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GALA: A Dive into Crypto’s Entertainment Layer

April 17, 2024

In conclusion

I promise that I started this piece under the influence of Mac Miller’s “The Spins” featuring Empire of the Sun. And if you are wondering why, it is because today’s focus touches on the entertainment side of the crypto industry. So, I recommend finding your pods and listening to some cool music while reading this piece.  

I'm sure you recall Gala – they've been around the crypto scene for quite some time, especially during the last bull cycle when the metaverse talk was buzzing. Many of us, myself included, held or still hold the $Gala token. However, as is typical during bull markets, many folks do not fully understand what the project entails. Consequently, if you're not keeping up, it's easy for Gala to slip off your radar, and you might not be aware of the current status of the project.

Furthermore, in truth, gaming remains one of the most looked-into narratives of this bull cycle, and for good reason—not many narratives survive past one bull cycle.

In light of the above, we are revisiting Gala’s ecosystem, providing a comprehensive guide to what they’re about, evaluating how far they’ve come, and peeking into what’s new.

Gentlemen, shall we?

What does Gala do?

At the mention of Gala, cultured folks would probably guess that it has to do with a festive event where famous people get to play dress up.

In truth, such a thought won’t be far off what Gala is. However, while Gala may not be a social event, it has everything to do with entertainment.

Gala is an ecosystem project with a mission to redefine the creator economy that cuts across several facets such as gaming, film, and music. The goal is to return ownership to the player/creator/participant.  

Gala’s strategy for achieving this new creator economy involves a layer 1 blockchain optimized for entertainment. This wouldn’t be surprising in this cycle, as we’re beginning to see niche-specific chains crop up as opposed to holistic chains (L1s and other scaling blockchains).

As a result, there are many moving parts that make up the Gala ecosystem.

  • Galachain
  • Gala music
  • Gala film
  • Gala games
  • Galaswap
  • Node network

We will look into all of these as we progress further down this article.

WTF is Galachain bro?

Certain prerequisites are required to be the entertainment hub of crypto. By entertainment, we’re referring to blockchain games, movies with revenue share, and music. Gala recognizes these prerequisites such as reliability, cheapness in fees, efficiency, fastness, and decentralization, in building a layer 1 blockchain to support Gala-powered entertainment.

Galachain exists as a layer 1 blockchain (called GYRI) with these features. In terms of how rapid the chain is, it has a block time of 2 seconds. It utilizes a proof-of-authority consensus mechanism to reduce the chain's impact on the environment. Galachain is built using hyper ledger fabric, allowing developers to build smart contracts on the layer using the typescript language.

The chain has integrated a handful of products, such as music and pokerGOD, among others. Some of the few reasons why GYRI was built are:

  • To handle fast microtransactions, as we mentioned earlier
  • Lower the cost associated with minting collectibles  
  • Save energy and the impact on the environment
  • Work with the Gala founders node network
  • Easy transfer of items to and from Mainnet

Galachain is powered by the $Gala token used for transaction fees. While not every transaction on the chain will require fees, some will.

Gala Games

Gala’s L1 is built to support a myriad of entertainment activities and games. At the moment, the ecosystem has over ten live games that have been integrated with Gala, with some of them in beta. Some of these games are:

  • Common Ground World
  • Legends Reborn
  • Eternal Paradox
  • Champions Arena
  • Echoes of Empire
  • Legacy
  • Pokergo Play
  • Spider Tanks
  • The Walking Dead empires
  • Last Expedition
  • Dragon Strike
  • Fortitude
  • Meow Match
  • Battle Star  

You can find these games here. Gala games come with its unique structure, play and earn tokenomics, and sometimes with additional incentives for the Gala community or inbuilt Gala token rewards.

Gala Music

The venture to bring music on-chain or the business of music on-chain is multifaceted. While some people think, “Oh, music NFTS,” others consider other use cases for music and the blockchain.

For Gala, building a home for music on a chain (The Galachain) optimized for entertainment will disrupt the music industry, providing direct access to fans and the much-needed accountability artists.

