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Gaming grew to 48% of all blockchain activity during the month of January, up from 45% in December, according to market analysis firm DappRadar.
In January 2023, gaming daily unique active wallets reached 839,436. That means there were that many users who made transactions in blockchain games during January.
This is a bullish indicator for the long-term potential of blockchain gaming, DappRadar said in its latest report. Still, the number is so low that it shows that blockchain gaming is still pretty far from mainstream acceptance.
“The game alphas and updates keep coming in the blockchain space, and there is a growing sense of excitement and anticipation for what the future holds,” DappRadar said. “As the sector continues to mature, we can expect to see even more exciting developments in the months to come.”
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That may sound overly optimistic, considering we’re still in the midst of a cryptocurrency winter and a global economic downturn. But everything is relative, and blockchain games are due for a bit of optimism after a tough 2022. Maybe, just maybe, things could be getting better.
Overall, DappRadar said 2023 has started with a strong and bullish trend, particularly in the NFT market. On-chain metrics have shown significant growth and activity, indicating a thriving and promising quarter for NFTs. The assets locked in blockchain protocols (DeFI TVL, or total value locked in a protocol) hit $74.6 billion, up 26.8% from the previous month.
The NFT market registered $941 million in trading volume and 9.2 million in sales count. Polygon was the standout performer, recording a 124% increase in trading volume and 157.39% increase in sales count, driven by the popularity of its NFT collections such as Collect Donald Trump Cards and the launch of Mocaverse Realm Ticket Pass.
Opensea has an increase in trading volume of 66.58% reaching $495 million in January 2023. This represents 58% of the total trading volume of the NFT market. And more than $14.6 million were lost due to exploits in January 2023, the lowest amount registered since January 2022. DappRadar interprets all of these datapoints as signs of recovery.
While the number of active gaming wallets increased in January, the number decreased in terms of daily unique active wallets, dropping 9.55% to 1,730,542 compared to December.
WAX was the most popular blockchain in January. The gaming and NFT blockchain saw an average of 394,480 dUAW, an increase of 3.39% from the previous month. The blockchain game Alien Worlds and the NFT marketplace Atomic Assets were the top dapps on the WAX blockchain.
In third place we find Polygon with 191,985 dUAW. The blockchain ecosystem made a splash late 2022, and now saw a decrease of 5.22% from the previous month. Benji Bananas and Planet IX were the most popular dapps on Polygon.
Planet IX had a good month, seeing a 44% increase and reaching 141,580 UAW. Hive came in fourth place with an increase of 12.31% reaching 182,800 dUAW. Splinterlands dominated the activity on Hive, and the trading card game saw an increase of 5.87% in its UAW, reaching 340,520 UAW.
The best-performing blockchain in January was Solana, with a 70% increase it reached an average of 53,683 dUAW. The growth was driven by the increased adoption of Solana DeFi dapps such as Raydium, MeanFi, Saber, and Orca. It looks like the Solana ecosystem is recovering from the damage caused by the FTX collapse, DappRadar said.
The Ethereum ecosystem also saw an increase in its Unique Active Wallets, seeing the activity increase 39% and reaching an average of 116,255 dUAW. The popularity of NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Manifold and the increased activity on the marketplaces can be seen as the drivers for these numbers.
Despite the decrease in the industry’s overall dUAW, the on-chain metrics for NFT show increased activity. This is a bullish sign for the market.
Solana saw a 57.33% increase in its TVL, reaching $548 million. This growth was driven by the performance of Marinade Finance, which had an 84.32% increase in TVL over the past 30 days, reaching $152 million. Marinade Finance has introduced a token incentive scheme to reward users who deposit Solana (SOL) tokens in return for mSOL, a liquid staking derivative. Orca and Raydium also showed an increase in their TVL, with 37% and 33% increases, respectively, reaching $46 million and $38 million.
The shift to proof-of-stake (PoS) by Ethereum has been a catalyst for the growing interest in staking solutions. Lido has been quick to capitalize on this, and its fee revenue has been directly proportional to Ethereum PoS earnings, as it sends received ether to the staking protocol.
The NFT market seems to be recovering with the surge of NFT trading volumes and sales counts in January 2023. The NFT trading volume recorded a 37% increase from the previous month, reaching $941 million. This is the highest trading volume recorded since June 2022. The sales count of NFTs also increased by 38% from the previous month, reaching 9.2 million.
Leading NFT blockchain Ethereum holds a dominance of 78.5% in the NFT market. It recorded a 37.29% increase in its trading volume, reaching $659 million. The sales count of Ethereum NFTs also increased by 7.37% from the previous month, now hitting just over 2 million. Yuga Labs’ NFT collections have significantly contributed to the ecosystem’s growth. Their latest NFT collection, an access pass NFT called Sewer Pass giving the holders access to an online game, has created a buzz in the NFT world.
Solana comes in second place, with a 23.7% increase in its trading volume, reaching $86 million. DeGods and Monkey Kingdom are the top NFT collections on Solana. Although the trading volume increased, the sales count decreased by 5.79% reaching 788,992. The volume increase comes mainly from the strong performance of the native cryptocurrency SOL.
Polygon has recorded an 124% increase in its NFT trading volume, reaching $46 million. The sales count of Polygon NFTs also increased by 157.39% from the previous month, reaching 4.5 million. The popularity of Collect Donald Trump Cards and the recent launch of Mocaverse Realm Ticket Pass has driven this growth.
Immutable X recorded a 3.67% decrease in its NFT trading volume, and the blockchain network recorded $14.2 million in trading volume. However, the sales count increased by 2.39% and now hit 564,832. Gods Unchained and Illuvium Land are the leading NFT collections on Immutable X, with trading volumes of $9.89 million and $1.46 million in the past 30 days.
OpenSea still remains the leading marketplace with a 66.58% increase in NFT trading volume, reaching a staggering $495 million. This is a clear indication of OpenSea’s unrelenting dominance in the NFT space, which represents 58% of the whole NFT trading volume in January 2023. Furthermore, based on the trading volume registered and the 2.5% fee that OpenSea charges per transaction, the platform made approximately $12.3 million in revenue.
The largest exploit of the month took place on the LendHub lending protocol on the Heco network, resulting in a loss of approximately $6 million. The vulnerability was in the lBSV contract duplication, allowing the attacker to deposit funds into the old version and borrow from the new market. By exploiting the flow of the minting and redemption process, the attacker made a profit worth $6 million before moving the stolen assets to other chains like Ethereum and Optimism.
“In conclusion, 2023 has started on a high note, with bullish on-chain metrics in the DeFi and NFT markets,” DappRadar said. “The decrease in money lost this month due to exploits, the lowest amount ever recorded in 2022, is a positive indication of the increase in blockchain security.”
I don’t know if that is a great selling point for the mainstream: We didn’t lose as much money to thieves this month compared to last month.
Still, DappRadar said, “The upward trend in the NFT market and the growth of DeFi platforms give us reason to be optimistic about the future of the crypto market. With these promising developments, we can expect a recovery and continued growth in the coming months.”
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