Avalanche Overtakes Dogecoin, Shiba Inu in Market Value After Deloitte Deal

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Ethereum-rival and popular Layer-1 blockchain platform Avalanche has been creating a stir in the cryptocurrency market, managing to surpass the likes of Dogecoin and Shiba Inu to make it into the list of top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation. A number of factors have helped propel Avalanche to scale to a new all-time high but the biggest push behind its most recent rally is the announcement of a collaboration with “big four” professional services firm, Deloitte. The announcement notes that Avalanche will work with Deloitte in building a more efficient disaster-relief platform on the Avalanche blockchain.

Avalanche's native token AVAX topped an all-time high of $146 (roughly Rs. 10,867) on Sunday, November 21, adding over 20 percent in value within a 24-hour period. As per data from CoinGecko, AVAX has surged nearly 47 percent in seven days, a massive 83 percent in two weeks, and more than 133 percent over the last three months. The blockchain currently has over 350 projects built on it and more to come — making Avalanche a strong contender for Ethereum's dominance as the leading smart contracts platform. Avalanche also has a few advantages over Ethereum. It is more easily scalable, faster, and more cost-effective than Ethereum.

The collaboration with Deloitte is a testament to its preference over Ethereum too. As per a Deloitte press release on the collaboration, the “Close as You Go Service” aims to simplify “disaster reimbursement applications for victims of natural disaster, by aggregating, and validating the documentation required for funding.”

“The security and fast consensus of the Avalanche network quickly gathers, processes and authenticates required documents, improving the accuracy of federal disaster claims because of the nature of how code governs the process,” says Emin Gün Sirer, founder of Avalanche Labs. He goes on to mention that since Avalanche boasts of being a carbon-neutral platform, its eco-friendly goals align well with that of Deloitte too.

Earlier this November, Avalanche supporters also launched a new fund called Blizzard, which received an impressive $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,638.79 crore) in seed investing from such contributors that include Three Arrows Capital — a company that has supported Ethereum in the past but has moved to Avalanche due to high gas fees.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda Says NFT, Metaverse, and Blockchain Are Here to Stay

Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda has released a New Year's message reflecting on the past year and the future of gaming in 2022, and if his words are anything to go by, the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain games, and digital token-based economies are all 2021 buzzwords that are “here to stay”. Starting with the metaverse, Matsuda said Facebook's decision to change its name to Meta demonstrates that the metaverse as a concept “is not a mere buzzword”. Matsuda said the metaverse will become more of a commercial product in 2022 and might end up having some applicability to Square Enix in the future.

“The metaverse will likely see a meaningful transition to a business phase in 2022, with a wide range of services appearing on the scene. As this abstract concept begins to take concrete shape in the form of product and service offerings, I am hoping that it will bring about changes that have a more substantial impact on our business as well,” Matsuda said.

As for NFTs, Matsuda said this could become another significant business opportunity. Matsuda admits that most “play-to-have-fun” gamers aren't exactly thrilled by NFTs and metaverses. However, he concludes that NFTs and metaverses aren't exactly catered to them. He instead believes that advancements in these fields will lead to more incentives for “play-to-contribute” gamers, who he claims have had little to no incentive to create and contribute apart from personal feelings or self-expression. He also believes that breakthroughs in token economies and NFTs would add concrete incentives for players to create and develop user-generated content (UGC).

He expresses the “play to earn” concept as a “prime example” of how blockchain games and the “token economy” may one day enable “self-sustaining” growth. “Play to earn” is a term used by many NFT-based and blockchain games promoting how players can buy and sell their NFT assets back and forth.

Matsuda proceeds to acknowledge concerns about the “not ideal situation” of the NFT bubble, fueled by speculation and “overheated” behaviour in trading that was detached from the “observed value” of the content. He says he is confident, however, that an “eventual right-sizing” will occur at some point.

According to Matsuda, by designing viable token economies into its games, Square Enix can use NFT and blockchain tech to enable what he calls “decentralised gaming”. He hopes it becomes a major trend in games moving forward, and says that incorporating such decentralised games into Square Enix's portfolio will be a “major strategic theme” for the company in 2022. He also mentioned that Square Enix will “keep a close eye on societal shifts” in the space, listen to users, ramp up its efforts to develop a business around the crypto space, and potentially issue its own crypto tokens.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.