Huobi Research
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Huobi Research

Authored by Linhan Dong, Bridge Qiao, Researcher at Huobi Research Institute

Weekly Industry Report 【April 18,2022】


This week, we focus on the following events: 1) Total transaction volume of the NFT market has exceeded US$50 billion, and current total number of NFT holders has exceeded 2 million; 2) Official release of the new NFT standard; 3) In a new round of investment, Epic Games completed a US$2 billion financing.

Last week, Huobi Research did an overview of STEPN, including its step2earn mechanism and playing strategy. This week, with STEPN’s twitter subscribers soaring to 235k and the whitepaper around GMT (the governance token) coming out. So we decided to look a few steps deeper into the project, including the newly issued Tokenomic and the market performance in the view of community management. We will also be reviewing its token mechanism and users.

1. Industry overview

I. Overall market trend

The Pace of the Federal Reserve rate hike is getting faster,. According to the US CPI data released on Tuesday, it resulted an 8.5% annualized rise — a 40-year high. The Federal Reserve may also start removing assets from its US$9 trillion balance sheet at its meeting in early May, and the rate of shrinkage will be almost twice as fast as in the previous “quantitative tightening” period. Affected by macro factors, the overall market value of the cryptocurrency market has ushered in a decline. As of April 14, 2020, the total market value of the cryptocurrency market reached US$2 trillion, which continued to decline by 7.13% based on last week. Average daily volume is US$96.674 billion, which also dropped significantly. BTC’s market value accounted for 40.9%, and ETH’s market value accounted for 18.8%.

Last week, most of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization were down, and only nine were up. Kyber Network, which launched its latest integration with Uniswap V3 and Avalanche mining program, achieved the biggest increase. Itjumped 26.92% and its 24-hour trading volume surged 253% on the same day. Monero, the largest privacy cryptocurrency by market cap, has also seen significant gains in the past month. In addition, it is worth noting that STEPN, which is hot with Move 2 Earn recently, has also entered the top 100 list. Musk announced his stake in Twitter last week, and Dogecoin, which is closely related to Twitter, saw an initial sharp rise that soon dropped, recording a weekly increase of only 0.93%.

Animal Concert has hosted several concerts with Alicia Keys and other high-profile artists since its launch,and ranked first on the chart this week. This week, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges launched ANML tokens. In addition, Stargate Finance, a cross-chain agreement, became popular in a short period of time with a high annual interest rate of stable-coin deposits (26%), and its TVL increased rapidly. Near also recently completed a US$350 million financing, which made it became popular again.


In terms of NFT, in addition to the NAYC, CryptoPunks and other top projects, Loser Club trading volume increased significantly. Its trading volume reached US$774,708.50 in 24 hours on April 10. An increase of 1,144.77%. Famous basketball star Irving also changed his Twitter avatar to Loser Club.



2. Market news

I. Industry news

Total transaction volume of the NFT market exceeds $50 billion, and NFT holders exceeds 2 million.

On April 10, according to data, the total transaction volume of the NFT market exceeded $50 billion, and the current total market value of the NFT market is about US$19.83 billion. In addition, number of NFT holders exceeded 2 million, and as of now, there are 2,074,895 holders, and the number of traders is 1,343,392. In terms of market value, the current type of NFT with the highest market value is PFP NFT, with a current market value of about US$9.75 billion, followed by collectible NFTs with a current market value of about US$3 billion, and game NFTs with a market value of about US$1.68 billion. The fourth and fifth are artistic NFTs (US$1.65 billion) and utility NFTs (US$1.08 billion) respectively. The market value of metaverse NFTs ranks sixth, at about US$507 million.

Twitter CEO: Musk decides not to join Twitter’s board

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced on Twitter on April 11 that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has decided not to join Twitter’s board of directors. On April 5, Musk disclosed that he held 9.1% of Twitter’s shares. He considers himself an active investor in Twitter and is Twitter’s largest shareholder.

Ethereum’s first mainnet shadow fork has been launched

Ethereum developers tested the next step toward POS mergers on the evening of 11th April, implementing a shadow fork on the mainnet. In the past few weeks, the Ethereum community has opened Kiln, a dedicated testnet for merging, and successfully completed the POW to POS merger process . The next step for developers is to ensure that the working environment of the testnet can be closer to the current block generation status and parameters of the main network.

According to Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, the outcome of the shadow fork is the key to determining when the final merge will take place.

According to the block explorer data shared by author Marius Van Der Wijden, as of press time, the shadow fork has processed 2,837,970 transactions, with an average block time of 13.5 seconds.

According to Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi, shadow forks are a way to “stress test assumptions about synchronization and state growth,” and it will also provide “a way to check whether our assumptions apply to existing testnet and mainnet”. Jayanthi warns that the shadow fork will share some data with the Ethereum main network, so some transactions may appear on both chains.

New NFT standard ERC-721R released

New NFT standard ERC-721R was released on April 11. It adds an important redemption feature to smart contracts, allowing minters to redeem minted NFTs within a specified period and receive a corresponding refund.

