December 2017 saw a paradigm shift from classical cryptocurrencies towards digital collectibles. While classical tokens are“fungible”, which means they are not individual or special (1 U.S dollar is as good as any other U.S dollar), digital collectibles can have unique attributes (e.g. appearance).
1st generation collectibles: items have no particular purpose
The 1st generation of decentralised projects mainly focused on how to bring animals on the blockchain: Cryptokitties, Cryptopuppies, Cryptodogs, Cryptofishes. The focus is clearly on fun rather than functionality.
2nd generation: items have purpose
The next generation of digital collectibles are more advanced. If we look at the ongoing or announced projects, then we can divide them into two categories:
- Gaming Experience: There are many games out there which are not much different from classical computer games, except that they are played on the blockchain. Here, the collectibles are used to keep the game running.
- Collection Experience: The second category comprises of collectibles that take the move towards a collection of value concept seriously: it is about the idea to acquire items of value and to benefit from price increases due to their rarity and uniqueness.
Top 3 of the most valuable collectibles
There is no unified metric on how to measure the value of digital collectibles. However, if we use the standard for offline collectibles like paintings, luxury cars or rare watches, then digital collectibles can be measured based on:
- Rarity: how many items exist? → the more items, the lower is the value.
- Origins: ERC 721 standard or standard of a less sustainable blockchain?
- Secondary market: is a functioning market place available ?
- Appearance: are the items appealing to users?
Meet Cryptostamps, Etherlambos, and Beyond the Void
1. Cryptostamps — Collection experience
Stamp collecting is one of the world’s most popular hobbies and as long as there is a postal service, there will be stamps. The distinctiveness of stamps makes it a perfect pick for collectors.
POSITIVE: Very simple and the concept proved to work in the offline world. Each stamp is exclusive and will always be. The “Mine your Stamps” feature allows owners to dissolve the stamps into 10 unique stamps of equal value. This keeps users in the game if the price gets to high.
NEGATIVE: There is no guaranteed ownership: the item is gone if someone pays a double price for it. Mini-Ponzi like Cryptocelebrities.
2. Etherlambos — Collection & Gaming experience
“When Lambo? Now!”. Etherlambos is one of the coolest projects on the blockchain. The basic idea is to bring the world of supercars on the blockchain and allow owners to tune them (modifications).
POSITIVE: No ponzi. Comes with a relatively sophisticated standard: Tuning not only modifies the appearance but also impacts on parameters such as engine performance. Participation in road shows possible.
NEGATIVE: The scarcity-value formula (small number of collectibles + upper price class = RoI) could prevent low-budget users from participating.
3. Beyond the Void — Gaming experience
Beyond the Void could be the best Crypto Game in 2018. It takes place in a sci-fi universe and users collect items to win against their competitors. As a mercenary captain, the user is in command of a mothership.
POSITIVE: It unites both gamers and crypto-enthusiasts. A variety of ships, skills and strategies promise an exciting gaming experience. It is playable without buying the items and therefore invites to test the product.
NEGATIVE: The game cannot be played on mobile devices. The value of the items may not be sustainable due to the gaming model.
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