Apple’s App Store Policies Probed: U.S. Lawmakers Investigate Impact on Blockchain and NFTs

U.S. Representatives Gus Bilirakis and Jan Schakowsky have penned a formal letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, raising concerns over the tech giant’s App Store guidelines and their potential impact on emerging technologies like blockchain and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

The lawmakers are investigating whether Apple’s stringent guidelines might inadvertently stifle innovation and hinder the growth of cutting-edge technologies. The probe highlights a growing concern that these policies may limit American technological leadership in the rapidly evolving fields of blockchain and NFTs.

The letter to Apple’s CEO cites specific instances where the company’s policies have affected businesses. Coinbase’s accusation of being forced to remove NFT transfers from its Wallet app and Axie Infinity’s release of a limited version of its app are among the cases that have sparked this inquiry.

Critics contend that Apple is using the App Store to stifle competition and increase profits, despite the fact that the corporation defends its restrictions by claiming they are a way to improve security via the use of a “walled garden” approach. The investigation being conducted by the parliamentarians places an emphasis on the need of openness and accountability, with the end goal of levelling the playing field inside the business.

This is not the first time Apple’s App Store policies have come under scrutiny. Previous concerns related to TikTok and other China-originating apps have also been raised. The current probe reflects broader apprehensions about the potential negative consequences of Apple’s policies on the U.S.’s standing in emerging technologies.

The official investigation into Apple’s App Store policy marks a watershed point in the continuing debate about digital titans’ roles and responsibilities. The findings of this research, which focuses on blockchain and NFTs, might create a precedent for the development and regulation of future technologies.

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Animoca Brands’ Benji Bananas to Introduce New Token BENJI, Replacing Hacked PRIMATE

​​Animoca Brands’ popular game Benji Bananas announced on July 17, 2023, the launch of a new token, BENJI, which will replace the existing PRIMATE token. The decision came after a security breach months ago led to the theft of approximately 30 million PRIMATE tokens, accounting for 20% of the tokens in circulation.

The new BENJI token aims to ensure the future of the Benji ecosystem is built on a solid foundation. The tokenomics, total number of tokens, and circulation will remain the same as the existing amounts of the PRIMATE token. The BENJI token will be used in future Play-and-Earn (P&E) events and the broader Benji Bananas ecosystem.

The swap from PRIMATE to BENJI will be available on the Benji Bananas website soon. PRIMATE holders are advised to swap their tokens for BENJI at a 1:1 ratio. The amount available for swap is determined by the amount at the snapshot and the amount currently held in the wallet.

The BENJI token is expected to be listed on Huobi on or before July 31, 2023.

This development comes in the wake of increasing security concerns in the crypto gaming industry. A report by blockchain cybersecurity auditor Hacken warned that play-to-earn (P2E) crypto games often put profits above security, leaving them vulnerable to hacking attacks. The report highlighted that out of 31 GameFi tokens studied, none received the top security ranking AAA while 16 received the worst D score.

In March 2022 Axie Infinity, a popular P2E game, suffered a significant security breach , resulting in a loss of over $600 million in tokens. The U.S. government, with the help of crypto analytics firm Chainalysis, recovered about $30 million of the stolen funds.

The Benji Bananas ecosystem launching a new token underscores the importance of robust security measures in the crypto gaming industry again.

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Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network Expands with New Games

Sky Mavis, the creator of the popular blockchain game Axie Infinity, has announced that it is expanding its Ronin Network with the addition of four gaming studios. The move is aimed at creating a native gaming ecosystem that is more community-centric, rewarding, and fun.

Axie Infinity has gained immense popularity in the blockchain gaming space, with over one million daily active users and a market capitalization of over $4.5 billion. With the addition of new games on the Ronin Network, the company aims to attract more users to the Web3 space and drive the adoption of blockchain gaming.

“With the upgrade to DPoS, we are ready to open up our infrastructure and technology to the wider Web3 world. We believe that this is the path toward creating gaming that’s community-centric, more rewarding, and above all, more fun,” said Sky Mavis.

