Minecraft bans Bitcoin P2E, iPhone 15 & crypto gaming, Formula E: Web3 Gamer


Pull your sats out of Minecraft now

Back in our July edition, we announced Satlantis, an independent Minecraft server run by the game’s fans, enabled players to earn Bitcoin by completing in-game quests using play-to-earn functionalities. We noted Minecraft developer Mojang’s previous NFT ban and concluded, “Time will show how this integration fairs against the ban.”

Time has shown, as Microsoft subsidiary Mojang has asked Satlantis to remove the play-to-earn features, according to a Discord post by server founder David Dineno. The server accepted the request and removed the feature two days after the Discord post.

The Satlantis founder stood behind the play-to-earn model and expressed his annoyance with the situation, stating:

“The Game That Shares its Profits with Players’ works. And it works well. All of the time, money, and energy that we put into this game together will not be forsaken by a few dinosaurs at some conglomerate.”

Despite the setback, the Satlantis community can take solace in the fact that the team is actively exploring alternative platforms that “encourage innovation instead of stifling it.”

Community of Satlantis backed their platform and shared their disappointment in Mojang (and indirectly Microsoft) through social media platforms:

Dineno advised players to withdraw their satoshis, emphasizing they will be diligently processed. Satlantis developers pledged to honor all in-game assets, including sats, prize pools, ASICs, players’ premium battle pass status and all other transferable data. The Minecraft server will remain operational, albeit without its play-to-earn features, as the team aims for a seamless transition to the next gaming frontier.

How can blockchain build upon eSports?

Blockchain-based online gaming hub Ultra Arena co-CEO and co-founder Nicolas Gilot says that eSports are struggling to generate profits, and a change of direction is needed.

“In my view, it can create a better, more sustainable product for viewers and sponsors by broadening participation beyond the elite level,” he told Web3 Gamer.

Web3 gaming arguably needs a solid eSports foundation to reach the mainstream audience.

The Ultra team recently attended the major gaming conference Gamescom, where Gilot reports that interest from game developers and publishers, eSports organizations and investors was high as the video game industry seeks new ways to stay afloat during challenging times.

Blockchain can act as the glue that binds all parties together, Gilot says. Without it, smaller teams, events and sponsorships won’t be as viable.

Smart contracts can remove much of the admin burden, distribute prizes and earnings, and give confidence to publishers, brands and influencers to get involved at all levels.”

Ultra’s eSports hub, Ultra Arena, is designed to help more gamers attract sponsors earlier and move up the ranks as they grow and improve, Gilot noted, “The Ultra blockchain also helps by building a player persona across all areas — not just competitive gaming but how they buy games and digital collectibles and interact with others in-game.”

Web3 Gamer: Mainstream eSports has shiny stages and massive marketing budgets. There are commentators, pre-game shows, and physical places and streams for the fans to watch the games live. How do you compete?

Gilot: We don’t want to! We want to see players who level up through Ultra Arena take the stage at those massive LAN events, which will be a proud moment for all of us.

What we do want is to feed into those experiences, helping grow the existing scene by opening it up to many more players, brands and publishers. For teams and brands, Ultra Arena will nurture more esports fans and provide more ways to activate fans pre and post-event with the help of blockchain technology. This could be unlocking access to an exclusive in-game digital collectible through attending the event itself or sponsor-branded skin being airdropped to you for watching on Twitch. Extending fan engagement will ultimately add value for all key stakeholders and support the journey to sustainable profitability.

Web 3 Gamer: Is there enough traction and interest on Web3 for a competitive stage that can make mainstream players willing to spend money?

For us, it’s not about how to make esports out of Web3 games, it’s more about how web3 technology can be used to improve the existing esports model. It’s the game, not the tech, that should be front and center.

The current esports model is probably overly reliant on sponsorship and advertising. To improve it, there needs to be a focus on cross-industry value creation, directly involving publishers, brands, esports teams and competitive players. Within Ultra Arena, we want to drive mutual growth by opening up the existing model to many more stakeholders, with grassroots competitive players turning pro, smaller brands gaining traction and startup teams becoming massive eSports powerhouses.

Apple iPhone 15: What does it offer for Web3 gaming?

