Merit Circle marketplace: creating a better experience
With the invention of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), ownership is firmly back in the hands of the people. Everything and anything on the internet can now be bound to one single entity and replication is a thing of the past. What’s more, the space grew to an unstoppable multi-billion dollar industry.
However, there is room for improvement as the majority of this trading volume flows through just a handful of marketplaces that have clear flaws. And where does gaming sit in all of this?
Here at the Merit Circle DAO, we’re creating an NFT marketplace for in-game assets that will drastically improve the current user experience when trading digital assets. Let us take you on a tour behind the scenes of our trading vertical.
People have been playing games for millenia. They started in our imaginations and have developed into ever-expanding alternate worlds of reality where developers can bring their wildest fantasies to life. The rules of games are always evolving and a new concept is revealed to the public almost daily.
Most games require the player to hold some sort of asset that has utility within the game. This could be a simple deck of cards in a Yu-Gi-Oh card battler or the legendary body armor in World of Warcraft. In-game assets are the utility to a game and they create situations in which players can distinguish themselves. Attaching value to these assets is where things become interesting.
Only a few years ago, we saw the surge in popularity of trading physical cards in games such as Pokémon, where the rarest cards traded for millions of dollars. However, in digital worlds like World of Warcraft, Runescape and other games with large in-game economies, assets play a much more dominant role. Ownership of one asset can help players beat the competition or bring financial freedom. Ultimately, though, this is always limited to the game itself.
Fast-forward to today and the wonderful world of web3 allows us to approach gaming in a completely different manner. Instead of being limited to in-game assets and economies, both can be translated into real life markets. The economy of a game can now be attached to a digital currency and thereby incentivize parties in a new and exciting way.
The assets of the game can be traded through official markets as well as unofficial secondary markets. Players can grind within a game to acquire an extremely rare asset to then profit, not only in-game, but also in real life by trading the asset on a marketplace. While we see the huge potential here, we’ve also identified various flaws in existing secondary markets. This has given us a problem to solve.
Improvement all around
Non-fungible tokens were invented in 2017 but have only recently come to the fore with billions of dollars now traded on secondary marketplaces. We have been analyzing both the drawbacks and opportunities in current marketplaces and concluded that the only way to solve existing issues was to start from scratch. So, we put our heads together and settled on building a solid foundation for gaming NFTs on our own Merit Circle marketplace.
In our marketplace, players will be able to trade assets for all games that have incorporated NFT technology. The Merit Circle DAO has a network of games that reaches deep into the GameFi industry, allowing us to scale at unprecedented levels. More importantly, it enables us to build for game developers and their audiences based on real feedback instead of assumptions.
As well as focusing on gamers, traders and game developers, we’re considering the needs and wishes of all to build one platform that’s welcoming for everyone. Let us explain a bit more about the specific categories.
For the collector
The NFT has been invented to create digital ownership, proof that you are the only one who’s holding the asset. This creates amazing opportunities for lots of industries and, suddenly, these non-replicable assets become valuable. Wherever there’s value, there are traders and collectors. In our marketplace, we aim to support the needs of both parties.
Both will be able to find everything they need to make informed decisions. This includes a detailed oversight of the item itself, the game it’s part of and the collection within the game. What’s more, the item might hold a specific type of functionality within the game that makes it unique and all of this information will be available to the public.
On top of that, we will eventually integrate statistics and tools such as rarity, floor price scanners and many other analytics that help support traders and collectors make the right decision based on previous activity within the collection.
For the creator
In current marketplaces, every collection basically looks the same. The customization of a collection’s page is limited to a simple logo and banner, nothing more than that. As each game is completely unique, wouldn’t it make sense to allow everyone to customize their pages accordingly? Creators should be able to easily create pages that mimic the exact look and feel of their game, not that of our platform.
We aim to support creators throughout the entire process of launching their collection, from the mint all the way through to continuous sales on the marketplace. We find customization important not only on a design level, but also functionality wise. Whenever a game approaches us with a distinctive way of launching its NFTs, we’re all ears and always strive to support them in the best way possible.
Our long list of partners allows us to speak with the creators themselves and learn first-hand what it is that they need. When we can take on certain responsibilities and tasks, we are more than happy to do so. We want developers to focus on improving their games, not to spend unnecessary time and money on development. We will build their native marketplace, rarity tools, data sets and launching portals — everything a successful project needs to start its journey.