The addition of new games to the Ronin Network is part of the company’s game studio strategy, which aims to attract both Web3 and Web2 users. By working with teams that have a history of Web2 user acquisition, Axie Infinity hopes to get blockchain games exposed to the masses and be a catalyst for more Web3 adoption.

“Our goal is to work with teams to build great games that not only attract Web3 users but also attract millions of Web2 users,” said Osgood, a representative of Sky Mavis.

Despite the recent crypto winter, many believe that more traditional gaming firms will eventually enter the NFT and blockchain gaming space. In a recent discussion among Web3 executives, the potential for mainstream gaming companies to jump in was discussed, with a focus on NFT gaming models like play-to-earn and move-to-earn.

With its continued success and expansion, Axie Infinity is poised to be a leader in the Web3 gaming space and a catalyst for more widespread adoption of blockchain gaming.


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Axie Infinity Transitions its P2E Gaming Platform to a New Game Mode

Online pay-to-earn (P2E) gaming platform Axie Infinity has announced the transition of its gaming mode from classical to a better-developed one dubbed Axie Infinity Origin.


According to the blogpost shared by the platform, the transition to the new game mode will be completed in 30 days, starting from last Friday. Axie Infinity has often developed an online gaming platform where users earn in crypto assets, ensuring that withdrawal is seamless. The new upgrade, however, promises a better experience for users on the platform.


In the former game mode, the Smooth Love Potions (SLP) token was well featured, however, the new gaming mode will see this vital token now integrated into the Origin’s ranked gameplay mode and completely removed from Classic (v2). The Origin Season 0 mode is billed to be fully integrated starting from the 12th of August.

The team notes that transitioning from the Classic game mode is necessary so that it achieves an expanded ability to balance the SLP economy. Hence, every step taken in this light is geared to achieve this aim.

Despite this transition, the Axie Infinity team said the SLP token “will continue to only be distributed in PvP Ranked mode when players win battles, and the higher Rank that one is competing in, the more SLP rewards they will receive per win.”


P2E games are becoming more of a central pursuit to the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) ecosystem and more startups are committed to developing new gaming titles for Web3.0 users. As one of the pioneering P2E game outfits, Axie Infinity is committed to continuous game development and strategic updates that can help keep it on top as one of the most competitive platforms today.

This is even so necessary as Venture Capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Magic Ventures amongst others are largely committing new funds to bootstrap startups with unique gaming models.

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BTCS Inc Taps Axie Infinity intto its Blockchain Infrastructure Operations

Digital currency ecosystem company BTCS, a pioneer in the blockchain and digital currency ecosystem, announced the addition of blockchain-based game Axie Infinity to its blockchain infrastructure operations.

According to its statement, the player ownership can allow the community to reward players to earn “actual monetary value” when they reach a higher level in the game, which is different to traditional video games, fulfilling the goal of “play to earn”. 

The company said BTCS has completed the technical job of running Axie Infinity validator nodes, while including it in the Staking-as-a-Service platform.

BTCS pledges 28,794 AXS, allowing users to entangle a corresponding percentage of their annual income in pledged tokens, yielding compound rewards.

BTCS CEO Michael Prevoznik said: “We believe that blockchain gaming can shape the future of the entire gaming industry with Ethereum-based games like Axie Infinity leading as frontrunners. Axie Infinity changes the way people play games, going from something that is just fun, to something that has actual monetary value.”

With over 29 million searches around the world, the game recorded the most number of searches in the past six months. The average search for other games hit 1.45 million.

The Axie Infinity game is one of its kind in the blockchain world whose success since inception has continued to trail the blaze across the board. Developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity lets collect players, breed, raise, battle, and trade token-based creatures known as Axies.

In 2021, Axie Infinity’s non-fungible token (“AXS”) transaction volume reached total over $3.5B, accounting for two-thirds of the total transaction volume in the blockchain gaming space.

BTCS Inc. (“BTCS”) is the first “Pure Play” listed company in the United States focusing on blockchain technology. The company secures blockchain through its transaction verification services business and plans to build a broader ecosystem to capitalize on opportunities in this fast-growing multi-billion-dollar industry.