The thought process behind building an on-chain home, such as a streaming platform and a reward system, is that it will enable artists to be free from complex contracts that restrict them from their fans either directly or indirectly.

Gala music is live, with a growing number of artists on the streaming platform and collaborations with popular artists such as Snoop Dogg. The music end of Gala has the $music token as its native token, incentivizing the stakeholders: listeners, artists, and other parties.

Gala Film

Just like music, the film sector remains an area ripe for on-chain innovation. While mainstream platforms have advanced film distribution and made viewing possible across multiple devices, they have failed to truly democratize access for creators and viewers alike.

Gala Film brings cinematic content on-chain with the intention of creating a decentralized and reward-based ecosystem where filmmakers, financiers, audiences, and other parties can interact without the need for middlemen or centralized platforms. Decentralization here is made possible by Gala Film Nodes, a network of nodes providing decentralized storage for film content.

In doing so and building on a chain designed for entertainment, Gala Films hopes to solve various pain points plaguing the current film production landscape. One such pain point is providing creators with an efficient way to fund film production. On Gala films, users can use its utility token $FILM to crowdfund new film projects they love in return for unique benefits such as early access to the film, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and more.

“Netflix and Chill”? Uhm, it's more like “Gala and Get Rewarded.” Okay, maybe it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but you get the point.

You can explore Gala film here and discover the growing diversity of film content on the streaming platform, including Almost Jaded, the long-awaited sequel to Barry Brewer’s 2019 special Chicago I’m Home, a comedy show.

GalaSwap

While each of the entertainment hubs in the Gala ecosystem (game, music, film) has their native utility tokens used for microtransaction, the $GALA token remains the most widely held. And as we know, tokens often change hands in crypto.

GalaSwap provides a no-bridge, p2p platform where $GALA token holders can swap between $GALA and other supported tokens. All transactions done on the swap are totally p2p, with the Galachain serving as the central order book. As of now, you can swap between 11 tokens, including:

$GALA $ETIME $SILK $MTRM $GUSDT $GUSDC $GWETH $GVGX $LEMIN $LEFC $LECC

At the time of writing, the available version of GalaSwap is still in the early stage, far from the open source platform envisioned where all tokens developed on the Galachain, including cross-channel tokens like $MUSIC and $FILM, will be accommodated on the swap. This will give traders an optimal trading experience that thrives on openness and transparency.

Currently, all swaps on GalaSwap are for $GALA, meaning that traders have to first swap any token they intend to swap for another, into $GALA, then trade it for the intended token. For example, if you want to trade $SILK for $GUSDT, you’ll first have to exchange your $SILK for $GALA before swapping it for $GUSDT.

If you’ve got $GALA or any supported tokens, you can try GalaSwap to see it in action. Also, keep in mind that the gas cost for a swap is 1 $GALA per participant of the swap. That’s 1 $GALA to list a swap, and 1 $GALA to initiate a trade with the listed swap on the other side.

Node network

Earlier on, I mentioned the node network serving as decentralized storage for Gala films, but that isn’t the only thing they do.

The node network also called the Gala Founder’s Nodes makes up the core of the Gala ecosystem. These nodes, limited to 50,000 licenses, run the GYRI and support Gala’s Distributed Content Delivery Network (DCDN) which is responsible for storing and ‘dishing out’ content hosted on the Galachain. Aside from these, the nodes serve other vital functions for different use cases throughout the ecosystem.

One such function is distributing daily $GALA rewards to operators in the network who meet the daily uptime quote for running their nodes, which is 6 hours. However, the amount of $GALA each node operator receives depends on how many points they score running the node, as detailed in the distribution cycle.

Gala moved to their current node, Node v3 in Q1 of 2023, and that came with several new introductions to the network to give node operators better control over their actions in the ecosystem and enhance the rewards they can enjoy.

Circulating back to Gala’s 50,000 licenses pairable to nodes, the sheer size of that number makes the Founder Node’s Network one of the largest decentralized node networks in the world! It highlights the intended capacity of the Gala ecosystem and the vision of the founders, who are committed to making Gala the on-chain entertainment backbone of the future.

