The Evolution Of The NFT Market; Gaming In The Metaverse Is The Next Trend

The Evolution Of The NFT Market; Gaming In The Metaverse Is The Next Trend

NFTs have come a long way to feature as the most popular crypto niche in 2021. As of writing, the daily NFT trading volumes stand at $17 million, contributing to a significant share of the larger crypto market. While NFTs became popular in 2021, most of the existing projects have been in the works since 2017.

The hallmark NFT debut was the crypto kitties game, which is also infamous for clogging the Ethereum network in December 2017. This NFT-oriented game is designed based on the ERC-721 standard; ideally, the game features indistinguishable virtual cats, allowing players to create and breed the virtual cats as digital collectibles.

Today, the NFT ecosystem has evolved to include other types of digital collectibles, including pixel-generated art and the metaverse. The former category hosts the likes of Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, both of which are now a sensation within the growing crypto community.

Given the rising popularity, NFTs are now becoming a household name in other industries such as gaming, arts, and entertainment. The next section of this article will highlight the evolution of the NFT ecosystem, alongside the potential of living and gaming in virtual worlds powered by blockchain technology.

A Fast Growing Ecosystem

As mentioned in the introduction, crypto kitties set the stage for the burgeoning NFT market. However, the game’s popularity was eventually dwarfed by other NFT projects that opened up new opportunities to create, store, purchase, and sell digital collectibles on NFT marketplaces such as Rarity and OpenSea. 


With the market coming of age, pixel-generated NFTs such as BAYC and Crypto Punks had the best run in 2021. The latter is a 2017 project, featuring a collection of 10,000 pixel-based avatars tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. As of press time, the floor price for punks is well over $200K, with a record sale of $23.7 million for CryptoPunk #5822. 

That said, the BAYC NFTs floor price recently flipped crypto punks to become the most sought pixel-based avatars. Some of the prominent figures who own BAYC NFTs include Stephen Curry, Jimmy Fallon, and Post Malone. The project has also partnered with Adidas to launch a metaverse for the multinational apparel brand. 

While most of the NFT action has been on-chain, traditional art marketplaces such as the Christie’s auction have also picked up on the trend. Mike Winkelmann, a long-time digital artist who goes by the pseudonym Beeple, sold his collection “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” for $69.3 million at a Christie’s auction back in March 2021. This sale marked the third-highest auction for a living artist, following Jeff Koons and David Hockney.

Moving on from the digital art pieces, NFT innovators are now pivoting to utility-focused ecosystems. This paradigm shift has given rise to NFT games and the metaverse. According to a report by DappRadar, NFT games accounted for close to 50% of the active users in the decentralized markets. With the trend gaining more interest this year, let’s delve deeper into the emerging virtual world of NFTs. 

Gaming on the Metaverse 

Though a relatively new concept, the metaverse is fast being adopted as the futuristic way of living and gaming. At the core, these digital worlds are powered by emerging technologies such as blockchain and virtual reality (VR). People can replicate real-world activities on the metaverse, not to mention the underlying infrastructure which enables developers to integrate other functions such as games and art displays. 

Decentraland and The Sandbox were among the pioneer metaverse ecosystems; land on these virtual worlds now costs a dime, with some investors purchasing a parcel for as much as $500K given the proximity to other valuable digital properties. Well, thanks to the diverse nature of crypto innovations, upcoming metaverse ecosystems such as Bullieverse are now featuring a cheaper cost of entry and more realistic gaming environments. 

The Bullieverse ecosystem introduces an immersive Web 3.0 platform, complemented by a play-to-earn economy. This Ethereum and Polygon compatible metaverse allows gamers to experience featured games through its native asset Bull NFT which was launched in 2021. By design, Bull NFTs have been programmed using 160 different traits. There are currently 10,000 Bull NFTs owned by 2,300 wallets. 

With the Bullieverse NFTs, gaming enthusiasts can create their imaginative worlds by leveraging the platform’s game portal. This metaverse ecosystem also features virtual lands where users can host events or other crafted digital experiences. Like most DeFi projects, Bulieverse plans to become a fully DAO governed ecosystem based on a network incentive model.

The metaverse examples featured in this article are the tip of the iceberg; analysts in the crypto market believe that virtual worlds have a greater potential of tapping into the $178 billion video gaming market. A trend that can be observed in the changing dynamics of active wallet users in DeFi and NFTs. 

Wrap Up 

As we enter the digital era, a lot is bound to change. NFTs are already paving the way for this revolution, from gaming to the arts industry. This effect will soon trickle down to other sectors such as real estate, given that NFTs can be used to represent real-world assets on the blockchain. 

It is no surprise that large corporations are jumping on this trend, with notable players such as Walmart filing several trademarks in preparation to enter the metaverse. This leading American retailer will soon be joining the likes of Adidas to include virtual products among other crypto-related services.

Going by these trends, NFTs seems to have cemented a place in the futuristic virtual worlds. However, it will require the collaboration of emerging tech innovators and veterans in traditional industries to make the metaverse a mainstream reality. 

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