Welcome to our 70th newsletter on Star Atlas! This weekly newsletter is published by Aephia Industries and focuses entirely on Star Atlas. Here we try to aggregate all the newsworthy tidbits that were dropped by the team throughout the past week.
The biggest story in crypto land last week was, undoubtedly, the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and what this meant for Circle, the company that operates the USDC stablecoin. Besides the team’s reaction to this, and the release of Core issue 5, there was not much other news last week.
USDC Market Deactivation
Since the team kicked off its Rebirth campaign in April 2021, Star Atlas’ very first on-chain asset collection, they have been selling on-chain assets in exchange for USDC.
Circle, the operator of USDC, guarantees that you can exchange 1 USDC for 1 US dollar. They can do so because of actual dollars backing the total USDC supply. Of course, those fiat dollars need to be stored somewhere, and it just so happened that 3.3 billion dollars were stored at the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
When the SVB collapsed late last week, its balance sheet seemed to indicate it could get everyone their money back, just not right away. A bank run had caused it to run out of cash, which -with it being a US bank- prompted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to step in to take over the bank’s administration.
Though Circle has over $42 billion on its balance sheet to fully collateralize its USDC coin, of which it had only stored 7.8% at SVB, the market panicked, and many started selling off their USDC reserves. This led to USDC losing its peg, with its price dropping as low as 87 cents (i.e., it lost 13% of its value).
The news that the closure of SVB had hit Circle, spurred the team to quickly implement some changes. Late Friday night (in the US; early Saturday morning in Europe) they:
- removed their NFT sales that were denominated in USDC from the market, and
- deactivated all USDC-denominated markets on their Galactic Marketplace
This meant that only ATLAS markets remained accessible during the weekend. As news came late Sunday that the FDIC would back up SVB, guaranteeing everyone’s funds for the full 100% and allowing access to them come Monday, USDC slowly moved back to its peg (1 dollar). Subsequently, the team reactivated the USDC markets Monday morning, re-adding their offering back to these markets as well.
In short: If you were trying to buy CORE issue #5 from the team, you had to do so in ATLAS during the weekend. But, since a couple of hours, the team moved their supply back to the USDC market, and all USDC markets are visible again.
For more in-depth coverage of what happened to SVB, we recommend this excellent article by The Verge.
Note: Michael (CEO) and Dan (General Council) shared that ATMTA had no accounts at Silvergate (the bank that collapsed earlier in the weal) or Silicon Valley Bank.
Last Wednesday, the 5th issue of CORE, the Star Atlas graphic novel, went on sale on Magic Eden and the Galactic Marketplace (GM). As always, the issue comes with a different and unique cover on each of these marketplaces. On Magic Eden, the price was set to 1.029 SOL (roughly 20 dollars), and on the GM, it is available for 20 USDC as always.
During the weekend, with the USDC markets removed, you could acquire it from the team for 6700 ATLAS instead.
Note that the Graphic Novel is also available for free (on Apple Books), but you’ll miss out on the unique cover, a way to get the unique hardcover, some extra content, and a new clue for the Arc Cypher.
The Missing Development Movie
Last week we shared a bunch of WIP shots (see below for new ones), but accidentally forgot to share the development video that was published alongside it. So, if you have missed it, check this out:
Here are some of the other things we’ve learned during the last week:
- PvP in R3 will be third-person only. In other words, there is no FPS mode.
- Ship skins are still planned for R3
- The VIP Permit is not an exclusive item, additional copies will be able to be earned in-game.
UE5 Work-in-progress Shots
We’ve got some new shots from the Foundation Room & Twitter to whet your appetite! Note that these all include assets and environments that are still under construction.