🍿 GTA VI crypto/NFTs + post-Merge Centralization
Reading time 4m25s
GM crew 👉
We’re swimming in a sea of RED this Monday morning as BTC flirts with its 2022 lows around $18k.
But at least the Merge went well.
However, even Ethereum is facing criticism and backlash over centralization concerns and this week has nothing but bad news lined up for the broader markets.
Post-Merge Blues 🎵
GTA VI Leaks 💦
FED Rate Hike 📈
Ripple v SEC ⚔️
Layer 3 Solutions ⚡
Are Post-Merge Relay Blocks on Ethereum Too Centralized?
Sounds like the name of a Russian punk rock band from the 80s 👀
The Post-Merge Relay Blocks:
Okay, but really now..
Q: what’s a relay block?
A: a block that has been passed (relayed) from one blockchain to another.
You can learn more about relays here, but for the sake of simplicity just imagine it’s like when olympic runners pass the baton to a teammate - but the baton is a packet containing all the data from a whole block and the teammate is another blockchain.
It’s how we get something like ‘wrapped’ BTC (WBTC), which is created when BTC is locked in a special smart contract and then a relayer tells the Ethereum chain it’s safe to create an equivalent in WBTC to be used in Ethereum DeFi applications and so on.
If you can believe it, more than 80% of all relay blocks post-merge have been produced by just one protocol called Flashbots.
Critics argue that Flashbots is a centralized entity and their relay dominance poses centralization and security risks.
Proponents argue that Flashbots is a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and that the Flashbots protocol itself will eventually be decentralized.
Leaving relays behind, there’s another concerning number that we have to discuss.
Santiment data, as of Sept. 15, showed that just two wallets processed 46.15% of Ethereum transactions.
It’s not quite as bad as it sounds.
The two addresses belong to Lido and Coinbase, meaning they represent large pools of ETH belonging to many different individuals.
It’s important to note that neither Coinbase nor Lido have legal ownership of the majority of the ETH in their vaults.
That being said, they certainly have practical ownership, and they still represent 2 points of centralized responsibility and control over block production and transactions.
GTA VI Leak: Crypto or NFTs?
Back to Vice City baby 😎
I’m not about to show you clips from the 90 videos that were leaked by a hacker last night because that would make me a criminal.
Do I look like Do Kwon?
But since everyone’s talking about it, one clip showed a scene on the Vice City Metro train which all but confirms the game will be set in the 2002 version of the game’s iconic city, loosely based on Miami.
Florida Man memes’ll be lit.
(Or Florida Woman 👀)
I can also say it looks visually stunning even though it’s still 2+ years away.
But apparently the hacker even leaked the source code, so who knows if they’ll have to start from scratch or shoot for an earlier release date or what.
Q: what about crypto?
A: probably; maybe not favorably.
Let me explain.
If you’ve played any amount of GTA, you’ll know they often take a satirical and jaded, some would even say cynical approach to their in-game mechanics and lore.
You know they’ll roast crypto after all the shit that happened in ‘21-22 🔥
You know there will be missions where you have to steal crypto.
You know the crazy guy on the radio will be shilling a fake shitcoin.
Unfortunately, nobody knows if they will pursue a Play-to-Earn model or integrate their own cryptocurrency for in-game transactions as they haven’t officially confirmed or denied it when questioned.
GameFi is growing though; we’ll see how adoption looks in 2 years.
Q: what about NFTs?
A: same as above, but more probable.
It’s all going to depend on how web3 progresses between now and their release date.
Real digital ownership of vehicles, real estate, weapons, and wearables would make the game far more appealing for users who put a lot of time and effort into their gameplay.
But with it being 2+ years out, there’s just no telling where web3 and NFTs will be by then.
Here’s a good prediction though:
Yep, probably 😅
The current GTA V was released in 2013, nearly 10 years ago! When was the first ever GTA game released?
Tap your answer below to see if you’re right!
Web3 Pipeline 📢
FED rate hike again - it’s that time of the month again when the FED will announce their next rate hike (expected Sept 20-21). Some think it could be 100bps thanks to another higher-than-expected CPI report last week, which would be the highest rate hike in over 40 years. Seems like today’s sell-off could be in anticipation of this event, and if the FED goes lower (like 75bps), that might actually lead to a short term pump since 100bps could be priced in.
Conclusion to Ripple v SEC - separate motions filed on Saturday by Ripple and the SEC both called for a summary judgment. Summary judgments are submitted when a party involved believes there’s enough evidence at hand to make a ruling without the need to proceed to trial. In other words, both the SEC and Ripple Labs think they’re winning this case, and they want the judge to make a decision immediately. Whether or not the judge will oblige is another story, but the conclusion of this case will have massive ramifications for the entire crypto asset class.
Do Kwon drops Twitter thread - “I’m not on the run”, said the Terra founder in a string of tweets over the weekend, “for any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide.” Can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Vitalik revisits Layer 3 solutions - I know, I know.. You can hardly wrap your head around layer 2 solutions, and now we’re on to layer 3s? Here’s a briefing from Vitalik’s blog, but it’s pretty much just the stacking of layer 3s on top of layer 2s to get even more scalability. There are some kinks to work out though - we’ll bring you the full details tomorrow.
NFT drops of the day 👀
AstroArmadillos 🆓 | FREE (ETH) Sept 20 - helping people embrace the world of Web3; you get what you pay for
🛑 NOTE: drops not promoted/endorsed✅ DYOR and practice safe minting!
While the SEC and Ripple Labs argue over XRP, there’s one crypto that already solidified its place in the history books over 7 years ago.
That’s all for today frens!
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DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Do your own research.