The web3 and crypto ecosystems move fast and there is never a dull moment. In this article, we’ll cover a few of the top news stories from the first week of February 2022.
Immutable X and GameStop Partnership
There has been a lot of buzz around the future of video gaming and integrating NFTs. This integration is still a polarizing topic for many in the video game world, as they are skeptical of this new technology. The backlash from gamers has caused any video game companies looking into NFTs, to scrap their NFT plans. GameStop plans to ignore that and jump right in to integrating NFTs with their business model.
The world’s largest video game retailer, looks to step into Web3 with an upcoming NFT marketplace called “GameStop NFT”. The release date is yet to be announced but what is known, is that the GameStop will be partnering with Immutable X on this endeavor.
We’re thrilled to announce that @Immutable is taking another leap forward in the gaming & blockchain industry by partnering w/ @GameStop to power their NFT Marketplace: https://t.co/Tase31CBt3 🎮
🧵Continue for more… pic.twitter.com/8v6Titg3kq
— Immutable | $IMX (@Immutable) February 3, 2022
Immutable X is a layer 2 protocol that enable users to experience zero gas fees and instant trades for NFTs on their platform. In this new partnership, the Immutable X protocol will be powering the GameStop NFT marketplace. The goal of this integration is to allow current and future NFT projects/economies to be able to access more liquidity and gaming content with mainstream users.
Together, Immutable and GameStop launched a $100M $IMX pool, which they intend to use for grants to creators of NFT content and technology, enabling creators to leverage the power of the Ethereum layer 2 protocol.
Shortly after the press release of this news, it seemed that GameStop quickly cashed in on nearly half of the $100million grant, according to data shared by Twitter user “polka“.
Today in Crypto;
Gamestop received a grant from @Immutable on the sum of ~100M$ on signing the partnership, and goes on to immediately dump 30M$ on Huobi, OKex and Binance.
Proof is on-chain:https://t.co/ekyCBmclu6
The wallet received the exact awards as in the milestones below. pic.twitter.com/IKQeLZPqz7
— polka (@polarply) February 4, 2022
According to “polka“, the proof is in the data on-chain, where the exact amounts of awarded $IMX tokens were moved to exchanges and sold in three different transactions by GameStop.
The price of Immutable’s native token rose to around $4.24 with the partnership news on February 3rd, and is currently trading around $2.76 at press time.
Solana to Ethereum Bridge, Wormhole is Hacked
To start off the month of February, DeFi saw the largest attack of 2022 and the fourth largest to date, in terms of amount of money taken.
The Wormhole bridge, a protocol that makes it simple to bridge assets between Solana and Ethereum, saw a major exploit on February 2nd — stealing around $323 million in ETH.
Wormhole is one of the largest bridges between the Ethereum and Solana networks and is an integral part of the DeFi multichain ecosystem. It allows users to move crypto and NFTs between the two blockchains easily. A user, for example, could move 1 ETH from the Ethereum chain to Solana, using Wormhole as a bridge between the networks. This bridge can be used to lock their 1 ETH into a smart contract on the Ethereum network, and would then be able to create the equivalent amount of 1 “wrapped” ETH on the Solana network.
On February 2, 2022, an unidentified hacker was able to mint 120,000 wrapped ETH on the Solana network without depositing the collateral on the Ethereum network. This exploit was possible as a result of a software bug in Wormhole’s code. Wormhole was able to recognize the hack and quickly paused all token transfers on the bridges and began to fix the vulnerability. It took around 16 hours to patch up.
A multichain ecosystem will rely on these bridges to function, and this incident definitely puts the spotlight on vulnerabilities and crypto bridges. DeFi is still a relatively new financial innovation, and while it offers great benefits, it does come with higher risk than traditional finance.
Meta is shutting down the Diem project
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is officially shutting down it’s digital currency project, Diem — formerly Libra.
The CEO of Diem, Stuart Levey announced on January 31st, the sale of Diem’s assets, citing continuing resistance from federal regulators. Diem’s intellectual property and other assets related to the running of the Diem Payment Network were sold to Silvergate Capital, according to a news release issued by the Diem Association.
1/7 From the statement by the CEO Stuart Levey on the sale of the Diem group’s assets to Silvergate — “From the outset, the Diem project has been focused on leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology to design a better and more inclusive payment system. pic.twitter.com/fX9ptwDt0k
— Diem Association (@DiemAssociation) January 31, 2022
The Diem foundation’s stablecoin project, formerly by the Libra foundation, had faced regulatory pushback since inception. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook founded the venture and wanted to use it to “empower billions of unbanked people” financially, saying that “sending payments online should be as easy as a text message”.
Google Exploring Web3, according to Alphabet CEO
Alphabet is the parent company of Google, and they are publicly embracing web3 as they proclaim to be figuring out how to integrate the blockchain based iteration of the internet.
The question around Web3 and the future of the company was brought up by JP Morgan analyst, Doug Anmuth at Alphabet’s(GOOGL) Q4 earnings call.
Here is what Sundar Pichai had to say
On Web3, we are definitely looking at blockchain and such an interesting and powerful technology with broad applications, so much broader again in any one application. – Sundar Pichai — Chief Executive Officer & Director of Alphabet
The Alphabet CEO went on to spek more in depth on the subject saying, “Just one example, our Cloud team is looking at how they can support our customers’ needs in building, transacting, storing value and deploying new products on blockchain-based platform.”
“So we’ll definitely be watching the space closely and supporting it where we can. Overall, I think technology will continue to evolve and innovate, and we want to be pro-innovation and approach it that way.”
To date, major tech companies CEOs have recently criticized Web3 concepts and the potential third iteration of the internet. Alphabet’s welcoming stance on the subject could be a major stepping stone toward a future of more companies embracing Web3.
Want to support more unbiased discussions and deep dive content in crypto? Andrew accepts tips!