NFTY NEWS is a weekly newsletter covering the latest developments of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the blockchain space – collectibles, games, new platforms, and much more. NFTY NEWS is created by contributor Brian Flynn and adapted from his Medium page. For more information on NFTs, check out Brian’s reading list to get you up to speed on crypto digital assets.
NFTY News #17: Open Ecosystems
Protocols & Ecosystems in crypto are in a really weird spot — how do you promise returns to investors while monetizing your protocol after the initial sell of tokens or digital assests? Tony Sheng’s post of red ocean for smart contract protocols defines the state of crypto & NFT projects today. “Mercenary Developers” are being incentivized with huge checks, but even these initiatives are gaining little traction because of the lack of end users. Companies are even trademarking words being used by the community 😤
I’m going to try and tie all of this together in this week’s issue, so let’s dive in.
1. NIFTY Trademark — Dapper Labs (Creator of CryptoKitties) files a trademark for the word “NIFTY”.
In one of the more controversial discussions last week, the team behind CryptoKitties, DapperLabs, filed a trademark for the community word “NIFTY” to describe NFTs or non-fungible tokens. While the team behind CryptoKitties has done a fantastic job in kickstarting the non-fungible token community, this may not be the right contribution —CryptoKitties is enforcing their community as a closed ecosystem. The team will struggle to win support from an open-source developer community by attempting to monopolize buzzwords developers have been using in their own projects in order to reach adoption.
FYI-I’ll be continuing to use the name NFTY News for my newsletter. I won’t be changing it for this.
2. Designing Non-Fungible Token for Open Ecosystems — designing a NFT project to encompass and incentivize the developer & creator community
It looks like non-fungible token projects have struggled to sustain userbases after a few months after launching their projects. In my post published last week, I argue that not enough projects are utilizing blockchain benefits to enhance their product. I’ve been doing a ton of research into how non-technical creators can earn crypto using non-fungible tokens without being a part of a game’s economy or being an artist.
Here’s one example I had: using existing non-fungible tokens to create new ways to program digital scarcity and engage new audiences. Creating games on top of games. Second-layer programmability may create more demand for tokens than their initial programmable value.
If you’re interested in helping me build this out or have any ideas around designing open ecosystems for non-technical creators, please reach out! I’m looking to reiterate quickly on a lot of these ideas but currently don’t have support to do it.
One of the more technical difficulties around creating these open ecosystems is the lack of a metadata standard for non-fungible tokens and ERC721. If we were to create a more structured way of designing contracts, we would have a more plug-and-play and truly permissionless ecosystem.
I’ve been interested in this project for awhile because it’s probably the simplest way for anyone to create their own token. More so than FanBits. What’s even more interesting is the fact that user-generated tokens are cryptocomposable. If you create a moken, it can own any other ERC20 or ERC721 and exist as a batch. Any third party can send tokens to that token, rather than your personal wallet address.
This might be a way to create decentralized brands using non-fungible tokens. Maybe you want to create your own digital clothing brand, or start your own music label. You can crate new digital assets that have the brand/label own the digital assets below it. You can now sell those digital assets from the parent NFT or the individual digital assets.
If you’re still looking for a primer on non-fungible tokens, here it is.
“ All too often, we hear the phrase “NFTs allow users to truly own their digital items”. This is true, but it falls short. While NFTs do allow us to really own digital goods, they ultimately give artists more control over their creations, companies less control over their users, and users more control over their identity. These are far-reaching impacts that extend beyond simple ownership.” from What are NFTs?
5. Centrifuge Releases Their Technical Whitepaper for User-Mintable NFTs with Private off-chain Data
I’m paying extremely close attention to Centrifuge, a company attempting to tokenize business docs by combining privacy functions into existing ERC721s. The technical whitepaper describes the ability to mint a NFT and point to the data off-chain, which gives the user the ability to prove ownership over the off-chain data. Check out their whitepaper for more details!
We’ve seen some interest from multiple parties to have ENS domains more widely used across dApps. In order to make ENS domains more usable, they need to be able to be exchanged more easily.
ENSNIFTY allows you to tokenize your ENS domains through their dApp, wrap it (similar to WETH) and then trade it as an ERC721.
I’m looking to get more involved with a project. If you are working on creative use cases, or working on trying to get more people into crypto and reaching end users, I would love to talk about how I can help. E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to talk about NFTs, or anything crypto related, drop me a line on twitter @flynnjamm, my DMs are always open.