A historical guide to the NFT world. Where it all began and how it got to this madness.
Let’s rewind it back.
The concept of blockchain gaming or a tokens on blockchain has had some merit before the ERC721 standard on Ethereum was created.
Which is what most projects use, (superrare, Decentraland, Axie infinity, etc).
CryptoPunks started it off with the first NFT on Ethereum experiment.
10,000 cryptopunks released on the blockchain that had randomly generated traits.
Some of these traits were extremely rare like Ape, beanie and Zombie.
Eg, only 24 have the Ape punk trait. Out of 10,000!
They do absolutely nothing apart from exist. But because of being the first that actually pushed eth devs to implement an NFT standard, they have collector value.
They were claimable for free at the start but now the lowest you can buy them now is around 4-5 ETH!
The founders kept 1,000.
Decentraland held their MANA ICO in August 2017 on the concept of a digital world where you can buy virtual land as NFTs.
The land auction was held late that December which saw over $10M spent on Virtual land!
Cryptokitties is probably the most prominent project because they gamified NFTs.
You could breed 2 cats together to ‘pass down’ traits and thus hunt for rare cats.
There was some record sales during crypto hype Dec 2017-2018 and all this action congested Ethereum which effected the whole network.
Cryptokitties was integral in proving to everyone that NFTs have a brigh future.
Then some other projects like Enjin and WAX held their ICO’s to build platforms for NFTs to be integrated in games or collectibles to launch on.
Gods Unchained & Axie Infinity followed as promising games on the blockchain.
Gods Unchained following the Hearthstone model and Axie Infinity creating more of a gaming universe with a concept of breeding, pokemon, tamagotchi, virtual pets, etc.
Opensea and some art platforms like Superrare also were out early experimenting with being a Decentralized marketplace and Art as NFTs.
We saw each pick up traction and build their platforms and commmunities for 2-3 years where many other projects also joined the scene.
The Sandbox came out with a virtual minecraft style land game,
F1 Delta, Battle Racers, etc.
unstoppable domains and ENS came out to tokenize domain names.
There were hype and slow periods but overall, these projects were becoming more and more established.
It was interesting to watch and be a part of.
The biggest issue has been you need a metamask or digital wallet to engage in these projects.
So for the most part it’s been a very small niche.
4-6 Months ago, we’ve seen DeFi pick up immensely and consquently, 1,000’s of people have learnt how to use Metamask, thus increasing the amount of people that can engage in NFTs!
In the last 1-2 months we’ve seen the NFT space pick up and now it seems to be on the cusp of going exponential.
Things are going good.
There’s some projects in the works, more platforms like rarible and MEME establishing themselves.
And the industry seems to be growing well.
it’s hard to predict WHICH projects will do well, but my bet is with the early projects that have already seen 2-3 years of development and actually have a product to show while there’s an NFT bull run.
About The Author
Matty is an Investor in Decentraland, Gods Unchained and NFT Art and frequently writes Analysis posts/updates on the NFT market. You can follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/DCLBlogger