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October Development Update
AKA: How we’re becoming king of the gaming chains
Welcome to the October Ronin Development Update! We’ve split this update into three parts. The first section of this update covers recent data that shows our community’s confidence in Ronin’s mission.
Over the past few months, we were honored to welcome a legion of partners to the Ronin family including the CyberKongz, seven new game studios, and builders of unique experiences. The second section of this update shines a light on each partner and what their work means for Ronin.
We’ve reinforced Ronin with essential infrastructure over the past several months. The upgrade to DPoS. Mavis Market. Wallet updates. Ronin Name Service (RNS). The third section of this update walks through the many features that help bring our destiny to life.
Ronin is a movement of gamers determined to change gaming. We’re building a world where gamers can own the assets they use in games – forever. A world where players have the undisputed right to transact in their favorite game’s economies.
After reading this update, you’ll understand why Ronin is firmly entrenched as the #1 gaming chain by active wallets and player engagement. Over the past year or so, we’ve welcomed a variety of game studios from every continent of the world to build on Ronin. Web3 builders have even begun to leave other gaming blockchains to build on Ronin. At the same time, our team continues to strengthen the foundation required to accommodate the world’s 3 billion gamers looking for a better way to play. Our movement is making waves, and we know things are just getting started. Let’s talk about where we are, and where we’re going:
Part 1 - Ronin by the Numbers
We launched Ronin in 2021 to scale Axie Infinity and take destiny into our own hands. Since then, we’ve embarked on an even larger mission to become the king of the gaming chains– the best place to build and grow a web3 game.
In this section, we’ll walk through recent data that shows our community’s confidence in Ronin’s mission.
Ronin is home to about 103K monthly active wallets. In March of 2023, that number surged as our upgrade to Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) drew enormous attention. Gamers, contributors, developers, and more each hold and use the RON token for their own reasons. This data is a testament to our community’s strength and reach. We’re honored by their trust in us, and encouraged by their conviction in our vision. They are why we build.
Delphi Digital summarized it eloquently recently:
Today, there is over 150M RON staked across 22 validators and over 14,000 delegators. We’re honored to count Google, Nansen, Animoca Brands, and many others as Ronin validators. When a user stakes their RON tokens, they fulfill an important role in the validation of transactions on Ronin. That’s why we’ve distributed over 15M RON in rewards to date according to the 8-year emission schedule we laid out in March. We understand that people stake their RON tokens because they want to be part of our movement – and we thank them for assuming this responsibility with RON rewards. Staking data is therefore another key indicator of confidence in Ronin’s mission, and things are looking good.
At time of writing, the Total Value Locked (TVL) on Ronin is about $645M USD: $50M in ETH, $20M in USDC, $435M in AXS, $55M in SLP, and $105M in RON. Much of this value is on the Katana DEX, although we expect that number to become more distributed as our ecosystem partners build out new experiences. For example, we welcomed the DeFi lending protocol MetaLend onto Ronin in February, and they are now looking at ~$1.3M TVL. This includes over $160K in active loans backed by $689K in collateral. Lending is only one use case, and we’re working on bringing many more to Ronin. After reading this update, you’ll have a better idea of what kinds of experiences to look for in Ronin’s future.
Part 2 - Welcoming New Allies to Our Movement
In 2023, we were honored to welcome a legion of partners to the Ronin family including the CyberKongz, seven game studios, and pioneers of new dapps. These are teams of accomplished developers building new experiences that make use of the Ronin blockchain. They’re building a range of products from NFT collections to top-down shooter games to Digital Identity Oracles – and more. Every experience on Ronin opens doors to new players and communities. Every experience on Ronin brings us closer to our destiny of becoming king of the gaming chains.
CyberKongz and the Smoothest Mint of All Time
In July, Ronin hosted its first-ever non-Axie NFT mint: the CyberKongz Genkai collection. Many called it the smoothest mint of all time because the user experience was just that – silky smooth. This was a major victory for us. It was real-world confirmation that Ronin has what it takes to serve as a launchpad for third-party NFT collections. The mint drew in $1.4M USD in the depths of the bear market, and reinforced our conviction in the power of Ronin’s active community. Can any other blockchains do this?
During the mint, everything came together under pressure: the Ronin smart contract executed with precision, users had an intuitive experience minting their NFTs, and the trait randomization powered by Ronin’s VRF even worked so well we’ve since made it accessible to any and all third-party developers. We saw daily active users (DAU) double during the mint and continue to stay elevated long after. Again, Ronin has demonstrated the ability to activate and retain large numbers of real users.
Welcoming Pixels to Ronin
What would happen if the two largest web3 gaming communities were both on the same chain? That’s the question we asked ourselves when we met Pixels for the first time.
