At the Steem Engine our motto is to Trade Anything. We want to be the back bone of that. In order to facilitate that we've introduced NFTs. These are non-fungible tokens. It allows us to track everything single token in a series individually. Each and every token is unique with a unique ID.
Anyway when we launched it wasn't perfect. And some of that is the difference between a product and software. With a product you probably only try to get out one version of the product a year. You need it to be feature complete because people don't buy incomplete products. Software is different though. You get to go to market as quickly as you can to start bringing in revenue and testing things out in the wild.
What we just released is an alpha and an incomplete one at that. My initial concerns cover 3 topics.
- NFTs are too hard for non-devs to make
- NFTs need a market
- The side needs speed and reliability improvements
What are we doing?
Well, I'm happy to say that we're nearing the completion of the market side of things. Not only are we trying to create a method for everyone to trade the things they own in a big public catalog, but we're starting to think through how everyone can create their own unique storefront within that larger decentralized marketplace. I have a pretty simple philosophy. If I can help you make money then I'll make money too. So, I'm hoping V1 of the market is out before January.
In order to have a business you'll need stuff to sell. I believe that many people will embrace digital collectables. In order to make that happen I think it needs to be super easy to create NFTs. It has to be so easy that non-devs can do it. So, we're working on the NFT creation wizard to try to make that as simple as possible.
I think the wizard will also be in January. Here's hoping.
Another big project is making improvements to the site. We've noticed over the past couple weeks as things have grown that the site isn't as stable or fast as we'd like. I don't like jumping between projects. So, we're finishing up the launch of the market and then we'll go back and spend as long as it takes to optomize the site. We've found a couple of areas already and have started diving into those. The net effect should be that it's faster, easier, and more reliable than ever.
What can I sell here? I don't get it...
Ok, I see three broad catagories: collectibles, financials, and games.
Collectable is similar to crypto kitties. You have art that you've made and people can buy it and trade it. Assuming we offer a museum for all your NFTs it should actually speak to who you are. You like cats, rainbows, and machine guns. I can start formulating something about you based on your NFTs. Or maybe you have extremely expensive NFTs and I can be impressed. Or maybe you're a collector of erotic art so maybe I know that if I create a boob based NFT I should hit you up.
I guess overall is that collectables are really the simpliest version of an NFT. They don't do much in v1. Maybe later a game gets created using your cats, rainbows, and machine guns... I mean, that game sounds pretty fun... but on day one you're really just collecting things.
"But aggroed, who will want my art?"
Well, that part is really up to you. We'll have a market here. It'll be up to you to get friends and family to support you work. Now it may turn out that Steem Engine isn't a great place to monetize a brand new audience, but it's my expectatation that Steem Engine is going to be a fantastic place to monetize an existing audience.
Imagine if you have a brand like garfield, you're a famous adult acctress, or you run a popular comic book or sports team.
Now it's easy to create and distribute digital collectables and all you have to do is share your limited edition, cashmere, home schooled, vegan, free range, fair trade unique comic characters such that you're offering fewer than your audience would want to purchase and now BOOM. You have monetized your audience.
Future of collectables
In V1 of collectables I doubt they do much. However, I keep thinking about how digital collectables can then turn into a game. A good example would be sports. You start by just collecting cards representing the players. That's V1 and the alpha of your game roll out. But V2 now you can play them in fantasty sports. The hook being that if you want to play a certain mega player you can only play them if you own the card!!! Now the collectable has an entertainment and bragging rights component. Maybe it comes with the ability to earn by playing too.
If you're not into collecting stuff like cards and comics you might be stoked to own stuff like houses and cars. Each house could be recorded on the blockchain. Now stuff like deeds, ownerhsip, titles, work records, tax reports, and anything else can be publicly stored on chain and searchable by anyone with an internet connection. There are trillions of dollars in mortgages. Imagine being able to tokenize and trade them with ease on the web. Financial friction will be brought to basically nothing and maybe capital can be deployed wisely and efficiently.
Ok, last up I see games. Maybe you start with some hearts, rainbows, emojis, clowns, armor, weapons, pepes, or whatever. But later on it can turn into an inventory of items. Unlike a standard inventory that just lives on your private server these could exist on a public blockchain as NFTs. Now you can do crazy stuff like rent the sword, trade the sword, and know more things about it. How many other people own this? How many are selling them? What price are they setting?
NFT in game inventories just unlocks so much potential that traditional games just can't touch or explore.
So, what's the point?
We release software and make improvements. We're nearly done with NFT markets and an NFT creation wizard that makes everything much easier.
We're also making progress on site speed and reliability.
All that will help turn Steem Engine from a smart contract platform to a decentralized marketplace! If it all goes according to plan you'll be making money there soon!