NPXS has rallied 130% in just two days after PundiX CEO confirmed staking and token reduction.
NPXS, the native token of PundiX, a cryptocurrency point of sale (PoS) solution provider, has seen a massive surge in price over the past 48 hours.
In merely two days, the price of NPXS rose by more than 130% on Binance, outperforming most major cryptocurrencies on the exchange.
There are three key reasons behind the rally: the launch of token staking, token reduction, and the overall positive sentiment around the altcoin market.
Token staking and fewer NPXS tokens
On March 13, Zac Cheah, the CEO of PundiX, reaffirmed that token reduction and staking for NPXS is happening later this month.
When the supply of a token is reduced, it immediately acts as a catalyst because it typically pushes up the price if demand remains the same.
PundiX is reducing its token supply to a 1000:1 ratio and rebranding the native token from NPXS to PUNDIX. The rebranding is fueling the overall increase in interest in NPXS, considering that the token has been consolidating for a prolonged period.
Additionally, token staking further amplifies the positive effect on the value as it leads more users to stake NPXS and refrain from selling as the token is locked up. Cheah said:
“As scheduled, $npxs token reduction starts late March, followed by (immediately or few days later) token staking. Staking reward is USD100,000 + value weekly for ten weeks. Someone said it’s better to call our staking ‘DeFi farming’, so yea Pundi X DeFi farming is comin!”
As Cointelegraph previously reported, many cryptocurrencies saw a large rally in recent months after introducing staking.
For instance, Theta Network introduced staking for the THETA token, which coincided with the price of the token hitting a new all-time high on Feb. 14.
Traders are anticipating more “alt season”
The altcoins market is seeing significant rallies almost across the board as Bitcoin price is currently consolidating between $56,000 and $59,000. What’s more, the altcoin market’s capitalization has reached a new all-time high of almost $730 billion, or roughly 50% higher than in 2017.
A pseudonymous trader known as “Rekt Capital” said that explained that this is a perfect example of market cyclicality, alluding that the overall trend remains highly bullish. He wrote:
“Altcoin Market Cap launched into new All Time Highs from the very same level that launched Altcoin Market Cap into new December 2017 All Time Highs. A perfect example of market cyclicality if there ever was one.”
Other notable rallies in altcoins include Harmony (ONE), Siacoin (SC), Terra (LUNA), and BitTorrent (BTT), which all surged from 40% to 140% in the last 24 hours.
Finally, the market sentiment around PundiX has been generally positive after its testnet launch on Feb. 11, as Cointelegraph reported.
Additionally, VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for NPXS on March 20.
The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements, and Twitter activity.
The VORTECS™ score for NPXS flipped from yellow to green a few hours before the price rallied on March 20 from around $0.006 to as high as $0.0082, or roughly by 30%.
As long as the altcoin market rally continues and Bitcoin consolidates above the $55,000 support area, the positive market structure of NPXS should remain intact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the necessity for the digitalization and sustainable development of African economies.
The seventh session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development convened earlier this month with the theme “Building forward better: Towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063” and to promote the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, pointed out that developing a just, fair economic model that embraces green and renewable energy, resilient infrastructure, and digitalization — while protecting natural resources by broadening partnerships for science, technology and innovation — could unleash the region’s green potential and fuel economic transformation.
UNECA’s digital agenda
According to a paper titled “Harnessing Emerging Technologies: the cases of Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology,” which was provided by Victor Konde — scientific affairs officer at the United Nations: “The global pandemic caused by [COVID-19] has highlighted the importance of technology and innovation in developed countries. […] Digital technologies have transformed how people work, interact and access services.” It also highlights the “interest in the role of emerging technologies in driving Africa’s transformation” and in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
As the document states, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, or UNECA, conducted profound policy research and “provided policy advice to member States on several emerging technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.” The paper continues:
“The digital economy is unpinned by several key technologies, some of which include artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, and augmented reality. However, as UNCTAD noted, China and United States currently own 75% of patents on blockchain, account for half of global spending on IoT and their firms accounts for three quarters of the global market of commercial cloud computing. As a result, China and the United States account for 90% of the 70 largest digital platforms while Africa and Latin America account for a combined share of about one percent (1%).”
The internet and tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, spend billions of dollars in an attempt to get more people online in Africa despite a backlash from governments that are trying to shut down access to these services. At the same time, Vera Songwe, UN under-secretary-general and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, pointed out:
“Africa could expand its economy by a staggering $1.5 trillion dollars, by capturing just 10% of the speedily growing artificial intelligence (AI) market, set to reach $15.7 trillion by 2030.”
Digital currencies in Africa
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world in terms of both territory and population (roughly 1.3 billion people), and cryptocurrency is in big demand for the following reasons:
Countries’ national fiat currencies are vulnerable to double-digit hyperinflation, according to the UN.
Africa has a high unbanked population, a high penetration of smartphone use and an increasingly young, migrating population.
