Dive Into the World of NFTs: Games, Collectibles, Minting, and More
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are becoming an essential part of the digital economy, integrating into online games, digital art, and the metaverse. NFTs are also something you can manage safely using your Trust Wallet.
Read on to delve into the world of NFTs to learn what they are, what roles they play in the gaming and collectibles markets, and what exciting NFT collections are out there.
Introduction to NFTs
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are unique digital assets recorded on a blockchain. Each NFT carries individual identifiers proving ownership and authenticity of the tokenized asset.
The origins of NFTs can be traced back to 2014, when Kevin McCoy created the first ever NFT, Quantum, on Namecoin. Building on the concept, Rare Pepe digital collectibles were mined on September 2016 on the Bitcoin blockchain, thanks to the smart contract capabilities of the Counterparty protocol.
However, it was not until 2017 that NFTs became mainstream, with the release of popular NFT projects on Ethereum, including CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties.
In 2019, the market experienced an explosion that led to the famous NFT frenzy of 2021, which put NFTs squarely into the public’s consciousness. One of the most memorable moments of this fabulous NFT bull run was the sale of Beeple’s “The First 5000 Days” for a staggering $69 million at a Christie’s auction.
NFTs and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) are similar in that they both exist on a blockchain. However, unlike NFTs, cryptocurrencies are generally fungible. In other words, one unit of a cryptocurrency is functionally identical and interchangeable with another.
In contrast, a non-fungible asset can’t be subdivided – its value is due to its scarcity and uniqueness. At its most basic level, there cannot be two similar NFTs, even if they come from the same collection. This is one of the most important properties of an NFT.
Other properties of an NFT include:
- Decentralization: The NFT economy is designed to maintain its integrity without depending on any third party. All rules and transactions are enforced by software known as smart contracts.
- Verifiable scarcity: All records on a blockchain are public. Therefore, anyone can examine the blockchain and, for example, confirm how many NFTs exist in a collection.
- Verifiable history: The history of all NFT transactions is recorded on the blockchain. You can authenticate all preceding owners of an NFT, even back to its creator. This is important because an NFT may gain value based on who the previous owner was.
- True ownership: NFTs are exclusively controlled and owned by the individual who possesses the private keys to the wallet in which they are stored. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology ensures that ownership of NFTs can’t be altered or duplicated without the owner's consent.
You will need a secure wallet, such as the Trust Wallet, to easily manage your NFTs, especially if you are an avid creator or collector. The Trust Wallet dApp Browser also gives you access to top NFT marketplaces, where you can sell your NFTs or add to your personal collection.
NFT Games: Playing With Unique Digital Assets
Besides art and collectibles, NFTs have also gained a lot of popularity in the gaming industry. They offer new ways for game developers to design games and for players to own, enhance, and even trade their in-game virtual assets.
Here are a few ways in which NFTs are being integrated into games.
- Collectible assets: In various NFT-based games such as Alien Worlds and Splinterlands, in-game items such as avatars, weapons, and outfits exist as unique and rare NFTs that players can trade. As such, players get to truly own their in-game assets and even prove ownership and authenticity of virtual items.
- Virtual real estate: NFTs are often used to represent virtual lands on gaming platforms such as Decentraland and The Sandbox. Players can buy, sell or even develop on the land, just like in real life.
- In-game rewards: In some games, such as Sorare, NFTs act as rewards for winning in games or tournaments. This gives players a unique and valuable asset that they can trade for money or other assets.
There are currently numerous NFT games in the market. Some examples include:
God’s Unchained is a free-to-play NFT-based card game where people accumulate cards that they can trade on the game’s marketplace. Players accumulate these cards by winning PVP matches or purchasing from others.
Each card in the game is an ERC-721 token (a standard for NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain). Therefore, you can also trade them on other marketplaces besides the game’s.
Illuvium is an interoperable blockchain game (IBG) where people traverse a digital world in search of rare and unusual monsters called Illuvials. Players can collect, train, and release illuvials to fight against other players.
The aim when playing Illuvium is to create a powerful crew of illuvials that have a high chance of beating opponents and earning rewards. Most elements in the game, such as land and illuvials, are NFTs that players trade in the in-game marketplace.
Sorare is a free-to-play fantasy trading card game that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It intersects two of the most popular hobbies for sports fans: trading cards and fantasy leagues.
