Tag: blockchain

The Web3 Experience podcast – exploring the future of the internet

The internet has inarguably shaped our lives over the last couple decades. 

And now there’s this thing called “blockchain” that has promised to change the internet in even greater ways than most people can probably imagine today.

The Web3 Experience is here to bridge that gap.

Why we started the The Web3 Experience podcast

On the podcast, our goal is to explore topics at the forefront of crypto, NFTs, and blockchain.

we have conversations with the early settlers of the cryptocurrency space.

This includes people building products and experiences, to those running communities, to creators building beautiful artwork, and beyond.

On the other side of every PFP, there’s a human to engage with. Listen to our most recent episode below.

Jump in!

Listen Now: The Web3 Experience‘s most recent episode:

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, and wherever else you get your podcasts.

Bonus – Jump into The Web3 Experience “DEGEN MODE”

In addition to the conversational / interview style recorded podcasts, we also host a special LIVE show, featuring UNRECORDED, UNFILTERED, free-for-all, aka “Degen Mode” which happens every single week, on Mondays.

Jump in every Monday at 4pm PST / 7pm EST on Twitter Spaces – twitter.com/espressoinsight

How to Delegate $OP on Optimism Blockchain

The Optimism Layer 2 cryptocurrency ($OP token) carries voting power, helping the community make decisions within the ecosystem.

Key Takeaways:

  • Summary of $OP delegation
  • Why you should delegate
  • How to delegate $OP step by step
  • How to select your delegate
  • Changing delegates

What is OP delegation?

OP is a governance token, meaning each token carries a small amount of voting power for different things within the Optimism Network. 

Delegating your tokens assigns the voting power of those tokens to another individual that is specifically focused on reviewing proposals for the Optimism network.

This includes responding to comments and providing feedback, recommendations for improvement, and advice.

When you delegate your tokens – you are NOT giving them away or getting rid of them in any way.

They will remain in your wallet — you still own them and can transact, send, or sell them anytime you want.

What happens when I delegate $OP tokens?

When you delegate $OP, it means you are giving the voting power (not the financial value of your tokens) to a community member who has explicitly volunteered to play an active role in Optimism Network governance.

When you delegate your voting power, you retain 100% ownership of your tokens, and can use them however you want. 

You may change your delegate selection at any time.

Why should you delegate your $OP tokens?

Participating in governance – especially within a fast growing blockchain network like Optimism – is time consuming and costly.

Delegates spend their time and energy as volunteers, participating in this governance process for the benefit of the entire $OP ecosystem.

Being an active participant in governance is not an easy job, and you can see the careful thought that goes into proposal responses from active delegates within the OP governance forum.

How to delegate your $OP tokens (video walk-through)

Using the Optimism Network’s delegation website, any user that owns any amount of $OP tokens can choose to delegate them to someone to vote on their behalf.

The video below will walk you through the process to successfully delegate your $OP:

Who should I choose as my OP delegate?

It is in each OP token holder’s best interest to select a delegate who you feel will do a good job representing your OP voting power and doing so on your behalf.

Read and learn about some of the delegates, like Jrocki, on Optimism’s website.

The bottom line is this: you can choose to delegate to anyone you want.

However, it is advisable to choose someone who you believe will participate in Optimism governance and can represent what you want this ecosystem to become.

Can you change who your $OP tokens are delegated to?

YES – As an $OP holder, delegation is your decision. You can switch your delegation selection to anyone you want (even your own wallet address!), whenever you want, as often as you want.

How to save gas trading NFTs

If you have ever traded NFTs on Ethereum before, you know that gas fees can be quite expensive, often costing users $20-30 per transaction… and in some cases, much, much more.

THE GOOD NEWS is that once you know how send ETH or buy/sell an NFT on Eth Mainnet, switching over to Optimism is incredibly easy.

Save gas by using Optimism Layer 2 instead of Ethereum Mainnet

In this post, we’re going to compare typical transaction fees on the Ethereum Blockchain, and compare it to the Optimism Layer 2 network.

How Much are Ethereum main-net fees?

Most of us on Mainnet use Opensea or like X2Y2.io

Ethereum Mainnet fees are an order of magnitude (if not more) higher than on Optimism.

