products, releasing a visor with revolutionary features in 2015.

With the new HTC Desire 22 smartphone, HTC continues in the same direction: the device will be able to interact with applications built on both Ethereum and Polygon. The main goal the development team has set is not so much to offer a supersonic smartphone; in fact, the technical specifications are not mind-boggling. Instead, HTC’s target was to develop a cheaper device that allows seamless integration with Viverse, the metaverse owned by the Taiwanese company and which allows its customers to hold NFTs and crypto in a simple and secure manner. The release price is expected to be around €380.

Solana Saga, it’s time for crypto

During NFT week in New York, Solana announced the arrival of its new mobile product in early 2023 – the Saga smartphone.

In addition to the Android smartphone, the blockchain platform presented the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) software kit. The kit will enable the development of native Web3 applications for Android devices integrating the Seed Vault secure storage protocol. Seed Vault facilitates the instant signing of transactions while keeping private keys separate from wallets, applications and the operating system. Of the three solutions, the one proposed by Solana appears to be the most versatile and innovative. Thanks to the Solana Mobile Stack, anyone can develop optimised and secure applications. Its software superiority, however, inevitably reflects on its price. Indeed, the smartphone, which can already be pre-ordered, will be sold for $1,000.

So, to draw a conclusion, which is the best crypto smartphone? Saga is unbeatable from a technical point of view, but HTC’s phone delivers value for money. Will Phone (1) become the easiest way to use dapps on Polygon? These joint initiatives by both blockchain and ‘traditional’ companies certainly could be a turning point in the mass adoption of Web3 technologies. Making dapps, as well as every aspect of cryptocurrency in general, more user-friendly is perhaps the last big roadblock before mass adoption. We look forward to discovering what horizons will open up thanks to this new type of device and whether other brands will pursue similar projects.

CryptoPunks become Tiffany jewellery

CryptoPunks: NFTs become Tiffany jewellery

Tiffany & Co. announces a jewellery collection for CryptoPunk holders. Find out the details of the luxurious collaboration

On the 31st of July, The Web3 community went wild, particularly on Twitter, following an official announcement by luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. The brand will launch its first NFT collection, NFTiff. These non-fungible tokens will depict jewellery in the pixelated style of CryptoPunks. The NFTiffs, only 250 in number, will only be purchasable by holders of CryptoPunks. They will later become customised pendants corresponding to their digital version.

CryptoPunks become Tiffany jewellery

Let’s take a look at the jewellery design and the materials from which Tiffany’s NFTs will be made. The goal of Tiffany’s artisans will be to create jewellery as similar as possible to the pixel version. The challenge will be to transpose the 87 attributes and 159 colours, with which the CryptoPunks are composed in their digital version, into the closest possible gem or enamel colour. According to Tiffany’s official website, each piece will consist of at least 30 gemstones and diamonds. The New York-based company also stated that owners will receive a rendering of their pendant by October.

How much will Tiffany’s NFTs cost and where can you buy them?

The purchase of Tiffany’s NFTs will only be possible via the official website, and will obviously be made in crypto, more precisely in Ether. The recommended wallets for payment are Meta Mask or Trust Wallet. The sale of NFTiffs will begin on the 5th August 2022 at 3pm UK time and it will be possible to purchase a maximum of 3 items per individual.

The ‘package’ that includes the cost of the NFT, the customised pendant and the shipping of the latter will cost 30 ETH, which at current value corresponds to about 50,000 euros. In short, CryptoPunks have breakfast at Tiffany’s, but will the owners of the iconic NFT collection be so interested in luxury jewellery?

Luxury brands and Web3 increasingly in tune

With this move, Tiffany & Co. joins the ranks of luxury fashion companies trying to establish themselves in the Web3 world, with the aim of engaging a new generation of customers. Brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Philipp Plein and others have, over the past year, made themselves available to accept cryptocurrency payments. Tiffany’s initiative, however, goes beyond simply accepting crypto as a payment method, it is instead a true collaboration with one of the most famous and recognised brands in the industry. CryptoPunks are a true symbol of Web3 culture!

There had already been some indications of Tiffany’s willingness to enter this new market. On the occasion of the last April Fool’s Day, the company had posted an announcement on its social media that it was ready to launch its own cryptocurrency: the TiffCoin.

A lot of users fell for the April Fool’s trick, but not everything announced by the brand is completely made up: the TiffCoin has in fact been re-presented as a limited collector’s edition (in the form of a physical object) on the Tiffany & Co. website. So if one might have initially assumed that the brand had concocted the prank to “mock” the Web3 world, we now have proof that it’s quite the opposite. In short, the CryptoPunks will become Tiffany jewellery, we are curious to see if the famous holders including Jay Z, Steve Aoki and Serena Williams will be able to win them!

