Following the listing of Enjin Coin on OKEx, Enjin VP of Operations & Communications Bryana Kortendick joined the OKEx community for an AMA.
Could you tell us a little more about yourself and Enjin?
I joined Enjin back in 2018 and have worn many hats in the company since then, working on everything from PR and social media, to managing enterprise client relationships and daily operations. Prior to Enjin, I worked in marketing and business development for an IP-focused law firm and NFL team.
Enjin's roots are in the gaming industry. We were founded in 2009, and built a gaming community platform that grew to 20 million users since then. This software has processed millions of USD in virtual asset sales, so expanding into blockchain and the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) was a natural evolution of our business.
We believe NFTs should be for everyone, and we have a full ecosystem of software products, services, and infrastructure that enable any individual, business, or brand to take advantage of this tech. Whether you're an entrepreneur in search of a new promotional option, a developer looking to implement NFTs into your game or app, or a hobbyist interested in experimenting with a new technology.
We’ve only just begun to tap the potential of next-generation digital experiences with blockchain, and I’m grateful to be part of the journey of a pioneer in the space!
Can you tell us what is the main role of your coin in your ecosystem? Explain its utilities and real-life use cases.
Enjin Coin (ENJ) is a utility token that is used to back the value of blockchain assets like NFTs.
Every token minted with our Platform is infused with ENJ, which gets locked up in the items and removed from circulation. The amount of ENJ in each asset can vary, from a fraction of a token (0.01 ENJ) to millions.
Over 2.1 billion items have already been created withENJ, from gaming items to crypto art.
We often get asked, what's the benefit of minting NFTs with ENJ if you could create them without crypto backing?
Using ENJ provides a variety of competitive benefits to both creators and users:
Certificate of Value: ENJ acts as a guarantee of value for the NFTs it backs. This value is always accessible—at any time, you can retrieve the ENJ via our unique “melting” feature. This will effectively destroy the NFT, and the ENJ tokens will be returned to your wallet. Then, you can choose to hold or trade that ENJ, or even use it to create new NFTs.
Guaranteed Scarcity: As the NFT market grows, creators are competing for the attention and support of the same collectors. At some point, supply will surpass demand, because an infinite number of NFTs can be created for free. However, ENJ is a limited resource with a set supply, so backing NFTs with ENJ guarantees their value and scarcity.
Utility: Minting NFTs with ENJ gives them liquidity and utility, as they can be integrated into games and apps. This provides additional value and utility to assets and users, allowing them to unlock benefits and items across various projects. We refer to these as "high-functioning" NFTs.
Here's an example from Microsoft, where their “badger” NFTs can be used in a Minecraft server:
Full NFT Ecosystem: We offer an end-to-end ecosystem of blockchain tools and solution, essentially everything a creator and their users need to take advantage of NFTs: platform, wallet, marketplace, and more.
You released a new product called JumpNet yesterday. What is it, and why would we want to use it?
Ethereum has faced persistent challenges related to congestion and fees, but we've taken this as an opportunity to adapt, innovate, and create solutions for our adopters. JumpNet is one of them.
JumpNet is our "forever-free" Ethereum scaling solution. It's a high-speed bridge network using Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus logic on a private Ethereum-based blockchain.
JumpNet enables instant, secure, and gasless (free!) on-chain transactions for our users.
In its current MVP version, users can move ENJ between JumpNet and Ethereum. On JumpNet, they can then use the ENJ (or "JENJ") to mint, trade, and distribute NFTs with zero gas fees.
We actually just released a QR code yesterday with over 6,000 NFTs—all without transaction fees!
For the end user, the experience is the same. JumpNet NFTs show in your wallet and can be traded on the marketplace as normal.
This is a game changer for Enjin users and adopters, especially those creating free-to-play games and apps.
Our official adopters and partners have first access to JumpNet, and then it will be released to the wider public.
We will actually be minting the NFTs from OKEx's ENJ listing giveaway on JumpNet as well.
Gas fees are really impacting projects and NFT creators across Ethereum. How are you addressing this?
JumpNet is our immediate response and solution to this problem, as you will be able to mint, trade, and distribute NFTs without any gas fees. We created this with our core adopters in mind, but it will serve as a solution for anyone using the Enjin ecosystem
However, in the longer term, Efinity is a robust, decentralized solution that will also serve the wider NFT space in addition to Enjin users
Just last week, we released some exciting new details about Efinity, which is a next-generation blockchain for NFTs, built on Polkadot.
Over time, the scope and tech for Efinity has expanded to meet the needs of the evolving space. Last year, we learned more about Polkadot and realized that their mission and tech are truly aligned with ours, and we’re really excited to build out our parachain with their support.
