Ethereum Gaming Sidechain Ronin Is On Fire—Here’s Why

Ronin may be best known as the Ethereum sidechain network behind Axie Infinity, the play-to-earn monster-battling game that flung NFT gaming into the spotlight back in 2021. But now Ronin is drawing attention for other games—and network activity is surging following last week’s launch of a game called Pixels.

The number of active wallet addresses on Ronin has effectively tripled in recent days, according to data shared on Twitter by Alex Svanevik, founder and CEO of crypto analytics firm Nansen. As of early Wednesday, it shows a leap from just over 20,000 active daily wallet users to about 70,000.

All the while, Ronin’s native token RON is pumping, marking a 13% increase over the last 24 hours to a current price of about $0.68, per data from CoinGecko. RON is further up 37% over the past week and 59% in the last 30 days, although other gaming tokens have similarly seen substantial jumps in recent weeks.

Pixels, which previously was on Ethereum scaling network Polygon before migrating to Ronin, officially launched on the Axie network on October 31. The game recreates the vibe of a classic 16-bit role-playing adventure, letting players navigate through a pixel-art world as they interact with each other, farm the land, play mini-games, and earn token rewards.

It also lets holders of select NFT profile picture (PFP) collections use their owned avatars in the game, with projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CrypToadz supported.

Ronin, developed by Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis, has onboarded additional games onto the Ethereum scaling network, including The Machines Arena, Zoids Wild Arena, and the CyberKongz Play and Kollect game.

The Ronin network experienced a $622 million hack to its Ethereum bridge in March 2022, which the U.S. Treasury later blamed the notorious North Korean state-sponsored hacking group, Lazarus. Sky Mavis ultimately reimbursed stolen user funds and recovered about 10% of the stolen funds routed through centralized exchanges.

Axie Infinity’s own tokens have seen price boosts in recent weeks, as well, with the AXS governance token up 42% in the last 30 days to a current price above $6.00, while the SLP reward token has jumped 71% in that span to a price above $0.002 per token.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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