Biweekly update 30th Apr — 14th May
During the last two weeks Loom Network illustrated average level of social activity. Firstly, Loom Network unveiled its partnership with Battle Racers, an action-packed arcade game where you can build, race, and battle cars on arcade-sized tracks, which will leverage Loom Network’s sidechain, PlasmaChain, in order to allow their players to seamlessly play the game and obtain car parts at no additional cost. Battle Racers players will, thanks to this partnership, be able to purchase and obtain car parts at a faster rate and without gas fees. Plus LOOM is now supported and available on Coinbase Custody. This offers its clients to participate in all facets of the cryptoeconomy — trading, staking, governance — all while keeping their assets securely offline and protected by its comprehensive insurance policies. Further updates will follow!
- Loom SDK Projects: Battle Racers — Collect Parts, Customize Cars, Trade with Others, and Race in Virtual Reality
Battle Racers is an action-packed arcade game where you can build, race, and battle cars on arcade-sized tracks. It’s a game for folks who love customization, competition, and bright, shiny cars. On this (ridiculously) cool platform, you get to collect and earn car parts and weapons, customize your kick-ass cars, race and battle against others, trade your valuable assets, and giggle wildly while having the time of your life.
You can “tokenize” your car, which turns it into a non-fungible token (NFT) that can be tracked on the blockchain and sold to other players. The car itself acts as an ERC721 collectible, as well as the 400 unique car parts with millions of combinations.
Once you choose to tokenize it into a race car, your race cars will each have an immutable record of their win/loss history, which can add to their overall value. You can also earn more points and get better stats the more you get out on the track and win races.
Battle Racers is compatible with Decentraland, an immersive decentralized world in virtual reality, where you can race in real-time against other players in a virtual arena with arcade-sized tracks.
You can join practice or competitive tracks, or simply hang out and cheer on your favorite racers. And if you don’t own a car but want to drive, you can test one for free — or pay a small entry fee to race on competitive tracks.
By using Loom’s shared sidechain, called PlasmaChain, Battle Racers is able to address these problems while allowing you to seamlessly earn or buy car parts. The parts are stored as ERC721 items on PlasmaChain, allowing players to perform transactions such as mixing and matching car parts without having to pay gas costs.
Sidechain transactions also get confirmed almost immediately, so you won’t have to wait a few minutes like you would when transacting on the mainnet.
Of course, assets that live on PlasmaChain can be transferred to Ethereum mainnet by making use of Loom’s Transfer Gateway. So you can transfer your car or car parts to Ethereum to trade on any Ethereum-compatible marketplace of your choosing.
Loom Network takes the 10th place.
The Loom team has been hustling over the past few months. A major focus has been around staking and onboarding external validators to PlasmaChain mainnet. Loom initially launched the PlasmaChain staking dashboard, which allows any LOOM holder to delegate their tokens to help secure the network and earn rewards in return.
Since then, Loom released several feature enhancements and support for mobile staking, so delegators can stake directly from their mobile wallets (such as imToken and Cobo). To make that possible, Universal Transaction Signing was built out, which means PlasmaChain can verify and accept transactions signed by native Layer 1 wallets. So far, 18 external validators are now live on the network and 185M+ tokens have been staked, which amounts to around 24% of the circulating supply (and ~$11M in value).
Loom integrated the top 100 ERC20 tokens on PlasmaChain, adding support for payments in 6 major stablecoins. Additionally, the Loom team kicked off integrations with several other major blockchains to make PlasmaChain a universal layer 2 hub. Loom is also building out token bridges to EOS, TRON, and Cosmos (with more to come) to give the developers building on Loom seamless access to the largest pool of users with the least friction possible.
But what exactly is the Loom Network? How does it work? And what does this technology mean for blockchain gaming in the future? This article will attempt to answer these questions. If you’ve heard of the Loom Network and don’t quite understand what all the fuss is about, follow the link.
Blockchain and crypto have ushered in an entirely new era for video games, inspiring a paradigm shift from the walled-gardens of triple AAA titles to a decentralized universe where the concept of true item ownership lies at the core. Players now have the opportunity to interact with gameworlds like never before — and this is only the beginning.
Thu, May 16, 2019
5:30 PM — 10:00 PM EDT
16 Vestry Street
New York, NY 10013
Top-Level Company Objectives:
- Staking: Maximize the percentage of the total LOOM supply that is staked on PlasmaChain
In the short and medium-term, improving staking metrics will be one of the primary focuses of the company, as it will have significant benefits in securing PlasmaChain and injecting more value into the network.
At the time of writing, Loom’s staking dashboard shows that around 20% of the circulating LOOM supply has been staked to validators so far. Loom plans to get this closer to 50%. Delegators are already earning up to 20% per year (minus validator fees) on their staked LOOM.
a) Integrate staking with all the major crypto wallets (including mobile)
In the coming weeks, Loom Network will be working with wallet providers to add native staking support for Trezor, Trust Wallet, imToken, and a few others.
