Posted on 2021-12-08 by Jazelle Garzeski
CryptoMines recently announced that the project will completely shut down due to a complete loss of confidence in the project by the community. FUD spread throughout the community and beyond that largely focused on the developers being the largest holders of ETERNAL, the game’s token. The project attempted to manage concerns but the token’s price plummeted from US$801 to US$4 within two weeks. Now, the team is proposing a complete shutdown of the game and a potential launch of a reworked version that is entirely independent of the original tokens and NFTs.
Author’s Note: People lost money and deserve answers, but they need to be the right answers. There are endless rumors floating around including accusations of a rug pull. At this time, there is no concrete evidence that indicates the team acted maliciously. If new information comes to light this article will be updated. I personally lost value on this project, but I’m not going to accuse the team of malice because of the volatility and opportunity for outside manipulation that is inherent to all blockchain projects, especially the growing and experimental space of blockchain gaming.
CryptoMines was a promising game that focused on mining planets for ETERNAL every 24 hours, with better fleets generating more of the game’s token. However, FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) spread throughout the community and completely destroyed the token’s value. The core message was uncertainty about the number of tokens held by the developers, but plenty of other rumors has entered the narrative at this point.
At the time of this writing, the price of ETERNAL is US$4.90, a 99.4% drop from the $801.59 all-time high that was only 13 days ago (all data per CoinMarketCap).
Multiple announcements were made in the project’s Discord, Twitter, and Medium to attempt to quell the fears and stabilize the price. As summarized in a story from BSC News, the official responses to the FUD from the developers focused on three points:
The developers are indeed the biggest ETERNAL holders, but they promise not to sell in a way that would negatively impact the community
Prices can be impacted by larger traders working together to drop the price in order to buy more when it’s lower
The smart contract for the game has received multiple audits and there is no evidence of exploitation
The above article (and the explanations it discusses) is from December 3rd before the project announced it would shut down.
The Development Team Proposes a Reworked and Independent Game
It was not encouraging to see the subheading “What happened to CyptoMines?” when I came across the team’s Medium post on Twitter.
The post reiterated many of the points that we already talked about and the community had heard for the week prior. However, this post was the first time that I saw the admission of a game design flaw that perpetuated the issue. The direct quote is:
“In this way, we could observe how it was a devastating fall as big as the massive growth of CryptoMines, where people’s confidence was totally eroded when the price of the token took a hit of that level, however, the main problem is that NFTs have no additional cost or wear and tear causing an over-population of these assets and thus reaching a point where some investors do not have the need to continue re-investing.”
The development team is holding a vote on whether or not to launch a new game. Whether the vote is approved or denied, the current incarnation of CryptoMines will remain functional until the reward pool reaches zero and can no longer continue payments. It seems as though the main purpose of the vote is to gauge the support for a reworked game.
Plenty of information was published about the proposed new game. Please visit the announcement for all of the details, but some of the notable features are:
Different minting costs and limiting minting timeframe
Minting will be replaced with a breeding system after the initial mint
NFTs will have additional attributes beyond mine power
A new token, Dark Matter (DM), will be pegged to USDT and used for all in-game transactions
NFTs will need to be burned to repair and maintain fleets
Taxes on token purchases and in-game sales will help fund the project
Developer tokens for the new project will be locked for five years
No pre-sale or private sale of tokens
Additional tokenomics information available in the announcement
CryptoMines will be shutting down once the reward pool can no longer make payouts. The remaining unlocked ETERNAL will be added to the reward pool along with any additional ETERNAL that become unlocked.
If the proposed reworked game is approved, players of the legacy game will be able to claim discount tickets related to their fleets and other player metrics.
What Can The Play-to-Earn Space Learn from CryptoMines?
It remains to be seen if we’ll see a reworked CryptoMines. Community confidence has never been lower and they may not vote for a new game. We may not see CryptoMines again, but the lessons learned from the project will remain:
Developers of play-to-earn projects need to fully grasp that malicious actors will do whatever they can to exploit and manipulate the game and related assets for profit. The broader worlds of both crypto and gaming are filled with attempts to exploit platforms and systems for the personal gain – blockchain gaming is no different.
New economic models and game mechanics must be thoroughly tested in a simulated environment to ensure there are no blind spots that can impact the entire project. Endlessly inflating NFTs is a stated reason why this project went under – this could’ve been entirely avoided with further testing.
Players must thoroughly investigate every project they get involved with. In this situation, it’s hard to blame anyone who lost value with this project, but it’s worth repeating that you are ultimately responsible for what you invest.
CryptoMines now serves as a warning to developers, gamers, and investors. This is an exciting space and people are reporting impressive earnings constantly. However, blockchain gaming still embodies the one thing that crypto has been known for since the beginning: volatility. Never invest what you can’t lose and always be prepared for projects to disappear.