State of the Opera – April 2022

Hello! We’re glad to have you here for another State of the Opera. What a wild ride April has been! In this installment, we’ll cover some of our favorite protocols’ new upgrades, SpirtSwap and SpookySwap celebrating their first birthday, and the liquidation event that gripped the ecosystem. 

As always, the team at Learn wants to hear from you! Come check out our new website at Lrn.Fi. We consistently post articles and columns about DeFi and crypto in our efforts to educate the growing crypto community. We also have a new Twitter handle @lrn_fi where you can catch all the latest updates. Don’t forget to hop into our Discord to join the conversation with the Byte Masons.

State of the Opera

Table 1 – FTM community April 2022
Table 1 – FTM community April 2022

Byte Masons Update –  Tags and the Developer Newsletter

Reaper Farm Update

Reaper Farm received a new update to their experience as Reaper Tags were introduced to the interface. The descriptive tags are designed to help categorize Reaper Farm’s Crypts to help users assess the risk of the underlying strategies. More info on the new tags can be found in Toli’s article ‘Reaper Farm Update: Introducing Tags’

Our esteemed editor-in-chief for Lrn.Fi, Corval, released a development update for the Byte Masons. Check out the article here for a recap on OATH, the Learn initiative, Reaper Farm, and other updates for upcoming projects.

Unlocking Fantom: Introducing Stader Labs

Stader Labs has launched liquid staking for Fantom. Users will be able to stake their FTM with Stader and receive sFTMX. sFTMX tokens represent your staked FTM and can be swapped at a later date for your staked FTM and accrued rewards with Stader. Holders of sFTMX will be able to use the liquid token on multiple protocols within the Fantom ecosystem. 

The following lists of partners are projects live with Stader:

  •  sFTMX liquidity pools on Spookyswap, Beethoven X and Spiritswap
  • sFTMX yield farming on Liquid Driver, Reaper Farm, Tarot
  • sFTMX lending/borrowing on Market.xyz, Creditum

Check out @stader_ftm to keep up to date on news and upcoming Stader Labs partnerships

For a more detailed deep dive, check out Toli’s article ‘Unlocking Fantom’ and Stader Labs article ‘Stader is coming with Liquid Staking on Fantom – Everything you need to know’

What a Roosh! – FTM Whale causes big waves

The Fantom network was subjected to extreme levels of FUD due to the potential liquidation of a FTM whale. Users were concerned that the liquidation would trigger a wave of cascading liquidations that would obliterate the FTM price and cripple the network.

Reddit post from r/FantomFoundation
Reddit post from r/FantomFoundation

User u/drhuehue posted on r/fantom foundation (which has since been removed by User u/drhuehue posted (the post has since been removed) on r/fantom foundation detailing how one whale had borrowed roughly $37 million dollars worth of stablecoins against 59 million FTM on the lending protocol Scream and was dangerously close to being liquidated (Check out Corval’s article ‘The Long and Short of Lending’ to brush up on what all this means).

The post went on to suggest that the whale had used the funds to purchase SOLID and DEUS, before locking the tokens for four years and becoming illiquid in the process. Liquidations on Scream are executed partially meaning the protocol did not have to absorb the entire liquidation as a single order. The wallet in question is currently backed by just 18 million FTM. The trader received a two million dollar loan from Deus Finance’s ‘Lafa’ to help mitigate the damage of the liquidations. The threat of liquidations and the already existing bearish market sentiment caused significant downturns for the FTM token detailed further in the Key Metrics section. Fantom sentiment was shaken and the lasting effects of this event are yet to be seen.

I scream, veScream, we all Scream for V2

Scream users started their month strong with the launch of the first phase of veSCREAM. SCREAM and xSCREAM holders will be able to lock and/or migrate their current position to the new veSCREAM mode. Locking will give users immediate access to boosted rewards with governance voting power coming soon. The longer SCREAM holders lock for, the more veSCREAM they receive, which allows them to participate in governance whilst simultaneously boosting their rewards. It is worth noting that xSCREAM will no longer be supported and rewards will cease for the xSCREAM model. Further updates on Scream’s next stage implementations can be found here.

