Bitcoin’s roughly 30% fall from its all time highs (xie xie, China!) did a number on the alt-coins. I forked over a pretty penny to own Enjin in May and again in July, a top 10 non-fungible token (NFT) as measured by market cap. Last I checked, I’ve lost about 26%, but that is actually better than my Bitcoin.
I bought Enjin because of the NFT craze.
In April, Tom Brady said he was going to launch an NFT company to sell digital art, digital audio, probably from his years being the best man of American football. There was no way to invest in the Tom Brady NFT coin, so I went poking around, asking my crypto fund manager contacts. Enjin coin was always a hold with them.
“Tom Brady fans were not early crypto pioneers and probably do not understand the utility and tokenomics, but they all understand the value of iconic moments minted as NFTs and sold on the blockchain,” says Steve van Zutphen, CEO of the Futbol App, which is the soccer version of football. “The utility is understood and in this way NFTs are bringing crypto to the mass market. Just like Tom Brady,we, too, are capitalizing on this trend with new NFT platforms.”
We all have read about people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for fake real estate in a video game and fake swords, also for video games. So my thinking was that Enjin sort of traffics in this stuff. Where do I sign?
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Enjin is a blockchain platform and marketplace designed for NFTs, like fake swords and make-believe land. If you ever watched Caprica on the SyFy channel, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica that is all about the birth of the cybernetic AI laborforce known as the Cylons. The people of Caprica lived in virtual worlds as much as they did in real ones – going to virtual clubs, buying virtual stuff. I imagine, in my little C-student pea brain, that this would be the kind of world Enjin coin would flourish in.
Over the last two months, I have been in touch with Enjin to get a better sense of the company and finally got my questions answered. I suspect there are many more to add as this market grows.
For newcomers looking for new coins to add to their crypto portfolio, Enjin’s roots are in gaming. The company was founded in 2009, when co-founders Witek Radomski and Maxim Baglov created the Enjin Network, a social gaming community platform that’s probably not related to PlayStation and X Box games, which is why you’ve never heard of it as a retail crypto investor like me.
That said, blockchain game The Six Dragons is supposedly coming to PlayStation V. The Six Dragons enables players to craft NFTs using blockchain recipes created by other players, who are paid with cryptocurrency in return for their service. Enjin is part of that.
Today, the Enjin Network has over 20 million users across more than 250,000 gaming communities. These are true gaming nerds, who want to keep their swords and space battle gear.
“Our experience in the gaming space brought to our attention persistent problems faced by the industry, which could be solved by blockchain,” said Bryana Kortendick, vice president of operations and communications for Enjin. “Most games use an internal, centralized database to represent items. While this is fast and cheap, players are on the losing end, as they don’t truly own their gaming items or the progress they make in-game. If the game shuts down, all progress and items are lost. Decentralized NFT items give you true ownership of those items.”
Blockchain-based items can be more easily integrated into multiple platforms, allowing cross-platform collaborations between game developers and big gaming brands like Minecraft.
Since launching their NFT platform, Enjin has backed over 1.14 billion blockchain assets containing 12.5 million worth of ENJ coins that have been created, and some 127,000 users currently hold ENJ.
In April, they launched JumpNet – which looks to me like one of those climate change gimmicks. It’s fee-free blockchain that allows users to complete instant, gas-free transactions for ENJ and Ethereum ERC-1155 smart contract assets. Through a “bridge,” ENJ can be moved over to JumpNet, where it can be used for its intended purpose to mint carbon-negative NFTs without transaction fees.
We have been hearing a lot about the carbon footprint of crypto since Elon Musk complained about it a few months back and gave up on allowing for Bitcoin purchases of Teslas because of it. Now crypto is suddenly all about climate change.
But besides the C02 concerns, JumpNet led to the creation of over 6.2 million assets that have been “minted” fee-free on JumpNet. Minting is what you do when you create a virtual sword, for instance, backed by Enjin Coin.