As you can see from the summary chart below, in these seven transactions alone, I would have saved over $257 if all of the transactions had occurred on Optimism instead of Mainnet ethereum.

summary of 7 transactions from each network where I paid the most gas. On optimism, I had 114 transactions. On Ethereum mainnet, 56.

Why are people paying such high gas fees when they don’t have to?

There are a few reasons people spend a lot of money on gas fees to use Ethereum Mainnet.

For one, Mainnet Ethereum is where the largest number of users live. Network effects incentivize users to stay on Layer 1 Eth, despite the high gas fees.

SOLUTION: What are the best alternatives to Ethereum Mainnet?

When you decide to purchase an NFT from a collection that leverages a layer 2 network like Optimism or Arbitrum, gas fees are going to be lower.

If you’re a developer / founder, you can even launch your own NFT collection on one of these networks.

My friend Fractal Visions has launched a different NFT project across a variety of networks — its great to see a founder like Fractal with a presence across so many different blockchains!

Fractal calls this “Omni Chain NFTs”, which I think is a great term for it.

What is Optimism Layer 2?

Optimism is a network runs on top of Ethereum, but compresses data so that smart contracts and transactions are cheaper and more efficient.

This means means you will end up paying lower gas fees, while your transactions are still secured by Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin, who is the founder of Ethereum, has discussed Optimism and Optimistic rollups. in his blog post, from which an excerpt is below.

Vitalik, let me remind you, dropped out of college after receiving the Thiel Fellowship to build Ethereum, went on to successfully found Ethereum, was recently on the cover of Time Magazine, among many other impressive achievements.

source: time.com

The fact that he received the Thiel Fellowship is a big deal… in getting the Thiel Fellowship, he’s basically backed by Peter Thiel who founded Paypal… and given the Paypal Mafia, Vitalik has OG internet entrepreneurs behind him.

In his blog post, Vitalik goes on to say that “in the short term, optimistic rollups are likely to win out for general-purpose EVM computation”.

source: Vitalik.ca

More reasons that the Optimism Network deserves credit

OpenSea has listed the Optimism Goerli Testnet on their testnets website, which is certainly exciting to see.

Its hard to say what exactly this means for the network, however, it looks like OpenSea could be exploring some sort of future functionality with Optimism.

Getting Started on Optimism

If you’ve been using Ethereum Mainnet to buy and sell NFTs for a while, getting started with Optimism will be extremely easy.

The best part? You don’t need to switch wallets!

Optimism Network is embedded within Metamask already. 

Unlike moving over to Solana or Tezos where you need to use a different wallet provider, with OP, its already built on top of Ethereum, so any Ethereum wallet is usually compatible.

How to move funds from Layer 1 Ethereum to Layer 2

Moving funds from Eth Mainnet to Optimism is easy and you can bridge with HOP protocol for less than a dollar.

HOP provides an extremely easy and intuitive user experience to move ETH from Layer 1 to Layer 2.

app.hop.exchange

Top NFT Marketplace on Optimism – Quix

Let’s dig into the NFT marketplace on Optimism where you can buy NFTs. Now called Quix, the company formerly called Quixotic recently changed its name to shorter, more elegant, “Quix”.

Mark, the founder of Quix, joined the Web3 Experience podcast for episode 2. Listen here.

Of every NFT Marktplace I’ve used, I have to say, I think Quix provides the most intuitive and user friendly user experience.

According to DappRadar, Quix is the number 1 marketplace app on the Optimism network.

DappRadar has a few charts about Quix that are helpful to understand the growth of the platform and how usage, volume, and transactions have changed over the last few weeks / months.

Quix usage data from early 2022 through early September. Source: DappRadar

To use Quix, simply connect wallet the same way you would for any other dapp, and make sure you’re on the Optimism Network.

To learn how I use Quix to browse, search, and filter NFT collections and dig into statistics, please find the video below.

Overview of Quix starts at timestamp 11:28.

I really like how easy Quix makes it to stack filters within an NFT collection. This enables users to search for exactly what they want.

The ability to have multiple filter criteria selected at the same time helps you get super specific when shopping for NFTs.

Quix Launchpad

Quix enables people to create and launch their own NFTs on Optimism via the Quix Launchpad.

This can be done by non-technical users that don’t know how to code or write smart contracts.

