The non-fungible token (NFT) space has grown into an impressive $27bn (£19.8bn) market, with people across the world purchasing digital land, music, and art that cannot be physically seen or touched.
A number of investors and businesses in the sector are not only launching their own NFTs, but making huge returns by “flipping” these pre-owned one-of-a-kind crypto assets on a secondary market.
Recent Chainalysis data found that flipping yields provides a much higher chance (65%) for a collector to profit, while only 28.5% of NFTs purchased during their minting and then sold on a marketplace end up profitable.
On average, the best performing collectors on Open Sea make triple their initial investment every time they flip an NFT, whereas the lowest performing group returns an average loss of 0.9 times their initial investment.
Read more: NFTs: The birth of a $27bn marketplace
One of the people looking to make waves in the sector is gaming industry veteran Andrius Mironovskis, who is working towards taking the NFT ecosystem to the next level.
“I like to present myself more as the Elon Musk of crypto,” Mironovskis told Yahoo Finance.
The former designer, and ex-chief technology officer of CFlow, is now spearheading the largest NFT gaming launchpad in the world. His fundraising platform Gamestarter focuses on building high-quality blockchain games such as Dark Frontiers, Crypto Fight Club, Pixel Pix, Demole, as well as others.
“We have our own game development studio, and our own game store launchpad, which is basically the rocket to take our projects and shoot them in the sky,” the Estonian entrepreneur said.
“We are also building certain products with a focus on collecting all communities and crypto in one place”.
The company has game developers across the globe, including Europe, the US, China, other parts of Asia, and Russia.
What is an NFT?
NFTs are unique crypto assets that enable collectors to authenticate, own and trade original authenticated versions of special digital goods using blockchain technology.
They can be anything digital from drawings to videos or GIFs, but they can also be applied to a physical item such as coins or a stamp.
In economics, a fungible asset is something with units that can be readily interchanged, like money. You are able to swap a £10 note for two £5 notes and it will have the same value.
However, if something is non-fungible, it has unique properties so it cannot be interchanged with something else.
When an NFT is bought, the person purchasing receives a certificate secured in blockchain technology, which makes them the owner of that specific digital asset. Specifically, NFTs are typically held on the ethereum (ETH-USD) blockchain, but other blockchains support them too.
This cannot be replicated or substituted, and it can only have one official owner at any given time.
NFTs are transparent and no one is able to modify the record of ownership or copy/paste a new NFT into existence.
Due to this unique quality the NFT market has become popular over recent years, drawing in a number of wealthy consumers since their creation in around 2014.
NFTs and gaming
According to an annual report by the Blockchain Game Alliance, sales of NFTs grew from $41m in 2018 to $2.5bn in the first half of 2021.
Meanwhile, NFT games generated $2.32bn in revenue in the third quarter of last year, roughly 22% of all NFT trading volume industry-wide in the quarter.
Web3.0 has also opened up a new internet, and Web3 games are growing and garnering ever-increasing adoption, with play-to-earn models on the rise. Players can purchase fleets or stables of characters and also loan them out to others looking to play who do not have the money.
“We decided to launch something more focused on community, so launchpad was the first idea to bring more non-crypto game developers to the crypto market, and help those who are already building crypto games.
“By working on that part we realised that 99% of the crypto projects weren’t very good.”
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He added: “In the gaming industry, blockchain tokens, and NFTs, these can be used directly to get value from a company in exchange for services. There is a psychological side, technical side and financial side.”
Gamestarter’s core feature is providing full-scale gaming ecosystems for NFTs and Initial Game Offering (IGO) pre-sales. The native token to the platform, $GAME, can be purchased on the PancakeSwap, UniSwap, or Gate.io platforms.
It is a competing powerhouse platform of Kickstarter but with niches in NFTs, indie gaming, and fundraises in cryptocurrency. Dark Frontiers is a standalone play-to-earn game featuring NFTs, allowing players to earn income in crypto.
On Dark Frontiers, players will pilot their own spaceship and conquer new planets, defeat oppositions, form guilds and capture new and unique NFTs that can either be built on or sold on the open markets.
The $DARK token is the game currency in Dark Frontiers in which players can earn interest on their digital land, and are free to buy, sell, and trade on the free market.
Read more: What is the metaverse and Web 3.0?
“We know that in the long-run, only game ideas with a focus on game play first, and blockchain second, are potentially going to survive,” Mironovskis said.
“Even right now, when we see that crypto is going down more or less, well-known game projects are still performing well, and generating additional revenues for players.”
What’s next in the NFT ecosystem?
“One week in the crypto world is equal to one month in old-fashioned business, and one month in the crypto world is equal to one year in old-fashioned business; this is how quickly crypto is moving forward, with all technology and infrastructural solutions.”
Mironovskis pointed to the fact that it has been proven there is a high requirement for NFTs to do more, and go beyond being just a simple JPEG available for purchase that sits on a blockchain.
Although he believes the art NFT world is in a “huge bubble”, he said the gaming industry is ready to explode as it is generating a lot of funds, and money via the marketplaces.
For example, players are able to rent assets such as weapons within the games and bring in income.
At the start of this year, Dark Frontiers sold out their in-game space suits in less than 20 minutes of launch on Binance’s NFT marketplace, showing the demand for more elaborate gameplay capabilities.
He said NFT 2.0 will allow for additional adeptness that reaches many areas like nesting, multi-resource, reactive, alongside NFTs that can be fractionalized into a DAO.
“I believe the second wave will be a social wave; apps and social network solutions to unite all the crypto community in one place.
“NFTs are going to be the future — it’s decentralised you can trade, sell, buy, generate your own, create value basically from nothing.
“But with the great power of blockchain, and a lot of benefits, we have a lot of challenges. Once governments are more advanced and willing to cooperate with crypto, I think we will tap into the new era.”