5 NFT Projects You Need to Know About

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Brandon Shamy / ONE37pm

As the conversation about NFT’s continues its meteoric rise, there is a lot of talk about the digital collectible. For those newcomers who are choosing to delve a little deeper than NBA Top Shot, they’re quickly learning that the NFT space is already relatively crowded with a lot of interesting projects. As all of you start to delve deeper into the scene and discover a myriad of experiences that put on display the creative way NFT technology can be approached, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and identify the ones that you should truly be paying attention to. 

Thankfully, you’ve got me. As a digital collector for the past 6 years, I’ve seen the industry evolve in a lot of interesting ways, and being able to identify a project's trajectory is never a sure thing. However, there are some key attributes that I look for when I’m choosing where I am going to invest next.

What do I look for?

It’s important to note that when I say invest, I don’t mean just financially; I also mean emotionally. (To be clear, this isn’t financial advice) Those two main ways in which I connect with a project, whether that’s a game, digital collectible, or art, are key pillars in choosing the next community I jump into. 

Community, in fact, is another metric that I pay close attention to. A project with a strong community presence is typically a good sign. When a project lead and their team are active on social, quick to respond to inquiries, clear in their intent and goal, it brings a dynamic that is severely lacking in AAA experiences and exactly why it means so much in the decentralized space.

Where should we start?

Now that you know a little bit of the how and why, what is it about these five projects that stand out the most? In all cases, I see longevity, strong community, and a strong ‘IP.’ For specifics, let’s break them down!

Note; this list is intended for those relatively new to the space. There is an abundance of excellent NFT experiences, but honestly speaking, the barrier of entry to most is a bit clunky and difficult at this time. I intend to shed light on easily accessible projects that I think apply to a wide audience, specifically those with a low barrier of entry. If you’re already comfortable with what you’re doing, check out my BONUS mention at the end for advanced collectors.

5. Ben Mauro’s EVOLUTION - A Collectible Card Game on FLOW

Ben Mauro is a legendary concept design artist. Working on massive IPs like Call of Duty and The Hobbit Trilogy, it’s exciting to imagine just what such a creative mind will bring to NFTs. With little information available, I’m sure you’re asking why EVOLUTION made my list. 

While it’s not an existing property like many of the other offerings coming to FLOW, EVOLUTION has all the makings of an exciting IP. The teaser images show an extremely high-quality character design. Combine top-tier art in a digital space with the gamification that collectible cards can provide, and I think that EVOLUTION positions itself well to hit the ground running with a launch on a blockchain that has little friction in purchasing and no transaction/gas fees for buying/selling/trading.

EVOLUTION is the only project on the list that has yet to launch, but it’s definitely one that I would sign up for now, so you know exactly when the project launches. If there’s one thing you’ll learn quickly about this space, it’s that being early is VERY important.

4. Decentraland - A Metaverse

While it does require an Ethereum wallet to take full advantage of Decentraland, anyone can hop in and explore the Metaverse right inside their web browser as a guest. With an aesthetic that is sure to bring mass appeal, one of the coolest features of the experience is DCL’s Wearables. When you first see an Avatar inside of this world, there’s no telling what they may be wearing. And in this way, we are seeing just the beginnings of an existence where we can express our true selves in a digital way that feels very natural. 

Cool hats, dope sneakers, and outfits that span genres are just the beginning of what we will see as the integration of fashion and NFTs become deeper. While I don’t believe we’ve seen wearables by big-name brands just yet, I’m sure they’ll show up soon. In the meantime, we are seeing digital fashion designers emerge who are doing excellent work and cementing themselves into the foundation of this movement. 

I think DCL is an excellent first experience and introduction to the concept of a Metaverse. But it’s not the ONLY one. There are other Metaverse experiences that should be explored as well; Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox. Each of these has its own unique aspects that make them worth digging into; CryptoVoxels is a familiar voxel-based experience and easy to use. Somnium Space is visually stunning while also technologically advanced, and The Sandbox has some major IP partnerships coming to their experience, just to name a few. 