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Best Gainers and Top Losers for the Week: XMR, MINA, AXS, WAVES

Another business week just starts on Monday. Printing a good gain in the digital currency ecosystem now takes more than just a slight swing or an impressive bullish close for the day. It takes massive resilience on the path of the coin and a sustained buying momentum spanning days.


Despite the growth in the broader crypto ecosystem, there is a high level of volatility that investors are typically cautious of. Over the past week, it has favoured a few coins and stirred a massive sellsell-offngst others.

At the time of writing, the global cryptocurrency market capitalization is pegged at exactly $2, up 1.58% in the past 24 hours. Here are the best and poor performers in the past week.

Best Gainers: XMR and MINA

Monero (XMR) is one of the best gainers for the week, changing hands at $243.09, up 2.88% in the past 24 hours, and has risen by over 13% in the week-to-date period. Monero is a privacy coin whose value has been called into question in recent times by regulators worldwide as transactions are generally untraceable.

It is yet unknown what spiked the growth in Monero in the past week. However, with growing sanctions in Russia per the ongoing war with Ukraine, Russians are likely taking to Monero coin to conduct some of their transactions.

Mina (MINA) coin also printed a growth of 15.47% growth to print a price tag of $3.12. While the coin has pared off some of its gains at the time of writing, its bullish momentum is billed to imprint a notable resilience from the temporary sellsell-offt may be introduced in the short.

Top Losers: AXS and WAVES

The bears dominated the market relatively more in the trailing 7-day period with Axie Infinity (AXS) and Waves (WAVES) amongst the coins that bore the brunts more. While AXS slipped 22.81% to $50.96, WAVES dropped 49.78% to $24.84. 

Both coins are notably paring off their losses as well as they have a relatively impressive outlook per the daily gain trail. The receipt of bailout funds from Binance Exchange and others is poised to help cushion the effects of the hack the Ronin Bridge of Axie Infinity experienced barely 2 weeks ago. 

In all, the digital currency ecosystem is opening up to a new week that is poised to be filled with a lot of intriguing price trends.

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BTC, ETH Gain Ground & The Top 5 Metaverse Movers to Watch

After the short bearish trend amid the Russia-Ukraine tensions, the crypto market has started to gain ground again. Bitcoin and Ethereum rose by about 1% and 5% respectively during the last week. Many other cryptocurrencies have followed. The popularity and market capitalization of the Metaverse tokens also continues to grow.


Many analysts link the fall and rise of the crypto market to the recent political events and fluctuations of the Russian ruble. When the currency suddenly started to pull back, so did most of the digital assets. Now that the rouble is slowly recovering, cryptocurrencies are shooting up in value again. Last week, Russia claimed that it would only accept rubles and maybe crypto for oil and gas. This statement may have led to the growth of the ruble and the surge in the crypto market. 

For the first time in three months, Bitcoin surpassed the $47,000 mark on March 28. The number one crypto might not yet be close to its new ATH, but it might very well hit the new highest price of the year soon. In two days the BTC value jumped by more than $1,000, then retreated, and now continues to grow again. The move may have to do with Russia’s consideration of accepting BTC for its natural resources mentioned above. 





BTC is currently trading at $45,502,80. It grew by 1.23%% during the past week and dropped by 3.16% in the last 24 hours.


Ethereum has been growing steadily for the last 10 days and just like Bitcoin saw a big jump on March 28. The price of ETH is still lower than it was in the beginning of the year, but it might reach that point again soon as it seems to be following the bullish trend. 





The currency gained 5.35%% during the past week and fell by 3.89% in the last 24 hours. At the moment of writing, ETH costs $3,296.23.

Decentraland (MANA)

Decentraland’s MANA token is the top metaverse crypto by market capitalization. Created in 2017 and open to the public in 2020, the virtual reality platform quickly gained popularity. Users have many possibilities in the virtual world, from creating and exploring to buying and monetizing plots of land. Its native currency MANA is powered by the Ethereum blockchain. 





