Deep into the belly of the bear, three gaming ecosystem tokens highlighted in our recent Web3 gaming report stood out for having appreciated in price compared to the start of the year. The price of WEMIX, ASTR, & RON has increased by 169%, 14%, and 61%, respectively, since January. Furthermore, trading volumes across the board are up as much as 840%.
Is this the right time to start accumulating, and which of these seven tokens deserves the most conviction?
I’ve commented on RON’s positive performance throughout the year, but for those who may have missed it, the token built a lot of momentum in the lead-up to the launch of RON staking. The price of RON, the native token of Ronin’s L1 blockchain, is propped up by a foundation of highly supportive community members (predominantly Axie stakeholders). The ecosystem boasts the highest number of active wallets (10k-20k daily active wallets) of any Web3 gaming ecosystem and has been progressively onboarding third-party IP/games throughout 2023. If the project can avoid controversy and continue to onboard high-production, fun games, it is one of the best positioned to fully capitalize on a future gaming bull run.
Despite receiving a fair amount of bad press at the end of 2022, WEMIX, the Web3 gaming ecosystem token from Korean publishing giant Wemade, is currently the best-performing token on this list. Wemix has the largest number of Web3 games of any ecosystem covered in our recent report (32 titles and growing) and also had a significant presence during Korean Blockchain Week in September. Throughout the year, the project and its Chairman, Gwanho Park, have regularly made announcements about buying up WEMIX tokens from the market, and the most recent price pump was due to a strategic partnership with SK Planet (a major Korean marketing platform owned by SK Telecom). Despite the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the project, WEMIX is likely the most feature-rich infrastructure provider mentioned in our report and holds on to the vast majority of retail investor attention within Korea and the wider APAC region.
ASTR, the native token for one of Polkadot’s most active projects, Astar, has seen relatively less price growth compared to the other two tokens. However, it has consistently maintained vastly higher levels of trading volume. Historically, the ecosystem has not had a strong focus on gaming, opting instead to focus on some of Japan’s largest financial enterprises. That said, as we mentioned in the report, Astar founder Sota Watanabe is also CEO of Startale Labs, which recently announced a strategic partnership with Sony Network Communications to help them develop their own blockchain. The project is also working with Polygon to add zkEVM to its list of offerings to attract more game teams to its ecosystem. Oasys still maintains an advantage when it comes to the total number of game industry partnerships but has been slow to deliver content. If Astar can leverage its close connection to Startale Labs (and Sony) and provide a superior L2 solution to gaming teams, this could have meaningful knock-on effects for the ASTR token.
An honorable mention here is Marblex and its native MBX token. Despite the price being down 43% from the start of the year and large amounts of confusion around the connection between MBX, MBXL, and the newly introduced gMBXL. The project has done more than any other included in the report to improve upon the original tokenomics and drive value back to stakeholders. In roughly a year, the project has deleted more than 60% of the total (unvested) token supply, introduced several new burning mechanics, and consistently tried to add more token utility. I’m still not a fan of all their initiatives and believe there is still a lot of room for improvement. However, when a bull market does return and when gaming captures a lot of that new retail attention, MBX is worth keeping an eye on.