Players start with a random deck of cards, each card representing a real-life athlete and their statistics. From their cards, players can assemble a team of five players to enter into weekly competitions. The performance of your team in the game will then correspond with the real-life performance of the athletes in matches.
There are over 300 sports clubs officially licensed on Sorare’s football trading cards platform, including big names such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Liverpool, just to mention a few.
The Economics of Play-to-Earn Games
Play-to-earn (P2E) is a business model that drove the wide adoption of blockchain-based games, giving rise to the prolific crypto-gaming industry.
These games go beyond traditional gaming experiences by introducing their self-contained economies, assets, decentralized governance mechanisms, and virtual worlds. The play-to-earn model creates a market for in-game items and assets influenced by supply and demand.
Typically, in-game assets are in short supply, which gives them value by creating scarcity. This scarcity may be attained in several ways, such as setting a high time limit for minting new in-game assets or limiting the number of assets that can be minted.
On the contrary, interested players who enjoy playing the game and those looking to trade assets for real money fuel the demand for in-game assets in P2E games. For example, players who want to use specific assets in their gameplay may be willing to pay more to acquire an asset immediately. On the other hand, players seeking to quickly trade their assets for cryptocurrency may be willing to offer discounted prices to hasten the transaction.
Besides, play-to-earn ecosystems generally rely on community vibrance. The more players participate in a particular game, the more valuable the in-game items become. A bigger player base leads to more demand for assets, which may be necessary to win a game, thus driving their prices up.
The Fascinating Universe of NFT Collectibles
NFT collectibles are unique digital assets designed to be collected, owned, and traded as standalone items. They are similar to physical collectibles such as paintings, action figures, signed merchandise, and souvenirs but are in digital form and permanently stored on the blockchain.
NFT collectibles often belong to a specific series, collection, or set. They can represent various types of digital collectibles, such as artwork, virtual trading cards, and virtual memorabilia. Despite the so-called “crypto winter,” NFT collectibles still generated billions of dollars in sales in 2022.
Here are some examples of popular NFT collectibles.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is one of the most popular collectible NFTs that was released by Yuga Labs. This art collection comprises 10,000 varying ape avatars on the Ethereum blockchain.
The collectibles were released in April 2021 and were purchased by celebrities such as Eminem and Snoop Dogg, and other high-profile individuals, causing their prices to shoot through the roof. For instance, the Golden Ape #3749 NFT sold for $2.9 million in 2021. The BAYC collection holds a cumulative sales volume of $2.9 billion.
CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 Ethereum-based NFTs released in 2017, making them one of the earliest collectible NFTs. These simple, 24 x 24 pixel-art images took the NFT world by storm, providing a blueprint that many other NFT projects replicate today. They primarily serve as a status symbol and appear commonly as NFT profile pictures on social media.
The collection was created by Larva Labs but was later acquired by Yuga Labs in 2021. CryptoPunks has also made over $2 billion in all-time sales.
CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game and collectibles platform released in 2017 by Dapper Labs. It’s one of the earliest and most popular projects to introduce the idea of NFTs to the mainstream. First launched on Ethereum, it later moved to the Flow blockchain. CryptoKitties players can collect, breed and trade unique digital cats that exist as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
CryptoKitties gained a lot of popularity during the first days of its release, but this enthusiasm has faded over the years. Still, the platform has sold over $100 million in total volume since the NFTs were first released.
Your First Digital Imprint: How to Mint NFTs
In the decentralized ecosystem of NFTs, anyone, including you, can be an NFT creator.
Creating a new NFT is referred to as minting. Although there are various platforms you can use to mint NFTs, the process is quite similar in all. This process usually involves:
- Connecting your wallet: Before you can interact with any NFT minting platform, you need a cryptocurrency wallet, such as the Trust Wallet Browser Extension. You then visit the platform of choice, for example, OpenSea, and look for the option to connect your wallet.
- Minting your first NFT: Once your wallet is connected, you will be given an option to ‘Create’ your first digital collectible. Here, you will be prompted to upload a digital file, describe it and fill out other necessary information, such as the blockchain where you want your NFT to be hosted. When done, you will have the option to ‘Mint’ your NFT. You will require to pay some gas fees for this process. Therefore, ensure you have the necessary funds in your wallet.
- List your NFT for sale: Once your NFT is successfully minted, you can now list it for sale by choosing the ‘Sell’ option on whichever platform you are using.