When technology companies run out of innovation juice, the first instinct is to hop on the gaming train. Apple made no exception when it unveiled the brand-new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. The devices are pretty much the same as their 14th-generation counterparts, with an A17 Pro chip, the usual camera enhancements and a coat of new paint … but there is one significant difference.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro New ColorsApple iPhone 15 Pro New Colors
Apple iPhone 15 Pro will be available with four new color options. (Apple)

The iPhone 15 Pro can run demanding game titles such as Resident Evil 4 (2023), Resident Evil Village, Death Stranding and soon-to-come Assassin’s Creed Mirage natively, meaning the games run directly on the device’s system without any external layers.

The new pro model features hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which enables games to present dynamic lighting effects. Thanks to Apple’s scaling solution MetalFX, the iPhone 15 Pro can offer better graphics with little performance loss.

The new smartphone, which will act as a handheld gaming device, will be able to display games on 4K monitors through upscaling and support third-party gamepads such as PlayStation’s DualSense controller, which is already being sold at Apple Stores. The possibilities are endless with the addition of Apple’s upcoming VR headset.

All in all, it’s clear that the newly-introduced Apple iPhone 15 Pro line will become a gaming powerhouse more than anything. The real question is how Web3 game developers can benefit from such advantages.

Developers can utilize the mighty system of the device to make mobile games with better graphics and more comprehensive gameplay. Web3 games on PC will also be easier to port over as features and graphics won’t have to be excised for better performance on mobile platforms. 

Hardware is one thing, but economics are another. Currently, Apple has stringent rules for NFT apps that practically force users to go through in-app purchases subject to Apple’s 30% commission, while apps are not permitted to support crypto payments.

It’ll be interesting to see what Web3 gaming companies come up with on the new monster iPhone. The tools are there for developers to leverage; let’s hope they fully utilize them to give us great Web3 experiences.

Oh, I nearly forgot the most revolutionary addition: The models come with USB-C.

Formula’s second swing in Web3

Formula’s first attempt at Web3 gaming didn’t work out as F1 Delta Time, a pioneering racing game and one of the first licensed titles utilizing NFTs and crypto technology, ceased operations in March 2022. After warming up in the formation lap with its first Web3 game, Formula is ready to return to the blockchain circuits with Formula E: High Voltage.

Formula E: High Voltage Promotional ArtworkFormula E: High Voltage Promotional Artwork
Formula E: High Voltage promotional artwork. (Formula E: High Voltage)

Developed by Animoca Brands, the new Formula game focuses on Formula E, a motorsport championship with fully electric-powered race cars, instead of Formula 1’s models. Players are put in the shoes of a team principal responsible for their Formula E team’s strategic decisions and management with the ambition to become champions.

Various factors will determine your team’s performance, such as racetrack distance, difficulty, weather and temperature. Official Formula E racetracks in Berlin, New York, Rome, London, Jakarta, Seoul, Cape Town and Diriyah will be included, with more to be added later.

Race cars and drivers are available as nonfungible tokens (NFTs), with each driver possessing distinctive abilities from a pool of over 200 unique skills.

Formula E: High Voltage is available on early access until the 2nd of October. Will Formula E: High Voltage take pole position among Web3 racing games? We’ll have to wait and see.

Gods Unchained Launches New Mode

The free-to-play Web3 trading card game Gods Unchained has launched a new permanent game mode called Sealed Mode, where players will build a deck from a randomized pool of cards to triumph over each other. The idea is similar to that of FIFA Ultimate Team’s Draft mode.

Common card games are played with two players who have their own decks of cards that represent creatures and spells. Players take turns to strategically deploy their cards using resources. In order to win, players must reduce their opponent’s health to zero while protecting their own.

Sealed Mode begins as players pick one of the three Gods that represent the players, just like Heroes from Hearthstone. Once players pick their Gods, they receive a randomized pool of 60 cards. The goal is to craft a deck with at least 30 cards from these 60, while trying to combine cards that work well together to defeat other players.

Gods Unchained Sealed Mode CardsGods Unchained Sealed Mode Cards
Players are given a pool of randomized cards in Sealed Mode. (Gods Unchained)

Once players finalize their decks, they take on other players in a series of games until they win seven times or lose three times. Winning more games earns players better rewards, like cards and cool cosmetic items. The rewards get better the more they win.

