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Fantom Targets Great Start to 2023 as Solana and Octopus Networks Suffers Huge Blows

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The planned migration of Solana's leading NFT collections, DeGods and y00ts, from the network was Boxing Day's biggest headline in crypto. The projects, created by Rohun Vora, separately announced the moves on Monday via Twitter but neither shared specific details. DeGods intends to bridge to Ethereum, while y00ts is working with a similar timeline of Q1 2023 to bridge to Polygon. Here's a look at this week’s headlines so far, including the market's trending coins.

Octopus Network CEO announces refactoring of the core team

The prevailing crypto winter has posed a difficult challenge for most building blockchain startups this year. This bear cycle, now approaching its second year, has stymied growth, especially among projects without sufficient sustaining capital and threatens to be an even bigger concern in coming months. Octopus Network, a multichain project built on NEAR Protocol for bootstrapping and hosting appchains, is the latest to announce adjustments due to unfavorable market conditions. Through a Monday medium post, Octopus Network founder Louis Liu said the team has “adopted a refined project strategy” which encompasses operational structure changes.

“We're moving forward with the Voluntary Separation Program. To date, roughly 40% of the members (12 of 30) will leave the core team through the program. The remaining team members will accept a 20% salary cut, and the team token incentive will be suspended indefinitely.”

Octopus Network adds to several teams and companies in the crypto industry that have recently announced layoffs, like Bybit, Coinbase, Digital Currency Group, and Swyftx. Liu also shared his views on the evolution in the market across previous winters (2014–2015 and 2018–2019), which he was keen to point out are different from the current one. He identified the macrocycle as the dominant influencing factor in the contemporary scene due to the evident correlation of the digital assets space to the global capital markets. The network founder projected the bearish sentiment to drag on for another dozen months or longer, citing the capital market's sluggish recovery into risk-taking. Going into the new year,  the situation could likely be exacerbated if the market traces a path further downhill.

Fantom reveals plans for next year alongside key areas of focus

In a letter to the Fantom Foundation team, DeFi veteran and Yearn Finance (YFI) creator Andre Cronje shared details about Fantom's next goals – the main one being creating an enabling environment for dapps builders to come up with ‘sustainable' ideas. This, Cronje opined, will help differentiate the project from other layer-one solutions. The Medium post featured the scope of planned developments which include gas monetization, account abstraction, performance engineering, and gas subsidies. Cronje also addressed concerns around finances, funding, marketing, and business development whilst revealing his formal nomination to the Board of Directors for both Fantom Foundation and Fantom Operations– which he accepted.

FTM/USD price chart. Source:TradingView

Following a bright start in the year's first two weeks, the Fantom (FTM) token has become one of the most struggling projects, down 94% from its Oct 2021 all-time high. The FTM/USD pair was spotted at $0.20 at the time of writing – a range it has been consolidating since Dec 17.

To learn more about Fantom, visit our Investing in Fantom guide.

Creator Frank DeGods defends the decision to bridge top Solana NFTs projects

Solana investors have had a rough year, with the blockchain's SOL token now down 95.7% from its all-time high. The network has seen even more setbacks this week as two of its beacon NFT projects, DeGods III and y00ts, have announced a decision to bridge to the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, respectively.

NFT sales volume by blockchain. Source:CryptoSlam

The projects are expected to transition in Q1 of 2023, with the native ecosystem token DUST (used to mint, buy, and sell the NFTs) also porting to Ethereum and its leading scaling solution, Polygon. Until then, the NFT collections will remain on Solana, and when the time comes, migrating the collectibles to the new host will be on an opt-in basis rather than mandatory for all holders. Defending the decision in a Twitter Space on Monday, founder Rohun Vora (creator Frank DeGods) argued that the projects haven't been able to realize a desirable growth rate. Being the case, the calculated risk it's taking to seek a new home under Ethereum is purely in search of new opportunities and assurance of consistent growth of the NFT collection projects.