The launchpad currently supports free to mint NFTs.

Seaport Protocol

Quix uses the Seaport Protocol, which is OpenSea’s back-end for NFT transactions.

The good news is that Seaport is an open-source and decentralized protocol to make buying and selling NFTs easier.

It certainly makes sense to re-use infrastructure components to avoid reinventing the wheel. I think its a great strategy for Quix to leverage Seaport.

L1 to L2 NFT Bridge

There have been talks about an NFT bridge that will enable anyone to bridge an NFT from Ethereum mainnet over to Optimism Layer 2.

Given that interoperability and composability are inherent to the web3 ethos, its certainly exciting to think about an NFT bridge across L1 to L2.

Making NFTs “Omni Chain” would not only mean that the ecosystem would be more inviting to new users, but also that it would expand to users that would never come over to it in the first place, because everything seamlessly works with other networks.

According to Dre in the Quix Discord, it looks like as of 8/17 the L1 – L2 NFT bridge is still in development.

source: Quix Discord server.

How would an L1 to L2 NFT bridge work?

Bridging NFTs from a layer 1 to a layer 2 would have a bit of an interesting architecture.

According the my friend FourPoops, “you lock up value on L1 in a random contract address and create a copy of that value on L2”.

Essentially, the blockchain would lock the contract on L1, and create a transferrable contract on L2, the owner of which would be the only one who has the ability to unlock the Layer 1 NFT.

FourPoops goes on to say that, “if we think about the real world art scene, people lock up the real assets in a vault and only display/transfer copies”…

This is a great comparison between blockchain based art and real-world art. And FourPoops is right.

In traditional art, there are these areas called “freeports”, which enable art collectors to place artworks in tax-free holdings vaults where the contractual ownership of the art can be transferred, while the piece of art itself remains in this tax-free zone.

According to Artsy, freeports provide collectors with “the temporary exemption of taxes for an unlimited quantity of time”.

GitHub post on L1 to Optimism NFT bridge

According to the link below, some people from the Optimism community have been discussing the idea of an NFT bridge from layer 1 to optimism since as early as April of 2022.

https://github.com/ethereum-optimism/optimism/pull/2424

However, it appears as thought this particular Github repository was closed out. My theory is that it was closed by the Optimism ecosystem because they were aware of the work that Quix was doing to build their own NFT bridge, and the two teams did not want to duplicate efforts.

Ultimately, it seems like a great time to launch a bridge. Layer 1 transactions are still quite low, so users can bridge over their assets before gas gets high again. 

This would enable us to move our assets from L1 over during a time when mainnet fees are low, and then house them on Layer 2 where they can later be transferred as needed for much much lower gas fees.

Listen to the podcast

If you want to learn more about crypto, NFTs, dapps, DAOs and more, please check out the latest episode of The Web3 Experience podcast:

Economics of Staking Ethereum

Ethereum will soon switch to Proof-Of-Stake. “The Merge” is a big development event where the Proof-Of-Work consensus algorithm will shift to a new model PoS, allowing people to stake their assets to earn rewards.

While recently listening to Hall Press’ episode on Bankless podcast, a few key insights were shared about staking Ethereum

If there is value to the asset outside of staking (spending the token, etc) then the staking rate will be lower.

This is true of Ethereum and Ether the asset.

Ethereum’s use cases make it in high demand

Because Ethereum is a useful asset in web3 ecosystem, there are many other demands for ether.

Think of all the use cases that Ethereum has – from NFTs to DeFi and more.

Many people need to use Ethereum to do these sorts of things, so not everyone will want to lock down their ETH and just stake it.

Because of this, demand for staking probably won’t ever be super high.

Lower rate of staking means higher returns for those that do stake

If demand for staking is low, then value to those that decide to stake is higher.

Stakers want the network stake rate to be as low as possible.

As of now, Ethereum only has around 10% of staking participation rate.

After The Merge, staking incentives will go up, and is likely to have higher income margins.

Only expenses in Ethereum are paying developers (what EF pays out in salary). The EF report showed that the expenses are quite low.

According to Hall Press on Bankless podcast, he thinks that paying stakers does not count as an expense because it is not leaving the system.

Bridging crypto between Layer 2 blockchains – not currently supported?