The top 10 Venture Capitals funding crypto projects

10 crypto Venture Capitals you should know

The crypto world’s growth in recent years has been supported financially by venture capital funds. So, how do they work? Which are the main ones?

In 2021, the crypto sector raised huge funds from corporations and venture capital companies. Due to the loose monetary policy and the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, the shareholders’ tendency seems to be towards high-risk but high-potential sectors such as crypto, the Metaverse and Web3. Whereas venture capital investments in start-ups or crypto projects amounted to USD 3.1 billion in 2020, by 2021 it had increased to USD 25.2 billion ( a 713% surge). So, what are venture capital funds in the crypto world and how do they work? Which are the 10 crypto venture capital funds you should know?  

How does a Crypto Venture Capital fund work?

‘Venture capital’ refers to a type of high-risk funding aimed at innovative businesses with high development potential. The term is also used to refer to companies or funds specialising in these investments. Business ideas supported economically by Venture Capitals are generally in the early stages of development, as in the case of start-ups, operate in technological fields, offer innovative services, and are characterised by high financial and operational risk. Some Venture Capital companies or funds specialise in funding crypto projects. 

How does a Crypto Venture Capital fund work? Be it a standard or a Crypto VC, it all starts with a group of investors deciding to fund the growth of a newly founded company with their own money, expecting it to multiply their profits soon. In terms of venture capitals, the extent of the risk is directly proportional to the profit if the business is successful. 

Venture Capital Investment Stages

Venture capital funding can take place at different moments in a start-up or business development.

  • Pre-seed 

The project is at a very early stage – often no more than an idea – and the initial financial backing comes from family and friends.

  • Seed round 

The project is testing its feasibility. This stage includes a potential market and competition analysis, as well as the development of a product that can generate revenue.

  • Series A 

The project has passed all initial checks, is growing and is supported by a strong community. Investments at this stage are beginning to become less risky for investors.

  • Series B 

The project has a large user base and is expanding. The investment focus is no longer directly on services and products but instead on marketing, sales, human resources, business development and customer service – all areas that can enhance the project’s growth. The business is normally in the scale-up phase at this point.

  • Series C 

When a venture capital firm decides to invest at this stage, it means that the project is now commercially viable and is focused on expansion into new products or international markets.

The top 10 Crypto Venture Capitals

So, which are the 10 crypto Venture Capitals you should know? 

  1. a16z – Andreessen Horowitz

Founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz, known as ‘a16z’, is a Californian venture capital firm with a special interest in crypto start-ups and the Web3. Currently, a16z has stakes in many of the leading cryptocurrency companies such as Compound, Phantom, Lido, MakerDAO, Yield Guild Games and many others. 

  1. Alameda Research 

Alameda Research is a trading and crypto fund company, founded by Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX. It has invested in many Layer 1 blockchain and DeFi projects.

  1. Jump Crypto 

Jump Crypto is a section dedicated to the development of Web3 services and infrastructure of the Chicago-based Jump Trading Group. Some examples of the crypto companies in which Jump Crypto has invested are Acala, a parachain of Polkadot, Amp, Chiliz and Solana

  1. Digital Currency Group 

Digital Currency Group defines itself as “the epicentre of Bitcoin and the blockchain industry”. Its mission is to foster and accelerate the development of a better financial system by supporting businesses that are building on-blockchain services. Among other projects, Digital Currency Group has funded Brave, Etherscan, Chainalysis, Circle, and Decentraland.

  1. Paradigm 

Among the top 10 Crypto Venture Capital funds is also Paradigm, an investment company that specialises in crypto and Web3. Paradigm supports ‘disruptive’ projects with funding from a minimum of USD 1 million to a maximum of USD 100 million. “Every now and then a new technology comes along that changes everything. The Internet has defined the last decades of innovation. We believe cryptocurrencies will define the next decades” – which is precisely why Paradigm has chosen to help blockchain projects reach their full potential. Cosmos, dYdX, Optimism are some of the projects that have been funded. 

  1. Multicoin Capital

Multicoin Capital has been active since 2017 and considers itself a pioneer of token-based economic models. The fund was created with the aim of devoting itself entirely to the crypto world. As well as owning a wallet composed of different cryptocurrencies, it is involved in funding blockchain-based projects from the seed stage, with a focus on the more technical aspects of the sector. Multicoin has funded Audius, Solana and The Graph

  1. Pantera

Pantera is an American Venture Capital fund that has been funding blockchain companies since 2013. It is one of the longest-running funds in the industry, when it was launched Bitcoin was only worth $65! Pantera has invested in 1inch, Ankr and Ripple. 

