My First Free NFT Experience (Fractal)!
I was scrolling through twitter one day and happened to come across a tweet about an NFT project. If you have followed me for a while, you know I’m not too involved in the space (lots of speculation and non-utility projects).
I want to start off by saying this isn’t a promo of the NFT I’ll be talking about or the related website. It’s just something I happened to come across based on the fact I knew one of the creators involved in the project. That person is Justin Kan (known for co-founding twitch and selling it to Amazon), so he is a well known online entrepreneur.
The gist of Fractal is that it is an NFT marketplace (similar to OpenSea), but the focus is on gaming related NFTs. If you read my article around NFTs and the pros and cons of the tech, I highlighted how I thought gaming and NFTs has future potential.
So I ended up joining that discord to follow the project without really any expectations of getting something in return. To my surprise based on when you joined the discord you received an NFT which has some perks.
After following instructions on setting up a Solana wallet (through phantom) and verifying it on the discord server, I received my Fractal NFT. BEHOLD MY FIRST NFT!
If your thinking “that isn’t even cool looking”, I would agree lol
The point of some NFTs are not about the looks. Clearly with this NFT, it is more around utility over aesthetics. With fractal, it allows for some exclusivity around the discord as well as potential uses in games that are on the platform. They could also add perks to owning the NFT over time.
For example, maybe if you own a fractal, all NFTs you trade on the marketplace have a lower transactional fee. Just spit ballin ideas. If the fractal team reads this and implements the idea, I would like a shoutout! 🙂
Below are the biggest takeaways I have from this experience.
Future of Gaming and Crypto
Looking at the games on fractal I noticed a few things.
Whatever crypto currency the game utilizes will need to be low fees and fast. No one wants to have $50 fees to transact on an in game reward that is worth $1. This is why the Fractal marketplace seems to think Solana (all the projects are currently SOL based) is currently the future of gaming (as the costs are low and they have high transaction speed). Of course we know there is a tradeoff of decentralization and security if a cryptocurrency has higher scalability.
High level barrier to entry. Some of the games have a requirement where you need to own an NFT in order to play the game itself. This is something that I don’t believe will be the future of gaming as it creates gatekeeping to who can play the game. No one wants to drop $3,000 on an NFT just to play a game.
Let’s face it, people love the freemium model when it comes to gaming. You get to play for free and the company makes money via transactions in the game through skin purchases, loot boxes, or advertising.
We can all agree the freemium game publishers deserve some monetization, but if it is through programmed time delays or pay to win…those companies can all burn in hell lol
Here is how I see the future and the biggest potential for publishers like Activision, EA, or Take-Two Interactive to come into the mix. My vision for gaming is for both the publishers and gamers to be rewarded for engaging games.
At the end of the day, what gets attention from gamers? Good games. People want to come back to games that are fun to play! That high engagement is the key metric that will allow video game companies to let people make money from playing their games, while still being able to make money themselves.
With a game like Call of Duty, through giving your attention to the publisher and playing, you could earn skins for weapons. These skins could then be sold on the open marketplace and the publisher gets a % of that sale. In this scenario, it gives an incentive to players keep coming back to play on top of enjoying the amazing gameplay. The gamers can get rewarded with money for playing, and the company still gets a piece of the money due to ongoing transactional costs that go back to the publisher.
In this hypothetical situation everyone wins! The company could also offer other ways to make money (so as long as it doesn’t turn the game into a play to win situation).
As of now, I see a lot of NFT games raising money through pre-sales of NFTs as a way to play the game when it comes out or unlock better powers in the game. I don’t see that as a winning formula long term. People are then only getting involved with a project just to make money (which may work when there is a lot of hype and speculation in the space)!
So while I think a marketplace for blockchain gaming is important, the games themselves right now on the platform are not the most impressive…yet.
For example, I played the Solchicks demo game (RPG).
As for RPG game play it was extremely basic. I mean outside of the NFT factor and potential to make some money, I would never play that game haha
NFTs as a Free Incentive
Here is one factor, where I am impressed with NFTs.
To acquire users faster for a project or company, they can create an NFT collection to get people to sign up for a discord, an email list, or whatever they are trying to accomplish with a pre-launch.
I never really thought about that aspect of NFTs when I wrote that first article, but NFTs as of now are a way for companies to offer something in return without a capital outlay for customer acquisition. Is this is a fad? I would say it depends on what the NFT offered does.
If a company offers a NFT that is just a JPEG of something random, then the company is most likely not taking blockchain that serious and using the buzz around the NFT space right now to get more press and coverage around their company/product.
If the NFT has features that may include perks or exclusivity, then I think that kind of utility will be expected going forward. Of course, if all companies start to do this, than it dilutes the feature over time which means the companies that utilize this feature earlier may get a first mover advantage.
NFTs Cross Platform Integration
I have a discord and a premium membership program, and I’ve always wondered how I would be able to integrate such services using technology like NFTs (If I ever launched one myself). I got a first hand experience on how that may work.
There was a 3rd party service on the Fractal discord (grape verify) that allowed for a verification and connection of wallet address with users on the discord.
Then once that task was completed by users, they we’re able to airdrop to those connected Solana wallets a few weeks later.
Now you can access certain channels only if you own a Fractal NFT.
As the space matures, these types of tools and integrations will be important. These types of solutions should increase the adoption rate of NFTs.
Other Platforms with Potential Freebies
The fact that Fractal isn’t a cryptocurrency itself, but a platform that launched it’s own NFT, led me to thinking there could be other projects in a similar situation.
If a platform or tool in the crypto space doesn’t have an NFT (or a crypto) yet, there could be potential for a future airdrop.
One DeFi resource I use is DeFi Llamma which has a feature on the website that looks at projects that don’t have a protocol. This could lead to a potential airdrop to incentivize or reward use of their tools/services.
Of course, it’s all speculation on which projects would retroactively do an airdrop.
The point I’m trying to make is sometimes you can claim airdrops or NFTs just for being an early adopter. You don’t always have to buy an NFT or crypto to get an airdrop.
NFTs are here to stay and I’m bullish on their integration into the massive gaming space. Through my own experience, I have seen the utility outside of NFTs just being a JPEG of a rock (selling for half a million dollars).
I’m by no means an NFT expert and have plenty to learn, but I’m not about to disregard the space entirely because of the memes that are often highlighted by the media to drive clicks!