As we've seen the NFT market grow, we've also seen it become more fragmented, which really just hurts the user experience. Efinity aims to solve this and unite the market by supporting tokens from any blockchain network, both existing and upcoming.
The NFT space needs a blockchain built to serve it, rather than just a multi-purpose network like Ethereum. Efinity will be this solution.
With Efinity, you're creating a new EFI token. How does this affect or benefit ENJ holders?
This is a great question, and a common one that we've received from our community since announcing Efinity.
EFI is the native token on the Efinity network. It will be used to pay transaction fees, vote in governance events, reward network participants, and maintain the liquidity of fungible and non-fungible tokens on the network.
EFI will truly supercharge the utility of Enjin Coin through staking rewards and minting incentives, and benefit our loyal community of ENJ hodlers.
This image is a pretty simple, but provides a clear explanation on each token’s purpose on the network:
We think of ENJ as the "Efinity Founders Token.” The tokenomics of EFI are geared toward growth, designed to benefit Efinity founders who earn EFI by staking ENJ on the network.
ENJ holders will be able to stake their ENJ to nominate the active collator nodes on the network, and they will receive a share of EFI tokens as a reward.
ENJ will also continue serve its core purpose as a minting resource, used for infusing NFTs on the Efinity network. Infused ENJ contained inside minted NFTs will be automatically staked and will passively generate EFI, thus incentivizing creators to lock up ENJ into their items. Only NFTs minted with ENJ will benefit from this feature
We've already set aside 15% of the supply (300 million) of EFI for staking rewards!
There has been much discussion about the environmental impact of NFTs. What strategies is Enjin following to reduce its carbon footprint?
Our planet is our most valuable non-fungible asset.
We believe everyone should be able to use NFTs, and that there shouldn't be such a tradeoff between the tech and environmental sustainability.
We've seen some companies abandon their NFT plans due to environmental concerns, and we don't want that to be the case. We're always working to innovate and solve problems faced by our users, partners, and industry.
As a first step, we created the ERC-1155 token standard, which saves up to 90% on gas when minting NFTs. This alleviates weight on the Ethereum network, which lowers mining rewards, giving less incentive for miners to spend money on electricity.
Now, we've recently introduced a plan to enable carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030, supported by JumpNet and Efinity.
JumpNet is a PoA blockchain running on four nodes that consume 30,000,000 watts per year. This network consumes ~0.000002 of the electricity of the Ethereum blockchain.
Next, Efinity will act as a carbon-NFT vacuum cleaner that will absorb tokens from other blockchains while consuming approximately 0.15 of the electricity used by Ethereum.
As a Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain based on Polkadot, Efinity will be governed by approximately 1,000 nodes and validators. Due to its PoS infrastructure, Efinity's carbon footprint will not increase even as it becomes more popular.
The Efinity network also has a treasury that can be used to fund projects and tech that serve the greater good, including our environment, and EFI holders will be able to vote on treasury grants that will fund worthy projects.
Are NFTs a bubble?
No. At a very high level, we believe that NFTs will change the world and bring about a new, decentralized digital economy that is accessible to everyone who wants to partake.
NFTs can represent essentially anything of value.
They have the potential to fundamentally change the way we own, interact with, and value things in the digital context, as well as the way businesses and brands engage with their users and partners across industries and platforms.
I mentioned "high-functioning" NFTs earlier, and this is our focus at Enjin.
NFTs can (and should) be so much more than just collectibles that sit in your wallet. They can merge the physical and digital realms, provide unique utility, and offer elements of access in the real world.
Because NFTs can be seamlessly integrated into any piece of software, we believe the next evolution of this tech will focus on high-function and unlockable utility.
Whether that's a sword that can be used in 5 different games; unlocking access to creative works like art and music; tokenized digital fashion pieces that can be worn in augmented reality; retail rewards that can be leveled up with different purchases—we've only begun to scratch the surface of what this technology is capable of.
These types of use cases are what I would share with someone who believes that NFTs are “just jpegs” or “a bubble.”
What sets Enjin apart from other NFT projects?
We talked a bit about the utility of ENJ for minting blockchain assets, now I can also tell you more about the tech stack
Enjin has a holistic, end-to-end ecosystem for supporting NFT creators and their users.
We offer everything you need to take advantage of NFTs without blockchain coding experience:
Plus, 2 scaling solutions to make all of this fast, affordable, and accessible: JumpNet and Efinity.
There's a lot to our ecosystem, and we are continually working to improve it to meet the evolving needs of users.
For example, we are completely rebuilding the Enjin Wallet to better serve the influx of new users in the space. We want every person, whether they are a long-term investor or first-time NFT collector, to be able seamlessly use the app without complication.
