2022 Week 27 — Bisonai Brief

BISONAI
11 min readJul 11, 2022

Hey all 👋

As usual, there has been a ton of news concerning the industry so we have decided to collate some of the most newsworthy pieces for you. You can find this newsletter on both LinkedIn and here on Medium.

In this week’s edition, we talk about crypto lenders — Celsius, Vauld and Voyager. Are they out of the woods yet? Will anybody trust their money in CeFi again?? Meanwhile, Polygon has announced that they have onboarded 48 projects from the failed Terra Luna (LUNC) blockchain.

The world’s first NFT console was announced, the Polium One, however, it has been met with fierce criticism from the industry and gamers. However, one this that seems to become popular is the integration of crypto with hardware with more ‘crypto phones’ being announced by HTC and Polygon/Nothing.

Finally, in South Korean news, The Sandbox has signed an agreement with Hana Bank to bring their bank into their metaverse game. Popular convenience store ‘CU’ has also announced a venture into the metaverse to promote their booze culture endeavour ‘JJAANN’. Finally, ‘Planetarium Labs’ has just announced a Series A US$32 million investment from The Sandbox parent company, Animoca Brands, which is a large investor in the space.

This newsletter is a summary of a number of largely unrelated news pieces from the crypto-verse that might be crypto/DeFi/NFTs/VCs/Macro but touch upon DeFi. It is aimed at people who want to stay abreast of some of the news but are not following along too closely. It is put together by Bisonai — a DeFi company in Seoul that bridges together AI + Blockchain.

If you’d like to get in touch, ping us at business@bisonai.com. ✉️ Previous newsletters can be found here.

[tl;dr]

  • Celsius switches counsel and settles $20 million in Aave obligations
  • Investors regret the potential loss of “millions” due to Voyager’s bankruptcy
  • Over 40 Projects From the Failed Terra Network Are Acquired by Polygon
  • The first NFT console, Polium One, has been unveiled and has already drawn criticism.
  • The newest craze is smartphones with integrated cryptocurrency wallets.

Korea Corner

  • A global metaverse commercial relationship was inked by The Sandbox and Hana Bank.
  • CU, a popular convenience store in South Korea utilizes the metaverse to launch JJAANN
  • South Korea’s Planetarium Labs Receives $32 Million in Investment from Animoca Brands

Celsius switches counsel and settles $20 million in Aave obligations

The legal team that helped Voyager Digital file for bankruptcy last week, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, has apparently been retained by cryptocurrency loan platform Celsius to advise on restructuring possibilities.

The corporation has reportedly engaged lawyers to advise on options, including filing for bankruptcy, in place of the previously retained legal firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, according to a story from the Wall Street Journal on July 10.

Customers haven’t had access to their Celsius accounts in nearly a month after the company shocked the cryptocurrency industry by suspending customer withdrawals when bitcoin prices fell.

Alex Mashinsky, a businessman, founded Celsius in 2017. The company offers users annual percentage rates of around 19 percent on cryptocurrency deposits and issues both cash loans and cryptocurrency loans. According to investor records seen by the Journal, it offered certain loans backed by little collateral and left itself little cushion in the event of a downturn. However, the company became a crypto powerhouse based on its claim that it was less risky than a bank, with better user returns.

The lack of legal and financial protections for cryptocurrency clients in comparison to those who do business with regulated banks and brokerages has been brought to light by a chain reaction among cryptocurrency companies that have been lending and borrowing digital currencies from one another.

Last month, the company said in a blog post that it continues to take

“Important steps to preserve and protect assets and explore options available to us. Our relationship with the community and our clients has been a source of pride for all team members at Celsius, and we will continue to share information with our customers as and when it becomes appropriate.”

We will continue to watch the proceedings as the company as they continue to pay off their loans whilst user’s funds remain locked. Another ‘crypto lender’, Vauld, has also paused withdrawals as well as Voyager filing for bankruptcy.

Investors regret the potential loss of “millions” due to Voyager’s bankruptcy

As mentioned above, Voyager filed for bankruptcy last Tuesday, 6 July. Due to Three Arrows Capital’s (3AC) failure to make payments on a crypto loan totalling more than $650 million, Voyager claimed it has sent a notice of default to the Singapore-based hedge fund.