During 2020, monthly cryptocurrency transfers under $10,000 in value to and from Africa — often traded person-to-person across the 816 million mobile phones in Sub-Saharan Africa alone — skyrocketed 55%, “reaching a peak of $316 million in June.” They traded with a large margin that reached up to 70% due to the small number of cryptocurrency retailers. Individual citizens and small businesses located in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya accounted for most of this trading activity.
China is the largest trading partner of many African countries. It has been investing ($45 billion in 2019, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) since the mid-2000s into Africa’s technology, communications and finance infrastructure, and blockchain technology education. Already, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and Eswatini have been researching central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs. As a BRICS nation, South Africa is piloting one as part of Russia’s multinational digital currency initiative that will be linked with China’s mobile Digital Currency Electronic Payment system supported by its Blockchain-based Service Network.
In its “Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic Report” of 2019, the World Bank laid out the country’s digital economy potential. Only a year later, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria surpassed China and currently ranks second in the world in Bitcoin (BTC) trading, even though it lacks the regulatory framework to support the digital asset business activity.
Bitcoin trading provides a source of income for an increasing number of unemployed young people in addition to a means of sending and receiving cross-border payments. For example, BTC funded the 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality, which were carried out by young people nationwide and spread beyond Nigerian borders, parallel to solidarity protests in different parts of the world.
“We are going to digitalise our processes and we are going to create a new full-pledged directorate of intelligence to enable us gather intelligence so that we will be proactive in our fight against economic and financial crimes and by so doing we will also provide the government with necessary quality advice that will lead to good governance.”
Africa has abundant energy resources, including solar energy, as it receives more hours of bright sunshine during the course of the year than any other continent. But it lacks reliable access to modern energy, which is needed for digitalization.
The continent is determined to green-energize and solarize its digitalization, as it is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, even though it contributes minimally to CO2 emissions. With the exception of Eritrea and Libya, African countries have ratified the Paris Agreement with ambitious nationally determined contributions.
According to forecasts by the International Renewable Energy Agency, “With the right policies, regulation, governance and access to financial markets, sub-Saharan Africa could meet up to 67 per cent of its energy needs [from renewables] by 2030.” And as pointed out by Songwe, it can “provide access to energy to over 70 per cent of Africans who are without access currently.”
Egypt is leading regional efforts to transition to green/solar energy, with the continent experiencing a surge of growth in new solar installations, mainly driven by nine countries. In a first-of-its-kind project, Egypt recently entered into a joint venture with a Chinese company to locally manufacture sand-to-cell photovoltaic solar panels, with China having ramped up its overseas green investment to 57% under the Belt and Road Initiative, according to research from the International Institute of Green Finance.
The national lockdowns and international travel bans imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated green digitalization efforts across African markets, which have promoted democracy and cryptocurrencies and broken down geographic barriers to collaboration and distribution. Nigerian songwriter and singer Burna Boy, with his music, and Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, with his paintings, conquered the world during 2020.
Accordingly, the UN has dedicated the whole year of 2021 to the creative economy, as it plays a critical role in promoting sustainable development for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. A sustainable green recovery plan necessitates understanding the links between climate change, health and inequality, and it requires implementing ambitious climate change policies that align with the Paris Agreement. More important than ever, these goals provide a critical framework for a green COVID-19 recovery. The 12 art shows exhibited at the seventh session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development conference reflected these themes.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Quotes in this article taken from previously published sources have been lightly edited.
Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA, is an international tax attorney and certified public accountant who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.
Predicting the direction of Bitcoin price is not gonna cut it with the world’s 2.7 billion gamers.
The use of blockchain in crypto-based games could be a hinderance to the adoption as well as an exciting unique selling point. Now, before you start taking up your decentralized pitchforks and demanding that I be immediately chased out of Blockland and never spoken of again, please let let me explain.
This is not a suggestion that blockchain games are bad, or that the addition of blockchain is detrimental to games. On the contrary, there are hardly any existing genre of game which couldn’t be greatly enhanced through the integration of blockchain elements.
From provable fairness and permanent immutable ledgers to true ownership, trading and play-to-earn, the possibilities that blockchain brings to gaming are (ahem) game-changing.
Being part of the industry, it’s hard not to be in the “blockchain and gaming are a match made in heaven” camp. And we all know how the story goes from there: if just a fraction of the worlds estimated 2.7 billion gamers discover the benefits of these newfangled blockchain games, and just a fraction of those go on to learn more about blockchain and cryptocurrency, the size of the crypto market goes up exponentially.
So if attracting gamers is good for crypto, why are so many blockchain developers content to target the existing crypto crowd?
What do crypto fans want in a game?
To highlight this, let’s take a look at the showings on offer at a recent BGA Game Demo Day, where a full three of the four games featured (CryptoPick, Trade Stars and Crypto Colosseum) revolved solely or heavily on either trading or prediction markets.
CryptoPick is literally just a prediction market based on whether a certain cryptocurrency will go up or down or which crypto will perform the best or worst over a particular time frame. Some may argue that does not really counts as a game? Isn’t that just playing the markets, but for “Pickies” instead of real money? No wait. You can customize your avatar with NFTs… Well that’s certain to tempt the gaming masses.