3. Bitcoin Origins - The history of Bitcoin told through a collecting experience on WAX

The first thing you’ll notice about BTC is its rabid community. For those who follow the project closely, the story being told through these collectibles is one they return to daily. Why? Story. Hiding inside the cards are hints and clues that have led collectors down a rabbit hole that some compare to ARGs' niche ‘game’ experience. Alternate reality games are, at their basics, experiences that take place both digitally and in the physical world. For example, you get emails from game characters to meet somewhere in the real world at a specific time. When you get there, it’s a group of other players, and you’re all given a scavenger hunt mission to engage in. 

With Bitcoin Origins, players have received messages and private DMs from a mysterious source that provides breadcrumbs they follow because at the end of this trail is a prize. And what’s that prize, you ask? One. Bitcoin.

When people ask me why NFTs matter, my answer is always the same. Because they allow us to dream big and then bring those crazy dreams into reality, this technology connects its users in a way I’ve never seen before. The only thing even remotely close is gaming. It’s the use of high-quality collectibles, leverage of community, and connection to the experience through storytelling that allow the Bitcoin Origins experience to transcend the ‘card’ and take it to another level. 

The @BitcoinOrigins Story can be followed on Twitter, and their collectibles can be found here.

2. KOGS on WAX

A digital recreation of the 90s ‘milk cap’ craze, otherwise known as POGS, hit the WAX blockchain in August of last year and has been one of the most consistent properties on that chain ever since. 

Leaning on experienced game dev Arclegger, real name Adam Clegg, the team at RedFOX Games set out to create one of the first fully on-chain experiences in gaming. With a very well-thought-out drop structure, the First Edition of KOGs was crafted specifically for collectors. Rarities, Sets, and different ‘classes’ of collectibles, KOGs and Slammers, mean there are plenty of ways for a collector to get in and get engaged. 

Implementing a staking mechanism where you lock in different sets to gain rewards, combined with a mobile game currently in beta, as well as other aspects like using these tokens in other game experiences in the future, sets KOGs up to be a long-standing brand in the space. 

Collect KOGS on WAX.

1. Nifty Gateway

With the lowest barrier of entry next to NBA TopShot on Flow, Nifty Gateway is easily the number one pick for this list. Seeing an amazing increase in revenue over the past six months has solidified them as the space's top platform. Just last night Mad Dog Jones, a digital artist of many years who has never made much money off of his work, broke records and sold over four million dollars worth of digital assets… in nine minutes. 

At an astonishing rate, Nifty is constantly pushing the industry forward in new and exciting ways. I’d suggest two reasons, on top of ease of use, to why they’re seeing such a meteoric rise. Implementing unique drops that combine digital with physical, such as the recent release from EDM artist 3LAU, which included a piece of wood etched with the soundwave of the NFTs track and implementing open editions, which are sales that have no set print limit only a time limit. The latter specifically allows for the market to decide what the demand is like for an artist, which is proving to be pretty damn high. For all of them. Almost daily.

I imagine we will see many exciting announcements from Nifty Gateway in the coming months that will include big names and brands that are sure to excite and surprise many.

Get signed up and purchasing NFTs within minutes.

BONUS: B20 - Own a piece of Beeple’s epic first drop

And then see what happens when his auction goes to the moon with Christie’s next week. NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE! But if you’re an advanced collector and didn’t get to buy into his initial drop, this is a great way to get involved by owning a piece via the B20 token. 

Through that token, holders have voting powers should someone attempt to buy out all 100% of the supply. With a smart contract in place set to accept a beginning bid between 12 and 15 million dollars should someone want to try to own it all, there is no telling when this could take place. At that time, a timer of 14 days begins. If no other bids are accepted, and the token holders don’t vote to veto a purchase via a 25% vote, the ownership of the complete Beeple collection as well as the virtual museums where they are on display transfers to the new owner.

You’ll want to head over to B20.MetaPurse.Fund to get all the details and find out how to snag the token. (You’ll need an Ethereum wallet and ETH in it, then you’ll head over to UniSwap. If you have no idea what that means, skip this last suggestion!)

Hopefully, these examples have shown you just a glimpse of how NFT technology can extend beyond simply replacing cardboard collectibles or backing virtual Fortnite skins, and create an experience that allows a creator to engage and reward collectors in a way that has never been possible at another time in history.

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