“The prolonged volatility and contagion in the crypto markets over the past few months, and the default of Three Arrows Capital on a loan from the company’s subsidiary, Voyager Digital, LLC, require us to take deliberate and decisive action now,” Voyager Chief Executive Officer Stephen Ehrlich said in a statement.

As a result of the recent bankruptcy case, multiple Voyager users were interviewed by Fortune for a Saturday article. Some people reportedly risked almost their whole life’s assets on the site, while others reportedly had millions hanging in the balance.

“Every day, honestly, I cry,” Robert said, adding, “I don’t know what to tell my wife. As partners, we decided to [invest on Voyager], but she trusted me, more than anyone else, to make the proper decision.”

Scott Melker, a well-known crypto influencer also known as The Wolf Of All Streets online, who asserts to have seven figures trapped on Voyager, was also interviewed by Fortune.

“I understand that people make their own decisions, but they wouldn’t have even thought about it if I had not brought [Voyager] to their attention. And, frankly, that’s worse than losing my own money.”

The executives of the company have stated plans to first reorganize the business into a new entity as part of the bankruptcy process for Voyager, and then repay users using a combination of cryptocurrencies, money recovered from Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Voyager tokens, and common shares in the newly reorganized company firm.

But it’s not clear if all users would receive full compensation as a result.

Over 40 Projects From the Failed Terra Network Are Acquired by Polygon

Polygon has announced that more than 48 projects formally based on the collapsed Terra network have migrated to the layer-2 protocol.

Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon, made the announcement and credited the success of the network’s multimillion-dollar Terra Developer fund.

The OnePlanet NFT market, the Derby Stars P2E game, and the Lunaverse Metaverse platform are among protocols that have switched to the layer-two scaling protocol. Following the loss of the USD peg for its TerraUSD stablecoin, the Terra network failed.

The first NFT console, Polium One, has been unveiled and has already drawn criticism.

The first NFT gaming console has been announced by Polium, a firm that makes Web 3 products. The firm is committed to releasing a next-generation multi-chain gaming console under the name Polium One, but questions have already started to be raised about the company’s claims, according to Mobile Syrup.

“Web 3 Gaming will be the future,” Polium said as it took to social media to celebrate the announcement. “The console will be powerful enough to run high-performance games and will be easy to use for a traditional gamer who doesn’t understand Web 3.”

The company has numerous objectives for itself and is reportedly close to completing the construction of a working Polium One prototype. The gear, which was created by a team of four, would reportedly have a “TouchID” fingerprint reader in its controller to preserve security, according to Polium. It’s unclear if the business is utilizing TouchID under license from Apple or if it’s just using the name to sound familiar.

Also, the controller is to feature a wallet button for easy access. Through this function, players will have quick access to “trading, swapping, staking and receiving cryptocurrency.” Additionally, the Polium One may be capable of up to 8K HDR and 120fps with ray tracing enabled.

Twitter users have also criticized Polium over the company’s logo. The Nintendo GameCube logo, according to several users, looks identical to the Polium logo. The corporation said, “It seems familiar, but GameCube has a G and the cube indicates their name,” Blockchain is represented by our cube, while Polium is represented by the P.

Despite everything that is known about Web 3, NFTs, etc., there are still many unanswered questions regarding the console. What games will be compatible with the hardware is not yet confirmed. Additionally, Polium claims to be “in talks with multiple developers.” Though, it remains to be seen which developers are willing to partner on this project.

The newest craze is smartphones with integrated cryptocurrency wallets.

First, Solana Labs revealed its intention to create the Web3 Android smartphone Saga, which would make it simple to do bitcoin transactions. In order to improve Web3 access for mobile users, Ethereum scaling solution Polygon has now worked with two additional phone manufacturers.

According to Blockworks, with the HTC Desire 22, customers will be able to connect their Vive Flow virtual reality glasses and stream content directly from their phone’s screen to the wearable’s display. Vive Wallet and the Vive Marketplace will allow users can manage their tokens and NFTs on Polygon and Ethereum. With no need for a VR equipment, the apps will provide “rich metaverse experiences.

Together with phone provider Nothing, Polygon has integrated its technology onto the July 12th-released Nothing Phone (1). Although it won’t be formally released in North America, the smartphone will function there.

