Since the launch of the first NFT avatar project, many others have tried to follow in its footsteps with varying results. The success of Cryptopunks started a wave of projects that cloned its features with a new avatar design.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have grown in popularity due to the high value some collections have achieved in the crypto world. However, the potential use of NFTs goes beyond speculative value. If its great potential is not tapped, the NFT avatar market will become oversaturated with products that do not bring anything innovative or different to this sector. The ICP Squad project pushed further the limits of what a Non-Fungible Token can do, as we will see throughout this article.
Brief summary of compared NFT projects
In 2017, two software developers from the company Larva Labs set to work to create a collection of 10,000 unique 24x24 pixel avatars with the idea of integrating them into blockchain technology. The result of that idea is Cryptopunks, a collection of NFT avatars that today are bought for millions of dollars.
Beyond a simple pixelated appearance, each Cryptopunk in the collection can have up to seven attributes (an earring, a cigar, a hat, etc.) which are the properties that give the character its rarity and, therefore, its market value. See all the attributes here.
Subsequent NFT avatar projects have followed the fundamental concepts introduced by CryptoPunks.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an Ethereum collection with monkey-based avatars. Owning one of its 10,000 NFTs gives you access to an exclusive social organization, including social influencers and celebrities like Three-Time NBA Champion Stephen Curry. Most importantly, having a BAYC NFT allows you to access additional NFTs from this collection, such as a pet dog NFT or a "mutant serum" NFT that granted you a Mutant Ape Yacht Club (a mutant version of your monkey).
From this moment on, the number of projects starts to grow without providing innovative features (until we start talking about ICP Squad NFT).
The Degenerate Ape Academy is an attempt to imitate the Bored Ape Yacht Club, but on the Solana blockchain and with a new monkey design (and part of the collection's name).
Of the remaining projects, I admire the work of the artists and designers. I love some of these avatars but, without going into the designs, Cool Cats, Mekaverse, SpaceBudz, and Pancake Bunnies, do not bring any new utility that has not been introduced previously with Cryptopunks or BAYC.
The only novelty that should perhaps be mentioned is that the CryptoSeals project on the Avalanche blockchain introduces a mysterious element to its characters. After minting the NFT, you don't know the properties of the character's rarities until you invoke it (they remain hidden until that point). I guess the idea is that an uninvoked seal will increase in value in the future in the same way that an old sealed game does.
Therefore, the aforementioned projects are based on the features of Cryptopunks without introducing functional improvements. NFT avatars are a product that must be reinvented to offer possibilities that go beyond speculation and a nice profile image of a select group of people. ICP Squad does not renounce these features to create an inclusive game in which it adds numerous novelties. See them in the following section.
ICP Squad NFTs, much more than a digital identity profile
Cryptopunks inspired a bull market but, as more and more of these collections become available, keep in mind that there can be too much of a good thing.
ICP Squad NFT maintains the basis of these projects and incorporates new utilities that make it the perfect collection to obtain passive income on the Internet Computer.
ICP Squad Design
The avatar's design for “season 0” is the work of graphic designer Arun Nair, who has worked for the Dfinity team and whose work shows an evident influence of Japanese anime. In this first season, the characters are human and combine chiseled features and vivid colors that convey tremendous energy!
ICP Squad NFT will be the perfect way to express your picture profile, but unlike other collections, NFT characters can be purchased at a low fixed price without cap. Therefore, you will identify with the large community it represents and where everyone is welcome.
Our pre-order process is open! Get an amazing level 3 ICP Squad NFT for only 1 ICP (save 4 ICP). Join here.
Dual NFT Collection
The ICP Squad collection consists of two types of NFT: characters and accessories. Characters are classified into three levels that will influence their statistics and increase your probability of getting rewards.
You can get the accessories as a reward for using the Internet Computer applications. You can also buy (and sell) them at the Entrepot marketplace. They boost your character's properties to get more rewards and are the speculative incentive of the game (the demand will always be higher than the supply).
