January was the most favorable month for the crypto market after a rough year. While most of what can be said applies to other bullish cycles, several statistics made January highly interesting in the blockchain space.
For example, while altcoins tend to trail BTC in performance (first is Bitcoin season, then altcoin season), the end of January saw an exceptional performance in altcoin prices, including those within GameFi. This indicates that the market is strategically awaiting any sign of positive macro news to jump back into highly speculative crypto assets, despite the carnage of 2022.
GameFi investment has continued to dry up, and whether the positive sentiment continues for long enough to rekindle VC interest in blockchain gaming projects remains to be seen. In January, over half of the funding went to GameFi infrastructure — while investing in specific games or studios is still a precarious proposition, VCs are less tepid about the GameFi industry as a whole.
The long-awaited AAA blockchain games have finally begun hitting the markets, led by the Beta of Illuvium, which has already seen much activity.
Overall Crypto Overview
- ETH increased from the low-$1,200s at the end of December to high of $1,660, its best price performance in a year
- Many prominent altcoins saw a doubling, even tripling of their values
- New users as a percentage of total users in GameFi decreased to 36% from 38.8% in December
- Active GameFi increased slightly at the end of December
- However, new GameFi user numbers were the lowest they’ve been since August 2022
GameFi Projects Overview
- Illuvium has grown to have the third-highest active users on Ethereum even while in Beta
- The price of AXS doubled while Axie Infinity’s market share of transactions grew
- Polygon GameFi users tripled from Jan. 1 to Jan. 5
- In contrast to other ecosystems, BNB’s GameFi user numbers declined
GameFi Investment & Funding
- GameFi funding continued to drop, hitting record monthly lows of $20.9M
- 3 projects in the GameFi space received funding in January
Crypto Macro Overview
The crypto market had its best month in about a year as the price of ETH increased from the low-$1,200s zone at the end of December to a January high of $1,660.
The equities markets also had a positive month. Still, January’s ETH crypto price increase was more substantial than in other bullish cycles from the past year, indicating renewed interest in crypto.
January was especially favorable for the price of altcoins and, therefore, the GameFi market.
For example, the prices of three leading altcoins for GameFi — SOL, AVAX, and BNB — had MoM increases (31st of the month) of 146%, 80%, and 26.4%, respectively.
GameFi Market Overview
The percentage of new users in GameFi declined to 36%.
Furthermore, the number of new GameFi users was the lowest since August 2021. These statistics continue a several-month trend, indicating people are hesitant to jump back into the GameFi space.
The number of active GameFi users increased at the end of December.
This coincided with the sharp rise in the price of Ethereum. Footprint Analytics counts an active user as a unique wallet interacting with the blockchain in the prior month. One person can have multiple wallets, but the metric is nevertheless a good indicator of the amount of activity happening on-chain.
GameFi Projects Overview
Even in Beta, Illuvium has the third-highest active users on Ethereum.
Illuvium is one of the most anticipated GameFi titles, and its token (ILV) is the highest-priced GameFi token.
Axie Infinity saw a growth in its market share of transactions, with the price of its token more than doubling MoM
Axie Infinity was the first blockchain game to gain widespread recognition over a year ago. It is still the top blockchain game by volume.
The number of GameFi users on Polygon tripled from Jan. 1 to Jan. 5
Most of these gains came from Arc8 by Gamer on Polygon. Other chains, namely Hive and Wax, had 50–100% increases in MoM for this metric, albeit much steadier.
BNB saw a decline in GameFi users in January
GameFi Investment & Funding Overview
Despite positive figures in GameFi, total GameFi funding was the lowest in over a year, at $20.9M
Only 3 GameFi projects closed funding deals in January
These were: Intella X, Oh Baby Games, and YGG Japan. IntellaX is building a blockchain wallet for gaming and closed $12M. Web3 game studio Oh Baby Games closed a $6M seed round. YGG (Yield Guild Games) is one of the premier gaming guilds in GameFi and raised $2.9M for its Japan branch.
This piece is contributed by Footprint Analytics community.
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