For the gamer
The days of selling World of Warcraft accounts on ebay are over. No more sharing passwords of accounts holding your precious assets with the risk of getting scammed. Ownership of accounts, items and any in-game assets can now easily be transferred through marketplaces, both inside and outside of the game. NFT technology makes ownership transferable and we want to create the best experience for gamers.
We are looking at a future where the secondary marketplace will tie into the game itself. Imagine walking around your favorite game, visiting the local town hall and being able to trade your in-game currency for that one shiny object you’ve been dreaming about. You have been grinding hours to acquire these in-game tokens and finally you can purchase the item of your choice. You make the trade and you can then freely use the item in the game.
The person on the other side of this trade might never have played the game before and just purchased the item for financial gain. This is the trader as indicated above, but it can fit perfectly into the needs of the gamer. The trader will only visit the marketplace in-browser, while the gamer will visit the marketplace in the game or via the creator’s website. There are countless possibilities and the potential is exciting.
We’re also excited about the release of our very own gaming platform that we will also tie into the marketplace. Exactly how this will function, and what utility this combination will have, has yet to be decided but, again, there’s a wide range of possibilities.
Gamifying the entire experience
Let’s be honest, current marketplaces are all a bit boring. While what you can trade in marketplaces is exciting, the experience of purchasing is still relatively dull. Since we’re building a platform dedicated to gaming assets, why not make the whole experience feel as thrilling as a game? We’re not diving too deeply into this right now so as to not spoil the surprise but we have lots of ideas.
Ultimately, we don’t want to simply develop a place for commerce. We are developing a space that suits the needs of all gamers, one that can be embedded into games and will be connected with our other MC verticals. Imagine: everyone will be able to collaborate, trade and play within your community, all powered by MC.
Benefitting the entire ecosystem
The Merit Circle DAO is built in such a way that each vertical can stand on its own while also adding value to the other verticals. With the NFT marketplace, things are no different. In fact, the marketplace plays an essential role in our ecosystem and it’s a great benefit to all other verticals.
Imagine one of our portfolio companies, part of the investment vertical, was looking to release its products. It has an amazing game but the team has never really thought about the many hoops needed to jump through to bring it to market. The majority of the company’s resources went on developing the game itself, not a marketplace or a place where their NFTs can be minted. Through our advisory role, we can assist by bringing projects like this to market in a fast, easy and customized way.
The same goes for the studio vertical. Whenever we find a game, specifically those outside the web3 space, that we’re passionate about, we can go to market quickly and efficiently. No need to delay the launch in search for the right web3 developers who need assistance getting a native marketplace off the ground, rarity tools or similar; our marketplace will take care of this. While the marketplace adds huge benefits to these two verticals, it works both ways.
You see, the more value we can bring to the table, be that with possible projects to invest in, the better. The Merit Circle DAO is becoming more appealing to projects looking to raise capital and the NFT marketplace will enhance our position.
The development of our NFT marketplace began only two months ago but already a lot has happened. As one of our developers put it: “we have lifted off like a rocket, loud, flaming, roaring and shaking, but we are leaving the atmosphere and are slowly letting go of our thrusters.”
In other words, the initial brainstorming phase is behind us and the majority of the designs have been signed off. We now know what the first release of our product will look like and we are actively working towards finalising its build. This first version of the platform will cover the basics of what we aim to achieve; it’ll be the foundation on which we will expand.
After the first release, we will be able to help our first partnered projects launch their assets on our marketplace. Also, our very own Edenhorde will find a place on our marketplace and, according to MIP-10, we are working on an economically viable framework that will benefit the users, creators, the Merit Circle DAO and, in this case, Edenhorde holders.
This initial version of the marketplace is being created in collaboration with DEPT Agency. The thought-process started internally; we created the design and are currently doing the smart contract development but we approached DEPT Agency to help us scale rapidly. Naturally, in time, we will scale our in-house development team to sustain the development of the marketplace and adjust it according to the market’s needs and progression.
The moat around the castle
With the development of the NFT marketplace rapidly progressing, we endeavour to scale efficiently and effectively after launch. This ranges from creating the required educational materials to finding initial launching partners.
We are confident that the Merit Circle DAO will be home to the native marketplace for gaming assets in web3. We are determined to build a moat around gaming and, from there, grow even bigger. Our ambitions are limitless but our core focus remains on the gaming industry. We want Merit Circle to be the go-to place for legacy gaming corporations looking to make the jump to web3.