New reward model: “Engage-to-Earn.”
ICP Squad NFT is the first-ever "Engage-to-Earn" game. In comparison, the "Play to Earn" concept used by other NFT games requires constant activity on specific apps, typically created by the original developers. The "Engage to Earn" model aims to promote the use of dApps for the entire Internet Computer ecosystem and collaborate with other ICP Communities (including ICP League, DFINITY Club, etc.).
Therefore, owners of ICP Squad characters can earn rewards (typical accessories in the form of NFTs) simply by having their wallets interact with Internet Computer dApps, such as Distrikt, Openchat, DSCVR, Network Nervous System (NNS), Stoic Wallet, Plug Wallet, and much more.
In case you haven't seen it yet, in the following article, you will find more details about ICP Squad NFT:
Exclusive vs. inclusive collections
NFTs work through blockchain technology (the same technology as cryptocurrencies), so we can consider Cryptopunks as the Bitcoin of non-fungible tokens due to their high speculative value.
However, a Bitcoin can be divided into up to 8 decimal places and even smaller units if required in the future. This feature allows anyone to acquire a small amount if desired. This is not the case with non-fungible tokens, as they are unique and indivisible. So, if you're not one of the lucky ones who got one practically for free (paying only Ethereum transaction fees), it's very difficult for you to get into this collection.
The same goes for many other collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cool Cats, or even Mekaverse, which has just been launched and is already prohibitively expensive for many people (see the floor price in the table above).
Therefore, if you are thinking of buying an NFT avatar to use as your identity mark on your internet profiles, any collection you like will be a good choice. However, if your only purpose is speculative, it may not be the best option to go for new collections that try to imitate Cryptopunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club, among others.
As the adoption of NFT technology grows and more non-value-added NFT avatar projects are launched, sales of these new collections will slow down due to oversupply (I didn't just make this up, it happens with the life cycle of any product in a market).
ICP Squad NFT has created a project where you can buy your avatar at a low fixed price without giving up the benefits of speculation. Its NFT Dual system will allow you to own a collection avatar at a fixed floor price of 1 ICP and speculate on the value of NFT accessories, which have a target floor price of at least $700.
In addition to changing the look of your avatar, these are the assets with low supply and high minimum prices where players can enjoy speculative trading and collecting. Accessories will be precious and desired assets for all players.
Suppose you want to significantly increase your odds of making an exciting amount of profit. In that case, you can invest in the strategic purchase of multiple accessories, which boost the types of actions you most commonly perform on the Internet Computer.
The fees you pay when buying, selling, and minting NFTs are different depending on the marketplace you use and the blockchain network where you make the transaction. Comparing them is complicated because even the official marketplace guides do not give clear guidance. It is essential to distinguish between gas fees charged by the network and those charged by the platform (marketplace).
On the one hand, gas fees are the amounts charged each time we make a transaction of buying or selling our NFTs for the fact of using a blockchain network. These fees are usually variable depending on network congestion.
On the other hand, the service fees are separate on marketplace fee and collection creators fee (royalties). They are deducted directly by the marketplace, and they represent a fixed percentage of the transaction amount.
Opensea is the world's largest digital marketplace for collectible cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), where you can find Ethereum collections of this article.
Opensea's gas fees have become a headache for its users. Currently, the average gas fee on Opensea is $151.93 on each side to buy and sell (an amount to which you must add the wallet fee cost for transferring Ethereum to Opensea to pay the NFT) according to this article.
To solve this problem, the polygon network has been added, but you will only be able to use it when you see the Ethereum symbol in purple on the collectible you are interested in buying. To do this, the person selling the NFT has had to create it in the polygon network.
In addition, Opensea's marketplace fee is 2.5%, and a royalty of up to 10% can also be included. Therefore, 12.5% is the highest percentage (service fee) that can be deducted from an NFT sale in OpenSea for this concept. Collections of this article sold on Opensea have a 5% service fee.
