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US regulator to seek feedback on DeFi’s impact on financial crime



A United States financial regulator is looking to gain feedback from the banking industry about how decentralized finance (DeFi) may affect the bureau’s efforts to stop financial crime.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said it is “looking carefully” at DeFi, while the agency’s acting director, Himamauli Das, said the digital asset ecosystem and virtual currencies are a “key priority area” for the agency.

Das gave prepared remarks on Dec. 6 at the American Bankers Association’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference.

The acting director added the agency is “taking a close look” at its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) framework for cryptocurrencies and digital assets to decide if “additional regulations or guidance are necessary.”

“We are engaging with relevant U.S. government stakeholders in this effort,” said Das. “We welcome engagement with industry — including the banking community — to better understand your assessment of the vulnerabilities and risks.”

In particular, the regulator was concerned at DeFi’s “potential to reduce or eliminate the role of financial intermediaries” that are critical to its AML and CFT efforts.

Das said it recognizes DeFi “will continue to impact the financial services industry” and the agency will need to mitigate the “illicit finance and national security risks posed by the misuse of digital assets.”

Related: Terrorists still predominantly use cash over crypto: UN officials

FinCEN’s evaluation of its AML and CFT frameworks is part of the Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets issued by United States President Joe Biden on Mar. 9.

A result of the Executive Order was the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Action Plan to Address Illicit Financing Risks of Digital Assets.”

Among other priority actions, the plan recommended increased private sector engagement through “the publication of official documents, discussions, and Treasury programs that enable public‐private and private‐private information sharing.”

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NFT News

Web3 Gamer – Cointelegraph Magazine



Shrapnel: The game at GDC everyone’s talking about

As the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco came to a close last week, there was one game that stood out from the rest. Shrapnel, a highly anticipated first-person shooter in the Web3 space, was the talk of the conference thanks to its stunning graphics and immersive gameplay. 

Select invitees got a first look at Shrapnel at GDC. (Shrapnel/Twitter)

Select visitors were treated to a hands-on experience with the pre-alpha version of the game. Set in the year 2044, Shrapnel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Players must navigate the “sacrifice zone,” where they collect NFT gear and a compound named Sigma. They can win by reaching an extraction point where they can escape with their loot. If they die, they lose their loot. 

Shrapnel founder Mark Long told Cointelegraph at GDC that for his team, it’s all about the gameplay first. He added that while the demo took place behind closed doors this time, more people would be able to play Shrapnel next month.

“Anyone at ConsenSys will be able to play it on the show floor,” he says, referring to the conference in Austin, Texas, in late April.

EVE Online, MapleStory to get Web3 treatment

While Shrapnel was hogging the limelight, EVE Online creators CCP Games announced they raised $40 million in a round led by a16z to develop a new AAA title set in the EVE universe.

EVE Online is a space-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Launched in 2003, its game includes over 7,000 solar systems and two decades of player-created history. Players can choose their own paths and professions in the game, focusing on battles, mining, exploration and industry, as they interact with its complex in-game economy and hierarchy. 

It’s not a game for the faint-hearted: some describe playing the game as having a second job. In addition, the increasing cost of playing EVE Online has long been a point of contention between players and CCP Games. 

EVE Online
The complex MMO takes place across thousands of solar systems. (Steam)

As with every time a Web2 game studio expresses an interest in Web3 — think Neopets metaverse, for instance — the worry among players is that it’s little more than a cynical cash grab. 

The details of what the blockchain EVE game will look like are still under wraps but the company has made clear it’s not going to impact EVE’s global server, known as Tranquility. Last year, the company came out and said that they had no plans to add blockchain technology to Tranquility.

“While we remain intrigued by the technology, for us, NFT stands for ‘Not for Tranquility,’” company CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson said at the time. 

Related: What are Web3 games, and how do they work?

The website for this project, which suggests the name is “Project Awakening,” states the game is “separate from current and previously disclosed projects, including EVE Online.”

It’s not the only traditional gaming brand that’s recently announced its jumping on the Web3 bandwagon. Gaming company Nexon is bringing its popular game, MapleStory, to the blockchain. 