The Problem: Bridge protocols don’t enable users to bridge between Layer 2s

Crypto holders should be able to use their tokens whenever they want, across any set of blockchain networks.

Ethereum gets you security, but it is a very expensive layer. The benefit of Layer 2 networks is that they are more scalable – fees are lower in L2.

Unfortunately, users cannot move funds directly between Layer 2 networks.

Interoperability for tokens among different chains in web3 is a critical technical problem with crypto bridges today.

Bridging between Layer 2 networks is impossible

For example, users can’t go directly from from Optimism to Arbitrum, no matter what bridge they use.

In order to move tokens between these layer 2 networks, users are forced to take a multi-step process, bridging back to Layer 1 from Optimism before moving their funds to Arbitrum.

You can try it to see for yourself.

As shown below, after adding both Arbitrum Network AND Optimism Network to my wallet and going to the Arbitrum Bridge, its clear that the only connection possible is to go between Layer 1 and Layer 2.

arbitrum bridge only enables funds to go from L1 to L2
Aribitrum bridge only recognizes assets available on Layer 1, even though funds are in Optimism on the same connected wallet.

Layer 2 direct jumps don’t exist (yet).

Current Functionality: Bridging from Ethereum to Layer 2 is simple

Bridging from Ethereum Mainnet any one of the Layer 2’s is pretty simple and straightforward.

For example, a user’s first experience exploring the Optimism ecosystem (covered in this post) is pretty straightforward:

The Ethereum –> Optimism bridge allows for funds to be transferred quickly, letting the user get started with dapps like NFTs, DeFi, and more.

Similarly, bridging from Ethereum Mainnet to Arbitrum is pretty easy.

Users use a service like Chainlist to connect to any number of different Layer 2 blockchain networks directly, without manually typing in the network ID and other information.

How to use the Chainlist website, where you can connect to EVM powered Layer 2 networks.
Connect directly to EVM powered networks using Chainlist, without having to manually enter network details into your wallet

Optimism and Arbitrum are just two examples – Chainlist offers hundreds of connectable networks – an overwhelmingly large amount of software to explore.

Improving crypto bridges will reduce fees for users

The fact that a user can’t move funds between two different rollups without sending funds back to Ethereum Mainnet not only makes the user experience more cumbersome, but it means users pay higher fees.

The bridging process requires two additional transactions on Ethereum Mainnet, instead of a single transaction on Layer 2 between networks.

This multi-step process ultimately requires more gas.

At this point, the ability to move funds between layer 2 networks is an aspect of UX that is missing, and is a big gap in crypto.

The ideal UX features simply have not been built out yet.

Poor user experience is the nature of emerging technology

When you are exploring the frontier of emerging technology, some difficulty of use should be expected.

To put things into perspective, this lack of user functionality is part of what makes crypto most exciting.

If the UX was perfect and every blockchain app was easy to use, then crypto would already be mainstream.

When you are using emerging technology before other people, it is going to be clunky and difficult to use.

We are early; blockchain technology still has so much un-realized value. This is part of exploring and seeing tech trends before everyone else.

We Need to Enable Users to Migrate Between Layer 2 Blockchains

The good news, is that interoperability problem currently exists within similarly EVM compatible blockchains.

Because Layer 2 networks share protocols with Ethereum’s foundational Layer 1, the challenge should be solvable.

The Ethereum ecosystem, with the EVM protocol fundamentals, was made for this type of universal compatibility… shared components allowing protocols to integrate.

Axelar Network seeks to solve interoperability

We know its possible. Still, bridging between Layer 2’s is a feature that is not yet present in web3.

One network focused on this is the Axelar Network.

On the recent Zero Knowledge podcast episode, Sergey Gorbunov discussed how to make layer 2 protocols more interoperable.

Sergey shared information about how Axelar is focused on interoperability, making it easy for users to migrate between chains.

He mentioned that by building service layer protocols on top of the core networks, end to end flows between applications will be easy and seamless for users.

This will also enable bridging between Ethereum L2s so that users don’t have to go back to the main chain.

Exploring Optimism Layer 2 Rollup – Low Gas, Airdrop Farming unsuccessfully :(

Before Optimism announced the OP token, the blue birdie on the internet told me about the likelihood of an Optimism airdrop.