Scream also fulfilled its continuing promise to use 70% of its treasury to carry out buy-backs of SCREAM to distribute to users via its locking model. The protocol used two million dollars from its treasury reserves to buy SCREAM off the market and redistribute these tokens to its users.

Spiritswap gives the gift of fNFTS on its 1st Birthday

SpiritSwaps 1 year journey
SpiritSwaps 1 year journey

Spirit Swap celebrated its first birthday this month and as a special birthday surprise they released inSpirit fNFTS! The financial NFT’s are now available thanks to a collaboration between Revest Finance and NFT Garage.

For those that are unaware, an fNFT allows for illiquid assets (like inSPIRIT) to be traded on NFT marketplaces. Thus allowing the asset to retain its utility. This means if you want to exit your inSPIRIT position you can sell the NFT on an open marketplace at a mutually agreed rate between buyer and seller.

The protocol continued on in its spirit of giving by announcing that they have pre-locked 700,000 SPIRIT into these fNFTs which all inSPIRIT holders can now claim as a free airdrop. Users will have two months to take advantage of this claim function so if you held inSPIRIT at block #35998406 and onwards your wallet would have been included in the snapshot. 

Visit https://nftgarage.world/fnft/inspirit to claim the airdrop.

Check out Spirit Swaps Medium post ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPIRIT SWAP!’ for a timeline of the protocol as well as some updates on V2.

Spookyswap Finance matures into Spooky.Fi – Farm V2 announced

Spooky Swap is another April baby and celebrated its first birthday this year. The big highlight from their Medium Post ‘SpookySwap 1-Year Anniversary Update 2022’ is their migration to Spooky.Fi as their primary homepage. Spookyswap has expanded its services and developed this new hub through IPFS. This new decentralized website will provide Spooky.Fi ‘with censorship resistance, attack resistance, and multiple ways to access the same Spooky website’.

SpookySwap Farm V2 has made it possible for other projects to add incentives from their own treasuries on top of BOO rewards, instantly and without governance. Protocols in a hurry to reward LPers can now quickly spin up farms for their own tokens on the SpookySwap DEX without the need for BOO rewards and appealing to BOO Holders through governance.

Tomb Finance gets its own Tomb Chain

Tomb Chain bling

Tomb Finance announced some updates on the development of Tomb Chain earlier this month. Details on the new Layer 2 chain are slim at the moment but it has been confirmed that the project will utilize TOMB as gas and is currently in mainnet after an initial Alpha stage earlier in the month. Proposed use cases and updates on Tomb Chain can be found on a Tomb Tuesday update posted on their Medium.

Tomb Swap hit a new 24hr record in volume on Tomb Swap with $67,315,792 being traded on the protocol. Felix Exchange, a new centralized exchange on the Fantom network, is on track to release in Q2 of 2022. TOMB will be the primary utility token for Felix, much like the BNB to Binance and FTT to FTX.

Fantom feels the burn!

The Fantom Foundation recently released a website to display the amount of FTM burned on the network. Each transaction on Fantom requires a fee to be paid to the network in order to prevent spam attacks. Since the launch of the Opera mainnet, 30% of all transaction fees have been burned. The remaining 70% of fees are paid to validators to reward them for processing transactions. Just under five million FTM has been burned so far since the Opera networks release. Austin from FTM Alerts revealed in Fantom Unchained Episode 34 that Fantom has been burning from day one but the developers ‘forgot about it’.

Deus Finance exploited again?

Deus Finance was hacked for the second time in the last two months. According to Certik Alert, the exploiter moved 5446 ETH into Tornado Cash, an Ethereum-based privacy solution that breaks the on-chain link between source and destination addresses. At the time of the exploit, the 5446 ETH was valued at just over $15 million USD. Deus developer ‘Lafa’  was quick to jump on Twitter to discuss what he knew regarding the attack and made assurances that no user lost any money in the exploit and that steps were being taken to recover the funds. 

Just two days after the attack, the Fantom Foundation expressed its belief that the Deus Finance Eulogy initiative would be best for the ‘restoration and stabilization of the fUSD peg [and] is worth considering. The Fantom Foundation prompted Twitter users to vote on whether they supported or opposed the plan with 60% of voters expressing their support for the proposal. 

