GOT (Gala's version) 👑⚔️
Gala Games' chessboard is hot. eFuse's Creator League hits a rocky reef over blockchain ties. Remember when Metaverse was all the rage? Now, not so much. Visa has a new plan. Another China crackdown.
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Gala Games, the well-known blockchain gaming company, seems to be caught in a storm of legal disputes.
What initially appeared to be a smooth gaming ride now looks like a complex game of chess, with its top executives battling it out in court.
Let's jump into this gaming saga.
Players on the Courtboard
Wright Thurston: Co-founder
Eric Schiermeyer: Co-founder & CEO
On a fateful day in late summer, August 31, both founders threw legal punches by filing lawsuits against each other in a Utah District Court.
Allegations from the CEO's Corner 🚫: Schiermeyer alleges that Thurston, with the aid of his investment company True North United Investments, pilfered a whopping $130 million in GALA tokens. These tokens, initially under the company's watchful eye, were allegedly distributed across 43 wallets by Thurston. Although Thurston defended the move as a safety measure for Gala, he later shuffled the tokens further and supposedly traded or liquidated them in an intricate "web of transactions" from late 2022 to mid-2023.
Accusations from Thurston 🔄: Thurston, not one to be outdone, retaliated with a lawsuit claiming Schiermeyer drained millions from Gala's coffers, both through direct misuse and personal loans. As if this wasn't enough, Schiermeyer is also accused of setting up new Gala branches in exotic locations like Switzerland and Dubai, seizing the reins for himself, and thus bypassing business opportunities intended for Gala.
Thurston, who also seats himself as a Gala director, asserts that Schiermeyer steered the Gala ship solo. It seems Thurston was left in the dark, allegedly being fed either incomplete or downright incorrect company data.
The High Stakes
Both legal filings come with hefty demands:
Schiermeyer wants Thurston ousted from his director role, with various compensations including the retrieval of the alleged stolen GALA.
Thurston, with an even bolder move, demands Schiermeyer's removal and is gunning for damages to the tune of at least $750 million.
A Backstory of Green Nodes 🌳: Schiermeyer also brings up a past SEC lawsuit against Thurston involving his firm Green United. Apparently, they fooled investors with an unauthorised investment pitch termed "Green Boxes" or "Green Nodes." Schiermeyer paints a grim picture, hinting that many of Thurston's past ventures faced legal disputes, insolvency, or SEC scrutiny.
With all this drama, Gala's token, GALA, witnessed a dip of 25% in the past month.
Gala Games is reshaping the gaming industry by enhancing gameplay quality and streamlining Web3 game access. Aiming to harmonise blockchain technology with player enjoyment, it fosters a seamless GameFi experience. The platform boasts games like Town Star, reminiscent of Farmville, and the competitive Spider Tanks, prioritising fun and cognitive engagement over blockchain complexities.
Soon, Gala will release The Walking Dead: Empires, an innovative survival game co-created with AMC's renowned The Walking Dead series. Adding to the excitement is Last Expedition, a high-caliber PvPvE shooter, crafted by the brains behind the legendary Halo 2.
Gala Games launched its new Gala NFT Mystery Boxes, each of which includes three assorted NFTs.
In May 2023, to counter fears of a potential "dump and exit", Gala Games executed a strategic move by burning over $600 million of its original GALA tokens. This came post a V2 token airdrop, where every holder of the original GALA token received an equivalent amount of the new GALA V2, solidifying its commitment to the community and the platform's longevity.
Esports tech firm eFuse's latest venture, the Creator League, recently ran into choppy waters. Promoted by YouTube behemoth MrBeast, the league has been put on hold due to a heated debate over its ties to blockchain technology.
The Initial Rollout: eFuse unveiled the Creator League with big names like Bella Poarch, iShowSpeed, and Clix onboard. They also had MrBeast as a promotional powerhouse. However, the company's recent decision to halt the program is coupled with reports of laying off around 30% of its workforce, which is roughly estimated at 30 employees.
What's The Creator League? For $20, fans could buy "Community Passes" linked to influencers in the esports league. These passes granted exclusive access to a Discord server, allowed voting in league-related polls, and entry to certain contests.
The Blockchain Controversy: Though eFuse emphasised using Near blockchain only to validate data and ensure transparency for the Community Passes, it created confusion about whether these passes were, in essence, NFTs. eFuse firmly stated they were not NFTs. However, the nature of these passes resembles "soulbound tokens", which are still a form of NFT.
YouTuber CDawgVA intends to leave due to NFT links.
TipsOut claims unawareness of NFT connections.
eFuse's transparency inconsistent across influencers.
Promotional materials didn't mention Near blockchain connection.
