Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are emerging as a very popular blockchain trend in gaming, as they're also now being used in the sports industry (ticketing), financial services, and as a way to sell and transfer property, highlighted Craig Russo, director of innovation of an investment firm and startup ecosystem, Polyient Games.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Russo explains that NFTs first captured the attention of the mainstream crypto community in 2017 with the launch of Ethereum (ETH) collectibles game, CryptoKittie.
Since then, Russo believes that the NFT market has come to represent one of the “most attractive opportunities” across all digital assets, with immediate use cases already being found within the art, collectibles and even the gaming industries
Polyient Games’ director of innovation explained further about the role of NFTs within the gaming space and its “steadily” popularity:
“One reason gamers are gravitating towards blockchain is that - unlike traditional games - blockchain environments permit players to gain true ownership of their in-game items. This means blockchain games, driven by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles, are unlocking an entirely new economic system that enables gamers to earn real money while they play. Fueled by these applications, the collectibles market has reached $370 billion.”
NFTs and DeFi
Russo states that we are also beginning to see NFTs emerge “as a standalone asset within decentralized finance (DeFi),” including lending and fractional trading, and companies within the industry such as Polyient Games are bullish on NFTs in DeFi.
However, Russo told Cointelegraph about the major hurdles that NFTs adoption is facing currently:
“A lack of understanding about NFTs from both the public’s perspective as well as mainstream media is probably the biggest hurdle, but - based on the feedback we’ve gotten so far - we’re seeing more and more mainstream interest daily.”
The role of the pandemic in the NFTs’ popularity within the gaming industry
COVID-19 has altered how people interact, travel, communicate, work and conduct business, says Russo, but “it’s also reshaping the entire gaming industry.” He quotes figures that reveal in April 2020 alone, U.S. consumers spent a record-breaking $10.5 billion on in-home gaming:
“This renewed passion for gaming has also caused a spike in gaming stocks. As people continue to social distance, this trend will continue. And - as players discover blockchain games, powered by NFTs and digital collectibles, which offer an entirely new, fully-immersive gaming experience - they will continue to embrace blockchain games.”