NFTs were barely a blip on the radar about a year ago, and now they have grown into a $41 billion market opportunity. In addition to art, gaming is one of the primary use cases for non-fungible tokens. And despite a reluctance among some, the gaming industry is already helping shape the next chapter of digital collectibles.
NFT gaming platform Balthazar surveyed over 1,100 members of its Discord community from the Philippines. The project found that 32% of participants would leave their jobs or think about doing so if they could play NFT games as their full-time gig. Not all of these users have even played NFT games before. Nevertheless, they do have standards. Before quitting their jobs, the Filipino gamers have the following requests:
- 65% need to earn at least $42 per day
- 55% would need to earn between $1-$20 per day
- Survey participants currently earn an average monthly salary of $316
As the blockchain matures, the next logical step for these digital sensations is Smart NFTs.
One of the most extensive critiques of NFTs is that they're just glorified jpegs, especially those without any clear use case. But where else can you get proof of ownership of a unique digital asset on the blockchain? So far, art has been out front for NFTs, with digital artist Beeple having already shaken things up with his hybrid physical and digital sculpture dubbed Human One. That piece sold for close to $29 million in a Christie's auction and will be updated as current events unfold.
#AuctionUpdate: Beeple's (b. 1981) 'HUMAN ONE' has achieved $28,985,000 at auction. Over the course of his lifetime, Beeple intends to seamlessly add to and evolve the pool of imagery in 'HUMAN ONE' in response to current events — creating an eternally contemporary work of art.⠀ pic.twitter.com/NLml4gxl7W
— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) November 10, 2021
Beeple aside, some argue that NFTs have sparked a trend of one-dimensional creations that provide little utility for the owner. Other than serving as trendy digital avatars on social media, many NFTs provide little value, and once the shine wears off, the fad could be rendered worthless.
Phantasma's blockchain project is at the forefront of Smart NFTs, proving that digital avatars are far from the only application for these assets. Phantasma is behind a Smart NFT technology described as a new standard for adding functionality to these tokens. Similar to the first generation of NFTs, Smart NFTs are on the blockchain and provide proof of ownership, but that's about where the similarities end.
Without diving too far down the digital rabbit hole, the features of a Smart NFT are two-pronged, comprising a ROM layer and a RAM layer. The ROM layer is immutable and therefore doesn't change, while the RAM layer can be altered, thereby creating a whole host of possibilities. They say the “RAM layer allows for the NFT to evolve.”
Phantasma gives the example of earning a new hammer in the RPG Ghost Festival. The hammer takes the form of a unique Smart NFT, which provides the player with ownership of the asset in their digital wallet. The gamer could sell the hammer for a profit on an NFT marketplace or hold onto it for future gameplay.
Considering it's a Smart NFT, the player could infuse it with new capabilities to give it more power, which gets embedded into the Smart NFT. The hammer should command a higher value thanks to the power infusion when selling it. The capabilities of a Smart NFT don't stop there.
In another theoretical scenario, imagine a gaming influencer, Ninja, is behind a promotion to give away his customized Smart NFT that he used to play Ghost Festival. Blockchain tech inherently makes Smart NFTs verifiable so the recipient can rest assured that they have received the very digital hammer that Ninja used, which bodes well for the asset's value.
Phantasma's Smart NFTs can also be programmed to last for a predetermined period before they “go up in smoke Mission Impossible-style when the timer runs out,” the project explains. NFTs are only going more mainstream. Mark Zuckerberg has revealed plans to integrate them onto the Instagram platform, though details are scarce.
Did I just hear @Meta say out publicly that web3 and decentralization are the only way forward to truly support the Creators Economy and interoperability of assets across experiences with NFTs is key? #SXSW #Metaverse pic.twitter.com/VNcaEqNhQn
— Sebastien 🏞 (@borgetsebastien) March 15, 2022
In the meantime, as NFTs attain wider-scale adoption, chances are they are going to continue to disrupt the gaming space.
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