  1. Draper Associates

Draper Associates is a historical Venture Capital firm that has been operating since 1985. The fund focuses mainly on companies in the early stages of their development. After having contributed to the success of companies such as SpaceX, Draper Associates has also opened up to funding crypto companies. 

  1. Polychain

Based in San Francisco, Polychain is one of the leading Crypto Venture Capital funds. The Polychain team values ‘long-term vision, combative intelligence, a data-driven and open-minded mentality and humility’. Polychain has funded Ava Labs, Celo and NuCypher. 

  1.  Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands is the leading VC fund in the field of the Metaverse and digital entertainment. It has funded the Web3 projects Axie Infinity, Splinterlands and The Sandbox. 

All in all, crypto VC funds work like traditional VCs. The crypto sector, however, brings its own peculiarities – being a young market, processes and funding are often flexible. Most crypto projects are funded in the pre-seed and seed stages via ICOs and IPOs, Crypto Venture Capitals generally come in at the A and B stages. This is the case for Dune Analytics or Palm NFT Studio.

Beeple, from programmer to millionaire NFT artist

Beeple, the NFT digital artist of Everydays

Beeple is a digital artist best known for his NFT artwork Everydays, but how did his career in the crypto world begin? 

Who is Beeple? Born as Mike Winkelmann, Beeple is one of the best known artists to NFT enthusiasts. His masterpiece ‘Everydays’ was sold at auction by Christie’s for $69 million, catapulting him into the top 5 highest paid living artists. Beeple, however, is not a conventional artist, and has been interested in the new NFT technology since its inception. Find out more about Beeple, the NFT digital artist who created Everydays!

The unusual background of a crypto-artist 

Mike Winkelmann was born in 1981 in Wisconsin, USA. After graduating with a degree in Computer Engineering in 2003, Winkelmann seemed to be heading for an office job at some programming company. 

Instead, the programmer chose to go down a different path, that of digital art. After a few years spent perfecting his artistic skills, Winkelmann started his ‘Everydays’ work on the 1st May 2007. He chose to call himself Beeple after the name of one of his soft toys, and began what he did not yet know would become his masterpiece! 

Everydays, Beeple’s NFT masterpiece

Everydays is a collection of Beeple’s drawings: every day, the artist created a different piece, forcing himself to remain consistent over time. The NFT digital artist is undoubtedly an eccentric person: “I am not a motivated person,” he said in an interview. “In fact, I consider myself a very lazy person, but in this way I found the motivation to keep going. The strength of this project forces me to move forward with much more determination than normal’. In short, the project basically started as an antidote against laziness!

Every day, Beeple improved his digital art, learning how to use new software and trying out new lines, slowly outlining his typical dystopian and psychedelic style. His works range from surreal landscapes, to disproportionate portraits of famous people such as Elon Musk, Trump and Biden, to actual satire cartoons. Finally, in 2020, he began experimenting with NFTs, putting the first 5000 pieces of his project on sale, naming the collection ‘Everydays, the first 5000 days’. Its outcome? The auction held at Christie’s in February 2021 sold the non-fungible token of his work for an impressive $69.4 million! And not only that: each subsequent sale of the pieces will earn Beeple 10% of the transaction value. Not bad at all!

Beeple’s early NTFs between satire and dystopia

Although Everydays is Beeple’s most famous NFT artwork, his experience with non-fungible tokens began in November 2020. One of his first artworks sold on the blockchain was Crossroads, a political drawing created for the election clash between Biden and Trump. This NFT was very special, in that the artwork would change depending on the winner of the election! The digital artwork sold for $66,666.66 on Nifty Gateways, and was resold shortly thereafter for $6 million!

Enthused by the experience, Beeple continued to experiment with NFTs and put more works up for sale in December 2020. The year-end auction was a hit, making $500,000 in less than five minutes!  

Beeple’s beginnings as a young artist 

Before breaking into the NFT and digital art world, Beeple was a classical artist, armed with brushes and canvas. Despite his training and beginnings in the traditional art world, he has always said that he understood nothing about art or theory, and was never inspired by any classical or contemporary painter. 