Moving on… Trade Stars is a collectible trading card game that allows players to buy and sell (or Trade) shares in the famous players (or Stars) of various sports… although currently just cricket.
Sports fans tend to enjoy this kind of thing and cricket is very popular in a number of countries around the world. However, the performance of the players has no bearing on the value of the shares, so this basically seems like random stock-picking… with cricketers.
Has anyone seen some gameplay lying around?
Crypto Colosseum came out fighting with its colours pinned firmly to its chest. According to the blurb it is: “A crypto game of degenerate gambling and whimsical violence.”
A selection of gladiators, fighting for various crypto factions (BTC, ETH and MATIC), take part in automated text-based battles and tournaments. Players get to bet on the outcome of the battles and can also buy items to help or hinder the gladiators in battle in an attempt to sway the result.
Gladiators, back-stories, and the fight-sequences themselves are created by AI, adding the “whimsical” element to the violence. Fights are also affected by the real life price performance of the faction token throughout the battle, and the stats of the gladiator.
The prize pot is split between the holder of the gladiator contract, those with shares in the faction, and those betting on the winning gladiator. Sure there is a gameplay element, and sure, it does look quite interesting, but it is, as it indeed claims, essentially about the gambling.
Review: Maybe they want some DeFi?
One of the worst recent “offenders” is the bafflingly popular, Aavegotchi. I took an early look at Aavegotchi during testing, with the intention of writing up a preview. In order to test the game I was first provided with over $20,000 of the various tokens I might need for staking, although sadly only on the Kovan testnet.
Now, any game that requires an investment in the thousands is going to be a hard sell, even to hardcore gamers, who are currently baulking at being asked to pay $70 for a next-gen title.
Undeterred, I bought myself some testnet portals to claim the creatures inside, and I must admit to quite enjoying this element. The process of sifting through each portal’s 10 available Aavegotchi in order to choose a favourite based on its stats and the staking token it could hold was simple, but well implemented.
Being Kovan-rich, I was also able to bedeck my new friends in an array of accessories and gear, further buffing the rarity of my card. And that was pretty much it. The rarity affects the yield gained from the staked tokens.
They managed to gamify DeFi staking… but did that really need gamifying? According to the interest it has seen, the obvious answer is “Yes”? Or maybe the crypto crowd is so keen to see what blockchain gaming will produce that it will flock to the latest thing out of simple curiosity?
Blue sky on the horizon
Now, no one is suggesting that these projects are bad or that there isn’t a place for them. All of those mentioned have their fans, and will most likely do just fine. It’s just that they don’t seem to be particularly exciting for your regular gamer.
Instead of showing how blockchain-enabled features can be implemented to improve the existing gaming experience, many appear to have had their ambition hampered by the inclusion of blockchain technology; their scope limited to things that cryptocurrency already does well.
Being able to buy a sun hat for your Aavegotchi in order to improve your staking yield by 0.1% is not the killer entertainment experience which will take blockchain gaming mainstream.
It should also be stated that this bias toward being overly blockchainy was not typical for a BGA Game Demo Day. In the past, developers have presented an astonishing variety of forthcoming blockchain gaming goodness at these events, and in truth it feels a bit mean-spirited to highlight last month’s unfortunate scheduling to back up the argument here.
The Blockchain Game Alliance does a great deal to promote the use of blockchain within the wider gaming industry, and Game Demo Days also regularly include tools to help traditional developers easily incorporate blockchain into their games.
BGA president, Sebastien Borget, is also the lead of The Sandbox, a Minecraft-inspired world-building game with blockchain running through its veins, which should lure in its fair share of regular gamers on public launch.
The future’s still bright
Perhaps that is the key source of the issue? Having seen some of the “proper” games that are coming through, it’s harder to get excited about projects that arguably don’t particularly expand the blockchain gaming experience any further.
The movement that Dapper Labs started with CryptoKitties in 2017 is still finding its feet, and in many ways still experimenting with the best ways to integrate the worlds of gaming and blockchain. As the movement is blockchain-led we are currently seeing a lot of variations on a theme.
Blockchain itself is still but a youth compared to the gaming industry, which has already been around for over half a decade. It was always going to take time before the arrival of AAA games with blockchain capabilities, but be assured that they are on their way and closer than ever.
The much lauded Infinite Fleet went into private alpha earlier this month, with early supporters being given access to the first playable version of the game.
The fourth game featured in the aforementioned Demo Day, My Neighbour Alice, was actually an interesting looking isometric world building game where players could earn in-game currency for performing quests. Not exactly action blockbuster, but certainly “a game” in the traditional sense of the word, but with blockchain capabilities.
As a gamer, I want to play… and like for many, it’s hard to justify investing too much filthy lucre either. To attract gamers, blockchain games have to provide compelling experiences around true ownership of assets and all the rest.
So when suggesting that the problem with blockchain games is blockchain, it’s not a call to see it removed from the equation. Simply that it should never overshadow the actual game.