Web3 Watch: Chess app discontinues play-to-earn after ‘heavy cheating’

Plus, inscriptions cause Arbitrum downtime and BONK books significant volume


Immortal and Holo Art/Shutterstock; Adobe modified by Blockworks


Immortal was a play-to-earn chess app that used crypto rails to monetize chess games. But after “heavy cheating” marred the game experience, the platform shut down its financialized crypto features.

Immortal is a free online chess site. Until recently, users could accrue CheckMate (CMT) token rewards while playing. 

The platform also hosted a marketplace for chess piece NFTs. The NFTs have sold for as much as $14,300, but sales netted only a few cents following the announcement. 

Immortal raised $15.5 million in a Series A led by The Chernin Group in September 2022.

In the project’s Discord, Immortals NFT owners lamented the loss in value of their assets. 

Read more: Web3 Watch: Solana and Bitcoin top Ethereum in NFT sales

“Any of us that invested and lost money should mostly blame ourselves for the losses. We invested in a fringe high-risk area of a fringe high-risk industry. And I say that as someone who lost a significant amount of money,” one wrote.

Immortal was built with Immutable X’s layer-2 scaling technology. The chess platform said it would still use Web3 tech for “anti-cheat measures and community engagement.”

The so-called “play-to-earn” model has been a popular one for adding crypto rails to gaming but has encountered multiple roadblocks along the way, this instance of cheating being the latest.

Arbitrum experiences downtime after jump in inscriptions

Arbitrum, the largest Ethereum layer-2, suffered a “partial outage” on Friday after “a sustained surge of inscriptions” clogged the sequencer.

The pseudonymous hildobby, who works in data at the venture fund Dragonfly, published a Dune dashboard showing that 90% of Arbitrum’s data was inscriptions in the two hours leading up to the outage. Hildobby’s data showed the mass majority of the inscriptions were labeled “fair.”

For nearly two hours, Arbitrum’s sequencer struggled to process transactions on the network. At one point, the layer-2’s swap fee appeared to spike far above Ethereum’s.

Shortly after 3 pm ET, the Arbitrum team said that the sequencer was back up and running.

Multiple networks have developed some form of inscriptions, a way of encoding arbitrary data such as art or fungible tokens, onto blockchains. Bitcoin ordinal inscriptions have brought congestion in the network’s mempool to near all-time highs.

Read more: Avalanche gets the ‘Ordinals’ bump, sets new transaction record

One interesting stat:

  • Solana-based memecoin BONK accounted for roughly 10% of Coinbase volume on Friday. Ethereum and Tether accounted for roughly 11% and 10%, respectively, over the same time frame. 

Read more: Solana fans suddenly BONKers over the Saga phone

Also of note:

  • The former music file-sharing platform LimeWire released an AI music studio where users could use generative AI tools to create and publish music on the platform. The infamous LimeWire brand and intellectual property was sold in 2021.
  • Former president Donald Trump is launching another NFT collection, selling $99 collectibles of his mug shot taken over the summer. Anyone who purchases at least 47 of the cards will receive a piece of Trump’s suit and be invited to a dinner at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said on Truth Social.

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