Smartphone users will gain access to the Polygon platform’s games and apps, as well as its payment options and Polygon ID, a proof-based identification solution. Pre-orderers of the Nothing Phone (1) joined an NFT membership club and qualified to obtain Black Dot NFTs from Nothing, which grant early access to specific goods, events, and benefits.

The company will present a keynote about the new phone on 12 July.

Korea Corner

A global metaverse commercial relationship was inked by The Sandbox and “Hana Bank.”

On 11 July 2022, The Sandbox Korea (CEO Lee Seung-hee) announced that Hana Bank and it had entered into a relationship to work together in the global metaverse industry, according to Naver News.

As a result of this collaboration, The Sandbox will launch new event marketing campaigns in association with Hana Bank, establish a virtual branch on The Sandbox Metaverse, offer fundamental banking transaction services, and create a joint business model that includes investment and collaboration with The Sandbox ecosystem participants.

Lee Seung-hee, CEO of The Sandbox Korea, said “I am looking forward to what new content will be created by the meeting of Metaverse and the bank.”

Hana Bank Vice President Kim So-jung also added

“Participating in the global version of the Web 3.0 metaverse, which has become a recent trend, secures a foundation as a digital leading bank and is expected to provide convenient and fun financial services to Hana Bank customers, including the MZ generation. do,” he said.

Hana Bank is just one of the brands that are featured in The Sandbox, which also features Channel A, Lotte World, CJ ENM, Samyang Annie, Studio Dragon, Knockout Como, Pororo, Square Enix, Shift Up, Ubisoft, Atari, SM Brand Marketing, Cube Entertainment, Skull & Counta, K League, Geppetto, Snoop Dogg, Warner Music Group, Dead Mouse, Adidas, The Walking Dead, S With the help of more than 200 partners, we are growing the metaverse.

CU, a popular convenience store in South Korea utilizes the metaverse to launch JJAANN

The largest chain of convenience stores in South Korea, CU, announced on Tuesday that it will introduce its alcoholic beverage brands on JJAANN, a local metaverse platform devoted to the culture of drinking, according to Forkast.

Users can enjoy drinking in virtual lounges that offer metaverse entertainment like games and singing through JJAANN, which bills itself as the first corner of the metaverse dedicated to anything related to alcohol.

Users of JJAANN can hang banners featuring CU’s renowned alcoholic beverages and delicacies in their virtual lounges. Using its membership app, Pocket CU, the convenience shop intends to provide goods that JJAANN subscribers can request via CU banners. With more than 15,800 locations nationwide, CU is the biggest chain of convenience stores in South Korea.

South Korea’s Planetarium Labs Receives $32 Million in Investment from Animoca Brands

In a Series A fundraising round headed by Animoca Brands, Planetarium Labs, which is developing a community-driven Web3 game network, has secured $32 million.

According to co-founder and CEO Kijun Seo in an email to CoinDesk, the funding will be used to assist Planetarium Labs expand its network with tools for gaming and player governance. Krust Universe, the investment division of South Korean digital giant Kakao, and WeMade, the publisher of the play-to-earn game Mir4, were additional investors in the round alongside Samsung Next and Planetarium partners.

Based solely on the Unity game development platform, the Planetarium Labs gaming system uses Libplanet, a software development kit that enables developers to build blockchain applications.

“Planetarium Labs is also supporting the development of live-action collectible NFT (non-fungible token) RPG Stella Fantasy, which had a major gameplay trailer reveal this week. We have recently signed a partnership with XL Games founded by Jake Song, the creator of the famed Lineage franchise and the co-founder of Nexon to explore community-governed MMORPGs”

Seo said, referring to “massively multiplayer online role-playing games. He also noted that Planetarium will reveal more game titles under development through its partners later this quarter.

The gaming investment company Animoca Brands, based in Hong Kong, recently announced that as of the end of April, it had 340 investments totalling more than $1.5 billion.

“We strongly believe that the future is massive decentralized worlds in an open metaverse, which is why we are delighted to support Planetarium Labs’ vision of community-centric blockchain games that empower players with creative freedom and full digital rights”

Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said in a press release.

Well, that about wraps up this week! If you’d like to get in touch, email us at business@bisonai.com. 📧

Previous newsletters can be found here. Until next time, have a great week ahead!

About Bisonai

We deliver blockchain infrastructure for Web3.

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Originally published at https://bisonai.substack.com on July 11, 2022.

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