What about the Enjin phenomenon? Is this the future of blockchain gaming or an isolated and temporary event? What is the impact of this parallel standard (ERC-1155 vs. ERC-721) on the NFT ecosystem?
You may have heard about “2001: A Space Odyssey”? You’ll notice there are some common points between the movie and the Enjin project.
Once upon a time, on Earth, a gigantic rectangular and smooth-shaped block appeared to humans. Still, in its early stages of evolution, this apparition has revolutionized our perception of things and environment. According to legend, this Monolith was the source of our intelligence and knowledge.
Later, on a planet not so far from ours, a group named Enjin will propose a mysterious treasure quest that seems directly inspired by these myths. This treasure, meant to bring glory but above all, wealth (1,155,777 ENJ / currently about $104 000 USD), to the one who finds it. The treasure will give place to a lot of mystery: to reach the end of this quest it will be necessary to “travel along the games of the multiverse, decipher clues, collect Easter Eggs, solve puzzles and discover the invisible”.
If you are looking for the Monolith by solving puzzles at all costs, you will be wasting your time because the solutions will only be found in the multiverse that Enjin wants created. And the multiverse that will contain these riddles, clues and Easter Eggs, it is not Enjin who will create it, it is us …
You can find the full story in this little comic book published by the Enjin team.
Before talking about the technical aspects of the project, let’s begin with the main use: the video game experience!
Many games have been announced over the past year, among them we can list: War of Crypto, Cats in Mech, Cryptofights, Age of Rust, Forest Knight,… The focus was then on the “Founder Tokens”, the cornerstones of Enjin’s universe that you were able to obtain through pre-sales or directly on OpenSea.
Subsequently, there have been other projects that have benefited from this craze: Lost Relics (ex-Forgotten Artifact), Bitcoin Hodler, Rebounce, the studio of Enigma Games or Kingdom Karnage that have emerged and are already in the beta stage or demo. In terms of quality of the gaming experience, it is difficult to decide on the games because their stage of development is far too early to really form an opinion.
Recently, two other projects have generated some hype around Enjin:
To finish with, we have to evoke all the related projects: fanart, exchanges or virtual reality.
The question that arises is: Why did Enjin need a new technical standard (ERC-1155) to build its metaverse and cross-gaming experience?
We’ll have to dive deeper into the technical aspects of Enjin projects to understand why the team decided to build its project on a brand new technical standard for their tokens.
The flow below describes roughly how the system works when you purchase a token on the Ethereum blockchain (cryptocurrency or non-fungible token):
This action is called “Atomic Swap” and here is a simplified definition:
“Something is happening completely, or not at all“
Imagine that you go shopping and once at the checkout, the cashier tells you to pay all your items one by one. This will clog the cashier, which nobody wants. This is one of the major drawbacks of the current NFT standard (ERC-721), every transfer is a separate action. Although extensions to ERC-721 exist for batch transfers, the vanilla ERC-721 standard does not support this function. To answer this problem, the ERC-1155 differs from its cadets, here is a small diagram to simplify:
Thanks to this standard, it is possible to send ERC-20 (tokens) and ERC-721 (non-fungible tokens) to several people under one globally shared contract! The Enjin team has therefore clearly identified the main need to be answered: being able to exchange and transfer multiple objects, tokens, virtual currencies in a very simple and especially massive way.
Another novelty is born thanks to this standard: the Multiverse Founder Token.
The MFT has one purpose: to thank its owner for his support for the project. Simply by keeping it warm in your wallet, the various projects of the multiverse will thank you through rewards and other benefits.
It is thanks to this system that we can receive assets by scanning (thanks to Enjin’s wallet) QR Codes that have appeared on social networks or in the street for a few months.
If you want to get more into the technical details of this standard, we recommend you to take a look at the Github which details all the features that can be used.
Enjin have obviously generated some buzz this last year, with guerrilla marketing, great support from it’s users, investors and stakeholders, and more and more projects composing the universe. We’ll try to build a clearer vision between technical, functional and marketing aspects about this potentially huge project.
The main problem with the ERC-1155 standard is not from a technical point of view, but rather in the way it has been promoted as soon as the EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal) was sent.
The team has done everything so that you use their tools to facilitate the use of this ERC, but especially for them: EnjinSpark, Unity SDK, dedicated portfolio, ENJ exclusively cited as an example for minting objects … many of these solutions arrive as a kind of kit for the project using 1155 necessarily pass by Enjin.
This made the hype go up around the Enjin projects and standard, while for the majority of them, we wonder if the ERC-721 standard with standard extensions would have been enough.
On the one hand, we have the Enjin team that aims to create a multiverse centered around one system of smart contracts, to promote blockchain gaming and propose a whole set of tools to developers to help them build this “cross-gaming” experience. On the other hand, we have that ENJ token, used mostly to speculate. If the games don’t live up to the hype, what will be the intrinsic value of the objects used in the games?
It’s definitely a risk to launch such an ambitious and wide project based on not necessarily mature standards and technologies.
The Enjin team positions itself as the knowledge holders who created the worlds but they also like to keep some secret about their vision and “how it will actually work”.
The team has already repeatedly withheld information:
Enjin team obviously blow hot and cold on its community but it’s hard to determine their actual position toward the rest of the NFT community: are they competing or completing the current NFT ecosystem? The difference of standard, and the “exclusive side” of the cross-gaming experience definitely causes a kind of isolation. A lot of Enjin assets have been minted but how many will actually be used?
Perhaps it would have been better to wait for the community to take advantage of this new batch token sending system other than deploying such an aggressive marketing strategy?
This would have allowed for example the EIP-1412 to be a little more highlighted through The Sandbox to highlight the complementarity of the two standards. It would also have allowed the team expertise of 0xproject to be brought to this standard.
This standard is only a technological step in the path of Non-Fungible Tokens, not a disruptive approach of the NFTs. Enjin has definitely pros and cons, but they managed to build a strong audience in the crypto-gaming ecosystem extremely quickly.
That said, if we think about the metaphor of comics, we are still at the stage of the battle between the bull and the bear. But if the story follows the planned path, we will soon be able to take part to the Horn’s quest and having a lot of fun playing all planned games.
So let’s wait for the release of these long-awaited games and we’ll see if the whole project is worth it!
One is purely speculator on the success of the project and the other only wants to build this famous multiverse, in search of “original” knowledge. This is reminiscent of the story I told you at first, which you can find the full story in this little comic that the team of Enjin has published in its infancy.
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