This is a growing platform, so Enjin Coin may have some room to grow with the NFT market and while some of these things are priced ridiculously high, others are more realistic and can be considered gamer art, or gamer gear that other gamers, or artists, may find valuable.
The Enjin platform now has over 95,000 registered users, up from around 36,000 in January. Over 830,000 items have been traded on the Enjin Marketplace since 2017. The Enjin Wallet and crypto/NFT app has been downloaded over 2.3 million times.
“We are working with over 55 game and app developers in an official capacity as part of the Enjin Adopter Program,” said Kortendick.
This is important for Enjin’s growth of course, because it needs more NFTs backed by Enjin. The trend is your friend in this one.
“The core utility of ENJ is to directly back the value of blockchain items. It’s like a gold standard for digital assets,” she says. “Enjin acts as a guarantee of value and certificate of authenticity. ENJ can be extracted from the items through a process called melting. So, if you own a sword for a game that you no longer play, you could always melt the item down to receive the ENJ value from within or trade it on a marketplace.”
I asked about the Reddit rumor mill that Enjin Coin would be allowed to make in-game purchases on Electronic Arts EA products. It’s a rumor, they told me.
Their Polkadot NFT project, Efinity, raised $20 million recently from its EFI token sail on Coinlist. They put up 100 million EFI. It sold out in 2.5 hours and was oversubscribed, with 652,000 people having registered to participate in that offering, the second highest demand for a new listing ever on Coinlist.
For investors, if the Enjin Coin price manages to advance beyond $1.59, “the bulls will be back in the driving seat,” thinks Elliott Laybourne, a cryptocurrency investment analyst and columnist at Investing Cube. Enjin is currently trading around $1.39. “An achievable upside target is the May 26 high at $2.16,” he says, should Enjin push pass $1.60.
“A token mapped to an image, video or audio URL creates digital scarcity and authenticity on the items. People love scarcity and people love collectibles so it is no surprise this market grew 800% in the first 4 months of 2021,” says Van Zutphen from TheFutbolApp in Licthenstein. “The market is as big as the internet itself, with built in payment system and worldwide storefronts. Instead of going to a small shop that trades collectibles, you can put up your item in a digital storefront to the whole internet and receive secure payment directly with no intermediary. You can discover what items have value to people quicker — price discover on art takes decades. This is much faster. And it’s fun,” he says.
Yes, but can Enjin coin grow 1,000%? That seems to be all crypto investors care about.
Nobody knows. But at less than $2 a “share”, no one is going to go broke buying 100 ENJ, that’s for sure.
These things are like the roulette wheel, only instead of betting outside, you’re stuck to betting on 0s and 00s and hoping for the best. If you win, the payout is huge. Like Kenny Rogers’ Gambler, “you’ve got to know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
“We see a future where gaming economies become as complex and nuanced as those in the real world, with gamers wanting to own every piece of their player experiences,” Kortendick says. “This will move the social paradigm past user-generated content and more toward user-generated value, where people can create products and services for each other in the digital world, powered by blockchain technology and NFTs.”
That’s the fundamental case for Enjin Coin in a nutshell. They are building an NFT ecosystem that will give businesses, developers, and the gamer audience everything they need to create, integrate, trade, distribute, and utilize NFTs.
If you believe in NFTs, you are buying a little bit of Enjin coin.
As an investor, I am not sure that I believe in NFTs. But Tom Brady does, and apparently tens of thousands of other people do, and so I’ve put some risk into Enjin Coin. If it blows up, I don’t lose all my crypto chips.
The people at Enjin are bullish, like everyone in crypto.
“We’re beyond excited about the inevitable symbiosis of NFTs with augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence,” Kortendick says. “These technologies, combined with NFTs and blockchain, will enable the emergence of a true decentralized Metaverse.”
The Metaverse is a whole other world. Recall the comment earlier about Caprica. You can read about the Metaverse here.
“This new reality will provide incredible opportunities for socialization, creativity, economic activity, and social mobility,” says Kortendick. “I think it will replace the internet as the main arena for societal, cultural, political, and economic activity”.