Users interested in joining Gala’s node network to help bring this vision to fruition can do so here.

Gala in the Metaverse

Where does one bring together the media experience across Gala’s entertainment channels? Yep, you guessed it. A metaverse for the Gala ecosystem — better called, the VOXverse.

VOX, Gala’s metaverse IP, are digital collectibles you can own and animate and currently include four sets of 3D avatar NFTs: The Walking Dead: Empires, Town Stars, Mirandus, and Dreamwork’s Trolls. The VOXverse will be an immersive metaverse for all of Gala entertainment, which you can explore using VOX.

By designing the VOXverse in partnership with the legendary creator of The Sims, Will Wright, the Gala team is hoping to build a cutting-edge, open-world experience that’s both enjoyable and rewarding.

Currently, the VOXverse is still in development with some playtesting already done. Recently, Gala announced the development of their first game on the VOXverse, called the Cerberus, while hinting at the future of the VOXverse.

When it’s released, holders of VOX will be able to play in the metaverse, build their unique characters while collecting rewards, hanging out with friends, and even trading VOX or in-game resources with other players through GalaSwap!

Sounds super cool, right? Well, if you want to get a taste of the VOXverse, you can playtest the VOX Odessey, Gala’s early access, idle text-based Discord game that mirrors the gaming experience in the VOXverse. See how to gain access and play here.

What to Expect

From Gala? A lot!

First on my list (yes, mine) is the much-anticipated movie series RZR — a Gala Films original — premiering on Gala Films on April 14th, 2024. I’m super hyped for this, and if sci-fi thrillers about cyberpunks, neural implants, and artificial intelligence are your thing, you will be too. (Psst! I got you! Watch the thriller here.)

RZR will long run enough to get the non-community attention this project needs to climb up the ladder in global entertainment. In addition to that, Gala Films plans to release 18 more films picture-locked from May to the end of the year. During this timeframe, also expect the launches of $FILM, POPCORN!, and other utility tokens to bring Gala Film more into touch with GalaChain and the greater Gala Ecosystem.

For Gala Music, just keep your headset on for new sounds dropping every other week. The latest addition included songs from Marty Grimes, Okay Kenji, Krysta Youngs, and a host of other artists. Stay alert for occasional incentives like a chance to win $MUSIC, $GALA, or music passes as measures to drive users to the streaming platform.

Last month, when announcing the latest updates to GalaSwap, the team signaled that more features are already being built for GalaSwap and will be released soon. Although spotlights on the details are turned off for now, we can expect a more robust swap system rolling out in the future.

Let’s not forget the underlying Galachain powering everything. As work has been done to improve and expand Gala’s main projects on-chain, new developers building independent projects on the chain will benefit from improved tools and processes to support their projects.

Developers can utilize Gala’s existing pipelines to create new and exciting things that are even better than what is thought possible.

Finally, expect a decision around the proposed creation of a referral incentive system for ecosystem usage. That is a referral system designed to incentivize community members to collaborate to perform actions, and actively participate in actions that drive the ecosystem forward.

Overview of the proposed referral incentive when a user (C) initiates a burn

Votes for or against the proposed system were thought to have ended on 18th March 2024, but we’re yet to hear the result which would determine if such a system will exist within the Gala ecosystem or not. Learn more here.

Concluding thoughts

The idea of bringing real-world entertainment on-chain is nothing short of fantastic and destined to be successful. We have already seen the market’s willingness to adapt to decentralized entertainment in the advancement of blockchain gaming. Gala promises to take this breakthrough two steps further with music and films.

They have put together an incredible ecosystem adorned by a plethora of innovative, user-friendly features led by a forward-thinking team. They have demonstrated the capacity to innovate for major entertainment channels (games, music, and films) and have a large community and investors’ backing.

All of these, coupled with the non-crypto market’s warm reception (evident in the willingness of artists and film markers to work with Gala, bringing their arts on-chain), makes us more bullish on them. I reckon we would see more growth with Gala even after this current bull cycle passes.

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