Early in the GameHow early is early? NFTs took the world by storm in mid January when NBA Top Shot made its appearance. In less than a month, moments that were initially sold for a measly $10 were fetching outlandish numbers of over $5000 on the secondary market. I'm being rather conservative when I say 5k, cause I can guarantee you that people made fatttttt stacks from Top Shot. It was the start of what would eventually become one of the most booming industries in the world. Little did we know that Top Shot would only be the tip of the iceberg. Since then, new waves of people from all over the internet have been introduced to the space, and formed a rather passionate and illustrious NFT community. It's crazy to think that just a few months ago, most common folks were going on about how NFTs were dead. Pfft, as if.
The NFT Landscape Today:
The Punks, Bored Apes, and Cool Cats of the world are out here casually flexing their NFTs while most average folks are figuring out how to set up a Metamask wallet. These NFT owners like reminding you that you too could have been part of the gang if you had bought in at 0.02 ETH. No hater energy here, but man does it sting when you miss out on projects that do crazy good. DeFi protocols are being implemented to pay you on your NFTs, and some NFTs are being fractionalized so that you can be a part owner. I don't have 250 ETH sitting around quite yet, so perhaps being a part owner of a punk or an ape is in the cards... Most importantly, we're all buying JPEGS with our monopoly money. How much better can this get?
Members of the NFT Community may have chuckled at that paragraph, or maybe just shook their head in disappointment of how bad my dad jokes are instead. A whole 'nother set of folks probably have no idea what 40% of the terms I used even means. The NFT space is so young, that even the use of the term "NFT" is a bit of a misnomer. The term has turned into an easy way to describe a digital item with value, but is unfortunately way too generalizing. While yes, NFTs can be anything, the technology behind it is what's great; it's a simple way of tracking ownership of a digital asset. Assets can be music, artwork, photos, tickets, documentation, hell even tweets are getting minted nowadays. NFTs tend to do a little more than simply prove ownership, though. They can operate as access tokens into special communities filled with folks from all walks of life, and each bearing insights across various industries/niches.
BAYC (Bored Ape Yatch Club) is arguably the most recently impressive group to have been formed from a randomly generated avatar project. They've executed in style too. There are 10,000 unique Bored Apes in the collection, and there's plenty of different properties that an ape can have.
so on and so forth.
Because it's all randomly generated, certain properties of an ape can be considerably more rare than others. For example, 80% of apes can have regular fur, but perhaps only 1% have gold fur. Subcommunities tend to be created this way, but we can save that for another blog post. BAYC opened its doors to the NFT world, and the folks that ran in have since found their home, and they're continuing to make history almost every day it seems. As the community grows more hype, more folks want to join! Which simply means that prices to get in also start to rise. The floor for BAYC is currently an astounding 35 ETH. A long way from their original 0.08 ETH mint price. The folks at Quezt Gaming love BAYC.
Many projects have since gone to adopt a similar practice of unique generative artwork that owners get full rights to. Some have done fantastic, and others, not so much. The story of NFTs and each of these special worlds & characters is just starting, and in my opinion, shouldn't all be dismissed so quickly.
This space is filled with many visionaries, technologists, builders, & perhaps most of all, opportunists. It's no secret that a tremendous lot of folks that have traded PFPs, flipped artwork, or engaged in other forms of derivative-based sales to make some serious dough. For example, many Bored Apes have started derivative projects (i.e. projects where an owner leverages their NFT in something new like comics, books, movies, ads, and more, and gets paid for that new content) that are doing well. In terms of continuing education, the folks that want to have some sort of longevity in the space are learning about forming DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), burn mechanisms, minting from contracts, starting next-gen "cook groups," and much more as a result of being in the space. A friend of mine put it brilliantly when he introduced me to the term: first-mover advantage. It's amazing to be here this early. Even if you aren't *in* the NFT space just yet, reading this article speaks volumes of your interest here. Good on you. Dive in!
The biggest priority for folks that really love this space is simple: get more people to adopt and be a part of the space. At Quezt Gaming, our main objective is to help educate, onboard, and enable anyone that is interested in NFTs & crypto. There are many wonderful folks out there who are set on doing the same thing. Slowly but surely, the world will bear witness and the network will continue to grow.
