Fantom teases airdrop with Sonic launch

Fantom teases airdrop with Sonic launch
Fantom’s native FTM token has rallied 130% since Sonic’s capabilities were showcased at ETHDenver at the start of March. Credit: Darren Joseph

A version of this story appeared in our The Decentralised newsletter on March 26. Sign up here.

GM, Tim here.

Here’s what caught my DeFi-eye recently:

  • Fantom plans comeback with new Sonic technology
  • Is Blast’s Crypto Valleys game a sleeping giant?
  • Coinbase diversifies its Ethereum validator software

Fantom promises 2,000 TPS and token airdrops with Sonic launch

Fantom is looking to revive its fortunes with its new Sonic technology.

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Fantom will use Sonic to create a new blockchain which its developers say can handle over 2,000 transactions per second. It’s also pegged to offer higher security, parallel transaction execution, and even zero-knowledge scaling in the future.

This is all a pretty big deal, Fantom Foundation CEO Michael Kong told DL News. He said Sonic’s transactions per second are “not just a theoretical number” but actually the throughput Sonic’s testnets are achieving.

In addition to helping scale Fantom, the high transaction speeds and throughput help ensure more accurate trade prices and better security.

Along with the Sonic launch, Kong said there will be also be multiple token airdrops.

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“The more that you interact with the network, the more value you accrue to network, that’s going to lead to a higher airdrop,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to give away too many details for fear of the airdrop getting “gamed” by airdrop farmers.

Fantom has had a rough few years since the 2021 bull run. The Fantom Opera network once hosted almost $8 billion in total value locked. That’s fallen over 98% to around $114 million.

So far the market seems bullish on Sonic. Fantom’s native FTM token has rallied 130% since Sonic’s capabilities were showcased at ETHDenver at the start of March.

Whether Sonic will live up to the hype remains to be seen, though. The new network is set to go live late summer to early autumn.

DeFi Kingdoms nostalgia fuels Crypto Valleys hype

Crypto Valleys is the latest so-called GameFi project to gain popularity among DeFi degens.

Crypto Valley’s gameplay is pretty straightforward. Users start by purchasing YIELD tokens to exchange for in-game seed packs. Once opened, the seed packs contain a collection of randomly selected seeds of different rarities.

Players then plant these seeds, wait for them to grow, and harvest the produce to earn more YIELD tokens.

The look and feel of the game has many users comparing it with a previously popular crypto game, DeFi Kingdoms, which launched in October 2021.

As DeFi Kingdoms’ popularity rose, its JEWEL token, needed to play the game, hit a market value of over $1.3 billion. Those who started playing early made big returns, drawing in more hopeful players.

A similar situation appears to be playing out on Crypto Valleys. When the game launched on March 14, YIELD tokens traded for around $0.30. Now they’re $15.

In the case of DeFi Kingdoms, its market value was unsustainable. Eventually, JEWEL started to violently sell off due to lower numbers of new players, among other factors.

Many Crypto Valleys players have thrown money into the game with the expectation it will follow a similar fate. Despite this, they argue, the potential profits outweigh the risks — for now.

Coinbase fulfills commitment to Ethereum decentralisation

Coinbase has successfully moved half of its Ethereum validators to new software, a decision that could save the blockchain in the event of an unlikely but catastrophic bug.

Previously, the exchange’s validators, which stake customers’ Ether on their behalf, used software from Go Ethereum — or Geth — exclusively.

Many in the Ethereum community pointed out that this reliance on a single validator software provider introduced unnecessary risks.

If Geth’s software encountered a bug, it could knock all validators using its software offline. With Geth software being used for over two-thirds of validators, such an event would cause the Ethereum network to split in two as a safety precaution.

But one of the two chains would get slashed — a term that refers to taking some Ether from validators who don’t publish the correct data to the Ethereum network. With over $114 billion worth of Ether staked, a mass slashing event could cost investors billions.

After Thursday’s announcement, Geth controls just under two-thirds of the execution client market, according to one estimate.

But some aren’t convinced.

“It’s not enough,” Jasper, a longtime, pseudonymous contributor to liquid staking protocol Rocket Pool, told DL News.

“There’s a chance that with just Coinbase switching half their validators, we’re under that 66% threshold,” Jasper said. “But I’d rather us get to a point where we can be like, ‘OK, even if we’re wrong by 15%, we’re still OK.’ And we’re not there yet.”

Data of the week — a tale of two layer 2s

Base and Manta have been close competitors in the Ethereum layer 2 race.

But a recent TVL surge on Base and equivalent decline on Manta has pushed the two chains apart.

Manta is the only blockchain in the top 20 that has seen its TVL decrease over the last month. And with a new bridge letting users more easily move funds off Manta launching today, the outflows could accelerate.

Base and Manta TVL

This week in DeFi governance

VOTE: Pyth DAO votes to confirm new price feed council members

PROPOSAL: Arbitrum DAO wants to build communities with a new memecoin fund

VOTE: Monad taps Balancer for future DEX deployment

Post of the week

DeFi “godfather” Andre Cronje is promising “new primitives” on Fantom after its planned Sonic upgrade later this year.

Cronje’s last invention, the Solidly decentralised exchange, hosts over $600 million worth of TVL across its many forks.

What we’re watching...

Hype is building for SocialFi project friend.tech’s upcoming token launch. The protocol’s points, which are set to convert into tokens, are already trading for over $4 each on sites like Whales Market.

Got a tip about DeFi? Reach out at tim@dlnews.com.

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