Gods Unchained Sealed Mode RewardsGods Unchained Sealed Mode Rewards
Sealed Mode rewards players when they win. (Gods Unchained)

The card collection in Sealed Mode includes cards from past Gods Unchained sets, including Welcome, Core, Genesis, Etherbots, Mortal Judgement, Winter Wanderlands and Band of the Wolf. Players who wish to play Sealed Mode are required to pay a fee of 15 $GODS tokens, worth roughly $2.5.

More from Web3 gaming space:

– PUBG developer Krafton introduces its upcoming metaverse project Overdare, previously known as Project Migaloo.

— Leaked internal documents from May 2022 show that Microsoft’s Xbox roadmap included support for crypto wallets.

– South Korean gaming conglomerate NHN Corporation ventures into the Web3 space in a partnership with Mysten Labs’ Layer 1 blockchain, Sui.

– Proof of Play, an NFT gaming studio founded by the co-creators of FarmVille, completes a seed funding round with $33 million in investment.

– Free-to-play battle royale game My Pet Hooligan launches in early access on the Epic Games Store.

– My Pet Hooligan developer AMGI Studios signs a 12-month deal with Amazon Prime Gaming.

– Star Atlas launches browser-based gaming metaverse SAGE Labs.

– Aavegotchi announces its Gotchi-themed game center.


The most engaging reads in blockchain. Delivered once a

Erhan Kahraman

Based in Istanbul, Erhan started his career as a gaming journalist. He now works as a freelance writer and content creator with a focus on cutting-edge technology and video games. He enjoys playing Elden Ring, Street Fighter 6 and Persona 5.

Islamic finance and Web3 take stage at Istanbul Blockchain Week


Being one flight away from both Dubai and London, Istanbul is the “financial capital” of Turkey and a popular destination for events and organizations. Its convenient location also helps organizers customize their events to align with the specific needs of Eastern or Western cultures — which felt like the case at Istanbul Blockchain Week 2023.

IBW 2023 saw thousands of local and international enthusiasts join the conversation on crypto, blockchain and Web3 on Aug. 22 and 23 at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti. Tailored to reflect the various discussions across the Web3 ecosystem, the event’s agenda was filled with keynotes about artificial intelligence (AI), regulation, Web3 gaming and blockchain use cases from the real world.

Aside from the hot topics to capture the global audience, IBW 2023 also featured region-specific talks, such as on Islamic finance and a Shariah-compliant Web3 economy. The explosive growth of crypto and Web3 in the United Arab Emirates, especially in Dubai, combined with the UAE’s interest in the Turkish market created a convenient time frame for organizer EAK Digital to hold this year’s event, just nine months after IBW 2022.

Istanbul Blockchain Week 2023 welcomed a large number of crypto, blockchain and Web3 enthusiasts.

Having the event in August in Istanbul was a strategic decision, according to Erhan Korhaliller, founder and CEO of EAK Digital. He explained that it’s far too hot to have any events in summer in Dubai, so they presented Istanbul as a neighboring international hub for major players from the UAE — and their tactic paid off:

“We have over 25 booths this year. A hackathon with a $50,000 prize. […] Having the government representatives and big banks with us here during a bear market is very important.”

Aside from the agenda for the main stage, the event hall was packed with blockchain and crypto enthusiasts from various backgrounds networking, holding roundtable discussions and workshops, getting themselves scanned for the metaverse, or simply chatting and taking selfies with Desi, the conversational AI robot from SingularityNET and Yaya Labs.

Magazine: Recursive inscriptions: Bitcoin ‘supercomputer’ and BTC DeFi coming soon

While AI, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and Web3-friendly fan tokens featured prominently in the main hall, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) were notably missing. Last year, there was a whole day and an exhibition dedicated to NFTs.

“As organizers, we should be flexible and adaptive to what the market is telling us,” explained Korhaliller. “NFT trading is like 99% down. The interest clearly is not here, and therefore, we’re not doing an NFT Day this year.”

Islamic finance hackathon

Similar to last year, the main stage was divided into several events to hold speeches, workshops and the IstanHack hackathon simultaneously.

As keynote speakers presented their arguments around crucial elements of Islamic finance, a crowded cast of young developers coded against time to create working solutions that aligned with the overall mission of the event — promoting ethical finance and sustainable development for people dissatisfied with traditional banking.

IstanHack focused on addressing the needs of Islamic finance.