The Polygon blockchain presents a strategic opportunity for y00ts

Vora confirmed that Polygon getting y00ts was an incentivized move but not just that. He added that Polygon's wasn't the most lucrative of the offers it received, but the platform presented the best strategic opportunity with a strong foundation for future growth and development. He also acknowledged that Polygon's streak of partnerships with major brands, including Nike, Reddit, Disney, and Adidas, influenced the preference for the blockchain. Though not much about how the migration will occur has been disclosed yet, it has been confirmed that y00tpoints, a type of token awarded to holders of y00ts who “stake” their non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will be transferred to the new chain. It had been rumored that the DeGods ecosystem demanded $5 million to remain on Solana (a figure Polygon reportedly matched to snatch up the project), but Vora insists that the claims are false.

To learn more about Polygon, visit our Investing in Polygon guide.

Another setback for Solana

Data from DappRadar proves that Solana will take a massive dent after the projects desert it for rival blockchain platforms. DeGods III is the leading collection on Solana, having $873k in volume over the last 24 hours, while y00ts is second, with $537k in volume over the same time. In the past 30 days, the latter leads with a volume of $9.37 million, followed by DeGods with $9.02 million.

Top Solana NFT collections. Source:DappRadar

Unquestionably, Solana will have to grow the volume considerably to sustain a name in the NFT space since the exit will leave Solana Monkey Business ($65.91k in volume over the last 24 hours) as the leading NFT project. In his ‘bittersweet' remarks in response to the news of the projects going multichain, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said that the network must now find “twenty more unicorns that are so ambitious that Solana can't contain them.” Unsurprisingly, the news of the shift did not sit well with most builders in the Solana community. The departure comes less than a fortnight since Magic Eden – previously the largest Solana-based NFT platform – announced a Polygon Launchpad roll-out and support for Polygon NFT minting and trading on its marketplace.

SOL market capital. Source:TradingView

Traders barely showed any reactions to the latest news as Solana is already one of the most afflicted ecosystems by the bear tides, not to forget the FTX contagion and the network's reputation of repeated outages. The SOL token, changing hands at $10.93 at press, has been demoted and booted out of the top 15 cryptocurrencies in market capital with a figure of $4 billion. The figure represents an overwhelming nosedive from $53.45 billion at the start of the year. Recently, there have been unconfirmed reports of an exodus of devs from Solana, as suggested by a report from blockchain data aggregator Token Terminal which existing Solana developers strongly dismissed. The Solana Foundation, earlier on Dec 16, addressed concerns around discrepancies in the ecosystem and developer growth in a post highlighting the chain's ‘unique' processing of transactions and ‘different' methodology of tracking user activity.

Japan could usher in a new regime that's not entirely against stablecoins

For the latest global developments around stablecoins, Japan's financial markets regulator Financial Services Agency (FSA), could soon reverse the outlaw stance on foreign firm-issued stablecoins, according to a local report. At present, only a few entities, mostly fund transfer service providers, banks, and trust companies, have been approved to be issuers in the Japanese stablecoin market. This unavailability of international stablecoin pairings on FSA-licensed exchanges could change as soon as early next year. The change of tune, which still requires approval from lawmakers and the domestic industry, will come under the new rules that bestow distributors with authority to handle the stablecoins as opposed to the foreign issuers.

There are no indications yet which direction the FSA will take or which coins will be made available if the regulator lifts the ban that the Japanese parliament approved after the collapse of Terra. That said, the likes of Circle's USDC and Tether's USDT have been spoken of with a high probability of making a comeback. Japan-based exchanges and other digital assets platforms will be included in the new ecosystem, specifically in handling stablecoin trading under the condition of asset preservation by deposits and capped remittance.

Sam is a financial content specialist with a keen interest in the blockchain space. He has worked with several firms and media outlets in the Finance and Cybersecurity fields.