Pixels is an open-world farming MMO reminiscent of the smash hit Stardew Valley and they’re currently migrating to Ronin. At 100K monthly active wallets, 5K DAU, and ~1.5M monthly transactions, Pixels has shown impressive traction for a Web3 game. That’s why we’re honored that they chose to bring their game and community onto Ronin. Top builders have begun to see that Ronin is the #1 blockchain for gaming. Period. Step by step, game by game… This is how we become the king of the gaming chains.
Pixels has ambitious plans we’re excited to support. While their expansive ecosystem will take some time to migrate, players can already jump into rich gameplay on Polygon. Spawn in the town of Terra Villa and travel to a variety of places like player-owned Land Plots and Animoca Brands’ OtherSpeck. Complete in-game challenges to earn tokens like $BERRY and $OTHER – both of which have their own unique utility. Multiple tokens, integrated NFT avatars, Land NFTs… These experiences and more will soon be exclusive to Ronin.
More Games Built on Ronin
In March, we upgraded Ronin to Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) and announced partnerships with five game studios: Directive Games, Tribes Studio, Bali Games, SkyVu, and Bowled.io. These studios are building unique games on Ronin as we speak. Good things take time, and some of the games are further along in development than others. However, they’re all working towards integrating Ronin in their own way. Here are the games in various stages of development on Ronin today:
Wildforest is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game launched in August by Zillion Whales. Today, the game is in closed Alpha and the team is working towards a closed Beta. However, WildForest is already showing impressive gameplay metrics and social growth despite limited access. On average, each player completes 12 battles while three out of four complete the entire tutorial. This shows promising retention, which is a healthy sign of a fun game. The WildForest X (Twitter) account has also grown from 380 to over 3200 followers in less than two months. Their Discord now counts 8K members – a 2.6x increase since launch. WildForest’s success on socials is consistent with the positive feedback we’ve heard from our community.
Battle Bears Heroes is a hero shooter MOBA game by SkyVu. Their PvP shooting battle is a revamp of their 2010 classic Battle Bears GO and builds on the Battle Bears franchise. Battle Bears Heroes has soft-launched in a variety of regions including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and LATAM. Today, players in those regions can battle it out in a modern 3v3 mini-MOBA, classic 3v3 Death Match, Capture the Flag-style Brick Battle, 10-player Battle Royale, or a campaign mode. Battle Bears might remind you of Axie: cute on the outside, fierce on the inside! It’s our honor to support them on Ronin.
The Machines Arena
The Machines Arena (TMA) is a top-down shooter by Directive Games that is preparing for Season 2 of its Closed Beta later this month. In Season 1, players were able to compete in explosive multiplayer PvP matches and try their hands in PvE (Death Run). Since March, TMA has launched their own Creator Program, hosted a variety of community challenges, and integrated NFT skins as rewards. This is a team that wants to push the boundaries of gaming and create a mind-blowing experience for their community. We’re excited to start playing TMA Season 2 and see what creative twists and turns Directive Games will take!
Bowled is a unique cricket-based social gaming platform by Bowleddotio. Download their game on the App Store or Google Play to compete and connect with other cricket enthusiasts around the world. Many consider Cricket the most popular sport in the world after ⚽️, and the Bowled team is on a mission to serve that enormous community. So far, so good! The Pitch Report is the Bowled team’s newsletter on Substack, and they’ve already garnered 23K readers. During the Cricket World Cup, they’ve also seen MAU of up to 28K. We’re encouraged by their intention to build community around their game. They released their Whitepaper in April, and have been hosting a flurry of community challenges ever since.
Tribesters: Island of Solas
Tribersters: Island of Solas is a social MMO by Tribes Studios. Today, they’re preparing to open their Community Portal and are working towards launching their official website tribesters.xyz. They’ve already launched a Creator Program and have begun building their community. They’re laying the foundation of a vast and expansive world of experiences that elements of each Tribe. Future plans also include merch, game packs, and more.
Axie Champions is an Axie-inspired Match3 puzzle game by Axie Infinity by Bali Games. Think Axie meets Candy Crush! Over the past several months, Axie Champions transitioned from Alpha to Beta. They’ve also completed a Casting Call event where five winners’ axies were chosen as main game characters in the game. This summer, the team teased their Boss Rush PvE Mode that integrates the axies a player owns into gameplay. Axie Champions will appeal to casual gamers of all kinds and unlock new opportunities for the existing Axie community. We’re looking forward to their official launch!