The benefits of these integrations is that users will be able to stake their tokens directly from their favorite wallet where they’re storing them.
This will massively lower the barrier for how easy it is for LOOM holders to stake their tokens, which should see a significant uptick in the total number of tokens staked.
b) Signing PlasmaChain transactions using Ethereum wallets — the smoothest cross-chain UX possible
PlasmaChain recently had its first decentralized hard fork, which added functionality for users to sign transactions on PlasmaChain using their Ethereum account. That means users can now sign PlasmaChain transactions using MetaMask or any mobile Ethereum wallet.
Loom Network is going to integrate this support into the staking dashboard, which will decrease the number of steps necessary to transfer and delegate tokens on PlasmaChain and massively improve the UX.
Whereas previously users had to save a new seed phrase for their private key on PlasmaChain, with this change, users will be able to simply use their existing MetaMask wallets to sign for and access their PlasmaChain account.
Side note: This functionality goes beyond just staking, and is going to enable some pretty cool features on PlasmaChain moving forward. It will enable every single Ethereum user to interact with any PlasmaChain DApp exactly as if they were interacting with a DApp on Ethereum mainnet — further blurring the line between Layer 1 and Layer 2.
c) Other dashboard UI improvements
Loom Network has a number of other improvements under development that will improve the overall functionality and UX of staking, such as:
- Automatic re-delegation of rewards, so the rewards you earn from staking can be automatically re-staked
- Multiple delegations per user, so users can choose multiple delegation timelines with the same validator — e.g. you can choose to lock up some portion of your tokens for 1 year, and another portion for only 2 weeks
d) Onboarding more validators
We are in the process of onboarding a few more big-name validators in the space. Having a set of reputable validators securing our chain not only does a lot to legitimize PlasmaChain — but each of these validators also comes with their own community, their own reach.
And having a diverse set of properly incentivized parties trying to get more capital on board and staked to secure PlasmaChain is a major driving force in increasing the percentage of LOOM tokens staked.
- End-User Adoption: Make PlasmaChain one of the most widely used blockchains in existence, measured by DAU (Daily Active User) count and TVL (Total Value Locked) on chain.
Staking is important to secure the chain, and will help a lot to drive adoption in the short-term. But in the long-term, the success of any blockchain will be determined by metrics such as:
- the number of users interacting with that chain,
- the total economic value of tokens stored on that chain, and
- the value of fees generated by transactions on that chain.
Loom’s goal is to maximize these metrics, as these will be the factors that will determine the “staying power” of a blockchain platform in the long run. Below are some of the ways Loom plans on raising #1 and #2, and later on in this post we’ll talk more about #3.
a) Integrations with popular chains — adoption from the existing blockchain community
These integrations are such an important play, that we’ve dedicated an entire section of this roadmap below to discussing it in detail. But because one of the major benefits of these integrations is making PlasmaChain available to millions of existing blockchain users, it’s important to mention in this section about user onboarding as well. Loom network recently announced that it is building integrations with EOS and Tron in addition to Ethereum — and prior to that, Loom announced interoperability with Cosmos Hub. Integrating with these other blockchains means any user with an account on one of those chains — or any holder of that chain’s tokens — automatically has an account on PlasmaChain.
They will be able to access any PlasmaChain DApp simply using the wallet software on their native chain (MetaMask, Scatter, Trust Wallet, TronLink, etc.), so there’s no further onboarding friction for existing users of any major chain.
b) Developer onboarding
A blockchain is only as useful as the DApps it has running on it — so user adoption ultimately depends on developers building DApps people want to use. More apps are coming out of the woodwork each week.
These are totally independent projects who have one way or another discovered Loom and decided we’re the best platform available for their needs — not because they were paid money to build on Loom instead of the alternatives.
Loom Network is going to focus on revamping its developer documentation from the ground up to make it even easier for developers to get started building their first DApps on Loom, with clear examples of the most common use cases.
The goal is to take any developer who understands the basics of Solidity and deploying DApps with Truffle (which they can learn from our code school CryptoZombies.io), and have them be able to deploy their first DApp to PlasmaChain and make it available to users on every major blockchain.
Loom is also going to open up PlasmaChain mainnet for any developer to deploy to in the near future. Due to this fact developer adoption is going to become a major focus of Loom’s over the rest of this year.
c) Bringing DeFi to PlasmaChain
DeFi is an area that has garnered massive interest recently, and is only growing over time. Loom will announce the first one within the next month, and shipping it in mid-2019.
The goal of these services will be to incentivize users to transfer and store their tokens on PlasmaChain — because having a lot of economic value stored on a blockchain increases its network effects, makes the platform more desirable to third-party devs (lots of users who can spend money), and solidifies the chain’s staying power vs. new chains that may spring up in the future.
d) Viral user onboarding through games — a trojan horse to being one of the most widely utilized blockchains
The major issue facing blockchains right now is making DApps good enough that people really want to use them. And lowering the UX barrier enough that there’s no onboarding friction for the average user.
