What is Ronin?
Ronin (RON) is a blockchain platform that specializes in play-to-earn games. The most successful game built on Ronin to date is Axie Infinity, a digital collectibles game that has quickly become one of the biggest play-to-earn games on the market. In its first month of operation on Ronin in July 2021, Axie Infinity saw a significant increase in NFT trading volume, unique NFT traders, and daily active battlers. Specifically, it experienced a 300% increase in NFT trading volume, a 180% increase in monthly unique NFT traders, and a 131% increase in daily active battlers.
In the first nine months of its existence, Ronin has achieved some impressive milestones. Specifically, it has attracted 250,000 unique daily active addresses, $5 billion in total value locked (TVL), over 2 million wallet downloads, and 15% of all NFT transactions on the market. The platform's decentralized exchange (DEX) Katana has become the second-most popular DEX by weekly active users and allows users to swap tokens within the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
Ronin was founded by Sky Mavis, a technology-focused game studio launched by Jeffrey Zirlin and Alexander Leonard Larsen. Zirlin is a graduate of Yale University and has been building Sky Mavis for the past four years, while Larsen has been involved in the blockchain space since 2017. He has co-founded both Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity, and has led several investment rounds at the company.
To date, Sky Mavis has closed three investment rounds for a total of $160 million. The latest round was a Series B round for $152 million and was financed by FTX, Aloz Crypto, Paradigm, and other investors. The funds will be used to fuel the development of Ronin and Axie Infinity.
Ronin stands out from other blockchain platforms in several ways. One of the key benefits of the platform is its cheap and fast transactions with a confirmation time of 2-3 seconds. This makes it ideal for games like Axie Infinity that require a high frequency of transaction confirmations. Additionally, Ronin's bridge allows users to withdraw Axie assets back to the Ethereum mainnet, which means that players can benefit from the profits they earned playing the game and easily swap tokens for other cryptocurrencies. The platform also offers simplified onboarding for new users, including a fiat on-ramp and a native wallet, which helps to lower the barriers to entry for new players and makes it easy for even those new to cryptocurrency to get started.
Sky Mavis built Ronin to be the default NFT scaling solution for gaming. As of 2021, Ronin already handles more NFT volume than all Ethereum NFT scaling solutions combined and 15% of all NFT volume in 2021 happened on Ronin. Its bridge is the third-largest bridge by total volume after Polygon and Avalanche and is a top-five bridge on Ethereum by total value locked. The company's vision is for Ronin to become the premier location to launch Axie-related games and NFT games from other developers. To achieve this, Ronin plans to further decentralize by opening up its validator application process in 2022.
In its first phase, Ronin anticipates at least ten validators outside of Sky Mavis will join the Ronin network and at least three external teams will be building NFT games on top of it. In the second phase, the network will see 20 external validators and five external teams, as well as Ronin upgrading to delegated proof of stake. In its final phase, Ronin anticipates more than 100 validators in its network that will receive fees from protocols
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