During the Non Fungible Conference in Lisbon 4-5th April 2022, we were fortunate to interview key players in the ecosystem. Shaban Shaame from EverdreamSoft was able to answer our questions!
Besancia: Hello Shaban and thank you for your time! As part of our series on the key players in the ecosystem, I wanted to ask you a few questions. Let’s start with the first one, can you introduce yourself?
Shaban: I am the founder of EverdreamSoft and producer of The Spell of Genesis game. Today, I focus on NFTs on different blockchains. For example, with Spell of Genesis, NFTs exist on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Klaytn. The idea is to leave it up to the user to choose the blockchain where they want to mint their NFTs.
Shaban: In 2012, I heard about Bitcoin with the MtGox flaw and a few articles speaking about Bitcoin going from $50 to $100, then another that said Bitcoin had gone from $100 to $200..I had to get some! Then I really started to take an interest in what was behind it all and I still haven’t lost interest in it today.
There was some research that caught my attention, it was the Colored Coin. Take a small fraction of Bitcoin and say that it is something else like another currency or an object. The idea of using Blockchain no longer as a currency but rather as an indicator for something else was fascinating!
Then Counterparty came out that solved a problem which existed with Colored Coin. On Colored Coin, if we ever sent an asset to an incompatible address, the data was lost. With Counterparty, this problem was solved. Even with an incompatible one, you didn’t lose your metadata. At that time, we had a game at Everdreamsoft called Moonga, a collectible card game like Hearthstone.
Players would exchange in-game cards using Paypal then they would try to revert the transaction by contacting the support. This way, they could keep the cards and the money…
That’s when we said to ourselves “what if we emulated the card game directly on-chain?”. In this way the user is the only master on board and he is solely responsible for the exchange of his cards.
Shaban: Not really. The idea was to put metadata on a currency. The transaction fees were very low and it was quite positive. It wasn’t really a technical limitation, rather an access limitation.
The players who were already following us have not managed to take the crypto train, find Bitcoins, buy Bitcoins, create a wallet… and the idea of value that the card was going to exist on-chain, ad vitam eternam was not well understood.
Shaban: The bet I took in 2015 was that this trend would remain. The strategy I decided to follow was to continue the development of Spell of Genesis. But I also knew that other companies were going to develop their game. So rather than trying to compete with Ubisoft for example, we also started to develop tools for companies.
This is the natural evolution of this bet, I am happy that it evolves but I did not doubt it, on the other hand I am quite surprised at the speed at which it accelerated. It was quite flat and then all of a sudden an explosion of interest so it looks a bit like a bubble rise phenomenon. A bit like in 2017 with ICOs, then it corrected a lot, people said “it’s dead…” but this is the time when projects and technology are being built in the background.
There is a lot of opportunism but at some point it will correct itself and what will remain are the strong fundamentals. At the moment we are still in a euphoria bubble stage that will correct but we are still at the very beginning.
Shaban: At the moment it’s a bit of a wild west and I think there will soon be a whistle signaling the end of the playground. Right now there are a lot of scams, copyright infringements, a whole bunch of things that are induced by the link between the asset and the token. The tokens are managed by the smart contract but the problem lies in the underlying asset.
For example, I can create the same asset on different blockchains. The token will be unique but not the asset. In relation to this issue, we are working on a decentralized certification authority.
Besancia: It’s ambitious.
Shaban: It’s ambitious, yes! It is a Blockchain to certify NFTs on any Blockchain. We must find a way to form a consensus that can determine whether a particular NFT is a true or a false one. The problem with a centralized platform is that it won’t be able to track everything that happens. It has to be decentralized, we can’t trust only one entity to say “this is a real one” or “this is a fake”.
Shaban: One of the barriers to mainstream adoption is the number of scams. This is an important issue because it is a matter of trust. An informed user will be able to look at the smart contract and identify if the author is the right one, if the function called is the right one… For an average user, it is beyond his abilities. It is even dangerous for him to come into this ecosystem, for example on Opensea there are a lot of fakes and it can be very easy to lose money by buying one.
It’s better that ordinary users are not yet there in the ecosystem because the more they arrive, the more they get scammed and the more there is a form of negative vision about NFTs. We see it in the world of video games with Ubisoft when they announced their NFT… There has been a huge amount of hate from users.
Why? Because they think it’s a dark world full of liars and thieves… But from this outside perspective, when they see their favorite studio enter the NFT, they tell themselves that it has moved to the dark side of the force, only to make more money.
While it’s not that at all, it’s much bigger than that, they want to be part of the ongoing revolution.
There is little doubt that the world of NFTs will continue to astonish newcomers for some time ahead but having the ability to hear from a true NFT OG puts into perspective the recent hype and shows us how far we have traveled, bringing a vision of the future to come..
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