NFTs: The new frontier of online gaming and esports
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet for $2.9 million, digital artist Beeple’s collection was valued at $69 million, and popular meme Nyan Cat was auctioned for about $590,000 — all of these and more are through the creative novelty called NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Let’s have a closer look at what they are, how and why they are important here at Bitcasino.
The availability and convenience of the digital world have led to massive uniformity. However, a platform shared with billions of people who have numerous ideas, is also a place to compete on who will stand out among the rest. Among the recent innovations, NFTs are at the top of the pyramid in terms of uniqueness and creativity.
Non-fungible tokens explained
NFTs are one-of-a-kind assets stored on a digital ledger called blockchain. In other words, these are cryptographic tokens with unique IDs, origins, and ownerships that represent real-world aspects, such as art, music, and in-game items, to a whole new level.
While NFTs are built using similar programming as digital currencies, they have a different purpose. Between the two, the latter is fungible and can be traded for another coin with the same value, whereas the former are interchangeably attached to distinct values and levels of authenticity. Given how online information is easy to cut and paste elsewhere, these assets can’t be easily and repeatedly duplicated.
In the words of Decrypt Editor-in-Chief Daniel Roberts, ‘NFTs can't be duplicated or copied, they're verifiably scarce. All it really means is that it can't be divided, duplicated, subbed one-for-one’.
NFTs may exist and be supported by other blockchains, but they are initially and typically held on the Ethereum blockchain. The first standard was called the ERC-721. It is a free, open, and heritable Solidity smart contract with core methods to track the owner of a unique identifier.
What makes them special and valuable
While NFTs are, without a doubt, special digital entities that represent both tangible and intangible items, why are people willing enough to spend millions of dollars on them? How are they different from downloading and owning a picture in JPG or music in MP3 formats?
According to John Crain, founder and CEO of the digital art market SuperRare, what makes NFTs highly valuable is their unique degree of connection between the creator and buyer. The pieces of information that all tokenized assets hold give buyers the right to own the original output, but the copyright remains with the artists. Hence, they become investors and collectors in the digital world. Instead of getting the actual painting or record album to own and display on the wall, they get a digital file secured in a public ledger.
Now, NFTs come in all shapes and sizes. Crypto investors, social media figures, and digital industries are already at the forefront of tapping their uses and potential. What started with digital art and card collectables, have moved into the following spaces:
- Videos and sports highlights
- Designer sneakers
- GIFs (graphics interchange format)
- Online gaming.
NFTs: Crypto revolution for esports & online gaming
Another great platform that blends well with crypto is esports. After all, as the latter enters the mainstream, what better way for leaders to provide transparency, exceptional features, and increase mass adoption than using digital currencies and blockchain tech?
Now, like digital art and music, both online gaming and esports crypto use NFTs for newer and better levels of game monetisation. Game developers and publishers release their own versions to represent in-game assets, such as skins and plots of land.
On the other hand, gamers and esports teams attract fans by dropping them as physical prizes in the form of drops series. The world-renowned professional esports organisation OG, for instance, already had two major successful NFT drops.
NFTs are for everyone else as well. While they rose to popularity due to the big names in the industry, you can also monetise your accumulated in-game items by tokenising them and storing them in your digital crypto wallet. Then you can either take them to another game, sell them in a marketplace, or trade with interested and potential buyers.
NFTs are here to stay
While esports is a billion-dollar industry, the market for NFTs is already twice as big as the former. In 2020, it reached more than $250 million then in the first quarter of 2021, it jumped into $2 billion. Like what happened to digital currencies a decade ago, they have grown multitudes of options, resulting in 300 million crypto users globally who explore around 6,000 digital coins today.
Perhaps, what propels gamers, game developers, and esports franchisers with NFTs is the fact that they offer great community engagement. Only time will tell if this digital practice of investment and collection will remain as they do today. Continue to keep track of the rise of NFTs here at Bitcasino, your source of information on crypto and esports odds.
Words by: Antoinette Laraze