Apparently rumors were circulating during ETH Amsterdam, and airdrops are nothing new – if you’re in the right place at the right time, web3 users can cash in on airdrops.

For example, the LooksRare airdrop sent OpenSea users LOOKS token for free as long as they traded over 3 ETH in volume worth of NFTs.

And although the 3 ETH limit for the LOOKS airdrop was a bit much, I was feeling optimistic for the imminent Optimism airdrop.

How to Bridge to Optimism from Ethereum Mainnet

Once you’ve setup your own crypto wallet, sending funds over to Optimism is actually super easy, and will probably cost you less in transaction fees than you pay in fees on OpenSea when you purchase an NFT.

I think I payed between $12-20 in gas to bridge over, having recently done so Ethereum to Optimism on three separate occasions.

how to use the optimism bridge
Optimism Bridge user interface

One of the best parts about Optimism?

LOW GAS FEES.

While Ethereum Mainnet is like driving through traffic in the middle of a big city at rush hour – and overwhelmed with top-tier NFT projects sparking gas wars among hundreds of thousands of users – Optimism is your chill, quiet vacation getaway in the mountains.

In 2022, there are definitely fewer users in the Optimism ecosystem, but with the number of new entrants to web3 that could certainly change.

Optimism borrows all the good from Ethereum and makes it even better

Optimism is EVM-compatible, which means that the software was built on all of Ethereum’s same protocols

Because of this, transactions share security and decentralization features with Ethereum, while also using complicated new types of cryptography that enable the system to “scale”.

  • Scalability means that more people can use the blockchain network at the same time without gas going super high.

Even though Optimism transactions do use Ethereum, the system is more efficient with blockchain data, allowing many more people to do use the network at once.

With Ethereum as a foundation, Optimism allows users to benefit from the good of Ethereum while also enabling efficient scaling.

This helps users experience lower transactions fees.

OP token is a sure thing, but airdrops are not

With the Optimism announcement published a few days ago, I’m sad to say I’m zero for two on airdrops recently.

To be honest, the Optimism airdrop criteria was pretty difficult to meet.

The team was smart and they made it about more than just bridging a small amount of ETH over once and then getting a free airdrop in your wallet.

The criteria were pretty specific including using Optimism for the first time before June 2021, among other possible criteria.

That’s a long way of saying, the team was thoughtful in the approach.

They made it difficult for a mere degen to gain access to OP tokens this early, and rightly so.

Losing on airdrops, winning on Optimism NFTs

Having bridged over a small amount of ETH, I started to explore some of the different dapps that exist on the Optimism network.

The Optimism website has a section dedicated to different applications that are built on top of their network.

The “Ecosystem” includes a number of apps from Defi to Gaming, as well as NFTs.

Naturally, the first thing that stood out were the NFTs…. if the network is growing, why not try and get in on the ground floor?

optimism ecosystem - dapps, NFTs, optipunks
Optimism ecosystem. What would you try first?

Quixotic is the name of the website marketplace where you can buy and sell NFTs on the Optimism Network. Its the OpenSea equivalent, but on Optimism.

Quixotic proved to be surprisingly user friendly… I managed to buy into an NFT project before I actually realized that it was STILL MINTING!

Yep, the Optimistic Apes were barely halfway through the 2300 round of minting, when I turned up and minted 7 of them, plus that one from secondary.

This is Optimism – we’re not Bored Apes, we’re Optimistic Apes

Optimistic Ape collection on Quixotic by espresso

While OptiPunks are a literal 1-to-1 duplicate of all 10,000 CryptoPunks, the Optimistic Apes do a few things differently.

For one, they support Public Goods funding on the ecosystem, which means founders will be encouraged to build within the Optimism Network.

Featuring a collection size of only 2300, far fewer than the standard NFT project, the artwork of the Optimistic Apes also feels more grungy than the Bored Apes – lots of hoodies, hats, and cigars.

The art itself has a bit of a pencil-sketched cartoony look, however, the artist is for now unknown, according to a post from Chief Ape in the Optimistic Punks Discord chat.

Are Optimism NFTs unoriginal?

Even if the Optimistic Apes NFT project has taken steps to distinguish themselves, you have to wonder why the top two NFT projects on Optimism just so happen to be called OptiPunks and Optimistic Apes…

Are we copy-catting the two biggest blue-chip NFT projects on Ethereum?