We'll be launching this new version in Q2, with a completely new interface and user experience. It will be packed with new features and integrations focused on DeFi and NFT users, including DEXes, staking, an onramp for buying crypto, integrated NFT marketplaces, live market data, new chain support, and more.
How are current adopters using NFTs?
Many unique ways! Here are a few examples I like:
Microsoft: Microsoft recently celebrated International Day of Women & Girls in Science with a special-edition NFT event. Participants who completed the educational Azure Space Mystery game received a special-edition badge that could also be used to unlock content and a side quest in Minecraft.
Age of Rust: Age of Rust is a sci-fi action game which launched just a couple weeks ago. The game features an enormous crypto treasure hunt, with 24 Bitcoin and 370,000 ENJ in NFTs to be won! The developer is using NFTs in unique ways to gain access to play, as well as accessing elements of the larger quest for treasure.
SwissBorg: To celebrate the listing of ENJ on its Wealth App, SwissBorg worked with 8 game developers to launch a cross-game quest. The prize pool contained NFTs that could be redeemed for SwissBorg premium subscriptions, worth thousands.
Beauty in the Streets: BITS, a performing arts organization led by professional dancer Snap Boogie, recently created performing arts NFTs. Performers are able to turn their iconic performances and dance moves into an “emote” NFT, which can then be used in video games and resonate with fans in the digital and space.
What are your upcoming development plans?
I am more excited than ever for what 2021 will bring for Enjin, and the contributions we will make to the world of NFTs.
We've covered a lot of them here, but these are some of the biggest things we're working on:
Enjin Wallet 2.0: As mentioned above, we're overhauling our wallet app and really believe it will become the most user-friendly, accessible, fun wallet on the market for crypto and NFTs.
NFT.io: We're building a brand new marketplace on NFT.io, which will be integrated with JumpNet and Efinity. You can expect to hear more about this in the next few months. We have some exciting plans in store 🔮
JumpNet: In its current MVP version, you can move ENJ between JumpNet and Ethereum. In the future, new phases of JumpNet will be released, allowing users to migrate their existing NFTs onto JumpNet and enjoy fee-free trading/integration. Eventually, two-way bridges between Ethereum, JumpNet, Efinity, and third-party chains will enable users to easily mint and port tokens onto multiple networks without worrying about high gas fees.
Beam: Now that we can use JumpNet for free transactions, we plan to prepare Beam for release to the public. Beam is a first-of-its-kind QR assets distribution service, so you can send thousands of NFTs at no cost, all via a QR code! Microsoft uses this frequently, and will be using JumpNet Beams in the future.
Efinity: Efinity will be a core development focus for us this year, and we're building out our development team to support this exciting new tech, as well as working closely with the team at Parity Technologies (team working on Polkadot). The first phase of this next-gen NFT blockchain is anticipated for the end of this year
Dev Tools & SDKs: We're also working on various other developments, improvements, and products for our developer audience, such as: improvements to our SDKs for Godot, Unity, and Java; new SDKs for C# and C++ SDKs; and games, apps and experiences that will showcase our technology in action.
Your project has great features. There must be an experienced team behind it. Can you tell some about your team and their experience?
Enjin has actually been around since 2009. Our co-founders, Maxim Blagov and Witek Radomski, created the Enjin Network together. It’s a social gaming community platform that grew to host millions of users across more than 250,000 gaming communities.
You’ve already heard about me, here’s more about our leadership team:
Maxim Blagov is our CEO. He leads Enjin's executive team and drives our overall vision and business strategy. He’s a visionary with 20 years of experience in creative direction, project management, and UX design, and contributes heavily to the UX/UI of our products.
Witek Radomski is our CTO. He oversees the company’s technical engineering and product vision. Witek wrote the code for one of the first ever NFTs in 2017 and is the author of ERC-1155, a groundbreaking Ethereum token standard that enables developers to deploy both fungible and non-fungible items in a single smart contract.
Caleb Applegate is our COO. He’s a successful entrepreneur and established business leader, overseeing our company operations, procedures, business development, and strategic planning. He has consulted and worked closely with leaders in the gaming, entertainment, and digital spaces and is a former co-owner of Mineplex, one of the world’s largest Minecraft gaming servers.
Ilija Rolovic is our CMO, and has been with us since the beginning in 2017. He has a background in gaming, having run two agencies specializing in marketing for companies in the PC, XR, console, and mobile gaming spaces. Ilija played an integral role in conceptualizing and designing the world's first interoperable assets, and creating and launching the first blockchain multiverse.
You can hear from Witek and Caleb in their recent webinar from yesterday:
What are your most important next priorities? Does your team have enough fundamental (Funds, Community, etc.) to achieve those milestones?