Even though the token was growing earlier this week it went down by 1.72%  in the last 24 hours and by 2.88% in the last 7 days. The total market cap of MANA is $4,775,414,595. At the moment of writing, it’s trading at the price of $2.59.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based play-to-earn video game launched by Sky Mavis in 2018. Users get to breed and raise the creatures called Axies and receive rewards for them. Each Axie is a platform’s native NFT. 




The currency has seen a huge jump during the last 10 days going up by about $20 in 24 hours. However, it retreated significantly after. The AXS’s value has dropped by 10.91% over the past week and grew by 1.38% over the last 24 hours. At this point, the price of the token is $63.66 and the market cap is $3,885,108,076. 

The Sandbox (SAND)

The Sandbox is a NFT-based virtual world where users can create, buy, and sell plots of land in the form of a game. Players can use the virtual land to host events, concerts, or games and monetize their creations. The internal currency SAND is becoming very popular.





This week SAND was growing steadily and saw a couple of big jumps until it suddenly went down yesterday. It dropped by 1.59% in the last seven days and by 1.91% in the last 24 hours. Despite its climbs the coin is still pretty far from its ATH of $8.40 it saw last November. SAND is now trading at $3.40. Its total market cap is $3,939,930,950. 

ApeCoin (APE)

ApeCoin is a native cryptocurrency behind the NFT-famous Bored Ape Yacht Club project. Launched less than 2 weeks ago by ApeCoin DAO, the coin immediately gathered a lot of hype around it. ApeCoin is mainly used for purchases within the APE ecosystem.





The total market capitalization of APE is currently $3,581,479,601. It lost 0.58% in value during the week but grew by 2.14% in the last 24 hours. Its current price is $12.77.

Theta Network (THETA)

Theta is a blockchain-based network focused on video streaming. Users of the decentralized platform share bandwidth and computing resources on a P2P basis. The project is advised by Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, and Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.





THETA has seen strong growth and shooted up in value by 25.04% during the week. In the last 24 hours it rose by 1.72% and is now trading at $4.09. The total market cap of the currency is now $4,034,400,099.


All in all, even though there have been some drops in the last two days, we can see that most coins and tokens are on the rise and it seems that spring has finally come to the crypto market. There’s a big chance that cryptos will surge even more in the next weeks and months, especially if the political situation stabilizes and countries go ahead with the crypto adoption.  

P.S. This article has originally been published on Benzinga.

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Axie Infinity’s Home Ronin Network Suffers Over $600m in another DeFi Hack

The Ronin Network has suffered what is being tagged as the largest hack in the history of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which funds in excess of $625 million carted away by the hackers.


The Ronin Network’s official blog post shared that the hackers perpetrated the attack on March 23, even though it is just being discovered.

Ronin Network is an Ethereum sidechain that was created with Axie Infinity’s community in mind. It is the product of the search by the Axie Infinity team for a fast, cheap, and reliable network resident on the Ethereum blockchain. As detailed in the Ronin Network blog post, a total of “173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC drained from the Ronin bridge in two transactions.”

“The attacker used hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals. We discovered the attack this morning after a report from a user being unable to withdraw 5k ETH from the bridge,” the blog post reads.

As detailed by Ronin Network, a transaction can only be recognized by at least 5 out of the 9 validators’ signatures the protocol has. The network said the hackers “managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin Validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO.”

The Ronin Network also explained that the “validator key scheme is set up to be decentralized so that it limits an attack vector, similar to this one, but the attacker found a backdoor through our gas-free RPC node, which they abused to get the signature for the Axie DAO validator.”

The address of the hackers is a relatively new one. Fortunately, the majority of the funds stolen are still existing, minus the 6,250 ETH that has been sent to various other addresses. As confirmed in the blog post, transactions on the Ronin Network and the Katana Decentralized Exchange have been halted to allow joint investigation with relevant agencies.

Prior to this Ronin Network hack, interoperability blockchain, Poly Network ranked as having the largest hacked funds in DeFi history, however, the entire $610 million hacked was completely returned after a bout of interactions between the hacker and the Poly Network team.

