Web3 Watch: Telegram tap-to-earn is the new crypto gaming trend

Plus, a Snapshot Labs Web3 startup and the performance of Iggy’s MOTHER


Natee Meepian/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Telegram has long been the communication platform of choice for crypto-natives, and the encrypted messaging app is lately seeing an influx of crypto-enabled games running within the interface. 

Many of the apps offer some kind of in-game currency and promise a forthcoming airdrop, typically on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, which was initially developed by Telegram. Many of these apps are perhaps inspired by Notcoin, which pulled off an airdrop for users of its tap-to-earn game. Newly launched NOT has a market capitalization of nearly $2 billion, per CoinGecko.

Hamster Kombat has been another Telegram game seeing buzz lately. The app lets users play as a hamster who happens to be the CEO of a crypto exchange. This highly evolved hamster can use in-game currency — earned by tapping one’s screen over and over — to do things like launch margin trading and obtain regulatory licenses. 

Read more from our opinion section: Traditional gaming needs Web3 more than ever

(Unfortunately, there’s no option to funnel customer deposits into risky bets taken by an associated trading firm, but maybe that will come with the next update.)

The NEAR blockchain’s HERE Wallet and associated currency mining game saw a notable amount of activity on Base this week.

These apps could all still firmly be in the flash-in-the-pan territory, and whether they can survive past promised airdrops is an open question.

“The next mission for large mini-app games is transforming the initial success into a sustainable business,” Steve Yun, president of the TON Foundation, said on X.

But that isn’t stopping some investors from piling in. This week, Pixelverse, the developer behind Telegram tap-to-earn game PixelTap, announced a $5.5 million raise with investors including Delphi Ventures and Foresight Ventures.

PleasrDAO serves Shkreli

PleasrDAO filed a suit against Martin Shkreli for getting on X spaces and playing the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” — an unreleased album that Shkreli once owned but sold to the DAO in 2021. 

Shkreli was forced to forfeit the album, of which Wu-Tang only made one copy, as part of a court order stemming from his fraud conviction over raising the price of life-saving medications. He apparently made copies of the work and played it on an X space in retaliation for being blocked by the DAO. 

PleasrDAO clapped back with a screenshot of the lawsuit. The suit, filed in the Eastern District of New York, asks for Shkreli to give up his copies of the album and for monetary damages, among other things. 

One interesting stat:

  • Despite all the hullabaloo, Iggy Azalea’s MOTHER memecoin slid 23.5% this week, according to CoinGecko.

Also of note:

  • Two former contributors to the popular crypto governance platform Snapshot Labs have helped launch SODA, a company focused on “custom merchandise and organization culture in the Ethereum ecosystem.”
  • An indie documentary about CryptoPunks debuted this week.
  • McDonald’s Singapore joined a metaverse initiative.

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