Great question. As the attention on the NFT space and our product roadmap grow, we will continue to grow as a company too.
On the team resources side, we are hiring a variety of roles across our development, marketing, and business development teams. You can check out open positions here.
In terms of our roadmap, Efinity will be the biggest undertaking for us and will require significant resources. In addition to hiring new team members, Parity Technologies will be providing Substrate development support and resources. We look forward to working closely with them on building out Efinity.
We also recently raised $18.9M via a private sale of EFI, supported by respected VCs, companies, and individuals, including Crypto.com Capital, Blockchain.com, BlockTower, and more. This will help propel the Efinity network forward, with a base of solid companies and community behind it.
We also have an incredible community supporting us, with nearly 100,000 ENJ holders!
Why is a multiverse beneficial for game developers and players?
A decentralized gaming multiverse benefits game developers in many ways, from slashing user acquisition costs via implementing shared NFTs (e.g., if you integrate assets that are already owned by a large number of people, they are more likely to download or purchase your game), to co-marketing and co-monetization.
For example, collaborating studios can agree to launch new NFTs that are used in all of their games, and distribute them for free to promote their games, or even auction those NFTs and split the revenue.
There's also the game design aspect of it. Characters, weapons, armor, and even NPCs that can move across games bring about new possibilities to create quests and campaigns that are spread throughout multiple virtual worlds.
For gamers, it's the fact that multiverse NFTs have amazing, and essentially immutable, utility. If one game within the multiverse disappears for some reason (e.g. company retires the game), their assets are still usable in all of the other games.
It's also the experience aspect of it, simple things like seeing and using your sword in multiple games, and more in-depth ideas like storylines that are spread across many digital realms.
I am a person with knowledge of C ++, Java, etc.; Can I create a Dapp on the Enjin Platform? How? Do you have any assistance in creating Dapps?
Absolutely. Our goal is to allow you to integrate blockchain without any coding experience—and do it using all of the tools/languages you know and us. We have a suite of SDKs and an API that can allow you to do this, so whatever language you’re coding in, you’ll be able to use our platform with ease.
In terms of support, we work with over 40 game and app developers in an official capacity. This means we work closely with them on their blockchain implementations and technical support, as well as marketing and promotion
If you’re interested in working with us, please get in touch! We’d love to hear more about your project.
How do you differentiate from other blockchain projects focusing on a scalable solution, especially the Ethereum Network with an upgrade to ETH 2.0?
There's a big difference between Polkadot (the network we're building Efinity on) and Ethereum 2.0. It's best illustrated with this picture:
Ethereum 2.0, once launched, will enable faster transactions, and that's it. Every shard is identical, and every shard does what Ethereum can do today.
Polkadot is different.
Every shard (in Polkadot terminology, "parachain") is completely customizable, which makes it a perfect platform for building scalable, custom blockchains.
Polkadot is not built to replace Ethereum, but to improve and complement it. In the same way, Efinity is designed to supercharge not only Ethereum NFTs, but NFTs from any blockchain.
Efinity will process up to 700-1,000 transactions per second (TPS) based on current benchmarks; in comparison, the Ethereum network currently runs at around 15 TPS.
Are you a global project or local project? At present, which market are you focused on?
Enjin is a fully decentralized, global team. Our company is headquartered in Singapore, but we have team members across the world, from Brazil to Australia. The company has always been fully remote, well before the COVID pandemic
The last year, we’ve put specific focus on the Japanese market. Japan’s cryptocurrency regulations are stringent, designed to protect their users and stakeholders.
After 1.5 years of due diligence, ENJ was finally approved by the Japanese financial authorities and listed on the first Japanese exchange, Coincheck!
This was in January of this year, and has opened up opportunities for us both in Japan and on an international scale. A huge accomplishment for our team, and a testament to the fundamentals of Enjin.
You can find other projects that are similar to yours. What do you bring to the table that your competitors don’t? In other words, what is your Unique Selling Point?
We welcome competition in the NFT space. After all, competition drives innovation. The more the merrier, and the more we can work together to speed up the growth of the industry as whole.
Enjin is in a unique position, as we were forged in gaming, expanded to working with crypto companies and enterprises. We continue to expand our marketing and BD efforts, talking to some of the world's top influencers, talented musicians and athletes, titans of software, hardware, entertainment, and more.
Most companies in the NFT space focus on a single product: a wallet, a development platform, a marketplace.
What we've built and what we're continually improving is an end-to-end ecosystem of closely integrated products, many of which come with functionalities that are not available anywhere else.
Things like Beam, for example, which makes Enjin a perfect solution for individuals and organizations that are looking to create a seamless, branded, mainstream experience for their fans and users, including Microsoft.