Bitcoin NFTs: Old but gold?

What is the actual state of NFT on the Bitcoin blockchain? Is the historical blockchain ready to be adopted by a large audience?

besancia ·  · 11/19/19 ·  4 min

Once upon a time, on the internets, there was the launch of an experiment in cryptography that would change our vision of trusted third parties forever: Bitcoin. Queen mother of cryptocurrencies with a sulphurous history, it was a few years after its launch that the first Non-Fungible Token (NFT) projects appeared on it using a concept dubbed “Colored Coins”.

When Colored Coins first appeared, it was primarily to prove that it was possible to create and demonstrate the possibilities of NFTs on the blockchain. Unfortunately, it was very limited technically… but it worked, and still does!

So, what has been the evolution of this technology on the Bitcoin blockchain? Has it evolved, stagnated, improved? Has the Lightning Network made it possible to facilitate the use of Bitcoin through the game world?

You do not feel comfortable with the idea of a Non-Fungible Bitcoin? A year ago, Zoup wrote an article on the definition of fungibility, which we advise you to read before continuing.

History and Evolution of Non-Fungible Tokens

Technically, it is possible to write your own Smart Contract on the Bitcoin blockchain using the Script language. Except that in practice, developers have had difficulty implementing and this is reflected in the availability of projects. Script is much lower level and not as available to novice programmers – in some respects this is a good thing, where dealing with financial applications requires a certain level of expertise, while it also limits the diversity and experimentation.

Here is a brief history of the different projects that have used this technology:

  • 2012 – Colored Coins: meta-protocol that allows to associate real assets with Bitcoin addresses. Colored Coins encapsulates information on small amounts of Bitcoin.
  • 2014 – Counterparty: A bitcoin smart contract platform.
  • 2015 – Spell of Genesis: Launch of the ICO of the Everdream Soft team, the game will be released two years later.
  • 2016 – Book of Orbs: A portfolio and marketplace dedicated to NFTs, from the Everdream Soft team
  • 2016 – Force of Will: A Trading Card Game that was ranked 4th in sales in the USA
  • 2016 – Rare Pepe: Collectibles of Pepe, a popular meme
  • 2017 – Sarutobi Island: Adventure game where you can summon monsters
  • 2018 – Mafia Wars: Management game
  • 2018 – Bitcorn: Management game / idle. Ends in 2022
  • 2019 – Crystal Suite: Kit to create your own Everdream Soft NFT (in progress)

In 2016 Force of Will is the first game that offers the possibility of having real possession of your cards online just by playing. 

Follow-up of the Everdream Soft team, since 2017, with Spell of Genesis and its associated wallet, Book of Orbs

Then the mobile game Sarutobi Island, from Mandelduck.

As for the artistic NFTs, it is the RarePepe project that released the first “immutable” image on the blockchain. Thanks to the PepeCoin architecture, they have proven that it is possible to create a certification of the authenticity of an image!

If you want to discover more, the project Digirare launched in 2018 and lists applications using NFTs in the same way as DappRadar. In addition, it offers a specialized space for artists!

NFT on Bitcoin today

Since the arrival of Ethereum and its specialization in smart-contracts, how has “script” managed to adapt to its competitors?

First, I looked at projects that offer games using the Lightning Network: the “Lapp”.

For a regular Dapp user, the few types of games (excluding gambling) available can surprise and the quality of the games may frustrate.

Force of Will and Spell of Genesis, still active today, are interesting because the first one is completely on the blockchain and the other one focused on the gameplay. It can be said that together, they laid the foundations for what would become “blockchain gaming” and allowed this idea to flourish in other teams!

As for Sarutobi Island, even if the design is minimalist, it is still an adventure game where you can import your monsters from the Book of Orbs wallet and exchange some of them. In addition, the implementation of the Lightning Network is well suited for micro-payments in the game.

Apart from the Lightning Network, designed for a specific use, are there any other improvements that can be complementary with it? Well, yes, thanks in particular to the Blockstream teams:

  • Miniscript is a language for writing (a subset of) Script in a structured way, allowing analysis, composition, generic signature and more. This language is intended to make the creation of Smart Contract much more accessible (for engineers…) by simplifying the original code!
  • Elements, a solution that made it possible to create Liquid, a “sidechain” to facilitate rapid and final settlements, confidential transactions, secure “tokenization” and interoperability of Atomic Swaps.

Despite a simplification of the original Smart Contract language and a solution to improve token exchanges for Bitcoin, we would have thought that this would attract more developers to integrate this solution, but unfortunately this is not yet the case.

There are only a few projects using NFT and especially in video games, and today we can only encourage the Everdream Soft team to persevere in the work they provide.

Bitcoin is digital gold

It would be easy to fall into the trap of comparing the NFT projects available on Bitcoin and Ethereum but we all know the story of David and Goliath: A well-placed trick is enough to reverse the balance of power.

Honestly, if you’re looking to apply the concept of “Play to earn” to Bitcoin, you’re going to have to look at it from a broader perspective than a tiny screen if you wish to earn anything meaningful… Although the idea may appeal to you, it is only possible to earn little satoshis from your smartphone or laptop for now.

If you target bigger earnings, there are initiatives to win Bitcoin through puzzles in the real world… or sometimes virtual:

Bitcoin has become a reference for a precious good thanks to time and does not benefit from the same status as other crypto currencies. No one plays with a golden nugget in the same way as with cash after all.

And although this represents only a tiny part of the transactions or volume, these treasure hunts contribute both to raising awareness of the existence of the blockchain among the general public and to continuing to establish the reputation of the Bitcoin as the Queen Mother of crypto.

Sources of inspiration for the article:

Thanks to Cryptodidacte for the proofreading!

#Bitcoin Art
#Bitcoin Game
#Bitcoin NFT
#Blockchain Gaming
#Crypto Art
#NFT Education
#NFT History

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