Beeple regards the fact that he did not take inspiration from anyone as his strength and peculiarity. His works are psychedelic and almost absurd. Viewers often find themselves bewildered and intrigued by the hidden meaning of his art, or simply lost in the funny caricatures of the characters he chooses to illustrate.
Beeple, the NFT digital artist from Everydays, has gone from being a surrealist artist to an NFT and digital art avant-gardist. He is now one of the most followed crypto personalities in the world and is also famous in more mainstream circles. His Everydays project continues unabated, and you can follow him directly on his official website!

Illuvium, the space ‘Pokémon’ are waiting for you: catch them all!

Illuvium, the Pokémon-style crypto game on Immutable X

Illuvium is a Pokémon-style play-to-earn video game. Explore the alien planet, capture the Illuvials and discover their secrets!

A vast and wild alien world to explore with your jetpack and scout drone here is Illuvium, the crypto game that has nothing to envy of off-chain games! Built with the Unreal Engine 5 graphics engine, Illuvium features excellent graphics quality that catapults you to a planet inhabited by Illuvials, creatures of unimaginable power that can be domesticated. Illuvium is based on the Immutable X blockchain, which specialises in play-to-earn video games thanks to its low fees and speed. The planned release date for the open beta is late 2022. Want to know more? Read on to learn what Illuvium Pokémon-like crypto game on Immutable X is all about!

Illuvium’s story and gameplay

Illuvium is an as yet uncharted alien planet inhabited by some strange creatures, the Illuvials. In the game, your character is a space explorer stranded on Illuvium with your team after responding to a distress signal. The landscape before you is a boundless environment with many different ecosystems, often subject to extreme weather events such as storms and hailstorms. The planet emanates a mysterious radio signal that disables spaceships but at the same time turns animals into Illuvials, giving them almost divine powers.

Together with the other explorers, you decide to become a Ranger and capture Illuvials using Shards – items created from materials found on Illuvium, and used to capture the creatures and tame them so they can be used in combat, the main part of the game’s gameplay. Basically, every captured Illuvial becomes an NFT in your wallet! But besides fighting, you can do a lot more with your Illuvials.

​​If you want to enhance your creatures, you can trigger a Fusion between three of them to create a second-level Illuvial. Fusing three second-level Illuvials creates a third-level Illuvial, the top level. Since these creatures are NFTs you can either use them in your adventures or sell them for ETH on Illuvium’s decentralised exchang IlluviDEX. Besides making your Illuvials more powerful, Fusion makes NFTs deflationary. According to the developers, this system should create an economy that increases in value over time.

Gather resources and build weapons and armours

Illuvials are not the only NFTs you can trade for ETH. The planet of Illuvium is rich in resources that you can sell in exchange for crypto on IlluviDEX. With your jetpack and scout robot, you can explore the vast 3D world without limits! In fact, your futuristic technology allows you to glide over gorges, or perform double jumps to reach the highest peaks. Exploration is a fundamental element of Illuvium’s gameplay and the developers are working to make it dynamic and fun.

Among the most valuable resources are the minerals, which you can use to build weapons and armour for your character. Your explorer fights alongside your Illuvials in battles, and the weapons determine their role in the fight. Choose a plasma rifle to make them a sniper, or equip them with energy blades and let them throw themselves into the fray! To prevent them from being easily defeated you can also build armours that increase their hitpoints and make them harder to take down. Of course, you can also choose to sell weapons and armour in exchange for ETH on the Illuvium exchange.

The second type of resource is Illuvium’s flora. Your scout drone can collect alien flowers and fruits, which are indispensable for creating special potions and jewellery. Potions are used to support your Illuvials during combat. You can use them to heal wounded creatures, or to make them temporarily stronger. Jewellery, on the other hand, can be applied to your weapons and enhance the Illuvials around you. These items are also NFTs, and can be conveniently traded for ETH on the IlluviDEX.

Resources can be refined by building technological facilities directly on the planet. To do this, you first need to buy LAND. There are 100,000 LANDs, and during the first pre-sale that began on 2 June, 20,000 have already been sold. Considering that it will be crucial to refine resources in the play-to-earn videogame, owning LAND will play a very important role in the Illuvium universe!

Train your Illuvials and fight!

Combat is at the heart of Illuvium’s gameplay. Although exploration is a very important aspect of the crypto game, Illuvium remains an autobattler. Your task is to build a balanced team of Illuvials by exploiting their strengths and minimising their weaknesses, just like in Pokémon. Illuvials are in fact divided into classes and can have elemental affinities.

