An Overview of NFTs on Moonbeam
Conversation with Builders to Dissect the Potentials & Challenges
Moonbeam is increasingly becoming a primary target for NFT artists and collectors who crave a better cross-chain experience. While the NFT ecosystem on Moonbeam is still nascent, we start to see a few key players quickly capturing a great number of users, and needless to say, imagination for its immense potential. In this essay, we will highlight a few projects before delving into a more detailed discussion with four founders who are deeply involved in the Moonbeam ecosystem.
Gromlins, a PFP project launched on the Raresama marketplace on September 3rd, 2022, has skyrocketed to become the top NFT project on Moonbeam, reaping 1 million GLMR (~$638K) with the average price at 2,359 GLMR (~$1392) as of September 12th, 2022 according to NFTScan. Gromlins will be compatible with the upcoming Exosama game being developed by the Donnie and the Moonsama team. Another collection that was available at launch is Raresama Originals. This collection contains 1 of 1 NFTs by well known artists in the Dotsama ecosystem.
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A few more NFT marketplaces that are worth mentioning: Moonbeans, one of earliest NFT marketplace on Moonbeam; TofuNFT, a multi-chain NFT marketplace well-known outside of the Moonbeam network; NFTrade, a multi-chain platform for NFT creation and trading.
Apart from NFT marketplaces, a few gamified NFTs are also quickly gaining traction according to NFTscan. The top player is Exiled Racers which is a fantasy league sports & gaming; GLMR Jungle, a NFT collection with a Play-to-Earn Game “The Great Escape”; Moonfit, a wellness NFT project, touts its Move2Earn model to bring balance to a hectic Web3 lifestyle.
Moonbeam NFT Builders
We sat down with four influential NFT projects in the Moonbeam ecosystem. Here is a brief introduction on them:
Donnie, Moonsama & Raresama
Raresama is a NFT marketplace governed by Moonsama and Exosama. With a hyper-ambitious community of 2500 fervent members on telegram, Raresama holds special clout in gaming NFTs. Recently, Raresama had a successful launch of its NFT collection Gromlins, owned by 1797 users as of September 12th, 2022.
Moonbeans marketplace was one of the first NFT marketplaces to deploy on Mooonriver and is currently live on Moonbeam. Moonbeans team has been an asset to the Moonbeam community since day one — they even created a tool called Fuck Saturn to help users recover funds from the SaturnBeam DEX contracts when the website was shut down.
The team is consistently improving user experience on the marketplace and has an ambitious roadmap that includes upgrading to RMRK smart contracts, adding staking for NFTs, and staking tokens using Ferrum.
BLR, Exiled Racers
Exiled Racers is a fantasy league racing manager with algorithmically determined outcomes based off of NFTs’ attributes, the race track and the competitors. Currently trading on the Moonbeans marketplace, they have super high quality artwork from some of the top designers.
Bruno, RMRK, Cyphermod
Bruno Skvorc is one of the most seasoned Dotsama Veterans. He has previously worked at the Web 3 Foundation as an educator, and worked on Ethereum 2.0. He is the founder of RMRK and co-founder of the CypherMod SDK, which enables developers to easily build Metaverse games in a decentralized manner. You may also find Bruno is an expert shitposter on crypto Twitter.
Q & A
How do you think NFT utility will evolve over time?
NFTs have use cases in quite a few industries. Gaming and fantasy sports, fashion and wearable items, events and ticketing, metaverse and land, identity, intellectual property… the list goes on. As developers build and iterate on this technology, it’s only a matter of time before the true utilities of NFTs are realized.
Donnie - “We are in the 1998 Internet era in regards to the possibilities of Web3 and NFTs. Utility is endless and couldn't possibly be predicted. They are essentially the non-fungible tokenization of anything you could imagine on-chain. JPEGs were simply the first and easiest use case.
Utility will be derived by the applications, smart contracts, and ecosystems that utilize the NFTs, not the NFTs themselves.”
Miami - “NFTs are only beginning and over time we will figure out emerging use cases other than gaming and collectibles. Established industries like music and clothing are trying to figure out how to adopt this new technology in ways that work with them and I wouldn't be surprised if in the future we figure out how to elevate these industries to the next level using NFT tech.”
Bruno - “As people unlearn that NFTs are just images and can actually be decentralized rows of arbitrary data, they will also find new utilities for them. At RMRK we already pioneered a bunch of ideas for new utilities other ecosystems have not even dreamed of, but always uncompromisingly decentralized. That is, I think, the next level of utility - decentralized ‘everything’.”