The NFT world needs more effective accountability mechanisms. At present, there are a large number of loopholes in the NFT market. Providing a refund mechanism can provide more effective protection for buyers, while also accelerating the compliance process of the entire market.

II. Investment and Financing

Epic Games completes US$2 billion financing, led by Sony and KIRKBI

On April 11, EpicGames completed a US$2 billion financing at a valuation of US$31.5 billion. This round of financing was led by Sony and KIRKBI (the parent company of Lego), with an investment of US$1 billion each. The financing will be used by Epic to advance its metaverse development. Soren Thorup Sorensen, CEO of KIRKBI, which is the parent company of the LEGO Group, said: “This investment will accelerate our participation in the world of digital gaming and we are delighted to invest in Epic Games to support their continued growth journey and long-term focus on the future of virtual worlds.”

Sky Mavis, the parent company of Axie Infinity, completed US$150 million in financing, led by Binance and participated by a16z.

On April 6, Sky Mavis, the parent company of Axie Infinity, completed a US$150 million financing, led by Binance with participation from Animoca Brands, a16z, Dialectic and Paradigm. This financing will be combined with Sky Mavis’s balance sheet funding to ensure that all users affected by the “Ronin Validator Hack” hack are compensated.

Near Protocol completes US$350 million in financing, led by Tiger Global

On April 6, Near Protocol completed a US$350 million financing round. This was led by Tiger Global, with participation from Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed and Dragonfly Capital. The financing will be used to “accelerate the decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem.”

Binance.US completes a US$200 million seed round, with participation from RRE Ventures and others

On April 6, Binance.US announced the completion of a seed round of over US$200 million, with participation from RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck, Gainels, Gold House and Circle Ventures, with a pre-investment valuation of uS$4.5 billion. The funds will be used to enhance its spot trading platform, develop a suite of new products and fund marketing and education programs.

III. Supervision

Uniswap Labs sued for securities law violations, including offering unregistered securities

U. S. law firms Kim & Serritella and Barton have announced a securities class action lawsuit accusing Uniswap Labs, Paradigm, a16z and other defendants of violating securities laws by issuing and selling unregistered securities in the form of digital tokens on the Uniswap exchange, including UNI tokens, and the defendants’ failure to register Uniswap as an exchange and/or broker-dealer under applicable securities laws and to provide investors with a registration statement for the securities they issued and sold. The lawsuit, which seeks dismissal and damages, is awaiting the defendants’ appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

SEC Approves Teucrium Bitcoin Futures ETF

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Teucrium to launch a bitcoin futures ETF, which it plans to trade on Arca, a New York-based stock exchange. The SEC announced the approval in a filing on its website on Wednesday, 6 April 2022 (date?), making Teucrium one of many issuers of a bitcoin futures ETF.

EU limits Russian physical cryptocurrency deposits to €10,000

According to new rules published in the European Union’s official journal, EU companies are banned from offering Russian entities the service of storing cryptocurrencies worth more than 10,000 euros (US$10,900). The rule applies to crypto companies that offer wallets, accounts or custody services, and therefore may apply to all cryptocurrency exchanges, brokerages and trading platforms.

The rule applies equally to individuals and businesses: “Russian nationals or residents naturalized in Russia, (and) legal persons, entities or institutions established in Russia” fall within the scope of the law.

The text of the document also lays out restrictions on non-cryptocurrency deposits. EU credit institutions are not allowed to accept deposits from Russian entities if the total value of the deposits exceeds 100,000 euros (US$108,700).

3. Trending Project Analysis — StepN, goes a step further

Call it a new revolutionary fitness app or Ponzi, but StepNhas earned the favor of both investors and runners alike..

Last week, Huobi Research did an overview of STEPN, including its step2earn mechanism and playing strategy. This week, with STEPN’s twitter subscribers soaring to 235k and the whitepaper around GMT (the governance token) coming out, it seems that this viral web3 app is continuing to go further. So we decided to look a few steps deeper into the project, including the newly issued Tokenomic and the market performance in the view of community management. We will also be reviewing its token mechanism and users.

I. FAQ in one minute

What is GMT?

GMT is the governance token of STEPN with a limited supply of 6 billion tokens.

Why should I buy GMT?

Players buy GMTs to burn in the STEPN app in order to access features provided by STEPN, such as mint high-quality Sneakers, upgrade high-quality Gems and participate in governance voting.

What is STEPN?

STEPN is a Web3 lifestyle app with Social-Fi and Game-Fi elements. Users equipped with NFT Sneakers will need to walk, jog or run outdoors to earn tokens and NFTs. STEPN has a dual-token system. Users can also earn GST (Green Satoshi) tokens.

A player can choose to lease or trade their NFT Sneakers on the in-app Marketplace; users’ earnings are stored in the in-app Wallet, which has a built-in Swap function.

Who is behind STEPN?

