On day one of Pocket Gamer Connects London, Freevsere.io CEO Alun Evans addressed the question on everyone’s mind: what is an NFT?
Of course, one of the best ways to explain what something is to someone is to explain what it isn’t. Evans outlined that one of the largest misconceptions surrounding NFTs is that they are just an image.
Although you can associate an image with an NFT, an NFT is the item you are buying and not just an image or a receipt. Additionally, purchasing an NFT does not give the buyer the IP rights and there are terms and conditions that come alongside the purchase.
So then, what is an NFT? Evans explained that NFTs consist of certain properties, such as a unique ID, an owner, other properties such as an image or other asset, a licence, and that this is all written to a blockchain where it will remain indefinitely.
So what's with all the apes? Images attached to NFTs each include an image hash – a unique number directly associated with the image – that is connected to the image forever. These images are stored on a decentralised file network, the IPFS, and include the other properties associated, such as owner.
Possibly the most likely question to follow after learning what exactly NFT is: why would I want one?
Evans explained that in the future of the digital age, specifically the metaverse, our digital identities and the way that we present ourselves will be at the forefront. What we present is what we own, in this case, NFTs. Users will be able to give off an appearance online through the use of NFTs that is similar to wearing high-fashion clothing in reality.
Evans continued that NFTs reflect the value that owners have put in to using them and how often they are being used, which he aptly named the 'Tamagotchi mechanic'.
How can this relate to the game industry though? As value is dependent on usage this is a key driver for users to keep returning to the platform that the asset can be used on, thus boosting player retention.
However, Evans stated that one of the weakest points for NFT ownership is the potential to earn, despite how attractive a feature this is to many looking to get involved in the space.
"There is a pyramid of buyers and sellers and this only works as a model if there is a never ending flow of buyers; once this slows down the whole economy collapses."