Islamic finance has a target market of 1.9 billion people, most of whom are unsatisfied with traditional finance services due to the involvement of interest. “Interest is forbidden in Islam,” explained Tansel Kaya, an IstanHack juror and founder of Mindstone Blockchain Labs. He told Cointelegraph that more than just the big prize, “the hackathon served as an eye-opener for the young talent looking to develop something beyond your run-of-the-mill DeFi yield products.”

AI takes the stage

AI was a hot topic, both on and off stage, during Istanbul Blockchain Week, with participating companies demonstrating their take on how Web3 and AI can be in sync. During his speech titled “The Future of Decentralised Generative AI on Blockchain,” SingularityNET chief marketing officer Loic Claveau noted that for the first time in history, people have the ability to own their data.

“AI is very data-intensive,” he said, adding, “It needs to run a ton of data to be able to work as you use something like ChatGPT. It is a Big Tech monopoly. […] All the big behemoths of the tech world, they run and they do it.”

Artificial intelligence was one of the most popular topics during IBW 2023.

According to Claveua, AI developers who work with a relatively smaller team have two options at this point: Working for Big Tech or selling their next big ideas to Big Tech. “That’s the way to move forward in your career and get into the very interesting projects.”

Crypto adoption: Slowly but surely

Cointelegraph Turkey was one of the media partners of the event as well. “Here in Istanbul, we are still experiencing the impact of a prolonged bear market, just like the rest of the world,” commented Eray Dengiz, CEO of Cointelegraph Turkey and Kriptomeda.

He underscored the importance of the active participation from the Turkish banking ecosystem, with major Turkish banks such as Garanti BBVA, Akbank and Yapi Kredi attending a panel for CBDCs.

A first-timer to a crypto event held in Turkey was Addy Crezee, founder of NFT ticketing platform Ozaru and the former CEO of Cointelegraph’s own global event, BlockShow. Crezee moderated a panel about crypto finance at IBW 2023.

Recent: Bitcoin gains traction in West Africa with educational drive

“Obviously, finance is the biggest topic here in Turkey,” he told Cointelegraph. “When you come out of the plane, you see all the ads from all the different exchanges. I was impressed.”

Highlighting the overall progress the crypto ecosystem has achieved in terms of adoption and reaching more people in less than a decade, Crezee summarized:

“I remember attending crypto events, mainly about Bitcoin, in 2014 or 2015. There were less than a hundred people. Today, when an event attracts less than a thousand people, it’s considered pretty small.”

Crypto games need EVO-style viral moment, Nitro Nation review: Web3 Gamer


Blockchain gaming needs its own ‘EVO Moment 37’?

While the Web3 gaming ecosystem is still trying to find its footing in the mainstream gaming world, a key element missing from almost all the Web3 titles is inspiration. To achieve a broader audience, Web3 gaming needs a “wow” moment to go viral and into the records of gaming history.

Web3 gaming studios are falling into the same trap that many of their traditional predecessors fell into: Better visuals, more rewards and a larger cast of characters. Sure, these are some vital elements of the gaming experience, but in order to expand a whole ecosystem, developers need to think beyond that.

With Street Fighter 6 just released and Mortal Kombat 1 on the horizon, it’s safe to say that the fighting games are having a big comeback. But let’s remember the exact moment that showed players worldwide the joy of fighting games for the first time: The EVO Moment 37.

In 2004, during the golden years of home consoles, the fighting game-focused tournament EVO saw a magical moment where two legendary players competed with each other and one of them — Daigo Umehara — pulled a move that was then considered impossible. YouTube was not a thing back then, so that moment was captured by the official DVD that was released the following year. It was named “Evo Moment 37” and became a major trigger for wide audiences to take fighting games seriously.

Web3 gaming needs that. Web3 studios need to add inspiration, “wow” moment potential and an aspect of virality to their products. It will be a tough road to gain the interest of mainstream audiences until then.

Om Nom enters the metaverse

Games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and Cut the Rope assumed the role of catalyzers during the dawn of mobile gaming: They catapulted smartphones and tablets to the hands of a mainstream audience with vivid visuals, cute characters and intuitive gameplays that used then-groundbreaking frictionless touch screen in innovative ways. That’s why ZeptoLab partnering with The Sandbox to bring Om Nom — the green monster from the Cut the Rope franchise — to Web3 is big news for old schoolers.

