Web3 Watch: Friend.tech sign-ups falter

Plus, CryptoPunks see year-best value and LootRush lets gamers rent out NFTs

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This article is part of Blockworks’ Web3 Watch, a weekly roundup of the highlights and lowlights from the culture side of crypto.

Friend.tech is either dead in the water or just getting started, depending on who you ask. 

Usage statistics for the SocialFi app show a plateau in dollar inflows and a drastic slowdown in new users. However, those already on the platform continue to project optimism while awaiting a monetization route for airdropped Friend.tech “points.”

After consecutive days of record outflows in late October, Friend.tech’s cumulative dollar inflows plateaued at around $35 million — meaning capital appears to be staying put amid a broader market rally. 

Friend.tech signed up fewer than 400 users every day this week, according to DeFiLlama. This drop off comes after regularly adding more than 5,000 users daily for much of October.

Thursday saw 189 new users, the lowest number since the platform launched in August.

This isn’t the first time Friend.tech has appeared to hit its ceiling. Attempts to clone the app’s features on other chains have mostly remained marginal. And Friend.tech’s cottage industry of X newsletter creators and data analysts is still around.

Cbb0fe is the creator behind the platform’s most expensive key after Vombatus’ departure for the upstart New Bitcoin City. This week, they let users “stake” Cbb0fe keys for rewards paid out in ether from the so-called CBBank. 

All 155 of the keys sold Wednesday for 1.5 ether (ETH) apiece.

Friend.tech announced an upgrade this week meant “to make data load up to 10x faster.”

Gamers can rent their NFTs

The gaming NFT rental platform LootRush released a listing mechanism for users to rent out their gaming NFTs

NFT owners can connect their wallets to the platform and receive payment when users play games with the NFTs for limited periods of time. Rented NFTs are sent to the company’s custodial wallet, LootRush CEO Anderson Ferminiano told Blockworks, and a LootRush proxy signs transactions needed to play games using the rented NFTs without transferring ownership.

Ferminiano said he expects the platform’s annualized rental volume to reach $6 million by the end of 2023. The founder foresees the company making Web3 gaming more accessible. 

Read more: ‘Much more appealing’ than just collectibles: Web3 gaming’s potential

“Imagine playing [FIFA] but you can never have Messi, and now you can. Users have more fun,” Ferminiano said.

One interesting stat:

  • The popular NFT collection CryptoPunks’ price floor reached $125,000, a level not seen since August of 2022. 

Also of note:

  • Roblox CEO David Baszucki said “there is a bit of a dream here” that objects from the popular online game could someday leave the platforms as NFTs. NFT volumes rose for a fifth consecutive week, per CryptoSlam!, but are still significantly below early 2023 levels.
  • Several attendees of Bored Ape Yacht Club’s ApeFest suffered apparent eye injuries caused by bright lights at the event. Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Apes, is “committed to supporting the recovery of anyone affected,” the company wrote in a Wednesday thread.

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