MapleStory is a 2D MMO. (Steam)

Claiming over 260 million players, the game allows players to explore deserts, tundras, underwater kingdoms, lost civilizations and more. The South Korean firm follows other players in the region, such as Square Enix and Bandai Namco, who have previously dabbled in Web3. 

Related: Justin Sun vs. SEC, Do Kwon arrested, 180M player game taps Polygon: Asia Express

Bazooka Tango wants to revive indie card game Shardbound

Indie game Shardbound is also getting a Web3 revival, from gaming studio Bazooka Tango. A tactics card game, Shardbound initially launched through Kickstarter. But it never made a full release, and interest faded.

That’s when Bazooka Tango came in and decided to give it a new lease of life, according to the company’s co-founder, Stephan Sherman. 

“The developers at SpiritWalk had been very close friends of ours and we had always been a fan of the product,” Sherman tells Cointelegraph.

Once we had the opportunity, we talked to them about picking up where it left off and bringing it the final mile, so it had a chance to reach a worldwide audience.”

The Shardbound beta will be open to the public around mid-year 2023 and available on mobile in 2024.

Shardbound concept art
Shardbound concept art. (Shardbound/Twitter)

Otherside’s Second Trip to Fortnite

Yuga Labs’ Otherside returned for its Second Trip on March 25. The event saw over 7,200 concurrent players on the platform, with Improbable, the company behind the tech, once again showcasing its impressive capabilities.

Unlike the First Trip in the summer of last year, the newest iteration had a bit more gameplay beyond avatars running around doing backflips. Participants in the Second Trip teamed up to collect blobs. The winning team, Team Glacia, earned virtual winged helmets.

Second Trip players
Thousands of players joined the Second Trip on Saturday. (OtherGuild/Twitter)

On Crypto Twitter, it wasn’t long before the Fortnite comparisons started rolling in, both positive and negative. The company garnered praise for how much it has managed to achieve in such a short space of time – this time last year, Otherside was but a rumor, officially launching at the end of April – but others quickly fired back that the comparisons were inaccurate and unhelpful. 

It’s not yet clear what Yuga Labs has planned for gameplay. But then again, there are only so many ways one can collect virtual objects before it all starts to feel the same. Game Fund Partner Jonah Blake tweeted:

The otherside is not competing with Fortnite creative. They are 2 different things. They both compete for attention, and attention will be whatever is on a deed or a fortnite island. The creators will drive that attention. Brands will post on all of them.

Following the Second Trip, Yuga Labs announced several new updates. First, it looks like the company will be teaming up with Gucci for something related to the Otherside.

It’s also rolled out Legends of the Mara, which Yuga Labs said is a collection-based 2D strategy game that picks up where the events of Second Trip leave off.

“With it, we’re going to learn more about Kodas, including their origins and their primal relationship with Otherside, encounter some new apprentices in the form of the Mara, and learn more about the story of Otherside throughout LOTM,” Otherside tweeted.

Related: Otherside Metaverse demo kicks off with 4,500 participants: highlights

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US enforcement agencies are turning up the heat on crypto-related crime

Magic Eden gaming hub

NFT marketplace Magic Eden started pivoting to gaming last year, and this month it finally rolled out its gaming hub. 

The idea, according to its gaming CEO Chris Arkhavan, is to turn the platform into a hub for Web3 gaming where users can find new games, buy NFTs and view leaderboards. It’s not hosting games on its platform but has plans for more community-focused integrations in the future.

Magic Eden
Magic Eden is pivoting to gaming.

Hot Take — Undead Blocks

“So, Bitcoin up today?”

It’s not the first thing you expect to hear as you walk nervously around the neighborhood of Sanborn, New York, waiting for the zombies to inevitably descend on you, but it helps release a bit of the tension. Your character shouting “to the moon” as the hordes descend is as good a war cry as any, I suppose. 

zombie hordes
Undead Blocks is described as a “kill to earn” game.