Loom Network team wants PlasmaChain to be the most obvious choice for those developers to build on. And the best way to do that is to be the chain with the most authenticated users with accounts.
The best way to see thousands of users is gaming.
In the medium and long-term, games will help build PlasmaChain up to a critical mass of users with cryptocurrency available to spend, making it the most tempting platform to build on for developers of any type of DApp.
- Interoperability: Integrations With All Major Existing Blockchain Networks
This will give LoomNetwork an edge by allowing developers on PlasmaChain to access the user bases of all major chains. Why choose to develop your DApp for only one platform, when you can develop it for all platforms simultaneously?
If standalone blockchain platforms follow Metcalfe’s law, then a platform that integrates with and connects multiple blockchain platforms (each with their own active user base) gets to take advantage of the network effects of all these platforms combined.
Interoperability brings additional value to each chain that is part of the network — and the hub that connects these chains will itself capture an immense amount of value.
Over the next year, our focuses in this area will be:
a) Building out initial integrations with Tron, EOS, and Cosmos. These integrations are already in progress, and will be released one by one over the next few months.
b) Seamless wallet integrations on all platforms — sign with your native EOS / Tron / Ethereum account
As mentioned about, this means any Ethereum, EOS, and Tron user will be able to interact with any PlasmaChain DApp simply using their existing browser plugin or mobile wallet (MetaMask, Scatter, TronLink, etc.). Plus PlasmaChain DApps will be able to let users log in and authenticate using their existing Ethereum, EOS, or Tron accounts, rather than needing to sign up for a new account.
c) Integrate with any other networks in the future that reach a critical mass of user adoption
Different blockchain platforms may wax and wane in popularity as time goes on, and it’s possible new platforms will spring up to capture a significant portion of market share in the future. If new networks pop up that reach a critical mass of adoption, we’ll integrate them into PlasmaChain as well.
- On-Chain Fees: Generate additional on-chain fees to further incentivize PlasmaChain validators and stakers
For PlasmaChain, Loom plans to generate fees for validators both from DApp hosting fees, as well as from some core services built into the chain that all DApps will share:
a) DApp hosting fees
Loom will charge fees to DApp developers to host their DApps. A major difference between PlasmaChain and Ethereum is that with PlasmaChain, developers will pay a monthly fee to host their DApps — similar to traditional web hosting — as opposed to requiring every user to pay a fee each time they interact with a DApp.
b) Core chain services that generate fees
There are several core services Loom is going to offer on PlasmaChain, which will generate fees for validators/stakers.
One of these is the Loom Marketplace, which is an exchange for NFT assets. Currently, this is being used to buy and sell Zombie Battleground cards, but later it will be opened up so that any game can integrate it as a marketplace for their in-game items.
Even for games building on Loom Network on their own separate DAppChain, they will want their in-game assets to be on PlasmaChain. This allows them to take advantage of the shared liquidity of the Loom marketplace, as well as the large number of Ethereum/EOS/Tron users authenticated with PlasmaChain who have funds to spend. (Not to mention the free marketing of having their game items presented in front of all those users).
For each transaction on the marketplace, a small commission will go to the PlasmaChain validators — so as the number of popular games on PlasmaChain increases, so will the commissions earned by validators and stakers.
c) Fractional validation of child chains
Loom is envisioning a system that allows PlasmaChain validators to opt-in to use their spare hardware capacity to validate for child DAppChains that connect to PlasmaChain. For validators, a large part of their cost of operations is the manpower to monitor their hardware 24/7 to make sure it does not go offline. Thus, it’s somewhat trivial for a validator to spin up more hardware to validate for additional networks once they’re already validating PlasmaChain.
This setup would give validators opportunities to earn extra fees by validating additional chains — and pass a portion of those rewards on to their LOOM stakers. This effectively captures the value of the entire network of independent DAppChains back into the LOOM staking pool.
To sum up, over the next 6–12 months, it’s likely that there will be many more changes in the market and it’s difficult to predict them and Loom Network will need to shift to accommodate.
Partnerships and team members
Loom Network unveiled its partnership with Battle Racers. Battle Racers will leverage Loom Network’s sidechain, PlasmaChain, in order to allow their players to seamlessly play the game and obtain car parts at no additional cost.
Battle Racers players will, thanks to this partnership, be able to purchase and obtain car parts at a faster rate and without gas fees. Moreover, they’ll be able to do so on the mainnet and won’t even notice or have to understand the technical nature of the sidechain-to-mainchain item migration.
Lastly, thanks to Loom’s Transfer Gateway, Battle Racers players will be able to move their items onto the Ethereum blockchain and trade them on any marketplace that supports Ethereum assets.
Social media metrics
The charts above illustrate an increase in the number of Twitter followers and Reddit subscribers. In general, Loom Network foundation experiences average level of social activity.
The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Loom Network Twitter followers. The number of Twitter followers increase constantly. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.