DeFi Snapshot

Table 2 - L1 + L2 Blockchains April 2022
Table 2 – L1 + L2 Blockchains April 2022

Outside the Opera 

Ava Labs, the main developer of the Avalanche blockchain is raising another $350 million in new financing after its recent $25 billion valuations, according to a Bloomberg report released earlier in the month. Terraform Labs (TFL) and Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), the non-profit teams behind the Terra ecosystem, have acquired $200 million worth of AVAX tokens. The LFG announced that it will buy $100 million US dollars worth of AVAX tokens from the Avalanche Foundation to augment its stablecoin Terra (UST) reserves. This move makes AVAX the first major cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin to find its way into the UST reserve. TFL announced a $100 million treasury swap for AVAX to demonstrate its commitment to Avalanche and cross-chain collaboration.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zao announced that the BNB chain will burn over 1.8 million BNB valued at around $US740 million in its first burn this quarter. BNB uses an auto-burn system to reduce its total supply to 100,000,000 BNB. The mechanism adjusts the amount of BNB to be burned based on BNB’s price and the number of blocks generated on the BNB Smart Chain (BSC) during the quarter. Users can check the status of the burn at BNBBurn.info.Binance has formed a joint venture with billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy Development, one of Thailand’s largest power producers. The joint venture will apply for a license to operate a digital asset exchange platform in Thailand to capitalize on the demand for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in Southeast Asia. Check out the link in our Industry report section published by Gemini to see why this could be a big deal.

The chain also received some attention from the release of a new Twitter emoji bearing a resemblance to an untilted swastika. The emoji was coincidentally released on Adolf Hitler’s birthday and was promptly removed.

Buzz surrounding Ethereum’s upcoming network upgrade has hit historical highs as Google Trends data shows a peak in interest surrounding the ‘Ethereum Merge’ in the last month. 

Google Trend data for 'Ethereum Merge' worldwide for the last 12 months
Google Trend data for ‘Ethereum Merge’ worldwide for the last 12 months

Users will need to wait until at least Q3 of 2022, as revealed by Ethereum developer Tim Beiko. The developer would expand on his statement in a blog post with a deeper rundown of the timeline of the upgrade.

The Ethereum Foundation (EF), a non-profit that supports the Ethereum ecosystem released the ‘Ethereum Foundation Report’ for April 2022. The report offered a unique insight into the role of the EF within the ecosystem and the support that it offers to new developers. This report is the first time the EF has publicly detailed all of its treasury holdings with a section outlining the treasury holdings of the EF and the grant activities for 2021. 

Vitalik Buterin quietly donated $5 million in ETH to Aid for Ukraine and Unchain Fund. The total amount of crypto donations sent to the Ukrainian government, military, and charities has surpassed $133 million dollars.  

Terra recently surpassed Cardano (ADA) and Avalanche in market capitalization. At the time of writing, Terra maintained a $28 billion market cap which secured its spot within the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Terra’s native stable coin TerraUSD (UST) is now the third-largest stablecoin within the market, beating out BSC-based stablecoin BUSD.

Terraform Labs (TF) has continued to support the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) by gifting the foundation 10 million LUNA to help boost the stability of Terra native stablecoin UST. The LFG is diversifying its collateral reserves by introducing AVAX into the portfolio which is already backed by 42,530 Bitcoin, equal to just over $1.6 billion USD. Self-proclaimed ‘Master of Stablecoin’ and co-founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, described the alliance between Avalanche and Terra as ‘the biggest ever formed in web3’

Institutional investors continue to flock to Terra as Fireblock opens access to DeFi on Terra. Fireblock is a digital asset custody, transfer, and settlement platform that offers access to cryptocurrencies to institutional investors. Fireblock noted that over $500 million dollars poured into the network within the first week of opening access to its institutional clients. 

Malicious ads were targeting users that conducted Google searches for ‘Terra’. The network lost $4.3 million in the resulting phishing attacks which used fake Google ads to prompt users to connect their Terra wallets.