Cut The Rope and The Sandbox collaborate to bring Om Nom to the metaverse.Cut The Rope and The Sandbox collaborate to bring Om Nom to the metaverse.
Cut the Rope is coming to The Sandbox. (The Sandbox)

Players will have a chance to explore a virtual world inspired by the franchise in Om Nom’s Social Hub. The event will host familiar characters from Cut the Rope with the end goal of discovering Om Nom’s origin story.

ZeptoLab business development director Kristina Truvaleva says bringing the classic title to the metaverse will give players “a feeling that they have been transported into a whole new world — permeated with nostalgia but full of fresh challenges.”

The virtual world went live on Aug. 10. Players who complete all quests and requirements will have a chance to share a pool of 120,000 SAND. A real-life prize called Om Nom’s Money Box will also be sent to 1:1 avatar holders that pass all of Om Nom’s Social Hub quests.

Axie builders get the Greenlight

Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis recently introduced Mavis Hub: Greenlight, a program for developers to share their early game builds with the community. The program allows players to playtest and includes a voting system that lets the community vote on the games they are most excited about, driving competition between developers.

The games must be at the playable beta stage to be eligible for the program, meaning the core game loop should be complete and provide at least one complete game session. Successful games on Greenlight may receive extra support, such as additional grants and user acquisition budgets for soft launches.

The program echoes similar exercises in Web2 gaming, like the now-defunct Steam Greenlight, which has been turned into Steam Direct. They streamline the process for developers and provide valuable feedback from the community, driving engagement as players decide who stays and who goes.

Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis launched Mavis Hub: GreenlightAxie Infinity creator Sky Mavis launched Mavis Hub: Greenlight
Players can vote for games they like using Mavis Hub: Greenlight. (Axie Infinity Blog)

Interested players can try out two debut games on Greenlight called Mini Tri-Force and Culinary Wars. In the former, the player tries to save their Axie clan in a poisoned forest by combatting youkai – ghosts in Japanese folklore. The latter is a co-op cooking game that heavily resembles Overcooked, where players take the role of chefs and make haste to fulfill orders in a short amount of time – often resulting in chaos.

Mavis Hub: Greenlight has been launched on the Mavis Hub Desktop App, while a web-based version is also in the works.

$150K inducements to join the dark side

Layer-1 blockchain network Aelf launched its Aelevate program, dangling the offer of up to $150,000 per Web2 studio to help developers transition to blockchain technology and create games on the Aelf network.

The company’s track record so far lacks any gaming ventures, but Aelf aims to break into the gaming world with this program. Considering the blockchain gaming market is projected to be over $60 billion by 2027 – nearly 15 times its $4.6 billion market size from 2022 – Aelf’s enthusiasm is understandable.

“Our goal is to break the daunting barriers studios face in integrating blockchain technology into their games, particularly in the current uncertain and challenging crypto climate,” said Tavia Wong, head of commercial at Aelf, adding:

Through Aelevate, we are pledging our support for the Web3 gaming space as we provide crucial infrastructural support and expert industry guidance for our participants to thrive and succeed in this new Web3 frontier.”

Aelf presents its suite of decentralized applications to successful applicants, streamlining the blockchain transition process with asset integration, token creation and the development of smart contracts. The program also assists the business side of Web3 with mentorships, market strategies and fundraising opportunities.

The program applications are open until Sept. 30, with the first round of grants scheduled to be awarded in October.

Hot Take – Nitro Nation: World Tour

Mythical Games’ Nitro Nation: World Tour is a free Web3 drag racing game on mobile and is a great option to blow off a long day’s steam. It combines simple gameplay mechanics with beautiful graphics – for a mobile game, of course.

The controls are straightforward to grasp, as there are only two buttons. The first is the gas button which is used to keep the indicator in the green zone at the beginning of the race. As the race starts, this button turns into the “Gear Shift” button, which should be pressed when the indicator is in the green zone to keep a steady pace. The second is the nitro button, which gives the car a little boost.

Gameplay from Nitro Nation World TourGameplay from Nitro Nation World Tour
Nitro Nation: World Tour gameplay. (Nitro Nation: World Tour)

Players can upgrade and tune their cars to have an edge on the streets. The game also provides a wide range of customization options that can be bought using the in-game currency and boasts a vast roster of fully licensed cars ranging from Subarus and Mazdas to Aston Martins and Paganis.

