Web3 on Fire: OpenSea removes fees?

ETH turning deflationary and burning 28k ETH since the Merge

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter. Today we’ll be talking about what happened in the space lately: such as OpenSea temporarily removing fees, Platypus Protocol hack, Helium deciding to go ahead with abandoning their own chain and moving to Solana while Solana is shutting its IRL merch stores, the BTC wizard meme selling for $150k and ETH turning deflationary and burning 28k ETH since the Merge.

Let's get straight down to it:

OpenSea temporarily removes fees

OpenSea decided to temporarily drop the fees it charges from NFT creators in an effort to answer the Blur marketplace's "challenge" last Friday. Blur's recent blog post called out OpenSea for charging a fee to list NFTs on its platform and recommended that creators boycott the platform. Now, OpenSea seems to be trying to win back those same creators with a discounted listing fee.

But rather than just dropping the fees to zero percent, OpenSea has also implemented a minimum 0.5% royalty fee for NFT collections that don't employ on-chain enforcement methods, with sellers allowed to pay more if they choose. OpenSea also upgraded their operator filter tool, allowing creators to market their NFTs on other marketplaces with the same policies.

Blur's marketing team might be rubbing their hands in glee, as their first and foremost goal was to assault OpenSea's market share in a bid to gain more traction. And it looks like the move might have worked, at least for now, so OpenSea has to think of a new strategy to get itself out of this pickle. Well, crypto has always been kind of like a soap opera, right? All we can do is wait and see what happens next.

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Platypus Protocol stops a $8m hack

Platypus, an automated market maker on AVAX blockchain, almost had its beak knocked off when a hacker made off with an $8.5M flash loan attack on Thursday.

A hacker that apparently goes by "retlqw" used a flash loan from Aave to take advantage of Platypus' code, taking a 44M USDC loan and depositing it into the Platypus pool. From there, they converted their liquidity pool tokens into a huge borrow of USP tokens and managed to make off with a hefty sum. The team noticed this almost immediately and scrambled to contact the AVAX development team and the industry professionals at BlockSec.

A few hours and four lines of code later, the hole had been plugged, the hacker wallet frozen and 2.4M USDC recovered. The team can possibly fully recover their funds.

It's a lucky break for Platypus but it also serves as a reminder for the devs to start getting their code checked for vulnerabilities. Maybe this 100th hack will finally do the trick.

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Helium set to migrate to Solana on March 27th

Remember the Helium thing with the routers? Well the Helium Network was serious about abandoning it's own network and moving to Solana (of all chains). And now they've set March 27th as the day it's going to happen.

The Helium team posted about this on their blog, saying that they were setting up a "Readiness Working Group" to make sure the migration goes smoothly.

According to them, migrating to Solana will offer a lot of new features including speed, scalability, wallet compatibility and generally a better functioning ecosystem. Well, let's wish them luck. Let's hope this is the change they were looking for and not another unnecessary headache.

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Solana is shutting down its Solana Spaces stores

Talking about Solana, Solana Spaces, previously popular crypto stores (of sorts) in NYC and Miami are closing their doors to customers.

The stores opened in July 2022, offering a unique onboarding process for Phantom Wallet and free NFTs. It also provided tutorials on platforms like STEPN and Magic Edens. After hosting over 75,000 people, Norby (the founder) has decided to close the stores and focus on DRiP, the free NFT product. Norby said that while the stores onboarded between 500 and 1,000 people per week, DRiP does that daily, making it a more efficient model for growth.

He also offered anyone interested in carrying on the mission of Solana IRL stores to open source the software and give them the brand. He also mentioned that people should visit the stores one last time to pick up the merch, and take part in the final events before it shuts down for good.

Overall, Solana has not been feeling very good since the FTX crash, FTX being the biggest backer of Solana. The market has recovered a bit, but Solana is still down by almost 30%. This news only adds to the gloom of the Solana ecosystem, leaving many in the community wondering what will come next.

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The Bitcoin wizard meme sells as NFTs and makes the creator $150,000

When it comes to art, many people look for works with emotional value and a certain level of sophistication. But what about a pixelated wizard meme that has been circulating on the internet since 2013? Well, thanks to NFTs or rather a recent spike of popularity of ordinals on Bitcoin, this particular meme has recently sold for 6 Bitcoin - or near $150,000 at current prices.

Udi said that he and Taproot Wizards had a blast helping Mavensbot put together the collection of inscriptions, which were sold within 3 hours on Saturday. Apparently, most payments were received from NFT enthusiasts - many of whom had downloaded a Bitcoin lightning wallet for the first time in their lives.

Well, at least the creator of the meme, Mavensbot, is now sitting on a rather hefty payday. Who said you can't live of making crappy wizard memes?

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FTX Japan resumes fiat and crypto asset withdrawals

It's been a wild ride for FTX Japan. In April of 2022, the company (called Liquid Japan back then) was acquired by FTX, a company that promised to bring "cryptocurrency trading technology to Japan." But come November of 2022 and the whole thing came crashing down. FTX filed for bankruptcy, freezing the assets of about nine million customers and leaving billions of dollars in legal proceedings.

But now FTX Japan is saying that it will resume the withdrawals and that customers must first move their assets to a new Liquid Japan account.

So, it looks like Japanese FTX users will be made whole again. Sure, it probably took a lot more time than they were hoping, but hey, at least they're getting their money back, which is pretty rare for the crypto space.

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Research corner: Ethereum is getting scarcer

Ethereum's supply is decreasing more quickly than crypto-influencers' followers when they endorse yet another PnD scam.

At least 28,730 ETH tokens have already been burned since EIP-1559 was implemented a month ago, according to a recent report from Ultrasound.Money. Since the upgrade, a small fraction of the transaction fee has been permanently taken out of circulation with each ETH transaction.

It appears the higher the network activity, the more scarce Ethereum becomes. With some analysts predicting a new all-time high in the near future. The devs aren't resting, though. The upcoming Shanghai upgrade is coming along sometime next month and after that they will turn their attention to sharding and zero-knowledge proofs.

So, what does this all mean for Ethereum holders? The ever-decreasing supply should drive up the prices after a while, which can't be bad, but it's probably too early to rest until the devs do something about those horrendous gas fees. Overall, ETH is in a good place and the future looks bright.

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The fun page: our weekly meme collection

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That's all for now, frens.

We'll see you next week. And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi is here to stay. Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

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