Polygon’s native token MATIC was listed on the popular retail investment application, Robinhood, exposing a new crop of investors to the chain. This was followed by Polygon unveiling their ‘Green Manifesto – A smart contract with Planet Earth’. The plan details the network’s goal to go carbon negative by the end of 2022 and has pledged $20 million to fund a ‘series of community initiatives, including funding projects that utilize technology to combat climate change’. 

Polygon hit over 19,000 decentralized (dApps) running on the network, an impressive sixfold increase from 3,000 dApps in October last year. The network published a blog post discussing the milestone and its commitment to developers via its partnership with Alchemy, one of the world’s leading Web3 developer platforms. The network posted a blog describing the release of Polygon Supernets, a new developer framework as well as a new $100 million fund to support the adoption and development of Supernets. 

Stripe Connect has introduced crypto payouts, where a select group of creators on Twitter will be able to use cryptocurrency-based rails to receive their earnings from Twitter. Stripe will initially support payouts in USDC which will take place over the Polygon network. 

Popular NFT marketplace OpenSea now offers support for projects powered by Solana. The marketplace praised Solana as one of the fastest-growing NFT ecosystems in the world, as well as one of the most requested chains by the OpenSea community in a blog post released earlier this month. Solana established several new all-time highs for the volume of NFT’s traded, the number of unique fee payers, and the number of programs used according to Twitter User @chain_crunch. SOL was recently listed on the trading platform, Robinhood.

Solana experienced its seventh network outage at the end of April after the network failed to reach a consensus. The network faced several hours of downtime as it was flooded by an increased number of transactions per second which reached as high as 4 million per second. The spike in transactions was attributed to an army of bots spamming the network in an attempt to mint NFTs.The blockchain also received 100 gigabits of data per second further adding to the network’s congestion.

Key Metrics

Market Cap

Table 3 – Market Cap Jan 2022 – Apr 2022
Table 3 – Market Cap Jan 2022 – Apr 2022

April was not kind to Fantom with the network following Bitcoin and traditional markets on a downward trend. This marks the second month in a row where new yearly lows were established both in market cap and price action. 

While the Opera network had many native protocols announce upgrades and improvements to their products, this was sadly overshadowed by the liquidation narrative detailed in State of the Opera. As this is an ongoing development, only time will tell regarding the true implications of the event.

Price movement

Table 4 - Price Movement Jan 2022 - Apr 2022
Table 4 – Price Movement Jan 2022 – Apr 2022

The FTM price dove under the $1USD mark. This is the first instance of this occurring since September 2021 when the token briefly dipped to 97 cents. Just a month before that FTM was trading at 25 cents in August 2021. Quite the roller coaster ride in the last year for FTM hodlers. 

User Engagement

Table 5 - User Engagement Jan 2022 - Apr 2022
Table 5 – User Engagement Jan 2022 – Apr 2022

User engagement metrics continue to show signs of slowing down from earlier on in the year. The average amount of daily wallets created ended the month at just over 75% of the year’s peak average.  Transaction count is also reduced compared to the trends of the last quarter with the price actions and narratives surrounding the network spooking new investors and causing ‘hodlers’ to enter hibernation mode.

Total distinct addresses continue to rise with the 3 million mark due to being crossed sometime in early May.

Top FTM Senders and Receivers

Figure 1 - Top 10 FTM Senders/Receivers 25 Apr - 01 May
Figure 1 – Top 10 FTM Senders/Receivers 25 Apr – 01 May

Spooky, Geist, and Fantom Finance are the only protocols still standing with each wallet receiving slightly less of the percentage of FTM received compared to last month’s results.

Top Tokens by Transaction Count

Figure 2 - Top 5 tokens by transaction count 25 Apr – 1 May
Figure 2 – Top 5 tokens by transaction count 25 Apr – 1 May

A wave of spam/malicious coins has flooded many FTM user’s wallets. Users should always be wary of new and unknown tokens in their wallets and should take every step available to avoid interacting with them as they could prove harmful to your wallet.  888Crypto.pro, 0Casino.io Play888.io, and now 4Gambling.io are all coins that users should avoid interacting with. 

