The Next Step for NFTs — Real-World Utility Part 1
The first NFT project appeared in the market in 2017. The ERC721 token standard came into effect in early 2018. Since then, for the past three-four years, the growth of non-fungible tokens as a technological paradigm has captured both the investors’ and the crypto enthusiasts’ imagination. 2020 saw a phenomenal rise in the entire crypto market, and that growth inspired the sub-domain of NFTs to grow in a much bigger way, exponentially almost.
If you are wondering how big a growth it has been, the market for NFTs registered a growth percentage anywhere between 1785% and 2100% during the first quarter of 2021. In terms of dollars spent on NFTs, the trade volume exceeded the mark of 2 billion USD.
But, analysts see this figure as the tip of an iceberg. They believe that the value of dollars spent on NFT collectibles in the emerging market alone could reach $20 billion. Another set of estimates see the growth in NFTs comparable to that of Bitcoin that grew 14,000% over five years.
For any sector to have robust growth, the main product of that sector must have real-world utility. Until it manages to augment its demand, it is difficult to grow sustainably. Interestingly, the NFT-tech leaders have successfully come up with solutions that are deeply rooted in real-life user demands.
Blockcasset is one such NFT platform that aims at bridging the gap between athletes and their fans with exclusive NFTs, verified by the athletes themselves and many more fan experiences. Let us delve deeper to understand how does our platform work.
The Blockasset NFTs
So far, we have released an exciting set of athlete-NFT collections, including the likes of UFC middleweight Darren Till, UFC welterweight Leon Edwards, the undisputed boxing welterweight champion Terence Crawford, the France and Juventus soccer legend David Trezeguet, and Italy and Juventus campaign Giorgio Chiellini.
While the NFTs are meant for the digital world, Blockasset extends its connection with its fans to the physical world as well. The real-world incentives include meet and greets, personal training sessions, signed sportswear, match tickets, video airdrops, and much more.
Blockasset is built on Solana. Interestingly, Solana leverages the language Rust that solves potential issues of memory safety and thread concurrency. The other advantage of developing Solana is its almost non-existent fees and the transaction processing capacity of 50,000 per second.
For Blockasset users, these qualities translate to smooth and hassle-free onboarding without having to worry about the entry barrier arising out of high fees.
The real-life benefits of Blockasset are multiple. While athletes get to monetize their brand lifelong, the users can see these NFTs as an investment into assets. If wished, the fan can always sell the NFT on the Blockasset marketplace, as the value of an NFT rises with the growing brand equity of the associated player.
Blockasset lets the athletes have full creative control over their brand. The athletes get to choose artists of their liking, and they get to decide what the uniqueness of their NFT would be and how the NFT would tell their story.
NFTs are often sold through auctions and, therefore, considered to be high-value purchases. For instance, An NFT artwork by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, was auctioned at the world-famous auction house Christie’s for a whopping price of $69 million. While this auction happened in March 2021, the highest price any of Beeple’s digital artwork had ever fetched, until October 2020, was $100.
In December 2020, Beeple first sold a series of works for $3.5 million, while in February, one of his artworks, originally priced at $66,666.66, fetched $6.6 million. From all these numbers, it is evident that not only NFTs saw an explosive surge in their prices in percentage growth, they also gained huge value in absolute dollar terms, often in the range of millions.
Blockasset challenges this perception that NFTs are necessarily million-dollar items. It takes a community-centric approach in selling NFTs and believes that every fan should get a fair chance to put their hands on the NFTs.
To make this happen, we have divided our collection tiers in terms of rarity. Any fan is eligible to directly purchase a 1–1000 NFT at a reasonable price. No collection tier carries any special privilege when it comes to winning meet and greets and other prizes.
The Technological Sophistication of the Platform
We have leveraged Solana via Metaplex to build the Blockasset platform. There are several reasons why real-world NFT platforms often leverage Solana instead of Ethereum.
Solana uses no state as part of its programs, while Ethereum stores state. Storing or using the state as part of its programs makes the network slower.
Solana’s on-chain verification creates trusted timestamps. It can stream transactions without having to wait for global consensus or sacrificing security. Since it uses miniature data packets and transmits them using UDP, the memory requirements are low. By redirecting unconfirmed transactions to upcoming validators, Solana also helps remove the mempool. All these innovative features make Solana a capable platform in achieving improved security, bandwidth, and decentralization.
One of the most enticing features of Blockasset is that it makes the world of NFT trade intermediary-free. Leveraging the Blockasset platform, our users can buy verified NFTs directly from the athletes.
There is no middle man involved. The amount the purchaser pays goes entirely into the athlete’s pocket, no one cutting in. To ensure trust and transparency, Blockasset also allows the users to see the athlete’s wallet with their name included in it.
The process of purchasing is also straightforward and hassle-free. All that you need to do is connect to your Phantom wallet and purchase NFTs by loading up the wallet with the required funds. The Phantom wallet will allow you to see your NFTs on a special NFT page that comes within the wallet and browser extension.