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AXS, RON and SLP surge after Axie Infinity developers revamp the project’s tokenomics

Since launching in 2018, Axie Infinity has amassed over 2 million daily active users (DAUs) and its decentralized exchange, Katana has a market cap of $5.5 billion, but this growth has not come without challenges.

Axie Infinity’s in-game token, Smooth Love Potion (SLP) decreased nearly 93% from it’s all-time high in July 13, 2021 of $0.39 as it faces uncontrollable inflation. As such, the team has announced it will significantly remove SLP issuance from the game, making it harder to farm.

Gamers and guilds will in turn focus their attention on their strategic competitive edge and the potential increase price of SLP will inevitably result in the increased price of Axies as the cost to breed would increase all the same.

SLP token price. Source:

According to data, SLP’s emission is over four times greater than the amount of tokens being burnt, which has resulted in its price plummeting to less than a cent in the last 7 days. However, the Axie Infinity team is tackling the economic imbalance with in-game modifications set to launch today at the start of Season 20. 

SLP burn/ mint rate. Source: 

Since announcing its plans of economic rebalancing, Axie Infinity’s AXS governance token and its blockchain token, RON, have seen an uptick in price. Since the season went live, SLP is up nearly 24% in the last 24-hours. 

Scaling and finding balance amid rapid growth is no easy feat, but could these economic rebalances prove to be profitable for users?

SLP rewards are reduced while AXS incentives increase

Starting on Feb. 9, Axie Infinity will no longer issue SLP for users playing in adventure mode and it will no longer reward users who have completed the daily quest. By removing these methods of token emission, the team is reducing the number of SLP minted daily by roughly 175 million SLP. 

Average daily in-game mint of SLP. Source: Axie Infinity

These two issuance mechanisms make up nearly 84% of the SLP created in the game, with nearly 14% minted by players completing their daily quests, according to Axie Infinity’s economic development. 

Based on these estimates, over 250 million SLP is being minted daily and only about 40 million is burned as the demand for breeding Axies has decreased since players and breeders are still awaiting a new battle version called Origins.

By removing significant portions of SLP rewards Axie Infinity will be allocating to players daily, the team aims to refocus players’ attention to the competitive nature of the game. As such, the team has increased the rewards for its leaderboard and now the top 300,000 players will be able to win AXS as opposed to previously awarding only the top 1,000 players.

Leaderboard AXS rewards allocation. Source: Axie Infinity

By increasing the allocation of AXS awards to players, the team intends to reward approximately 117,676 AXS, valued at over $7 million at the current price of AXS. 

In doing this, Axie Infinity is distributing a significant amount of its governance tokens which benefit players for staking, breeding, and farming RON.

The sudden drop of SLP emissions is not only a shock to the system, but to its players because many have been making similar recommendations for months. It remains unclear whether or not these changes are sustainable for economic growth, but players have been making their judgments

Related: 5 NFT-based blockchain games that could soar in 2022

Players will decide whether the economic adjustments are effective

Beyond its economic balances and tokenoimcs modifications, the team is also adamant about improving its overall communication and has since taken action. The Axie Infinity team acknowledged the community’s sentiments regarding the overall lack of transparency and the fact that these economic issues could have been addressed much sooner. 

On Jan.14, the team made a call-to-action for the community to make suggestions on ways to assist with the economic balancing and forthcoming changes.

In response, players, investors, and content creators have taken to Twitter to express possible outcomes regarding the economic balances, with some still unclear, but hopeful, on how this may impact DAUs.

At the surface it may appear that the bid to restore P2E viability may negatively impact those who are running scholarships as the issuance of SLP has drastically decreased. However, since the development went live, the demand for teams for members to play has also increased. 

It’s still unclear how these changes will impact teams in the long-term, especially as future changes and developments are slated to take place, but it could be the long-term adjustment Axie Infinity needed.

While these economic changes are paramount in mitigating SLP inflation, only time will tell how existing players respond to these changes and how new entrants saddle up for the challenge.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.