BLR - “I think that as web3 adoption grows and the friction to onboard non-tech users improves, we will start to see a lot more actual problems being solved with NFTs. Right now there’s a bit of ‘square peg round hole’ utility development going on — eg. utilities that are created without solving actual problems, or the problems being solved are so niche that no one cares — but this will definitely evolve.
There’s already some pretty exciting stuff happening in the finance world, across real estate, gaming obviously, entertainment and of course fashion. And that’s because there are some actual problems to solve in these sectors that can be solved with NFTs. We also believe that as more and more of these big name traditional web2 brands start adopting/integrating NFTs (eg. Nike, Adidas, etc), new utilities are going to sprout and adoption is going to spike.
However, the biggest challenge we still see is that most people that aren’t in web3 yet hate change, and if the alternative is a much easier, frictionless experience to solve their problem (the large majority), its going to be super tough to break through and gain mass adoption.”
How does Polkadot ecosystem improve on traditional NFTs?
Polkadot has the advantage of being built from the ground up with a multi chain architecture. This allows the blockchains that build on top of Polkadot to communicate with each other securely using XCM. Furthermore, each chain can implement new features in a modular manner using substrate pallets. An example of this is the RMRK Pallet which enables the functionality for nested, conditional & multi-resourced NFTs for any substrate chain that includes it.
Donnie - “Polkadot has significant advantages over Ethereum in terms of gas costs, allowing NFTs to be actually used with applications in a cost effective manner.
But the real potential hasn't even started. Interoperability of NFTs will be one of the next showcases of Polkadot’s potential. Native transfers of NFTs between parachains without the requirement of bridges.”
Miami - “Currently there is not much innovation going on in the tech of NFTs just in their use case. Things like RMRK and XCM NFTs (when they become a thing) could pave the way to newer better tech for NFTs and their usability.”
Bruno - “Polkadot’s inherent connectivity allows easy transfers of NFTs across chains for a variety of purposes, but also easy reading of information across these chains. So taking the NFT balance on one chain into account on another becomes a very interesting use case, especially when dealing with innovations like Soulbound 2.0 NFTs (docs.rmrk.app/nontransferable) where these can be used as reputation accrual.”
BLR - “The brilliant thing about working in the Polkadot ecosystem is that everything is connected, so we get access to tech, talent and partners.This helps massively for projects who are looking to build and scale their NFT plans.
We at EXR for example have been exposed to multiple teams, tech and communities such as Zeitgeist, Moonbeans, API3 and others — allowing us to do a whole bunch of exciting stuff across different ecosystems without the same heavy tech integration lift. Also, with the parachain tech, at any stage we could introduce or be introduced to exciting new technology to help the NFT ecosystem evolve event further.”
Why Focus on Moonbeam ecosystem for NFTs?
Donnie - “Moonbeam is the flagship parachain of Dotsama. It is the entry point for the EVM-dominant greater blockchain ecosystem to move over to Polkadot. Projects on Ethereum for instance can simply copy and paste their applications over.
The NFT ecosystem on Moonbeam has barely started however. We are bringing the most successful NFT project on Dotsama over to Moonbeam and investing significant capital to help kick-start the real EVM-based NFT ecosystem of Polkadot via Raresama. Built for the community, by the community.”
Miami - “Because as an EVM built on top of a layer 0 cross communication chain is how we drive adoption and engagement into Polkadot. Everyone is used to EVMs and slowly transitioning peoples skill sets to properly use Polkadot will take time, education, and familiarity.”
Bruno - “Moonbeam’s ease of use and compatibility with existing tools coupled with Polkadot’s connectivity is the holy grail mixture of features needed for a truly multi-chain NFT ecosystem to arise. Where other projects LARP with pretend bridges that are nothing more than back end monitors piping balances through centralized APIs, Moonbeam being connected to Polkadot, and further augmented by MyNFT’s awesome bridging tech, allows for a true global reach of NFTs.
BLR - “When we first looked to develop EXR we were facing some pretty big challenges that we needed to overcome if we wanted to give the project a fighting chance… Luckily Moonbeam had everything we needed to overcome those challenges… Moobeam is EVM compatible — allowing us to grow cross chain; fast allowing for a better user experience; low cost making it more accessible to users, scalable and — now with the connected contracts and XCM tech, a whole new world of opportunity has opened up for us. Plus, the Moonbeam team is incredibly strong, supportive and oh — the documentation is truly solid.”
What does a multi-chain NFT look like?