STEPN is created by Find Satoshi Lab, an Australian-based fintech studio. The team won the 2021 Solana Ignition Hackathon Gaming Track and is part of DeFi Alliance Gaming cohort.

II. GMT Tokenomic highlights

Basically, to the secondary market premium, the economic benefits generated by GameFi depend on the digital asset transactions in the game. On the other hand, the supply and demand relationship of in-game digital assets will also affect its secondary market and promote the rise or fall of tokens as an in-game circulation medium. That is to say, if the in-game economic model can develop in a healthy and sustainable manner, the fundamentals of the project will be stabilized, and the secondary market risks mentioned above will no longer be fatal. The following are some highlights of the fresh issued GMT whitepaper (part A).

GMT Vesting Mechanics

30% of total GMT will be distributed to users through move&earn and Governance participation. To ensure the longevity of the STEPN project, the total release of GMT will halve every three years. For more about GMT token distribution and vesting schedule, please visit

GMT Earning Mechanics

· Level requirement: GMT earning is only available to Sneakers that reach Level 30.

· Rule of Three Requirement: It is a mandatory requirement to have AT LEAST three Energy in order to start earning GMT.

Halving Mechanics

Each day, a set number of GMT will be unlocked to earn. The daily release of GMT follows an exponential decay pattern, on the first day of the 3rd year, the daily GMT unlocked is exactly halved compared to the 1st day of GMT being available to earn.

Einstein Mechanics

“God tirelessly plays dice under laws which he has himself prescribed”

The system constantly adds randomness to Users’ GMT earnings, which makes earnings unpredictable. To avoid any extrapolation on earnings, the settlement of GMT will be done every several minutes.

Bitcoin Mechanic

The GMT earnings per person are pro-rated just like the difficulty bomb in Bitcoin and Ethereum design, but the earnings are settled instantly. The more users earn GMT at a given time, the less GMT earnings will be available per person, and vice versa.

Comfort Mechanics

The more Comfort, the higher the earnings.The GMT earning formula will be released once it is enabled in the app.

Schadenfreude Pools: ‘Schadenfreude is the experience of joy that comes from learning of the failures of another.’ Schadenfreude Pools are the pools that users can subscribe toin order to burn GMT and permanently earn GST tokens return from other players’ misfortune moments, such as:

· Receiving a lower quality Sneaker from higher quality Shoebox

· Unsuccessful upgrade Gems.

III. Market performance

Community operation is one of the most significant factors in measuring the success and maturity of blockchain projects (apart from financial cap and token price). In addition, investors should pay more attention to the community experience and activity level of any web3 apps — especially GameFi projects — aswe have had many lessons learned in token inflation, which incursmuch longer payback periods. Basically, to the secondary market premium, the economic benefits generated by GameFi depend on the digital asset transactions in the game, a stable increase in userbase is key to asset transactions.

Community performance delivered by STEPN is nearly flawless. In the first week of April, the number of STEPN’s twitter subscribers nearly doubled compared to last month. The same influence can be seen in its daily new paying users. On April 13, the number hit a new record of 7835 users.

While the superpower of SocialFi is casting its magic, the majority of STEPN’s users have to be recommended/invited to join, so it is not just anyone that can join the platform.. Moreover, it seems that the acceleration ratio is controlled by its own team. Since early April, a new user must have an “activation code” to open an account, whereas back in February there was no such restriction. Many believe this action is intended to slow down the user increase rate and thus curb the inflation of GST tokenLooks familiar? Yes, it is pretty much like your central government trying to control the inflation rate by deciding how much money to print. The only difference is seemingly user’s basic right hasbeen undercut (after all, the central government would not prohibit you from buying how many shoes you want, nor entering the shoe stores). Now the right of both currency and product (NFT) trading is under the hand of a big brother.

The game mechanism can build a very rich application scenario for the transaction of these assets. The token economy is also of great significance to the long-term and sustainable development of blockchain projects or Dapps (Decentralized Applications). However, the balance between stable growth and user experience must be considered, if a web3 app wants to consistently prosper.

4. Calendar of future popular asset events

I. NTF mint Calendar

II. Token Air

About Huobi Research Institute

Huobi Blockchain Application Research Institute (referred to as “Huobi Research Institute”) was established in April 2016. Since March 2018, it has been committed to comprehensively expanding the research and exploration of various fields of blockchain. As the research object, the research goal is to accelerate the research and development of blockchain technology, promote the application of blockchain industry, and promote the ecological optimization of the blockchain industry. The main research content includes industry trends, technology paths, application innovations in the blockchain field, Model exploration, etc. Based on the principles of public welfare, rigor and innovation, Huobi Research Institute will carry out extensive and in-depth cooperation with governments, enterprises, universities and other institutions through various forms to build a research platform covering the complete industrial chain of the blockchain. Industry professionals provide a solid theoretical basis and trend judgments to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the entire blockchain industry.

Contact Huobi Research Institute:
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Twitter: @Huobi_Research


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Huobi Research

Huobi Research

Blockchain industry top think tank, affiliated to Huobi Group.