Nitro Nation World Tour Licensed Car BrandsNitro Nation World Tour Licensed Car Brands
Licensed car brands in Nitro Nation: World Tour. (Nitro Nation: World Tour)

Web3 elements come into play as NFT cars, which can be dropped from purchasable car packs or directly bought from and sold on the marketplace. The NFT cars come pre-tuned and with better stats. The game is perfectly playable without NFT cars, so mainstream free-to-play (F2P) players aren’t forced into these Web3 elements. Nitro Nation: World Tour offers simpler gameplay than your usual Forzas and Need for Speeds but manages to keep it fun. If you are into cars, racing or NFTs, consider trying out Nitro Nation: World Tour.

More from crypto gaming space:

– Bandai Namco, the world-renowned publisher of Dark Souls and Tekken games, collaborated with blockchain network Oasys and startup Attructure to unveil an AI-enhanced virtual pet game that features NFT-based digital creatures.

– Amazon Prime Gaming partnered up with Web3 auto chess game Mojo Melee to offer free exclusive drops to Amazon Prime members.

– Web3 Mahjong game Mahjong Meta went live after its two-month-long open beta phase.

– nWay’s mech fighting game Wreck League collaborates with Yuga Labs to host Yuga-themed mech NFTs.

– NFT-based open-world social MMO game Dininho released on Arbitrum.


The most engaging reads in blockchain. Delivered once a

Erhan Kahraman

Based in Istanbul, Erhan started his career as a gaming journalist. He now works as a freelance writer and content creator with a focus on cutting-edge technology and video games. He enjoys playing Elden Ring, Street Fighter 6 and Persona 5.

Web3 Gamer: Zuckerberg’s metaverse losses, NFT game on Discord, Gods Unchained hot take


Let’s get business out of the way before getting to the fun part: Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, is heavily involved in virtual worlds through its metaverse unit, Reality Labs. 

However, its investments have yet to pay off, with the metaverse company reporting collective losses of over $40 billion. 

Despite the losses, investors are optimistic about Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term bet on the metaverse, sending the stock up 7% after hearing Zuckerberg’s reasoning on the Meta Q2 2023 Earnings call.

Meta Stock PriceMeta Stock Price
Meta’s stock price spiked to over $320 after Meta Earnings Call. (Google Finance)

Wall Street seems convinced by his arguments, which are backed by Meta’s improved overall business performance as the platform saw its revenue increase in the second quarter. Zuckerberg aims to cover metaverse costs with the growth from Meta’s family of apps, which has increased by $2 billion, making it just over halfway to covering the $3.7 billion loss from Reality Labs.

I can’t guarantee you that I’m going to be right about this bet. I do think that this is the direction that the world is going in.”

The Meta CEO believes an immersive version of the internet will become the norm. He supported this statement with examples of trends such as smart glasses and immersive communication:

There are 1 billion or 2 billion people who have glasses today. I think in the future, they’re all going to be smart glasses. And all the time that we spend on TVs and computers, I think that’s going to get more immersive and look something more like VR in the future.”

After the launch of Threads — excitement over which faded after a short while but has been reignited — Meta will reportedly release AI chatbots with human-like personalities with a focus on user retention.

Role-playing game combines AI and NFT on Discord

A new blockchain game is cooking for all the text-based role-playing game lovers out there. Alchemy: Battle for Ankhos will be running on Discord, using the platform’s familiar environment to host battles in a fantasy world.

Although this isn’t an entirely new concept, with examples like Wordle, PokeMeow and Guess the Song, bringing along crypto and AI will surely spice things up.

The art style immediately conjures memories of Darkest Dungeon — another turn-based RPG with roguelike mechanics. Four developers are building the game with the support of generative AI tools, including OpenAI and Midjourney. The Alchemy: Battle for Ankhos team utilizes Midjourney to create art, while OpenAI gives NPCs custom behavior. 

The project, which was one of the five winners in Solana’s NFT Showdown, will allow players to mint their assets from in-game menus without any blockchain knowledge. According to the game’s creative director, Alex Finden, nearly every asset earned or purchased in-game will be optionally mintable.

A new challenger: Web3 gets a new esports platform

Professional Dota 2 player Erik “Tofu” Engel, who has won over $400,000 from various esports tournaments, has recently expressed interest in the Web3 stage. 

