2021 will be written about the year of the NFT. PFPs, Avatars, 2D, 3D, wearables, land, words and colors on the blockchain, animals, foods, aliens, the list goes on. With this Cambrian explosion of game-like assets, it’s hard not to enjoy every second of the day when it feels like we’re witnessing the beginning of a new era of an alt reality, one where you can be anything, anyone, and go anywhere. Below we’re going to explore some of the awesome things about the current NFT space, and delve into how Lost Labs is thinking about the next few years and beyond.
As we speak, the NFT landscape right now seems like a game in and of itself. Which PFP looks the coolest? What do other people think looks cool? How absurd can we take generative art? Right now, everyone on CT is postulating on these questions, and hoping to find the right, or rather most profitable answer. The sort of mass speculation going on in the NFT market right now is exciting, addictive and thrilling.
Parallels can definitely be drawn to historical crypto price action, people betting on which fork will beat bitcoin, ethereum killers, ICO apps vs apps, in the end only a few survive each cycle. The market participants in each cycle have the unique task of analyzing new technology, assessing risk of who controls assets, gauging social interactions, influencers, tweets, likes, etc., mashing all these together in a thesis to finally make the purchase. Without a crystal ball, which NFTs will last beyond the end of this year still remains to be seen, however, we can offer some insights into how the market is shaping up and how these insights line up with what we are doing at Lost Labs.
We can’t really move further in talking about NFTs without mentioning the metaverse. Coined in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (recommended reading as we reference it frequently), but postulated as far back as the 80’s, the metaverse has been the lure of many a internet user, hoping for a new structure for online interaction, one where the pitfalls of the human form were not present and society could communicate, congregate and exist only bounded by the metaverse planners and computer technology. With blockchain tech we become one step closer to a full Snow Crash-esque experience.
The state of the current metaverse landscape can be extrapolated through viewing the current crypto-first front runners. Decentraland - an online metaverse where you can own land, build on that land, and customize avatars - has an expansive map with 100K plots, which were originally sold in 2017, and now has a land floor of 1.2 ETH. Cryptovoxels has taken a continuous expanding land sale model with 5.8K land with a floor of 1.4 ETH with sales beginning in 2017. Sandbox, a newcomer, has been selling land continuously since 2019 now with 100,000 plots and a floor of 0.47 for land and is much more game focused, allowing builders to create games on their land but has yet to be released. Now we only mentioned the amount of land and base land price, a later article will be dedicated to the intricacies of each metaverse. While we don’t have hard data on users of each platform, one can walk around the metaverses any time and gauge the amount of daily users, hint, they maybe crack triple digits with events. At Lost Labs we refer to these metaverses as “sell once” metaverses, where land is sold once and completely disconnected from building or contributing to the greater metaverse community.
Not to be discouraged on metaverses though - NFTs are here to save the day! Really! …but maybe not really? A large part of 2021 NFT projects are promising to be compatible in metaverses, or better yet creating their own metaverses! Isn’t this exciting, NFTs on NFTs on metaverses on metaverses inside of NFT metaverses connected to other metaverses…But wait there’s more, Play-to-Earn coming soon(tm)! However, a deeper look into the inner workings of the NFT and metaverse landscape however, reveals, file format, NFT compatibility, voxel editor, and platform issues, as well as land building restrictions, resource mismanagement, dead metaverses, boring play-to-earn mechanics, this list goes on.
We at Lost Labs aren’t too bullish on aforementioned metaverses (but are still developing our avatars for them!) being able to handle the exciting NFT space that’s being built right now, as well as current metaverse projects planning to slap P2E tokenomics on sell-once land mechanics.
Our solution involves radically shifting the current land ownership model on its head, to facilitate community building and development, a metaverse truly “owned and operated by its users” as well as providing a place for all NFT assets to reach their full potential. While we know it’s still vague, stay tuned. We will release more information on what we are calling the “Contribute-to-Earn” model realized with Ecto Finance, which mashes community building and asset ownership into a radically new market dynamic, never before built nor realized at scale.