To help users resell NFTs, we also operate a marketplace. The NFT marketplace is another reason why more and more users are finding the purchase of NFT useful. Users can trade it with like-minded people, without having to worry about the saleability of the items they have purchased.
To purchase NFTs, you need $SOL tokens. Loading $SOL tokens to your wallet is easy. You can buy and store $SOL from Binance or Coinbase and then send them to your new wallet.
Otherwise, you can load $SOL to your Phantom wallet from FTX pay using your debit or credit card. All you need to do is select Deposit SOL and Deposit from FTX options. Following the on-screen instructions and completing the KYC will do the rest for you.
The UX of the Platform
Making NFTs an item fit for real-world use, the user experience has to be top-notch. Realizing the importance of UX, we at Blockasset keep it at the center of its platform development efforts. And, this is why we leverage Solana blockchain and Metaplex. Developing on the base of Solana via Metaplex ensures that the user gets low-cost fees and fast processing time when the NFTs are minted. The fees never go above $70.
If we look at the comparative statistics of Solana with other popular chains like BSC or Ethereum, we will understand why we prefer it so decidedly.
While Solana can process 50,000 transactions in a second, Binance Smart Chain can only process 100 and Ethereum 15. Achieving scale also leads Solana to improve its average fee per transaction by a significant margin. While the fees on Solana, per transaction, is only $0.00001, Binance Smart Chain has a fee of $0.15 and Ethereum as high as $15.
The transaction latency of Solana is not even a second. It is 0.4 sec only. On Binance Smart Chain, the transaction latency is nearly 75 seconds, and on Ethereum, it is as high as 5 minutes.
However, the one area where Ethereum beats Solana is its number of validators. While Ethereum boasts of a validator-base exceeding 11,000, Solana has 594 validators. But, it is still far better than the Binance Smart Chain that only has 21 validators.
Owing to all these factors, Solana, in a very short span, has grown into a blockchain of nearly $10 billion market capitalization. Using Solana to build Blockasset is making it a hassle-free platform for newcomers.
The first-timers, when onboarding, do not need to worry about high fees or long processing times. An optimal user experience makes NFT purchase as smooth as any other real-world online purchase.
$BLOCK Token: The Fuel of Blockasset
You can use the $BLOCK token for a wide variety of purposes. You can transfer them into a staking smart contract to access NFT rewards or earn discounts and reductions on platform fees and the list price of NFTs. You can also farm $nBLOCK tokens by locking up your $BLOCK tokens, and then you can purchase exclusive NFTs through them.
As per our future roadmap, we will soon launch NFT drops and list exclusive items from time to time. These items and drops will be denominated in a secondary currency known as the $nBLOCK token.
The $BLOCK holders will get the opportunity to farm the $nBLOCK token by locking up their $BLOCK tokens. There will be some items that only these limited sets of $nBLOCK yield farmers will have access to. They can purchase these exclusive items and resell them on the Blockasset marketplace to make bigger gains.
The ownership of $BLOCK also gives you governance rights, the chance to be a part of the formative decisions taken on Blockcasset’s evolution and growth. You can have a say in building custom NFTs, and you can choose adventures. You can also vote on the creation of new NFTs, experiences, and tiers.
More Real-World NFT Use Cases to Come
Blockasset is not stopping at creating an NFT marketplace and a system of athlete tokenization. We are also working on NFT games, NFT event ticketing, live events, and Blockasset productions with exclusive behind-the-scenes content.
The Blockasset platform became live on July 5th, 2021. The present trends indicate an exciting growth curve for our platform in the days to come.
Keeping up with the expectations of the community at large, we aim to complete the token launch in Q3 2021. We will then introduce NFT farming and token staking. It will also continue with the onboarding of more athletes.
The last quarter of 2021 will see the first Blockasset live event. It is also the time when the platform will launch its productions. The first quarter of 2022 will see the introduction of a new set of features.
The NFT ticketing system will become live. To help other projects and developers launch their set athlete-fan tokens, Blockasset will introduce a launchpad. We will come up with an app, and the final stop on our roadmap will be the introduction of Blockasset gaming.
While Blockasset has opened up new horizons in the world of athlete NFTs, the real-life use cases of NFTs are spreading equally in other domains. We have already seen the use of NFTs in the space of art auctions.
It is also finding growing use in the areas of digital collectibles. Gaming is benefiting significantly from NFTs as in-game purchases are successfully tapping into the potential of NFTs.
The luxury fashion and apparel industry is using NFTs to express the authenticity and exclusivity of their items. To prevent fraud in the areas of education and employment, platforms are helping to tokenize course certificates and licenses. NFTs are also finding use in the real estate industry, allowing buyers to fractionally own properties.
If you want to continue reading, check out The Next Step for NFTs — Real-World Utility Part 2.
Blockasset will launch its very first generative collection, The Legends, very soon. Follow us on socials to stay up to date.