MetaLend is a DeFi protocol that enables Ronin users to borrow and lend against their on-chain assets. Borrow or lend against assets like axies, land plots, RON, and more. Over the past few months, MetaLend has added a variety of new borrowing options including staked RON. That means anyone, anywhere can unlock liquidity and yield for many of their Ronin assets. The MetaLend team made this possible! This kind of protocol is a glimpse into the future of a more decentralized Ronin. We look forward to welcoming more builders like the MetaLend team to our ecosystem.
Gamers are the heart of the Ronin community, and that’s why we partnered with Clique in August. Clique builds products that bring a gamer’s off-chain and on-chain history to life. Imagine a gamer who plays five hours of MOBA games everyday. They must really like MOBA games! Clique’s digital identity oracle would record that information in a user profile of sorts. Then, they might issue an ID badge for that gamer as a MOBA Guru. Of course, this is a hypothetical example. However, you can start to see how this might be useful. What if a game studio were looking for MOBA beta testers on Ronin? It would be easier than ever to find good candidates!
In the future, Clique’s oracle may even be a vehicle for NFT minting whitelists and airdrop programs. For example, users who collected over a certain amount of Genkai could receive a badge indicating their collector status. Future projects might give everyone with this badge whitelist access to upcoming mints if they’re looking to specifically target collectors that had an interest in collections like Genkai.
Clique has given badges to almost one thousand gamers already, and has an active campaign with 20K of prizes happening now. If you’re interested in building your digital identity with Clique or participating in their campaign, check out our announcement at the link below.
Part 3 - Reinforcing Ronin
The king of the gaming chains needs a kingdom worthy of its destiny. That’s why we’ve been reinforcing Ronin with essential infrastructure over the past several months. The DPoS upgrade unlocked RON staking. Mavis Market’s launch opened the door to new NFT collections like the CyberKongz coming to Ronin. Our latest announcement about Ronin Naming Service (RNS) will make our ecosystem even more user-friendly for muggles. These are just a few of the new features that strengthen our position as the #1 gaming blockchain in the world. Let’s jump into what we’ve been up to and shine a light on what it means for Ronin.
The DPoS Upgrade
Decentralized blockchains enable more freedom and help guarantee digital property rights for their users. That’s why we upgraded Ronin to Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) in March. This decentralized Ronin further than ever before. Our community now has the power to contribute to Ronin’s security by validating transactions or delegating their RON tokens to validators. In this update, we’ll cover why this is good for Ronin. Check out our previous announcements here if you’re looking for more technical detail.
The DPoS upgrade unlocked RON staking. What a moment for our community! Today, there is over 150M RON staked across 22 validators and over 14K delegators. We’ve distributed over 15M RON in rewards to date, which amounts to about half of this year’s scheduled reward distribution. We published an 8-year schedule for future RON emissions that you can read here.
Last year, Google announced a multi-year collaboration with Sky Mavis to bolster Ronin’s security. Today, they continue to secure our network as a reliable validator with 99.99% uptime. We’re honored to include other trusted organizations like Nansen, Animoca Brands, and DappRadar as validators as well. Many others in our community from Coco__Bear to METAT8 have also become validators and/or delegators. This conviction is healthy for Ronin. We have a strong community and it grows stronger everyday.
We launched Ronin in 2021 to meet the needs of the Axie Infinity community. However, we’ve always known that additional infrastructure would be necessary to accommodate the legions of communities that would soon join our movement. That’s why we launched our first generalized NFT marketplace: Mavis Market. Mavis Market is to Ronin like OpenSea is to Ethereum with one major difference: we guarantee Creator Royalties. Mavis Market made the CyberKongz Genkai public mint possible, and showed the world that Ronin’s NFT marketplace works. Here’s how and why we’ve aligned incentives between creators, Sky Mavis, and the Ronin network through Mavis Market.
First, on many chains we’re seeing a race to the bottom because of the inability to enforce royalties for NFT creators. This has become an obstacle to sustainability for many NFT projects. On Mavis Market, creator royalties can now be ensured and guaranteed at the protocol level because contract deployment on Ronin requires whitelist access, preventing mercenary marketplaces from deploying and eliminating minimum royalties for builders.
Second, we’ve given creators the ability to set their own fee percentages for their work while Sky Mavis receives a fixed fee for building and maintaining the marketplace. The Ronin Treasury also receives 0.5% of every transaction. This is the first time that a blockchain will receive a portion of an NFT marketplace fee: it’s the equivalent of an NFT marketplace on Ethereum giving a portion of its fee to Ethereum itself! That means RON is now accruing value from:
Utility as payment for gas
Ownership of Katana dex’s .05% fee
Mavis Market’s .5% fee
We made these precedent-setting decisions because we believe in aligning incentives between decentralized applications and the protocols they build on. In the end, these are economic innovations that will make Ronin more sustainable.