Short for “electronic sports,” esports is a growing industry with an audience of more than half a billion people on the global stage in 2022, with expected growth to $1.87 billion in revenue by 2025. With these numbers, it is no wonder Web3 players are competing to enter the space.

Crypto gaming startup Ultra also heard the call and announced the launch of an esports tournament platform built on its own blockchain network called Ultra Arena. The platform, which will launch on Aug. 8, will allow players and brands to organize tournaments and leagues with NFTs and platform tokens as prizes. 

Ultra Arena will support popular Web2 games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch 2 and PUBG, along with games already available on its PC game store, Ultra Games.

Hot Take: Gods Unchained

One of the oldest and most popular free-to-play Web3 games, Gods Unchained, found its way into my playlist with its recent release on the Epic Games Store.

The turn-based card game distinguishes itself from frontrunners of the genre with its Web3 elements, presenting the cards as tradeable NFTs and hosting a player-focused community marketplace.

Along with cosmetic items such as card backs and trinkets, cards can be bought and sold in the marketplace, providing true ownership to the players. There are also card packs, which can be bought using the GODS token.

The game features beautiful animations and a slick art style in general, but lag in gameplay and in menus often overshadow the graphics. Gods Unchained draws heavy “inspiration” card game genre classics, most notably Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone.

The usual mana, strength and health mechanics are all there, with the addition of “Gods,” which are like “Heroes” from Hearthstone. Gods have their own abilities, which you can choose at the start of the match.

After booting the game up and trying to play the first mission out of three in the tutorials, a bug appeared which prevented me from completing the mission, so I decided to “concede” – the in-game button for surrendering – with the intention of restarting the mission.

The game returned to the menu and awarded me the completion rewards for the first mission. So, I thought, “Huh, maybe that was the last step of the mission and the game registered it as complete.”

Then came the second mission, which was completed with no issues. On the third mission, another bug appeared. I tried waiting, clicking on every possible option and, with nothing else to do, had to concede. In front of me was the menu with completion rewards.

After that, I played a few casual and ranked games, and all went smoothly without any problems.

Web3 Game Gods Unchained GameplayWeb3 Game Gods Unchained Gameplay
Gameplay from Gods Unchained. (Gods Unchained)

In conclusion, the game could use some work. It does not present the seamless experience of Hearthstone or introduce new mechanics like Marvel Snap. Considering it has been five years since its initial release, and there are unfixed bugs in the tutorial missions, it feels like the developers aren’t really concerned with user experience. Hopefully, they can fix these issues in their upcoming mobile release.

If you are a fan of the genre and a crypto enthusiast, it is worth taking a look at. Otherwise, you are better off playing Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, Marvel Snap or Legends of Runeterra.

More from Web3 gaming space:

– Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis partnered with CyberKongz to enrich the Ronin platform. 

– Solana-based NFT game Aurory will integrate Ethereum scaling technology Arbitrum using its SyncSpace system.

– Web3 gaming guild Yield Guild Games announced an extended collaboration with Polygon Labs to provide enhanced support to partner games developed on the Polygon network, including popular titles like The Sandbox and Crypto Unicorns.

– Hasbro will collaborate with Xplored, the company behind the Teburu digital board game system, to experiment with integrating smart-sensing technology, AI, and dynamic multimedia.

– Rumble Racing Star developer Delabs Games raised $4.7 million in seed funding for development on Polygon.

– Solert Games will launch – “Game of Thrones” star Hafthor Bjornsson endorsed – Legends at War on the Avalanche blockchain.

– Mobile tower defense strategy game EF Defense is set to launch on the Ethereum scaling network, Immutable zkEVM.


The most engaging reads in blockchain. Delivered once a

Erhan Kahraman

Based in Istanbul, Erhan started his career as a gaming journalist. He now works as a freelance writer and content creator with a focus on cutting-edge technology and video games. He enjoys playing Elden Ring, Street Fighter 6 and Persona 5.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s crypto trading proposal a ‘closed-loop system’


When the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), the only public stock exchange in Israel, announced that it drafted a proposal for regulation-friendly crypto trading on Feb. 27, it echoed across the crypto industry as a step forward for crypto adoption. However, some experts have framed the proposal as a somewhat underwhelming update to the current crypto landscape in Israel. 