The beta of Undead Blocks, by Wagyu Games and Kevuru and released on ImmutableX, launched last month. Dubbed a “kill-to-earn” game, Wagyu Games executive director Grant Haseley is a former Goldman Sachs analyst who set out with the aim of making an easy-to-learn and addictive game that is playable with friends. 

Easy for everyone except me. I have the hand-eye coordination of a drunk three-year-old and am much more at ease pottering around Stardew Valley planting potatoes than trying to survive the apocalypse. 

Being able to control the unwieldy pistol improves slightly when I turn down the mouse sensitivity by about 90%. At least, I stop dying after killing just one zombie.

That said, I can still appreciate that it looks cool. And I’ve heard positive reviews from people who have used a game controller — you can use the ones for your Xbox or Playstation — as opposed to a Mac.

Overall, the look and general playability of blockchain games are so much better than they were a year ago, and Undead Blocks is no exception. It has crisp graphics, a cool soundtrack in the intro and cringe-in-a-mildly-amusing-way musings from the avatar about crypto.

Read also


Fake employees and social attacks: Crypto recruiting is a minefield


Escape from LA: Why Lockdown in Sri Lanka Works for MyEtherWallet Founder

What’s Coming Up

Amazon NFT and Gaming platform — In January, it was revealed that Amazon was building an NFT and gaming platform. The e-commerce giant has remained tight-lipped about the plans but unconfirmed reports suggest something could be launched on April 24. 

Imposters — This Among Us-esque social deduction game will launch a beta for verified holders on March 31. It was delayed from the original date of March 24 due to issues with migrating the game to Unreal Engine 5.1. 

CGC Online — The Crypto Gamers Conference is back for another year from April 17-18. Tickets for the virtual event are available free online and the deadline for speaker applications closes April 10. 

Eternal Dragons — Blockchain game Eternal Dragons will hold its first official PvP tournament from March 31 to April 2. There’s a prize pool of over $15,000 USDC up for grabs. 

The Glimmering — Blockchain-based Dungeons and Dragons game The Glimmering will launch its play platform on March 30. NFT holders will be able to sign up to play games virtually. 

Immutable Passport — Immutable is set to roll out its gaming passport in April. The noncustodial wallet and authentication solution aims to streamline user onboarding to its games.

Got tips, questions or comments? Please direct all vitriol, abuse and declarations of love to me on Twitter @quinnishvili.

Callan Quinn

Callan Quinn is a British freelance journalist covering crypto and tech. She has worked as a business journalist in China, the UK, Somaliland and the republic of Georgia. Previously, she was also an NFTs, gaming and metaverse reporter at The Block.

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Arsenal NFTs: Access to Games and Luxury Stays



Enjinstarter and Staynex team up for an extraordinary NFT campaign, granting fans unique access to matches and luxury accommodations with Arsenal NFTs.

As Arsenal Football Club dominates the Premier League, fans around the world are buzzing with excitement. Now, thanks to a special NFT campaign by Enjinstarter and Staynex, die-hard Arsenal enthusiasts have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness their favorite club compete for its first Premier League title since 2004. With Arsenal Journey Pass NFTs, fans can experience the thrill of the game in a whole new way.

Arsenal Journey Pass NFTs

Launching on OpenSea on April 7th, the Arsenal Journal Pass NFTs are a collaboration between Web3 launchpad Enjinstarter and blockchain-based membership platform Staynex. Only 400 NFTs will be available, granting token holders privileged access to an Arsenal home match of their choosing and Staynex’s luxury accommodation options.

Credit Nelson Ndongala

The Arsenal journey pass is expected to be priced at 400 USDT. Successful bidders can receive either a “Gooner” tier NFT, which includes general and club level access to a match and 4-star accommodation, or a “Legendary” tier NFT, offering box seat access and 5-star accommodation. Token holders can choose from a selection of four games.

Additionally, NFT holders will enjoy early adoption benefits and premium access to the Staynex platform, where users can purchase NFT-based vacation packages at resorts and hotels. These packages can be redeemed for stays at member properties or sold on the secondary market.