Given that the OptiPunks leverage exactly the same characters as CryptoPunks, but with a fading red background, it sure feels like some sort of precedent has been set.

Still, they sell!

quixotic demand for NFTs - statistics of April 29 2022

Demand for NFTs on Quixotic has skyrocketed over the last few days.

Given the large flood of users moving over to Optimism and bridging funds, no doubt the Quixotic website has been getting a lot of hits.

Yet the Quixotic server has stayed up and running smoothly.

No surprise that the top NFT projects on Optimism are enjoying the buzz as well.

When will the hype arrive to Optimism?

All this talk of missed airdrops and under-hyped NFTs makes you wonder…

Is Optimism simply lacking hype, or is it just that the hype hasn’t arrived yet?

The small amount of hype getting started makes you wonder if its temporary or slowly growing.

Is Optimism just cheap, layer 2 rip-off copy of Ethereum, or simply a sweet, slower paced, lower fee pet turtle?

OptiTurtle?

In web3, the key is to get in early

Getting involved a growing ecosystem early is the one of the best ways to have a big impact.

  • 2012 it was Bitcoin
  • 2017 it was Ethereum
  • 2021 it was Bored Ape Yacht Club

In 2022 could it be…. Optimism?

We are in the Blockchain Era for Layer 2 Rollups

In crypto and web3, trying and using stuff is the best way to gain experience and learn.

My goal this year is to explore the layer 2 ecosystem, find the best dapps, and increase my chances of finding a silver spoon carrying a golden goose egg.

This blog as well as Twitter will be a a place for sharing thoughts and learnings about web3, layer 2 rollups, and the broad crypto ecosystem.

Reach out – DM’s open!

The Case Against Bots: 3 Reasons Bots Ruin Play-To-Own Games

How Do We Prevent Players from Using Bots in Sunflower Land?

When players use bots in an ecosystem like Sunflower Land, the game loses value at its core. 

If assets and progression in the game can be attained without a person actually playing it, then those bot-users gain an unfair advantage over the other players. 

The people who don’t use bots will get discouraged and frustrated having spent real time playing and advancing their farms, while another group of players was able to achieve a greater level.

When people don’t play the game for the sake of playing it, the game loses its appeal to players. 

Once the game is no longer fun for these formerly engaged players, the community surrounding the game starts to dissipate. 

Its difficult for game devs to identify people using bots

It is hard for even the most technical developers to understand how many players have implemented bots to play for them.

It is a challenging technical problem that involves reviewing website log data, among other techniques.

Fortunately, the game developers of Sunflower Land have implemented strict no bot policies in the game. 

Additionally, the mobile version of the game is playable on an app like Metamask using the dapp browser… you just need a crypto wallet.

While the SFL developers have stated that this is strictly against the rules and you will get banned if you try to do this, there is a chance that some people are using bots in a way that is undetectable from the game developers noticing. 

People that use bots get blacklisted, which marks out your Farm NFT with a red X as shown in the image. Don’t be one of those people!

Good work to the SFL team for keeping the community strong and free of bots!

blacklisted and banned farms in sunflower land
blacklisted / banned farms in Sunflower Land

Play-to-Own Crypto Game Sunflower Land is more than just Earning Tokens

Yes, you can earn Crypto and NFTs by playing games in web3.

With crypto games like Axie Infinity generating multiple millions of dollars in revenue per month, it is difficult to ignore the numbers.

Whether or not you want to play games simply for fun or to earn money, wouldn’t it be great if games could optimizes for both?

Whereas Axie Infinity is considered a “Play to Earn” game, an innovative team from Australia has come up with a better model – Play to Own

Play to Own games bring a new framework to crypto and NFT gaming in which playability is taken into account before the money making aspects.

The Play to Own model seeks to establish a fun and engaging environment for players first and foremost. Without this aspect, NFT based crypto games are not sustainable.

What is Play-To-Own Gaming?

Play-to-Own games are attractive to players because it is possible to earn financial rewards within the game, as well as freely trade items and tokens outside of the game. 

These unique features are enabled by blockchain technology. 

Play-to-Own is different from the popular “Play-to-Earn” gaming model. 

