Enjin had the world’s first NFT gaming ecosystem and its app layer allowed NFT integration into indie games within 48 hours, as early as 2019. The NFT.io marketplace and Beam QR code distribution system let ordinary individuals upload art and send NFTs via QR code, allowing them to build social media communities via NFT.
One user even DM’d me to say his 11-year old daughter had used the Enjin app layer to convert her drawings into NFTs, and was now exploring generative AI.
This is why we buidl!
The dream is to have a chain custom built with NFT functions at the protocol level, supported by an app layer that even a child can use. The fulfillment comes in seeing all the new ways the community uses all this infrastructure. Web3 makes powerful economic and social models possible, and we cannot begin to predict what it will evolve into.
Peek into my Enjin Wallet to see the first hints of what these models will be.
Here are 12 picks for you.
The ENJ Beam Club, the unofficial QR code fan group run by Telegram moderator Spitfire (@spiitfir3), is one of Enjin’s most prominent subcommunities. I regularly race against them to claim Beamed NFTs and lose, so look in their wallets for complete collections of Enjin NFTs.
Spitfire mysteriously posted last August 11 that holders of all four new ENJ Beam Club NFTs would qualify for a “limited NFT airdrop” in about two weeks (meaning anytime now). I’m excited to get my drop.
This shows that a fan club can track which wallets hold their limited edition NFTs and send more NFTs. Later, one envisions Enjin Blockchain supporting more advanced “crafting” functions that let developers combine and split NFTs (imagine puzzle pieces becoming a treasure map, or a suit of armor splitting into its parts) as native onchain functions, right at the protocol level.
The Etherscape (the-etherscape.com, founded by @SamTheBay) is an exciting new game integrating Enjin. You can guess what kind of game from the screenshot.
Game NFTs are the core of Enjin’s ecosystem, but you can see the various features needed to support game NFTs just from the screenshot.
Sam’s protip is to buy an Imperial Sovereign (Token ID #1) before anything else. The description reads: “Imperial Sovereigns are the governance token of The Etherscape. They can be used for voting on proposals such as balance changes and future content directions. They also provide special benefits such as early access to land auctions.” You can look up that they have a fixed supply of 10 million, they stack like fungible coins, the game needs to read them for governance and voting, and the game also reads them to unlock other features.
Then there are the many game items with their own rarities and bonuses, including some tagged as indestructible and survive player death. There are early access tokens given out to the community.
A NFT chain has to support all of these features to offer creators the infinite permutations of in-game NFTs. I’ll argue, of course, that a chain custom built for NFTs, with the NFT functions right at the protocol level, has to outperform a generalist chain.
(The screenshot also shows creators that royalties are hardwired as an on-chain guarantee.)
Cursed Machines is one of the collections launched by prolific Enjin user Steven Dutenhoefner (@toka2204), a 42-year old father and gamer from Germany. The first NFT (named “Cursed Machines”) explains: “‘Cursed Machines’ is a dark and intriguing digital artwork that explores the fusion of the horror, cyberpunk and industrialization genres.”
Steven has given away various technomancers, each with a mysterious, cowled cybernetic figure in a signature pose, via Enjin Beam. I read the bios on each, and it’s intriguing to think of the NFTs as a storytelling tool more than collectibles. (It’s even more intriguing when one realizes Steven barely speaks English.)
It's also intriguing to see Steven use these NFTs and Beam as an online community building tool. I watched his journey to 1,000 followers on X and cheered him on.
In terms of composition, by the way, the memorable NFT for me is still one of Steven’s earlier experiments, “The Awakening,” which preceded Cursed Machines. The NFT depicts “the story of a young girl who awakens in a virtual reality created by the advanced artificial intelligence ‘Ki’ on the Blockchain.”
Do help me encourage Steven to flesh out the many stories he began.
(Incidentally, a Steven collection called “Enjin Robots” is experimenting with the on-chain royalties feature and set the royalties to 50% of future sales. I’m watching this choice curiously.)
Mugen Tsukuyomi Efinity is a collection of 1/1s by Sonate (@Sonate008) from Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam as part of his Japanese language teaching. I downloaded his free initial lesson and bought one of his NFTs as a token of gratitude.
Imagine the endless possibilities here, even though these are not art or gaming NFTs.
These NFTs can be educational certificates, similar to the “Badgers” blockchain reward badges a Microsoft team issued on Enjin’s platform.
These NFTs can be flashcards, with a simple lesson on each one.
These NFTs can be ways to tip the teacher, like what I just did.
These NFTs can be simple keepsakes, given to each new student.
Or they can be any or all of the above.
Squirrel Comics (@Squirrel_comics) by a team from Long Island, New York, USA is a newer Enjin NFT project, but one with fresh, innovative mechanics. The idea is to have a NFT comic book, but one where all the pages are different NFTs, even the cover.
This creates many new possibilities for distribution, in the same way that online music can be distributed by song instead of by album and how webnovels can be posted chapter by chapter. Here, Squirrel drops a new comic book page per day, so you have to keep claiming to continue the story. For now, he has kept the past pages open, so you can find his account in the middle of a story and claim the past pages. The model lets people collect just one page (or more copies of one page) if they particularly like the art or the scene there.
Just imagine the new possibilities for how we consume comic book content, from the story to the art to the community banter on what happens next. Just imagine the new possibilities for creators to monetize their content and build a community around it.
You’ll have to find Squirrel Comics on NFT.io to catch up on the story.
3D Anime by @WaterMargin187 “combines the technical advancements of computer graphics with the artistic sensibilities of Japanese animation.” Their common visual signature is a doll-like aesthetic. The collection enjoys an Enjin following among “animaniacs.”