Collaboration and Innovation in the Web3 Space

Enjinstarter and Staynex exemplify the power of collaboration in the Web3 space. Enjinstarter is underwriting the sale of the Arsenal NFTs and making the project visible to its community, while Staynex gains visibility across the Enjinstarter ecosystem. The move is an example of the potential for creating value for sports fans and community members alike through synergy in the Web3 space.

“We need more symbiotic partnerships like this in the Web3 space. Web3 thrives on synergy, so when you can bring an iconic global brand and Web3 experts together, you can create real value for sports fans and community members alike. We wish Enjinstarter, Staynex, and Arsenal a successful launch,” said Khalil Abdulla, CEO of Masary Capital, the Dubai-based Web3 venture builder bringing Enjinstarter and Staynex together.

Arsenal is currently leading the English Premier League, and their recent performances have put them in a prime position to take the title. The Gunners have been playing with a sense of purpose and determination, and their results on the pitch say as much.

With Arsenal Journal Pass NFTs, a fantastic opportunity for football enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the excitement of the Premier League awaits.

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ApeCoin Community Rejects Multi-Link APE NFTs Proposal



ApeCoin DAO has recently made a significant decision regarding the introduction of two new NFT collections.  The community voted against the addition of the two new NFT collections, which would have expanded the APE ecosystem’s offerings. 

This decision highlights the power of decentralized decision-making and underscores the significance of community-driven governance. ApeCoin is an Ethereum governance token used to facilitate decision-making in the APE ecosystem.

Proposed New NFT Collections

ApeCoin allows holders to participate in the governance process regarding the development and direction of various projects within the Ape ecosystem. These include blue-chip NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Meebits, and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC).

Aaron Leupp presented the AIP-206 proposal on January 13, aiming to create 20,000 items from two collections: Ape Coin Armoury Club and Ape Coin Pet Club. The collections were intended to bring ApeCoin into the metaverse, offer greater utility, and incentivize growth.

In the proposal, Leupp stated that “We are open to all debates, criticism, feedback, counters and thoughts since we would love to be a part of such a pioneering venture as this, and also would really love to continue to prove ourselves.” 

Project Cost and Voting Results

The proposal, which would have cost $168,000, aimed to design collections similar to The Sandbox [SAND] and Decentraland [MANA]. This marked another attempt by Yuga Labs to expand its NFT participation.

Current results of the ApeCoin DAO AIP 206 Proposal

Currently, almost 89% of voters have rejected the proposal, while only 6.92% support it. Although looking bleak for the ‘Yes’ voters, the vote is still ongoing. The proposal sought to offer the community ownership of these items at no cost and provide opportunities for BAYC, MAYC, and other collection holders to pivot.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the ApeCoin community‘s rejection raises questions about the sustainability of the NFT market. While blue-chip collections have experienced a decline in volume, Crypto Punks remains an exception. 

The rejection of the AIP-206 proposal highlights the community’s cautious approach to expanding its NFT collections and emphasizes the importance of community governance in the ApeCoin ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Apecoin?

APE is a community-driven token designed to empower the future, constructed and governed by its members. This decentralized protocol layer will facilitate community-led endeavors that propel culture into the metaverse.

What is the Ape Foundation?

The APE Foundation aims to nurture the expansion and evolution of the APE ecosystem equitably and inclusively. By employing the Ecosystem Fund, managed through a multisig wallet, the foundation covers its expenses as directed by the ApeCoin DAO. This structure enables ApeCoin holders to engage in collaborative, open, and unrestricted governance procedures.

What is the ApeCoin DAO?

The APE Improvement Proposal Process (refer to Governance) empowers ApeCoin DAO members to determine the allocation of the Ecosystem Fund, governance regulations, projects, collaborations, and more. ApeCoin DAO membership is accessible to all ApeCoin holders.

What is the board?

A unique council within the APE Foundation, referred to as the DAO’s “Board,” offers supervision over the Foundation administrators at the request of ApeCoin DAO members. The Board’s primary function is to manage DAO proposals and fulfill the community’s vision. It convenes on proposals that necessitate administrative evaluation under ApeCoin DAO regulations. The inaugural Board serves a six-month term, followed by annual voting on Board members by DAO members.

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