Check out our article ‘Vulnerabilities in your Wallet’ for more info on these tokens.

Top Tokens by Unique Wallets

Figure 3 - Top 5 tokens by total unique wallets 25 Apr – 1 May
Figure 3 – Top 5 tokens by total unique wallets 25 Apr – 1 May

As you can see in Figure 3, the sending of spam coins has flooded many FTM wallets. The team and Lrn.Fi will be releasing more information regarding these tokens as they surface. We will endeavor to produce a column to educate our users on the purpose of these spam coins and how best to protect themselves against such attacks.

Update: We did! Check it out here

Pulse of the Network

This section will hope to aggregate and compound your own interest within the FTM network space. If you’re looking for some research to claim as your own or just the headlines for all the latest news and gossip this is the Pulse of the Network, the information you don’t want to miss out on.

FTM Ecosystem Headlines

fWallet v2 Beta now released – New Beta for Fantom Native wallet introduces Modern UI, redesigned staking interface, and a streamlined on-chain governance voting structure. More info here

BlockVision and Fantom teaming up – New one-stop development platform offers an on-chain data retrieval portal for Fantom developers

Fantom is now available on Young Platform, an Italian CEX, and Biconomy, a Canadian exchange  

Check how much Fantom has been burned here – Fantom on Fire monitors the total amount of FTM burnt. 70% of the fees paid to the Opera network go to validators, the remaining 30% are burnt forever

Incognito and Fantom bridge is now live – Users can shield Fantom tokens through Incognito and transfer them privately. More information is available here

1inch Network expands to Fantom – Popular DEX aggregator 1inch is now available for Fantom users to find the most competitive swap rates

WOOFi launches on Fantom – Liquidity protocol WOO network launches on Fantom with its innovative sPMM (synthetic proactive market maker) algorithm

Exodia Finance votes to close the project and redistribute the treasury – APY will be stopped while the protocol consolidates their funds for redistributionFantom Foundation ballot to decrease the self-stake amount for running validator nodes still underway – Cast your vote here

Keep your eye on

Creditum votes to add sFTMx as collateral option 

Excalibur Exchange discusses future releases of new innovative features 

Robovault in its prototype phase – token launch soon!

Starbucks CEO announces intention to enter NFT space

FTM Podcasts and Videos

Delphi Digital sits down with Andre Cronje to discuss regulations around crypto, leaving crypto and the Solidly launch

Chadly McChief discusses the education landscape and Lrn.fi with SAMSoN from the ByteMasons here

Fantom Chief Marketing Officer Simone Pomposi talks with Ijaz Awan here – They discuss the past, present, and future of Fantom 

Fantom Unchained Episode 33 with special guest Nick Drakon – The gang discusses VC funding, security concerns/tips, ethical influencing, and more

Fantom Unchained Episode 34 – The team discusses the Fantom burn and the Deus hack and another discussion about Andre Cronje

Nick Drakon and Chadly McChief have a conversation with Lafeyette Tabor (Lafa) – co-founder of DEUS Finance

Professor Crypto Banana interviews the man, the myth, the legend, Austin from FTM Alerts – Part 1 of 4

FTM Foundation and Industry Reports

Crypto Crime report summary by Chainalysis – Check out this preview of the 2022 Crypto Crime report 

International Monetary Fund (IMF) releases Global Financial Stability Report 2022 – IMF discusses the impact of the Ukrainian conflict, government debt, and the rise of Fintech and crypto. Check out Coin Bureau’s summary of the report here

Popular Crypto exchange, Gemini releases a research report titled ‘2022 Global State of Crypto’ – A global survey covering 30,000 adults across 20 countries, offering insights into the attitudes, drivers, and adoption of Crypto on a global scale

FTM Education Community and Art Content

The team at Beethoven X examine the Emotional Drivers for Locking Tokens – Great article about the emotional value behind locking  

@DeFi_naly has a massively helpful thread on the Curve and BEETS Wars here

@CryptosEngineer has gathered a collection of healthy mindmaps to help visualize your crypto learning here

@CryptoNorth.ftm gives us a peek at what prime Bytemasons merch would look like here

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