In short, the TASE proposes that only authorized brokerages act as fiat-to-crypto onramps, aided by licensed crypto trading providers. The stock exchange said that it designed the framework to mitigate risks and enhance consumer protection. Without a specific timeframe, the proposal will be sent for approval by the TASE board of directors once the public comments have been submitted.

How TASE plans to conduct crypto trading

Non-banking members (NBM) of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange will play a vital role in the proposed crypto trading services. An NBM is an Israeli broker authorized by TASE. The official roster shows six brokerage firms with a TASE membership, including UBS Securities Israel, Meitav Trade and Fair Financial Technologies. If the proposal passes the board, these brokers will get in touch with two functions, a licensed crypto trading services provider and a licensed crypto custodian, in order to enable customers to deposit and withdraw fiat money to use for crypto investments.

When a customer wants to trade with crypto, they will need to start by depositing fiat money, Israeli shekels or a foreign currency, to their brokerage account. The broker will then deposit the same amount (still in fiat) in an omnibus account at the licensed crypto trading provider, or crypto exchange.

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As soon as the customer places the order to buy cryptocurrency, the actual purchase will be executed at the crypto exchange via the omnibus account. It will also be recorded in the customer’s brokerage account. Conversely, when a sell order is initiated, the crypto trading platform will sell the coins and send the sum to the same omnibus account as fiat money. From there, the same amount will be deposited back into the customer account at the brokerage.

One step forward

The stock exchange sees a regulatory framework for crypto trading as a means to upgrading the Israeli capital market in line with international standards, according to the announcement, which reads:

“TASE believes that the alignment of local regulation with international regulation will attract more foreign investments and foreign investments and foreign investors into the Israeli market, while at the same time will enable the Israeli public to invest locally, through supervised institutions.”

Ben Samocha, the CEO and co-founder of educational crypto platform CryptoJungle, referred to enabling crypto trading for authorized brokers as another milestone for crypto adoption in Israel. According to him, TASE’s proposal shows the crypto industry’s reputation is back on track after scandals surrounding FTX and Celsius damaged its credibility and trust.

Display in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Source: Twitter

“Leading brokers such as Excellence and Meitav Trade are providing services for hundreds of thousands of Israelis,” Samocha said, adding that there have been many requests of them to offer crypto services, “especially in the last two years.”

While the nature of the TASE solution will make cryptocurrency more accessible as an investment vehicle, Samocha stressed that it’s not the best solution for the end user:

“Users will only be able to deposit and withdraw fiat, not crypto. The crypto itself will be held in custody by a third party. While it’s a step towards the right direction, we still have a long way to go.”

Mark Smargon, the founder and CEO of blockchain-based payment platform Fuse, agreed that the proposal is “not improving anything for the clients themselves.” Since the proposal only includes authorized brokerages that are members of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Smargon believes that it won’t have much impact on non-public firms or banks.

Two steps back

Delving into technical details of the proposal, Smargon pointed out that it’s mainly for purchasing crypto “within a closed-loop system.” The idea of self custody goes out of the window with the TASE proposal, and users would need to invest in crypto via a select number of brokers and custodians. “That misses the point of the technological advantage of blockchain and only lets users speculate on asset prices,” he added.

Smargon highlighted the underwhelming impact the proposal would potentially have on the local crypto ecosystem, as “just a handful of licenses were issued while general bank acceptance is low.” He said:

“If the objective is to create clarity with listed companies that wish to provide crypto trading for their clients by giving a handful of centralized, authorized entities the rights to all the brokering and custody, then that sounds like one step forward and two steps backward.”

Aside from drafting a crypto trading framework that prioritizes tighter control for investor protection, the TASE is also working on advancing blockchain adoption within the country’s finance ecosystem. Together with the Israeli Ministry of Finance, digital assets custody provider Fireblocks and the United States-based tech provider VMware, TASE plans to pilot a blockchain-backed platform for trading digital bonds.

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Expected to be finished by the end of March, the pilot will see participating banks receiving a new series of tokenized government bonds in their e-wallets via the newly developed platform, transferring the money held in digital currencies to the Israeli government’s digital wallet.

Shira Greenberg, the chief economist at the Israeli Ministry of Finance, published a detailed report titled “Regulation of the Digital Assets Sector — Roadmap to a Policy” that focuses on the rise of digital currencies and how policymakers can tackle the legal aspect of crypto. Greenberg recommended strict licensing requirements for trading providers and issuers of cryptocurrencies to keep investors protected.