There are five classes of Illuvials. The first are Fighters, who are versatile and attack using claws and fangs. Bulwarks are very resistant and have high defences, making them perfect as tanks (in a nutshell, they are suitable for staying in the front line and protecting less resistant comrades). Rogues, on the other hand, are not very resistant, but their attacks hardly miss their target and they can easily eliminate already weakened enemies from combat. Psions are Illuvials with psionic powers and have special abilities that weaken enemies at a distance, they can also monitor the battlefield with telekinesis. Empaths, on the other hand, are back-up Illuvials and can heal and protect the team from the back. 

They also have 5 elemental affinities. Air Illuvials are agile and difficult to hit. Earth Illuvials are tough and difficult to knock down. Fire Illuvials hit hard and their offensive special abilities are more powerful. Water Illuvials can use their special abilities more often. Nature Illuvials, on the other hand, have natural regenerative abilities.

Affinities and classes can become stronger during a Fusion, or even combine to create hybrid Classes and Affinities! For example, fusing three Earth Illuvials will create an even stronger and more imposing Granite Illuvial. Conversely, merging a Fire Illuvial and an Air Illuvial will give your creature the Electric affinity. Ready to get your crypto Pikachu?

When creating your team, always keep an eye on their Affinities and Classes: the more members of your team have these two aspects in common, the more advantages your Illuvials will have. Conversely, putting opposite Affinities together will give your beasts disadvantages, so be careful!

Illuvium’s Tokenomics 

Illuvium is a play-to-earn video game, where everything you gain – Illuvials as well as raw resources – has value outside of the game. You can buy and sell all your NFTs in exchange for ETH on IlluviDEX. All trading among players is done with ETH and the fees end up in the Illuvium Vault, the game’s treasury. 

ILV is Illuvium’s proprietary crypto. You cannot trade with other players using ILV, but you can purchase special items directly from a computer-managed market, such as the Shards needed to capture the Illuvials, or cosmetic items such as costumes and jewellery, which do not directly impact Illuvium’s gameplay. ILV’s primary use is as a utility token. For instance, you can use it to vote on community proposals and utilise it as a classic governance token. In this way, Illuvium’s development follows the path the crypto world wants, without changes and modifications imposed ‘from above’. 

Staking is ILV’s second use. Whoever holds this token can stake it from a minimum of one month to a maximum of twelve months directly on the Illuvium site. ILV staking’s special feature is that the rewards can be received in two different ways of your choice. If you choose to receive the classic token, you will have to wait a vesting (i.e. lock-in) period of 12 months before you can sell it. Alternatively, you can choose to receive a synthetic token, sILV. This token is pegged to ILV, but can immediately be used in-game to purchase Shards or cosmetic items.

When Illuvium will be released, ILV owners will get additional rewards directly from the Illuvium Vault. The game developers, in fact, will not earn anything from the marketplace fees: all revenue will end up in the wallets of people who had staked their ILVs. This will allow the community that has believed in the crypto game to earn money and continue to increase the value of the game.

When will Illuvium be released?

Illuvium’s roadmap is going full steam ahead, and the closed Beta phase is already available for the lucky ones who have been selected. In the coming months, there will be an open Beta phase in which everyone will be able to try out the crypto game. Judging by the videos released directly by the developers, Illuvium is already well underway, with only the finishing touches remaining. Given that the LAND sale which took place on the 2nd of June 2022 was a success, the developers of Illuvium themselves must have geared up to let the public try out their game!

So, the Pokémon-style crypto game on Immutable X, Illuvium, is coming soon. According to its founder Kieran Warwick, a videogame of this kind is set to last at least 10 years, thanks to its deflationary economy and the updates already planned by the development team. Will Illuvium succeed in conquering the crypto world with its gameplay and innovations, or will it be unable to undermine the primacy of other play-to-earn video games such as DeFi Kingdom and Axie Infinity?

This is the 3rd in a series of articles covering the world of crypto gaming and blockchain games. Follow us to stay updated on the most exciting crypto games of 2022!

Young Monday: Madonna, Damien Hirst’s NFT and Solana’s store in NY

NFTs: Madonna, Damien Hirst, Solana Spaces

A 1 million dollar Bored Ape conquers Madonna, Solana opens a new store and Damien Hirst burns part of his NFT collection!

We present a Young Monday dedicated to NFTs for the first Monday of August! Pop star Madonna dreams of a rare 1 million Bored Ape to add to her her collection, Serie A footballers become NFT cards on Sorare and Damien Hirst is destroying part of his collection of non-fungible tokens, The Currency, forever. For those on holiday in New York, from the 28th of July you can go crypto shopping at Solana’s new store!

Will Madonna spend $1 million on a Bored Ape?