Let’s talk about onboarding muggles and missionaries to our movement. The Ronin wallet is one of the first things newcomers discover – it’s their boarding pass into our world. We know that an intuitive, well-designed wallet makes a big difference in how comfortable they feel while engaging in our ecosystem. So, we’ve shipped an array of updates to the Ronin wallet with that in mind. This is about user acquisition, experience, and retention. Many in our existing community were asking for a Dark Mode option. So, we made one. The CyberKongz Genkai public mint introduced Ronin to new users, many of whom were wondering how to transfer funds into the wallet for the first time. So, we built out a “Free Swaps to RON” feature to help them. Here’s how the Ronin wallet has grown over the past few months.
For newcomers to our ecosystem, managing a recovery phrase can be daunting. We've all heard stories of friends or relatives losing their seed phrases! We launched a Social Login feature in March to eliminate this obstacle. This allows new users to create a wallet using their preferred email/social accounts, while maintaining security through non-custodial Threshold Key Management (tKey) Management. This blend of convenience and safety makes it easier than ever to get started on Ronin regardless of a user’s technical background.
Dark Mode and More
Earlier this year, we revamped the Ronin look to feature darker colors and a sleeker aesthetic. In April, the Ronin wallet followed suit as we gave users a Dark Mode option. After all, people like Dark Mode! In that same release, we took the liberty to sneak in a few extra updates. We added an NFT Transfer feature that integrated every Ronin wallet with App.axie – this made Axie asset transfers easier than ever. We also added a contact book that eliminated the need to copy and paste long Ronin addresses for every transfer. Again, simplicity. Perhaps most notable was the ability to access RON staking from the Ronin wallet itself. Today, users can stake, unstake, compare validators, and more from the comfort of their wallet. Each one of these connections between various parts of our ecosystem make the user experience easier and stickier.
Free Swaps to RON
During the CyberKongz Genkai mint, we saw a significant bump in Ronin’s MAU. Many of these were new users from the CyberKongz community who were here to mint Genkai NFTs on Ronin. These crypto-native users asked us for a better way to swap ETH to RON, because they found themselves running out of free transactions to cover transaction fees. We saw this as an opportunity to improve the overall Ronin Wallet experience, and introduced the Free Swaps to RON feature. Problem solved! Now, every wallet can perform five no-fee swaps from ETH, USDC, AXS, and SLP to RON per day. We’ve learned the importance of listening to our users, and incorporating their feedback into our features. This is part of our DNA.
There are many ways to fund a Ronin Wallet. However, a user’s geographic location and country of residence can sometimes complicate the process. In August, we partnered with OnMeta to give our India and Filipino users more options to onboard onto Ronin. In the Philippines, OnMeta gives users the ability to use GCash, Grab Pay, or Pay Maya to exchange fiat to crypto (and vice-versa). In India, OnMeta enables users to exchange fiat and crypto using UPI or bank transfer methods like NEFT and IMPS. This makes it easier than ever for users of those regions to join our movement, and adds another layer of utility to the Ronin wallet.
Ronin Name Service
Have you ever wished that you could send funds or gift NFTs to a human-readable address on Ronin? Do the long string of numbers and letters that make up each Ronin address confuse your loved ones when you’re onboarding them into our digital nation? To make the smoothest gaming chain even easier to use, we’ve been working on a system for naming Ronin addresses – Ronin Name Service (RNS).
RNS is more than a human-readable naming system for Ronin addresses: it’s a pillar of every Ronin identity. There are over 11M total addresses on Ronin belonging to a combination of users, gamers, smart contracts, and more. Soon, owners will unlock the ability to name every single one of the addresses they own! This will make it easier than ever for anyone to join our movement.
RNS will also integrate with the Ronin wallet, Sky Mavis account services, App.Axie, Mavis Market, Origins, Homeland, and more. That means a .ron name can become a unique callsign throughout our entire ecosystem. We began accepting applications for businesses and brands to secure their RNS names earlier this month. The public sale is happening soon!
The Ronin Gifting Portal
Last week, we launched the Ronin Gifting Portal. The name says it all: use it to send and receive gifts on Ronin! It’s a tool that allows users to create secret codes to claim specific assets like axies, land plots, or some Mavis Market NFTs. When someone enters a secret code on the Gifting Portal, they’ll be able to claim the associated asset.
Step by step, Ronin is becoming the king of the gaming chains. In this Development Update, we covered Ronin metrics, explored what our allies are building, and walked through some of the key infrastructure we’ve put in place this year. Thank you to our stalwart community for believing in our vision. Let’s keep building together.