Minting an NFT is a different smart contract transaction compared to a typical transfer between wallets and is often more expensive. Storing data consumes more resources than simply making a transfer. This cost is usually very low on most recent blockchains, but it remains relatively high on Ethereum.
To reduce gas fees, it is recommended to mint NFTs during low-traffic hours when there is minimal network congestion. You can also use techniques such as lazy minting, which transfers the responsibility of paying minting fees to the buyer.
There are several marketplaces where you can mint NFTs. Some of the most popular options include:
OpenSea is the biggest and most established NFT marketplace where you can buy and sell all kinds of NFTs. These include art, photography, sports, music, and many other kinds of digital collectibles. OpenSea supports several blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Klatyn, and Polygon.
Rarible is the leading marketplace for rare sports and media NFT collections that offer low gas fees and a low carbon footprint. The platform has its native token known as RARI. Currently, Rarible only supports Ethereum, Tezos, Polygon, and Immutable X.
SuperRare is an NFT marketplace with an art gallery vibe that focuses on providing as much value to creators. As a result, most NFTs on the platform are more works of art than memes. The platform uses Ethereum to mint and trade NFTs.
Upcoming NFTs: The Next Big Thing
If you’re looking to buy NFTs as an investment, you need to get the timing right. You should be aware of upcoming NFT drops, when they happen, and how to get ahead of others through presales and whitelists.
An NFT drop is the first distribution of an NFT, during which NFTs become available for the public to mint. A drop’s time, date, and sometimes the price for minting an NFT is announced in advance to give collectors time to consider when to “ape in” or not.
In the NFT space, it’s important to be well-prepared and informed to participate in the drops that align with your investment goals. Otherwise, you may lose the chance to obtain a rare and potentially valuable NFT.
One way of ensuring that you’re always ready is by marking all the upcoming NFT drops you want to participate in on your calendar and setting reminders. It’s also important to do thorough research on these drops to understand the features of the NFTs, artists involved, perks, and, most importantly, their authenticity
NFT creators could choose to create a whitelist, which is a database of qualified participants who get early access to mint NFTs in a collection, and sometimes at discounted prices. This database usually prioritizes a project’s faithful supporters, protecting them from competition. One way of getting into a project’s whitelist is by participating in all activities and being an active community member.
Whitelisted buyers then get access to the collection’s pre-sale, where they get to access and mint NFTs before they are released to the general public (usually through a public sale).
Below are a few potentially interesting upcoming NFT drops in 2023:
Basketball star LaMelo Ball has partnered with Gutter Cat Gang and Puma to release the latest iteration of the player’s basketball shoes. Minting the digital collectible will give holders access to the unreleased exclusive physical sneaker, GutterMelo MB.03, sometime in the coming months. The public sale goes live on June 29.
This NFT project is anime-themed and is offering citizenship in its vast universe through the purchase of ‘soul orbs.’ For the pre-sale period, 1750 orbs are available for minting at the discounted price of 0.35 ETH. You can also choose to mint the souls for free and then have them locked up for ten weeks. The remaining souls will be available for public sale from July 1.
RobotEra is a versatile metaverse project similar to the Sandbox but with a unique twist. Each land NFT in RobotEra has the ability to transform into its own metaverse. It’s described as a "metaverse of metaverses." The project is currently running its second Presale round of the TARO token, whose current discounted price is $0.023 USDT.
Dimensionals is an upcoming NFT-based gaming platform whereby players can explore multiple dimensions. Each dimension is filled with NFT-based characters that players can collect. The whitelist is currently open for applications.
Conclusion: Navigating the NFT Space
From gaming and entertainment to finance and education, NFTs have the potential to reshape industries and provide new revenue channels for creators, investors, and consumers.
Looking forward, the potential of NFTs appears promising. As blockchain technology advances, we can expect to see more innovative applications and integration of NFTs in various sectors.
If you're interested in exploring the world of NFTs further, you can start by exploring NFT platforms and managing your NFTs directly in Trust Wallet. Trust Wallet provides a secure and user-friendly platform to buy, sell, and store NFTs. You have full control over your digital assets and easily explore the vibrant NFT marketplace through the in-built browser.
Remember, while NFTs offer exciting opportunities, it’s important to approach them with caution and always do your own research. Download Trust Wallet now to start your NFT journey!