When we talk about NFTs today, we think about the Ethereum blockchain. But we are in a bigger “cryptoland” and there’s a lot of competition… It didn’t take long before other teams started betting on this technology too. We’re going to talk about one of them: EOS. Of course, their dapp catalog doesn’t count thousands like on Ethereum but, some projects are worth a look.
Keep in mind, this article won’t talk about the infinite question: “What is the best Blockchain?” but will try to answer to:
“What are the actual uses and the potential of NFTs on the EOS blockchain?”
Let’s go through a quick introduction about this blockchain which already has a sulphurous history.
We are in June 2017, EOS.IO launches their ICO (initial coin offering) which will last for one year. Few days before the snapshot (ERC-20 token evolving to EOS cryptocurrency), a warning alarm about critical security breaches is pulled by an audit and everything is delayed by two weeks.
Finally, everything goes back to normal: The snapshot happened, users got their EOS tokens, block producers were elected through the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) voting system, the network is safe and at least Daniel Larimer (Bitshares and Steem dad) is happy.
When you’re used to Ethereum, the differences start with the creation of your wallet. Say goodbye to the random words as a private key and 0x… and say welcome to the double key pair and 12 characters name!
Double key pair? What does it mean? Don’t panic, here is a recap outlining the authorization levels according to importance:
Your owner private key is above all other and may be useful to recover your active key so it is highly recommended to keep it in a safe place…
The second biggest difference is the transaction system.
Let’s make it simple: Where you need ether as gas to send your Ethereum transaction, EOS will need the CPU, RAM or NET account resources to complete the transaction.
These resources are available to use when you finish creating your account. You will need to remember that these three resources are used through your Dapp interaction but “regenerate” with time.
If you’re in a rush to execute something, you can stake more EOS on your resources to allow more actions. I warned you, things are different on EOS!
Now that we understand the basics of this technology, let’s take a closer look at the NFT’s standard on EOS.
This technical intro was vital to understand how the blockchain handles the different transactions (NFT or not) on EOS.
You think the game of the 7 differences was over?
The Ethereum community has had a much larger following and has had quite a head start compared to EOS, and thus, the standards are well documented, battle-tested, and mature (ERC721 and ERC1155 for example). On EOS, the Mythical Games team works hand-in-hand with many important actors such as Greymass, Cypherglass, Meet.One, Scatter and Blocks.io amongst others since February 2019 to develop the first NFT standard on EOS : dGoods.
So, concretely, what is the standard proposition from this beautiful team?
This is where the mechanics of the contract changes compared to the ERC Standard. The idea of “dGoods” is to have in a single contract a functional mix between Fungible and Non-Fungible token in order to create a “Semi-Fungible” standard.
For the end-user, it doesn’t change much, except if he’s curious to better understand these mechanics.
If we take a ticket seat example, it’s like an ERC-721 but created from another ERC-721 in the same contract, like a chain of cinemas with tickets at all locations managed from one central source.
The objective of the Semi-Fungible standard: Have multiple layered “states” where each one of them can generate a certain amount of unique tokens in a unique contract.
Now that we technically know where we just landed, let’s focus on one popular game: EOS Knights, an Idle/RPG game.
It was published shortly after the EOS mainnet snapshot, didn’t have any competitors for a long time, managed to stay at the top Dapp position without much advertisement and was even in advance of the EOS agenda! The game was ready to be pushed on mobile but Scatter, an EOS Wallet, wasn’t stable and the mobile release was delayed. Some time later, a new version of Scatter is launched and at last, the option to play on mobile is possible — which is way more adapted to these kinds of games.
You have to know that you will have to pay to have a full team, but after this introduction, the gameplay itself is pretty nice: you will have to kill goblins until your heroes are exhausted to earn materials when you resurrect them. These materials are needed to forge more powerful weapons and armour for your heroes.
Of course, it’s possible to buy or sell them in the game market.
And to make everything possible, you’ll guess it, every one of these assets are full part NFT!
We say to ourself: “Spending 1 EOS to earn EOS in return and having fun by doing so is pretty nice” and this is where the dream turns into a nightmare.
I said earlier that it was possible to stake some resources… but not every one of them. We can delegate EOS tokens for NET and CPU but, RAM must be bought separately.
Did you know that if a whale buys a lot of RAM and starts to spam the network with a 3 words message “WE LOVE BM”, the whole blockchain is affected and every action takes hours or even days to execute? Well, that whale really existed and is called “blocktwitter”. BM means ByteMaster, the pseudonym of Daniel Larrimer.
We sweat a little, but in the end, the block producers and EOS team found a way to bypass this ordeal (loan and lend of RAM, unlocking “emergency” RAM, forcing down the prices…) to keep the boat floating and allow everyone to keep using dapps.
Even if it’s only a bypass solution, better that this storm happens in the beginning to consolidate the blockchain than in a few years when it will become less forgiving.
This stress-test wasn’t very pleasant to live but was vital to provide better security and fluidity to newcomers and games such as EOS Knights.
If you’re not afraid of the change and you feel ready to make the leap, keep in mind that the EOS technology is evolving every day and new projects are coming out of stealth to expand the number of games in the EOS catalog.
Without coming back on EOS Knights, who has plenty of time to update and propose more stable content, there are other games who deserved to be experimented with:
At the time I’m writing, some of these games are at a very early stage of development or even at the pre-sale state. You’re free to participate if the project looks legit to you after doing your own research.
Yes, starting a new EOS game will require two investments: time and money. Time to understand the mechanics of the keys if you’re only used to Ethereum, and money because you have to pay to finalize your wallet.
This investment is one of the main hurdles to mass-adoption but once it’s made, you finally have access to a whole new ecosystem.
I hope this article helped you to familiarize and have a better understanding of the EOS blockchain! And I hope you enjoy new games and experiences in this very young universe.