In the latest Around The Block podcast, we sit down with Elias and discuss some of the most interesting data points from the year, and what it all means for the future. (High level takeaways below)
Metaverse gaming tokens
Smart contract platform tokens
The governance tokens of gaming worlds Axie Infinity (AXS) and The Sandbox (SAND) each posted 16,000 and 13,000 percent gains respectively. Meanwhile, platform tokens from Polygon, Terra, Solana, and Fantom, all posted 8,000% gains or more.
Given that play-to-earn gaming had a breakout year, and layer 1s not named Ethereum saw strong adoption, these trends should be of no surprise. Now let’s dig a bit deeper.
Remember that is essentially the brain of Ethereum that performs computations for the network. When other Layer 1s adopt the EVM, it makes deploying existing applications on new networks easier for developers, in addition to making it easier for users to migrate to these new chains.
The dominance of value on EVM compatible chains (Avalanche, Polygon, etc) suggest that a standard is forming around the EVM. This should ultimately keep Ethereum as the gravitational center of the smart contracting world, as ETH applications and assets will be natively interoperable with most other chains.
While EVM chains still dominate the landscape, the end of 2021 saw a rise in value on Tendermint chains. Recall that Tendermint is a standard popularized by Cosmos, that lets developers build application specific blockchains that are capable of interoperating with one another.
Building app-specific chains in the past came with significant opportunity cost, because they were cut off from most liquidity and users. With the like Osmosis (AMM), Umee (lending), and Stargaze (NFTs), that’s becoming less of an issue.
Now that these app specific chains have a widening array of use cases and liquidity that they can interoperate with, look for more builders to take advantage of customizability that these chains offer in 2022.
In 2021, ENS reminded everyone of Web3’s native user acquisition strategy: the airdrop.ENS (Ethereum Name Service) addresses are best thought of as email addresses that you can send money to (e.g. Jimbo.eth). After 5 years in development, the project shifted to a , and airdropped ENS governance tokens to every user with an ENS address.
Since the ENS DAO treasury collects revenue from new .eth registrations, revenue for the newly minted ENS DAO treasury ramped up significantly: another testament to how much a well orchestrated airdrop can move the needle.
Beyond ENS, DAOs had a strong year, evident by the growing usage in key pieces of DAO infrastructure. Gnosis Safe, which is the most popular multisig wallet DAOs use to manage their treasuries, saw in both the number of Safes and transactions executed in 2021. Snapshot, a tool that helps DAOs execute off-chain votes with on-chain verification, exhibited as well.
OG NFT , reaching a total volume of 650K ETH, or $1.7B at current prices. This figure however, includes a flashloan powered $500M wash sale — a powerful reminder of how much subjectivity there is in on-chain data.
The second most notable NFT project of the year was Bored Ape Yacht Club, which went from a niche community to the celebrity NFT of choice, including the likes of Steph Curry, Shaq, Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Paris Hilton, among others. At one point the BAYC floor (price of the cheapest NFT in the collection) the CryptoPunks floor.
Dune Analytics, Richard ChenOne of the most interesting NFT launches of the year was Loot (covered ), which let anyone mint 1 of 8,000 NFTs that could form the basis of a Dungeons and Dragon style RPG game. Initial excitement was skyhigh, before as time went on.
While Loot’s flame may have dimmed, it was still a landmark year for NFT based gaming, with the breakaway success of bringing play-to-earn and GameFi narratives to the forefront. As the data shows, Axie Infinity NFT volume dwarfs that of any prior NFT based game.
CryptoSlam and The BlockLastly, while Ethereum was the center of the NFT show, marketplaces appear to be springing up across multiple chains. The data shows that lower fee environments are enabling different types of user activity. , for example, has more transactions than OpenSea since users are unencumbered by exorbitant gas fees.
Beyond being chock-full of illuminating data points on the year in crypto and Web3, the full thread underscores the beauty of on-chain data and the increased maturity of the industry. The ability for one person to put together a dataset this rich is a testament to all of the great data providers the industry now has at our disposal.
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Sep 22, 2022,
2 min read time
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