GDA and Nightshift launch RARE.Store, NFTs coming to DigitalBits?
The timing could not be more perfect for this latest drop. In the midst of an NFT craze that saw the burning of Banksy’s “Morons” and the sale of a Beeple for $69 million, March 11, 2021 marked the official announcement of RARE.Store — a curated marketplace for iconic digital art, collectibles, and experiences. RARE.Store is a joint venture led by Nightshift, an artist management and creative agency, and none other than the GDA Group, of which XDB Foundation Managing Director Michael Gord is co-founder and CEO. NFTs are by no means a new concept, but these unique digital assets have once again snatched the spotlight, and this time it’s more than just some on-chain cats.
Humans are obsessed with scarcity, we always have been, always will be. The idea of having something that no one else has fascinates us, it consumes us, and as we head into an increasingly digitized world, it’s only appropriate that these same properties enter the digital realm. NFTs open up a slew of possibilities, not just for collectibles, but for assets in general. Blockchain technology introduced us to a world where we can assume full control of our assets, trade, transfer, divide them the way we wish — doing away with inefficient intermediaries that have caused more problems than they have provided value. Similar hurdles exist within the world of fine art and collectibles, and it’s becoming more and more clear that blockchain will have a significant role to play in this changing landscape.
Michael has stated that the RARE.store will be blockchain agnostic — they’ll integrate with blockchains that have NFT functionality and share their vision of putting iconic digital collectibles onto the blockchain. This sentiment falls very much in line with everything else that Gord has said and done. Blockchain is revolutionary technology, and it should be leveraged to pursue the greater good. It is not a “One Chain to Rule Them All” scenario, it is a mission to improve quality of life through revolutionary technology. More blockchains means more accessibility, more accessibility means more users, more users leads us to adoption.
Additionally, users of the Rare.Store will be able to purchase NFTs with fiat or crypto, allowing both crypto natives and newcomers interested in digital collectibles to engage with this emerging tech. If you like digital collectibles, go to RARE. If you like crypto, go to RARE. If you like creating stuff and you want to sell it, go to RARE.
NFTs Coming to DigitalBits?
Ethereum is too goddamn expensive
Moving past the recent discussions in DigitalBits channels and hints from Gord & Co. — simply put, Ethereum has displayed its strength and weakness if one fell swoop. NFTs are cool, but it is way too expensive to mint and move NFTs on Ethereum, which is not sustainable, and will most definitely not, in its current form at least, be the vehicle for the mass adoption of NFTs or blockchain in general. So after moving past the wow factor of innovative ERC-721, 998 and 1155s… Ethereum needs to scale (and quick), or we start issuing these unique digital assets on blockchains that are able to support these functions without costing an arm and a leg. DigitalBits allows for simple asset issuance and rapid asset transfer, it costs basically nothing to process operations on DigitalBits (0.00001 XDB per transaction, even if our recent moonshot this is still mere fractions of a penny), and Gord has recently launched an NFT marketplace with a pipeline of iconic assets to put on chain. It’s not a matter of the stars aligning… they’re sitting a perfect row, how quickly you connect the dots is your own prerogative.
Loyalty and Gaming both present strong use cases for unique digital assets
NFTs have the ability to introduce elements of blockchain technology to analogue assets, transfer and tradeability, ownership that is verifiable via a decentralized global ledger, partial ownership etc. This in itself will help to remove numerous frictions associated with fine art, digital collectibles etc. However, in these cases, the value still lies within the analogue asset, the painting, the Pokemon card, the sports car, the NFT is just a representation of ownership (albeit a better one than existing solutions). But the fact is… if you blow up a Ferrari, the tokenized Ferrari is going to be a less than sufficient stand in.
This is when we start thinking about utility-based NFTs, digital assets that unlock perks and/or abilities — where the digital asset itself holds the value, there is no analogue counterpart. The potential for such a class of asset has a number of applications within two of the spaces that the XDB Foundation and Zytara are involved in… loyalty and gaming. How could this work? This was expanded on really well by Rajiv in the DigitalBits Main Channel, I’ll drop some of the standout points and perspectives below:
“It’s a whole new layer to the consumer experience. There isn’t much distinction right now when it comes to large consumer programs, even if you have a platinum club or what not, once you’re in, you’re in — humans love gamification, recognition, the like… and NFTs are going to help make these experiences more unique and engaging. You’re no longer a member of the platinum club, you’re member 1001, with a sanctified NFT that unlocks perks based on when you joined, your specific engagement etc., and better yet, other people may join, but they’ll never have your spot… unless you want to sell or transfer it to them… which you should absolutely be able to do. What we’re going to see is an insanely more tailored, immersive consumer experience”
- Prescribed Use-Case: in-game asset, grants benefit to the player
2. NFT allows for creation of unique assets, cryptographically secured, introduces scarcity (humans love scarcity)
3. Scarcity increases perceived value, both in-game and out (not much value to a collector if its not unique)
4. Blockchain allows for asset autonomy, tokenized asset can be removed from game, allowing for the creation of markets, for you to bestow it upon someone else, basically you can control your stuff
5. If the asset is compatible with multiple games, there is value perceived in all these different games, it allows either you to bring your stuff into new environments, or someone that plays there to buy it and roll with it (this is more from a utility perspective, but maybe that person likes having unique stuff)
6. From a collector perspective, you have ownership of unique in-game items. So going back to my point, I liked certain cards because they were useful in-game, but someone else may like it because its super rare, or goes with a set, or maybe they just really like it.
Think of a world like Ready Player One (go watch the movie if you haven’t, also a very good book) — virtual realities and other immersive experiences are going to become ever more pervasive. In these settings, the digital asset is what holds the value. And there will be a massive market for unique digital assets — do you want a sword, or do you want a sword responsible for millions of kills and was involved in the great war of Degobah?
“We’re going to have a second coming, of utility driven unique digital assets where there is a fundamental difference between someone that holds this asset and someone that doesn’t…. if you think MMORPGs the possibilities are literally endless
What does this mean?
The XDB Foundation is not only exploring NFTs from the perspective of digitizing unique assets, but utility driven NFTs that will allow for a number of meaningful activations that align with their prescribed use-cases. NFTs as digital representations of real world assets is cool, but the situations in which NFTs hold all the value is where they will truly shine. Very excited to see what’s to come from both the RARE.Store and the Foundation. Bacon Out