Madonna has set her sights on an exorbitantly priced Bored Ape NFT! Bored Ape Yacht Club number 3756, which is currently on sale for 800.69 ETH (about $1.27 million) on Opensea. The pop star seems intent on having it back in her collection after it was snatched away by one of her fans. Why all the attention specifically for number 3756? ‘I was told it was inspired by me and modelled on me, and it was bought by a woman who is a fan of mine. She wanted to sell it to me, but it was too expensive,’ Madonna explained. Indeed, the style of Bored Ape is very reminiscent of that of the artist: leather jacket and S&M hat. The BAYC is flattered by the interest (obsession perhaps) of Madonna, the artist who in her time helped spread the punk rock style so characteristic of the Apes: ‘the Yuga Labs team loves it when people see themselves in certain Ape’. Madonna already owns a Bored Ape, number 4988 which cost $466,000 (however it’s much less rare than her favourite Ape), two World of Women (one of which is her Twitter profile picture) and a LAND by Otherside, the Metaverse of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. In May, Madonna released a set of NFTs in collaboration with Beeple: ‘Mother of Creation’, sold for charity.

Serie A teams make an appearance on Sorare

Starting with the 2022-23 season, 17 of the 20 Serie A teams will be available on Sorare, fantasy football on Ethereum. In a multi-year agreement, Sorare has brought the champions of Serie A onto the blockchain: the players of Italian clubs will be turned into NFT cards with which to play a crypto and digital version of fantasy football. The Serie A thus becomes one of the four major football leagues available on Sorare, along with the German Bundesliga, the Spanish La Liga and US Major League Soccer. Fans around the world will be able to collect, trade and line-up NFTs of Serie A players. According to Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo, one of the goals of the partnership is to engage international audiences and bring younger fans closer to Serie A TIM football. In fact, Italy is the second largest community globally on Sorare. The Serie B, which recently elected its new board members, has also expressed its intention to rely on new blockchain technologies to improve the experience of younger fans around the world.

Damien Hirst burns his NFT collection

As of 27 July last, the British artist started to ‘burn’ some of his NFTs, permanently destroying them. A stroke of madness? No, an artistic experiment! But let’s analyse this in order. In 2021, Hirst made 10,000 NFTs associated with as many physical works painted in 2016, in a project called The Currency. The works, unique and with different titles, depict textures of polka dots. Collectors, who were awarded each piece for $2,000, were faced with a choice: keep Damien Hirst’s work in NFT format only, destroying the canvas equivalent or, conversely, give up the non-fungible token to receive the physical work. The decision had to be made by last Wednesday, when the countdown expired, 5,149 owners decided to receive the physical work and 4,851 the NFT work. A battle took place between physical and digital art, the result of which was a slight victory for the former. Damien Hirst’s NFTs were managed, from creation to burning, by the Heni marketplace on the Palm blockchain. On Twitter, the artist announced the outcome of the collectors’ choice, adding that “I still don’t know what I’m doing and have no idea what the future holds for me, whether NFTs or physical works will be more valuable or not” and that the journey has just begun.

Solana opens a store for crypto enthusiasts in New York City

Solana has opened ‘the world’s first retail and education space dedicated to Web3′ at the Hudson Yard in Manhattan. Solana Spaces is a real store where customers are invited to experience the Solana universe live. Inside Solana Spaces, you can learn how to use a wallet, discover all of Solana’s projects and dapps and buy your first NFT all with the support of the team. “Inside the shop you will learn how Solana works and what Web3 is. We will provide you with a wallet and your first NFTs, and guide you through your first on-chain transactions,” the Solana Spaces Twitter account tweeted earlier this month.

Blockchain merchandise will also be available in the store, including a limited series of Blanksoles trainers. Solana Spaces aims to be a real ‘Web3 embassy in New York’! Prior to the grand opening, the store opened to 30 preview visitors, but Solana Spaces’ showcase did not go unnoticed and was shared on social media.

Star Atlas: a galactic DAO!

Star Atlas announces the launch of its DAO

Star Atlas, the highly anticipated play-to-earn video game on the Solana blockchain, announces its DAO and a revamped marketplace

Star Atlas is a play-to-earn video game being developed on the Solana blockchain.

The team on 22 July 2022 announced the launch of its DAO , on Twitter, within the community space 426LIVE. The decentralised autonomous organisation of Star Atlas will use the POLIS token as its governance token.

“I am excited to announce the launch of the platform that will give users the opportunity to participate in the governance of Star Atlas in the future through the mechanisms of the DAO,” said Michael Wagner, the CEO of ATMTA (lead developer for Star Atlas) and co-founder of the metaverse.