Water Margin uses the NFTs to generate a “whitelist,” where holders of the initial characters are sent minor “mascot” NFTs and future special characters, just for being the early community. Imagine the endless possibilities for any fan club, possible only with NFTs.
I was lucky to grab the most unique character, the “Mysterious Figure,” from an early Beam. The NFT bio says little is known about him or his intentions. Because of my whitelist status, Water Margin recently sent me two new characters, therapist Emi Kimura and tai chi kid Akimitsu Tanemura, but their stories are not yet advancing the Mysterious Figure arc.
I’m watching my wallet for future drops and Water Margin’s X!
Femme Fantasy Trading by @XentayaC (Xentaya Creative) from Sydney, Australia is one of the most eagerly collected collections in Enjin, thanks to intelligent use of a simple mechanic. Xentaya also distributes these through Enjin Beam, but distributes packs (simulating sealed physical collectible card packs) instead of the actual NFTs. Each NFT has a chance to drop for free depending on its rarity, and Xentaya added hilariously annoying “loser” NFTs for those who miss the free drop. This encourages Enjin fans to both trade to complete their Femmes and compare the longest losing streaks.
I was lucky to draw the Asian “epic” Femme (Nyxariel #041) on one of my first tries, though I later found out that “legendary” trumps epic. The Femme backstories are not what you might expect. Nyxariel, for example, hails from Kobe, Japan and became the Chairman of the Federal Reserve after Jerome Powell in Xentaya’s fantasy world, “correcting the catastrophic mistakes of her predecessor.”
The Femme backstories reveal Xentaya’s worldview: a French aerospace engineer healing from emotional abuse, a Nigerian AI engineer pursuing music and meditation, a Scottish data scientist who volunteers for an earthquake disaster relief team, a Dominican architect who is also an aspiring actress.
But there are hints that the Fantasy may have dark turns. Gwyneth #048’s bio reveals a devastating cyberattack on New York City that threw it into chaos.
I’ll be waiting to see the story unfold in Season 2 of FFT.
Scottie and Tasha Dishner (@ScottieTash) from Virginia, USA are among Enjin’s most prolific longtime users. Among their many recent NFTs, Scottie remastered his king bear NFT for Enjin Blockchain, taken from his original Bad Bears collection from Enjin’s initial Ethereum-based platform. Scottie’s battlecry is “Enjin is King!” The king bear art was created by a friend.
Most recently, I picked up “Arty” from the NFT.io Bad Bears Comic Book Collection.
Peeking into Scottie’s wallet emphasizes the sense of history in the Enjin ecosystem, and I hope every user keeps a king bear NFT to show his grandchildren. Hilariously, Hillbilly NFTs (a three man team of Scottie, Tasha and a friend) also issues tribute NFTs of Enjin mascots such as Blobby.
Dragon Brothers by Luis A 🐉💥 (@Alfo_nel) from Venezuela is a NFT collection of generative AI dragons. The interesting twist is the NFT bingo cards he gives out from treasure chests, still another NFT mechanic outside a game integration or art. (Be warned, the rules take some reading through!)
Fermus Basic Tunes by longtime Swedish community member @fermuss demonstrate Enjin support for music NFTs. I missed his last auction and picked up his basic electro track dedicated to Blobby (an Enjin mascot). See the screenshot below for his methodology, in his own words.
I hold a “Celestial Odyssey of Athena” NFT from Enjin Community Greece (@EnjinGreece), one of their NFT drops paying homage to various countries. The description reads: “This mesmerizing, limited edition FT captures the awe-inspiring beauty of the ethereal aurora borealis dancing above the hallowed grounds of ancient Greece. Bathed in the silvery glow of a full moon, the scene emanates an aura of mysticism and tranquility. The intricate details transport you to a time where gods and goddesses ruled the world, invoking a sense of wonder and reverence.”
Enjin Greece, though, is more prominent for claiming NFTs than creating them. They are somehow always alert for new Beam drops. I race against them to claim but often fail, and was advised to wait for Beams launched during Greece’s sleeping hours.
I hope more Enjin subcommunities grow after Enjin Greece. Blockchain is a great equalizer in terms of geography, allowing people from every country to access both knowledge and the opportunities to work with global teams and ecosystems. Hopefully, it also democratizes culture and allows creators from every corner of the world to influence Web3 art.
As a bonus, let me mention the Aster Guardians NFTs, which were given away to honor the 10 finalists of the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2023. For example, finalist Michael Joseph Dino “serves as the Director for Research Development and Innovation Center at Our Lady of Fatima University in Valenzuela City, Philippines. As a researcher and development scientist, he has published numerous patents and research papers in peer-refereed journals on leadership, management, nursing, humanoid robots and constructive integration of technology in teaching & learning. His telehealth programme for seniors improved health literacy among older adults in 2012 and his Breastfeeding and Breastmilk Banking (CRIB3) project improved care and restoration of infants.”
This is another beautiful demonstration of NFTs that go beyond collectibles. Imagine giving these out as open supply NFTs to anyone who wants them, to be given to the communities served by the doctors and nurses being honored. Imagine a rare limited edition version given by the honorees to family and friends.
Imagine this on a much larger scale, such as an official NFT for every citizen who voted in a national election. Imagine NFTs taking the place of commemorative coins and stamps for the next generation.
Think of NFTs as the next evolution of human interaction.
They are much more than JPGs wrapped in code.
Oscar Franklin Tan (@OscarFranklnTan), CFA, is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Legal Officer of Atlas Development, a core contributor to Enjin Blockchain. He is a frustrated worldbuilder who reads all the bios and backstories Enjin users mint into their NFTs.