Refund options provided for unsatisfied buyers.
eFuse and Near's Partnership: When questioned about eFuse's alliance with Near, an eFuse representative divulged an 18-month partnership where Near granted funds for eFuse to explore and innovate with their blockchain.
Past Controversies: This isn't eFuse's first tryst with controversy. In a previous instance, their Chief Strategy Officer, Patrick Klein, stepped down following allegations of sexual harassment from his time at Ohio State University.
Grayscale has urged the SEC to quickly approve its Bitcoin ETF following a court victory challenging the SEC's rejection of the ETF. 👇🏻
TTD Metaverse 🥽
The world of virtual reality and the much-hyped Metaverse are encountering its own dose of harsh reality.
The four major metaverse projects - The Sandbox, Axie Infinity, Enjin Coin, and Decentraland have seen their cumulative market capitalisation shrivel from $16 billion in November 2021 to a meagre $1.23 billion by September 2023, marking a dramatic 92% nosedive.
The descent from $16 billion to $1.23 billion translates to a colossal loss of market dominance for these tokens, with their share in the global crypto market cap plummeting from 0.5% to 0.12%.
A Landscape of Losses 🌋:
Axie Infinity: Once renowned for its in-game economy, a staggering 99.54% of AXS holders are now "out of the money."
The Sandbox: With 98.34% of its investors underwater, this virtual world isn’t feeling too paradisiacal.
Decentraland: Despite its innovative digital real estate market, 89.04% of its investors are languishing in the red.
Enjin Coin: The Ethereum-linked project isn't faring much better, with 75.5% of its investors nursing losses.
In July 2023, heavyweights like Apple and Mark Zuckerberg instilled some hope in the Metaverse sector. However, this glimmer was short-lived. Concerns about security, utility, and player retention have continued to dog the Metaverse projects.
The situation deteriorated further when the SEC designated The Sandbox, Axie Infinity, and Decentraland as “securities,” sending their values into a tailspin. This declaration resulted in substantial losses for these tokens, further shaking investor confidence.
TTD Roll Out 🚀
Visa's Stablecoin Strategy
Visa is expanding its crypto ambitions by using stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) and the Solana blockchain to enable faster credit card payments.
Collaborations to Push the Envelope: Visa has partnered with merchant acquirers, Worldpay and Nuvei, to enable settlements in USDC instead of traditional fiat currencies.
The Advantage of USDC: Being a stablecoin that maintains parity with the US dollar, the introduction of USDC into Visa's ecosystem seeks to enhance the efficiency and speed of cross-border transactions.
MetaMask's Enhanced Conversion Features:
Facilitating Direct Cash Outs: MetaMask, widely recognised as a foremost Ethereum wallet and browser extension, has rolled out a new feature enabling users to cash out to their bank or PayPal accounts seamlessly.
Regions Covered: Currently, this service is available to users in the U.S., U.K., and select parts of Europe. However, MetaMask has plans to extend this offering to additional regions shortly.
The Bigger Picture: With a massive user base of over 30 million active monthly users, MetaMask’s goal is crystal clear - fostering a holistic Web3 experience with minimal middlemen.
TTD China 🇨🇳
Sina Weibo, a prominent social media giant in China boasting a daily active user base of 258 million, has announced the removal of 80 influencer accounts. With a combined following of over 8 million, these accounts allegedly promoted crypto activities.
The official statement pinned the removal on violations of numerous Chinese regulations encompassing sectors like telecommunications, finance, banking, online marketing, securities, exchanges, and internet safety.
This isn't the maiden crypto account purge by Weibo. Weibo initiated its crypto-cleansing spree after China's cryptocurrency ban in September 2021. By March, 131 accounts affiliated with crypto and stock trading were suspended.
The Broader Campaign 🇨🇳
August 2022 witnessed the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) extinguishing 12,000 influencer accounts from platforms like Weibo and Baidu, all tied to cryptocurrencies. An additional 51,000 promotional posts were also deleted. The CAC's rationale for such actions revolved around safeguarding public property and instilling prudent investment principles.
Affirming its commitment, Weibo announced its ongoing determination to eradicate illicit securities activities on its platform, emphasising a zero-tolerance approach towards contraventions.
Why is China Cracking Down? 🤔
2023 has observed China intensifying its crackdown on private crypto activities. Several motivations underlie this aggressive approach:
Capital Flight: A bid to prevent money from moving out of China illicitly.
Money Laundering: Concerns over cryptocurrencies being used to launder money.
State-Run Crypto Efforts: The crackdown ensures the primacy of China's official digital currency undertakings over private ones.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Epic Games has announced that its digital storefront will allow games with AI-generated content.
El Salvador is set to introduce Bitcoin education in public schools by 2024.
Coinbase-incubated Layer 2 protocol, Base, experienced a stall in block production on Tuesday, causing transaction processing issues.
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