The political nature of Star Atlas

By its very nature, Star Atlas is a game of conquest: players, regions and factions fight for dominance of the galaxy and control of resources. With the DAO of Star Atlas, the community will finally get the tools to make its voice heard and be able to determine the future development of the play-to-earn video game.

The noun POLIS, which in ancient Greece defined a form of government, retains its meaning of participation in community life. The amount of POLIS tokens one possesses will in fact determine the amount of ‘political rights’ one will enjoy within the Metaverse. These rights will be used to vote on proposals vital to the development of the project but also to control the institutions of the galaxy and, in general, aspects internal to the dynamics of the game.

The development team aims to gradually increase the truly political elements within the metaverse, with players being able to propose motions and vote on universal measures in the future. The final step is to make Star Atlas an immersive simulation of a political system, in which the different factions will be represented in the form of planets and solar systems. This feature will allow players who are passionate about politics to engage in discussions and negotiations that will define the future of the Star Atlas metaverse.

The POLIS token

The Star Atlas metaverse is based on two main tokens. The ATLAS token is responsible for providing liquidity to the game, allowing players to receive value for the goods and services they provide to the ecosystem. It is the POLIS token, however, that grants those who hold it decision-making power in the metaverse; the more POLIS you hold, the more influence you will have on political decisions at all levels: at the macro level for the entire DAO of Star Atlas, and at the micro level for factions and regions. You can already block your POLIS in the governance protocol: the voting power of each player’s ‘PVP – POLIS Vote Power’ will be determined not only by the amount of tokens, but also by the time for which you decide to lock them.

By locking POLIS in the dedicated Dapp, users receive POLIS with voting rights, also called vePOLIS, which are neither transferable nor exchangeable.

For example, blocking a POLIS token for six months grants one vePOLIS, while a five-year block grants ten vePOLIS.

This model is aimed at favouring community members with a long-term vision, who will be willing to lock up their POLIS in exchange for political power.

The revamped marketplace

Another point on which the team has been working is the Galactic Marketplace. The first version was released in August 2021, and in recent months many improvements have been made, especially with regard to decentralisation.

Unlike many other play-to-earn games built on other blockchains, the transaction load on the marketplace will be fully managed on-chain, which will be possible thanks to Solana’s ability to process up to 65,000 transactions per second.

All that remains is to wait for further updates from the team on the official release date of the game, which, given the premise, could be the gaming metaverse event of the year.

Uniswap’s moves to conquer the NFT market

Uniswap's moves to conquer the NFT market

Buying NFT on Uniswap? Now you can, with a marketplace aggregator and an AMM for decentralised purchases

All this and more for Web3! Uniswap, the largest decentralised exchange – over 1 billion dollars exchanged in the last 24 hours – is preparing for Web3 by expanding its service provision. The missing piece? A facility to buy NFTs in a totally decentralised manner. Uniswap promises to integrate NFTs in the autumn through its acquisition of the marketplace aggregator Genie and Sudoswap’s AMM protocol. 

Uniswap decentralising the NFT market

The first DEX to use Automatic Market Makers? The first decentralised exchange for daily trading? Uniswap – Hayden Adams’ brainchild, the DEX that has marked a before and after in the cryptocurrency industry. Uniswap remains true to its decentralising finance approach by working on a feature that allows the purchase of NFTs without intermediaries thanks to the liquidity pools typical of AMMs. Uniswap already uses an Automated Market Maker to provide liquidity to the exchange, i.e. it clears orders automatically thanks to price-determining smart contracts and liquidity pools. Now it is preparing to apply an AMM for the trading of NFTs on its platform as well.  In addition to having a fully decentralised system, Uniswap users will be able to choose from a huge variety of NFTs thanks to the acquisition of marketplace aggregator Genie. 

Genie’s acquisition in June

Uniswap acquired the NFT marketplace aggregator Genie on 21st June 2022. Genie provides several purchase options aggregated from various marketplaces, such as OpenSea or LooksRare, making its offer very broad. Why did the Uniswap team also choose to integrate NFTs into their products? “We see NFTs as one of the forms of value in the growing digital economy and a significant entry point to Web3 already. Uniswap’s mission is to offer a complete platform for digital economy. To mark the acquisition, Uniswap organised a USDC airdrop for anyone who has used Genie before 15th April 2022 or who owned one of the Genie Genesis NFTs. The airdrop will be launched in August and will be redeemable over the following twelve months. The integration with Genie will initially be available in the Uniswap web app, to eventually be rolled out to the APIs and facilitate developers as well. 