(shameless plug, The Quezt Gaming Checkpoint server has free educational resources for your viewing. Join here: https://discord.io/QzCheckpoint).
The Numbers, Mason.
Seriously though, the notion that we're early in this space can't be emphasized enough. Adam Fisch (@keepfischin on twitter) put it brilliantly in a recent tweet: https://twitter.com/keepfischin/status/1429109286559535104?s=20
Of the 120k wallets on Opensea, I would argue that most folks have between 1-20 unique wallets. This means that -by my estimate- there are roughly 15k-25k unique individuals in the entire NFT community, and this number is only expected to rise significantly over the course of the next 2-5 years. NFTs are seemingly disregarded by the masses, and are only ever spoken about in the mainstream when massive news happens like:
- Beeple's "The First 5000 Days" - $69.3 Million Dollar sale
- Visa's $150,000 purchase of a CryptoPunk
- Arizona Tea purchasing a Bored Ape
- BAYC being auctioned off at Christie's
These events are good for the space as it prompts individuals to ask the most important question ever: "why?" Curiosity is a great feeling to instill in someone. I've found that some individuals tend to be reluctant to dive into NFTs simply because they're uninformed about what NFTs are, as well as how cryptocurrencies and blockchain works. This is no easy task. Bringing in the masses is one of the most difficult challenges that many NFT Community Members are experiencing. This challenge comes purely from the ridiculously steep learning curve regarding blockchain, smart contracts, DeFi (decentralized finance), and NFTs. There's simply a TON of information to consume, and the speed at which new technologies are announced coupled with how quickly new projects pop up makes it very difficult for regular folks to learn, let alone keep up with.
Despite the learning curve, some projects have still been wildly successful in bringing in new folks into the space, which is something to be celebrated. I want to quickly tip my hat to the folks over at Veefriends for the work they've accomplished so far, especially for bringing attention towards NFTs! The success with the Veefriends project is largely thanks to the amount of value & insight that Gary has given to his community for years, and has ultimately led many folks towards a newfound interest in NFTs. However, even with an awesome surge of users through several big influencers/players, the total number of users is only a tiny percentage of everyone online. That tiny percentage certainly shouldn't be dismissed though. 120,000 unique wallets have accounted for roughly $1.5B in sales volume in August 2021 alone (https://dune.xyz/queries/3469/6913). Thinking about how much more volume there'll be as more users join the space is genuinely mind-blowing.
Early in The Metaverse:I mentioned earlier that the term "NFT" is overgeneralized, and similarly, I believe that "The Metaverse" is also wildly misused. I'm not saying that teams shouldn't be ambitious in building the metaverse, but that world is a culmination of many years of innovation & collaboration. It's the place where the virtual universe is a collection of every virtual world (Sandbox, Decentraland, Somnium) and "subverse" (Animetaverse, Epic Games, Star Atlas) that exists, or will be created. Not only that, travelers of this virtual universe are able to easily jump from one world to another with all of their NFTs (this is known as interoperability, and is a crucial component of a true metaverse). The Metaverse is the place where this virtual universe also collides with the real world seamlessly, where your NFTs grant you benefits in various ways; both digitally & IRL. It's the place where your imagination is the only limit you have. As exciting as it sounds, it reminds that we are still so far away. Something like a century or two, in NFT time of course lol. For those wondering, my estimate would be around 10-45 years. Technology evolves so quickly, there's no telling how fast things can happen.
Even this early on, I stand firm in the following predictions:
- no one single virtual world can ever claim to be The Metaverse
- The Metaverse is the collection of every virtual world and their sub-worlds/subverses
- NFT Interoperability will be a key component of The Metaverse
- The Metaverse will have a "global currency" that is the standard across the entire network. Other currencies could be worth more/less than the global currency, but it is mainly relevant to the specific world(s) where the token is utilized. (Global economy vs sub-economies).
- Gaming-driven use-cases will test the strength of existing technology & protocols
Closing ThoughtsThis particular blog was written to provide context surrounding the space's infancy, the accomplishments that have been celebrated so far, and to draw emphasis on how much further of a road there is to travel on. I can tell you with certainty that NFTs will be common knowledge in the near future, and that it will undoubtedly be a major cross-industry disruptor. Getting educated on NFTs and joining the community is a worthwhile task worth completing!
Thanks for reading,