If you want to buy a Cryptopunk, you can do it on its creators' website (Larva Labs). You won't have to pay service fees, but you are obliged to use the Ethereum network and pay the high gas fees (although I guess if you can buy one, you won't have a problem with transaction fees).
On the Internet Computer, you don't have to pay the gas fee for NFT transfers. Therefore, Entrepot is the only platform in this article that offers gas-free transfers. Besides, ICP token transaction fees are meager, and this means that when you send ICP to your wallet, it will only cost you 0.0001 ICP (less than $0.01).
In addition, during the minting process, you pay absolutely zero fees. The price you pay includes your avatar and its accessories (the number of accessories depends on your position on the list). The first 50% get at least one accessory, and the first 20% get multiple accessories!
Pancake Swap, Solanart, YetiSwap, and Spacebuz charge a gas fee for each transaction you make with your NFTs. These are low fees compared to Opensea, as you can see in the table above, but you will have to assume this cost every time you make a transaction.
In addition, service fees range from 2.4% (0,4% marketplace + 2% royalty) for SpaceBudz to 7.2% (3% marketplace + 4.2% royalty) for Degenerate Ape Academy. On the other hand, it is important to clarify that YetiSwap applies a 2% marketplace fee if you use its token ($YTS) and 3% if you use Avalanche's token ($AVAX).
Advantages of NFTs on the Internet Computer
Unlike fungible tokens such as Bitcoin and ICP, non-fungible tokens are unique and different. During the process of minting an NFT, the person who creates it also collects other data, defined as metadata, which includes:
- Guarantee of authenticity.
- Records the starting value and all acquisitions or transactions that have been made.
- The file (for example, an image or a video).
- The author.
It is then signed and sent to a smart contract through which everything will be linked on the blockchain.
Despite the apparent benefit generated by recording NFT information (code and data) on a blockchain, most non-fungible token projects store their metadata outside it. This reality is largely due to the storage limitations currently possessed by Ethereum. Smart contracts (lines of code) are minted in the NFT and linked via URLs to metadata, which is stored outside the blockchain in decentralized storage systems such as IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) or Arweave (or both, as in the case of Cardano's SpaceBudz and Avalanche's CryptoSeals).
In addition, Cardano also had to overcome more hurdles. Smart contracts arrived on this blockchain just a month ago so, to launch its first NFT projects, it used native tokens at the same level as ADA, where one token represented one NFT. A few days ago, Cardano launched SpaceBudz.io, its first smart contract-based marketplace, where these avatars can be bought and sold.
The Internet Computer is definitely the best NFT-oriented solution. It combines the logic (lines of code) and metadata on the blockchain without the need to use URLs to other storage services (the code and data of an NFT is in a single tamper-proof unit). This is made possible by the low cost of data storage it provides.
Non-fungible tokens have a promising future as long as innovation is encouraged to uncover their potential use cases. In addition to collectibles, there are other sectors related to digital art and culture, including music, video, 3D design, video games, and more.
Where other projects do not see beyond speculative value, ICP Squad adds multiple utilities such as:
- Engage to Earn instead of Play to Earn.
- Dual NFT system to let the game stay popular with low barriers to entry.
- Earn passive income.
- Inflation and deflation mechanics.
- Implementation of a dashboard.
- Involves the use of the Internet Computer dApps.
In addition, hodlers who possess at least one neuron staked for eight years (#8YearGang) will receive some reward to positively value that the NFT holder is a real believer in the Internet Computer. Add all the advantages offered by ICP Squad NFT to those provided by the “virtual people parties” announced by Dominic Williams. It will allow you to boost a neuron (more rewards) on the Network Nervous System (NNS), among other benefits.
Is this the beginning of NFT 2.0? I'm not going to stand idly by while it happens!
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