Donnie - “EXOsama avatar NFTs will exist on Ethereum and can equip NFTs from other chains including Moonbeam. From my understanding this will be the first multi chain NFT project to do so between Ethereum and Polkadot. Made possible using Moonsama's multiverse substrate.”
Miami - “Right now when you move NFTs from chain to chain you fracture the collection and it makes no sense. It is unusable and improper. Given XCM NFTs there can exist a singular collection that tracks all NFTs on its dedicated chain while other chains use the xcNFT for their utility. Essentially building the building blocks for the Metaverse.”
Bruno - “A multi chain NFT is one that has utility and transferability across several chains. Some projects are pretending to have solved this, but in reality these solutions are completely centralized, running on bespoke servers that can go down at any time. Very few cross-chain NFTs actually exist, and very few decentralized NFT bridges are being built, but RMRK is committed to being the first to realize this vision in a fully decentralized way with MyNFT’s help outside the Polkadot ecosystem, and with XCM inside it.”
BLR - “We believe that going cross chain for the sake of it, without a great narrative beyond “we can do it” or “we are the first to do it” is not the gwei. If your project doesn't need to go cross chain — why are you doing it? We are massive advocates of delightful user experiences that tie into great stories — whereby the user stops caring about why they are going somewhere else on their journey or “how the sausage is made” — but rather — just enjoy the ride.
In saying that the opportunities here are endless, but there’s going to be a lot of trial and error given how early the multi chain NFT space is. Most of us building for cross chain are going to be facing some fairly interesting challenges, whether that’s integration issues, security concerns, adoption or other.
For us at EXR we are definitely looking to expand work with various tech partners such as Axelar and different blockchain ecosystems to drive broad use and growth, but its going to take time and we want to nail our Moonbeam execution first. Either way, we look forward to what happens in the space and how it all plays out.”
What does the future of NFTs look like in 2 years from now?
The future of NFT technology and user adoption can be hard to predict, but we do foresee more friendly interfaces for applications that integrate NFTs. There will also be many more use cases because of expanded capabilities of advanced NFT protocols such as RMRK. With this will see more user adoption, and eventually we can onboard those 1 billion users to web3 that everyone keeps talking about.
Donnie - Instead of this cool NFT technology being exclusive to the wealthy, we will see amazing NFT applications built for millions of participants. For us, we want all the little Jimmys of the world to experience NFT 2.0. and this should be possible in the coming 2 years.
Miami “I think in the next 2 years we will see more finalized use cases and in 5-10 years we will all be using NFTs without knowing it. Much like people use the internet without knowing how it works.”
Bruno - “Every NFT project in the world will be based on RMRK, or try to be a shallow, compromising copy of it.”
BLR - “We’ve seen some pretty incredible changes in the NFT space over the past few months / years — and that’s a result of a number of things. But I remember buying Crypto Strikers back in 2018 and then after a year or so thinking yeah this NFT thing — ngmi — but then after years of not much, an explosion of new exciting projects, tech innovations and just generally smart people or important names started entering the space and building here.. I think the same thing will happen again over the next few years.
Think of all those NFT projects that minted at outrageous $$ and have these wild roadmaps planned, think of all these massive brands that have started integrating NFTs into their product suites or marketing efforts — and while most will fail or rug, those that come through will end up being the next wave of excitement and innovation in the space that may drive the next level of adoption and growth.”
The Cross Chain Future — Moonbeam’s Next Breakthrough
Moonbeam network is uniquely positioned to be a cross-chain activity hub for NFTs. Moonbeam can serve as a gateway into Ethereum and other EVM chains using MyNFT, which will be a cross-chain hub for NFTs on all blockchains. MyNFT includes a NFT marketplace for cross-chain NFTs as well as a NFT bridge.
Additionally, using XCM, a cross-chain messaging standard, moonbeam is able to directly connect to chains in the Polkadot ecosystem. This combination of technologies will set the standard for future NFT integrations where NFT utility becomes interoperable across various blockchains. The ability to track NFT data and ownership across chains will allow the development of apps that make existing NFT utility such as gated chats look like ancient technology.
Within the next two years, we are going to witness a drastic expansion of NFT utilities from valuable JPEGs to the more traditional realms of Web2 life. We believe Moonbeam is in a unique position to capture such demand explosion. With ambitious communities, resilient teams, blossoming ecosystem (currently there are about 220+ projects building on Moonbeam as of September 12, 2022), and the underlying XCM technology, the Moonbeam NFT ecosystem might finally be shooting for the moon.
Here we have attached links to the various projects, people, and sites mentioned earlier.
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