It has been 1 year since the first NFT.NYC conference took place in New York City. For those of you who do not know what NFT means, it stands for “Non Fungible Token” which is an Ethereum Request for Comment describing a unique one-of-a-kind Non Fungible Token. Unlike the Fungible ERC-20 which was used to distribute for Utilities on new Blockchain protocols and crowd funding capabilities, the ERC-721 was published as an Ethereum Improvement Proposal describing a unique, one of a kind digital item. Many of you reading this will have some recollection of the famed “Crypto Kitties” which gained popularity in 2018 and enjoyed a moment of fame, so much fame that “Normies” had heard of Crypto Kitties. Traders went wild speculating the price of Crypto Kitties and at one point, a single Crypto Kitty sold for Six Figures.
Since early 2019, much of the NFT arena has expanded beyond collectibles. Many independent game studios popped up, and because of the limitations of Blockchain transaction speed, produced very simple strategy games that do not require high throughput. Some of these games are: “My Crypto Heroes” a Japanese based strategy game with cool retro graphics, “Axie Infinity”, which has minted over 140,000 unique characters for sale on the marketplace. The most expensive Axie sold was for 110 Ethereum! Other gaming environments have also gained traction like Decentraland – a virtual world that allows you to buy land and construct your own Blockchain properties. Interestingly, some large companies have decided to purchase virtual land in Decentraland for advertising purposes, and I expect to see more heavy hitters coming into the space and continuing to do this. However, at the heart of any project is its community, and how it spreads and grows.
According to NFT site nonfungible.com weekly volume can be tracked on these projects. The data clearly shows it is a small yet growing niche within the Blockchain universe. The largest medium of exchange for NFT items is known as OpenSea, and had reached nearly $2M in trading volume. OpenSea is a sort of Amazon marketplace for NFT items, whether they be in the gaming arena or random digital art collectibles. Most of Blockchain based gaming and digital art pieces have listed on OpenSea. Other NFT initiatives include KnownOrigin, SuperRare, MakersPlace, CryptoVoxels, Crypto Punks (one of the oldest NFT projects), Neon District (Blockade Games), Gods Unchained which raised $15M in a limited edition card sale in 2019 has done quite well in trading volume. Some of these cards have sold for Five Figures since release.
Value Is Subjective
An exemplar for high value virtual items is the notorious “Club Neverdie” in Entropia Universe – a non Blockchain game. Jon Jacob paid a whopping $635,000 USD for this virtual nightclub. Second to that was the Crystal Palace Space Station, which sold for $330,000! While these are centralized gaming creations, you can only imagine what Blockchain based virtual items could be sold for in the future. They represent more than just virtual items for gamers. More and more, humans are connecting with virtual worlds, they represent an alternative reality as well as emerging new economies.
Furthermore, NFTs have the potential to be quite transformative for several industries outside of the gaming and collectible space. I have met the founders of several initiatives who intend to deploy them in the real estate industry as well as financial sectors. NFTs will play an increasingly important role in the newly emerging blockchain economy.
This years NFT.NYC conference will be taking place in the famed Edison Hotel, which was named after inventor Thomas Edison himself. He turned on the lights upon its opening in 1931. Famous films like “The Godfather“, “Bullets over Broadway” and “Birdman” were filmed here. It also represents in many ways the pioneering of new technology in the center of the world – Times Square. A place where the world meets large scale imagery and technological magic. Attendees will be able to watch the pioneers of this new space speak, and express their views on how NFTs have the ability to be truly disruptive technology. It is not to be missed! Tickets can be purchased on www.nft.nyc