… and the Sudoswap integration in July

In a tweet on 22nd July 2022, Scott Gray of the Uniswap Product Team revealed that NFTs on Uniswap will also be supported by Sudoswap, an AMM-based marketplace. Sudoswap’s Automated Market Maker, released on 8th July, will make it possible to buy NFTs on Uniswap’s platform with an AMM, mirroring the operation of the exchange itself. In fact, thanks to Sudoswap’s AMM, people will be able to buy NFTs automatically thanks to liquidity pools, unlike traditional marketplaces that combine the supply and demand of sellers and buyers of non-fungible tokens. It is to all intents and purposes a totally decentralised NFT trading because all orders are managed on-chain through the use of smart contracts

NFTs will be available for purchase on Uniswap from next autumn. In the meantime, the DEX is engaging in discussions with its community to develop new features in the NFT and Web3 fields.

Ukraine: $1 million raised by NFT collection documenting war

NFTs from the War Museum in Ukraine of photos documenting the conflict raise over $1 million

While UNESCO surveys the damage caused to Ukraine’s cultural heritage, the NFT Museum of War launches new collections to raise funds

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NFTs, as well as cryptocurrencies, have played a key role in raising funds to finance the resistance and reconstruction of the besieged country. The Ministry of Digital Transformation has opened a collection of NFT donations and supports several collections such as Soul of Ukraine, Ukrainian Spirit and the Meta History Museum of War. Proceeds from the sales of these collections are directly available to the Ministry. Since March 2022, the Meta History Museum’s collection has raised over $1 million and added more collectible NFTs on 21 July. All over the world, non-fungible tokens are proving to be a way to give not only financial aid but also a voice to the events and people involved in the conflict. This is the case of the NFT photographs of reporter Niccolò Celesti who exhibited his photojournalistic works last month in Florence.

The NFT Museum of Ukraine continues its mission

The Meta History Museum of War was founded on 25 March 2022 thanks to an NFT platform (relying on Ethereum and Polygon) and under the patronage of the Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov. The digital museum was created with the aim of preserving testimonies, recounting key moments of the war and countering misinformation about what is happening in Ukraine, all through NFT works. With the sales of these non-fungible tokens, the Meta History Museum of War has so far raised over $1 million ($1,223,272 at the time of writing) in ETH. The sum collected has been transferred to the Ministry, which in April explained in a statement that ‘the main purpose of this museum is to raise funds to restore Ukrainian museums and theatres that were bombed by the occupiers’.

According to UNESCO, 164 Ukrainian cultural sites were damaged from the start of the conflict until the latest update of 18th of July, including 72 religious buildings, 12 museums, 32 historical palaces and 17 monuments.

The third part of the NFT of the war in Ukraine

On the 21st of July, the digital museum published the third part of the NFT Warline collection in which the events of the conflict in Ukraine from 15th to 31st of March are recounted in chronological order. Comprising around one hundred works created by artists of different genres and backgrounds (one NFT was even created by artificial intelligence), the collection marks the most significant moments of the conflict and each NFT recounts an event on the precise day and time it occurred. For example, 16 March 2022 at 17:41: ‘Ukraine won a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice. The International Court of Justice has ordered an immediate halt to the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia…”. The new drop has works by artists such as Maria Oz, Anton Abo and Oleksii Dyvysenko.

NFT Photographs: Niccolò Celesti recounts the war in Ukraine

From the 24th to the 30th of June 2022, 90 photographs of the conflict taken by the war correspondent Niccolò Celesti were exhibited at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The exhibition, entitled “Springtime in Kiev: NFTs for Ukraine“, recounted in images the moments of the conflict between March and April. The harshness of the war, the difficulties, the faces of the people, in five ‘chapters’: Escape, War, Soldiers, Bunkers and Portraits. Three of the shots in the exhibition were turned into NFT photographs and sold to benefit the Red Cross’ ‘Florence for Kiev’ fundraiser. From the three photographs, 63 unique pieces were made at a price of 100 Euros each. We can consider Celesti’s work one of the first cases of photojournalism on blockchain.

The exhibition and the creation of the NFT photographs was curated by Innov Art di Trefoloni e Associati. It is a project that aims to bring new technologies, such as blockchain, to the world of culture and entertainment. They do this by providing services to companies, public bodies and professionals, for the creation of NFTs and tokenization projects. Celesti presented his collection like this: ‘a month of war and storytelling, spent mostly trying to get news from civilians and volunteers, looking for different angles than the headlines, images, and videos that the bastions of information offer globally. At the beginning, the intention was not to follow the main facts of the war, but to try to live it in the Ukrainians’ shoes.