Play-to-Earn is actually an unsustainable game model because people will use the game solely to extract money.

This is bad for the game because no value is organically flowing back into the game.

Play-to-Own games are a better model because they place the in-game experience ahead of financial incentives. People before profits.

Play to own is not about making money. It’s about making memories. Steve Woody

The difference with Play-to-Own is that the game creates a place where people go just because they enjoy playing. 

The ability for players to own and trade tokens and items is simply a means to enhance the game, enabling people to continue playing the game for fun. [2] 

Of course, users can decide to cash out and sell their tokens and items if they decide to quit playing. 

When players have this enhanced level of freedom to leave with their rewards at any time, game developers are incentivized to develop a truly great game where people want to stick around and interact with each other.

When the primary focus is making the game / product great, the downstream impact is a fun game with great financial incentives as well.

For a blockchain game to succeed with crypto and NFT economics, there must be a balance of players who play for the sake of enjoyment with those who play solely to earn money and convert the token into fiat.

For a play-to-own game to work, there must be an active cohort of players consistently being a part of the game and helping to build a bit of “community”.

Sunflower Land is an example of a Play-to-Own game that does a good job of this.

Sunflower Land Community:

As developers seek to maximize fun and enjoyment for gamers, communities form. 

As with almost all web3 projects, value follows community, and community follows utility. 

If the game is fun and engaging, a community could naturally form around the game itself.

The larger the community, the larger the network effects and thus the more valuable the entire ecosystem becomes.

Sunflower Land has a strong community where people from around the world come together to discuss the game.

  1. GitHub: Sunflower Land has an active developer ecosystem and is thus still being developed and improved. The roadmap has quite a few exciting features on the horizon.
  2. Discord: the Sunflower Land Discord group is extremely active and with FAQ’s describing common fixes as well as a support ticketing system for technical issues.

The bull case for Sunflower Land: Community Oriented Developers and Founders

Sunflower Land is unlike other crypto games because there was no pre-sale/pre-mine of the SFL token. 

Additionally, the game is completely open source, and community run at its core. 

As described by the documentation under “Tokenomics”, the team of developers have a commitment to ensuring this aspect of the game remains true:

“We are paid directly with the fees generated by the player driven economy. We succeed when people play and our goal is to design tokenomics that engage users for the long term.” [1]

Before you can play Sunflower Land – or any crypto game – you need a crypto wallet.

SOURCES

  1. https://docs.sunflower-land.com/fundamentals/tokenomics
  2. Play to Own: https://philipla.substack.com/p/blockchain-games-play-to-earn-play-and-own?s=r 
  3. Axie World https://www.axieworld.com/en 
  4. Utility for Rare collectible items in the game: https://opensea.io/collection/sunflower-land-collectibles 

Top 4 Best Crypto and NFT Wallets in 2022 (and which one you should use)

When you purchase crypto for the first time, you will probably use an exchange.

While centralized exchanges have a number of benefits, you often do not have direct control over your digital assets when keeping them there.

Establishing your own self-custodial crypto wallet enables you to access dapps, transact in crypto, trade NFTs, as well as attain greater control and sovereignty over your money.

For this reason, its a good idea to move some of your crypto off the centralized exchange and into your own non-custodial wallet.

The next step is actually getting your first real crypto wallet setup. The good news is you can access the blockchain from any wallet provider. Think of the wallet as your portal to the world of web3. Yes, some portals are better than others, but at the end of the day they should all take you to the same place.

There are 4 wallets that stand out from the rest of the market as being the best:

The Winners for the Best NFT / Crypto Wallets:

Best All Around

Trust Wallet

  • Many assets hosted
  • Ultra secure
  • Large community
  • NFT Optimized
  • Free to use

Best for Beginners

Coinbase

  • Buy with $USD
  • Easiest on-ramp
  • Buy popular tokens
  • NFT optimized
  • Free to use

Most Secure

Ledger Nano X

  • Max security
  • Offline, cold storage of your cryptocurrencies.
  • No NFTs
  • Costs $149.00

Best for Ethereum

Metamask

  • Ethereum optimized
  • Compatible with ERC-721 and ERC-1155 NFTs
  • Most popular ecosystem
  • Explore layer 2 rollups and web3 dapps
  • Browser and Mobile compatible
  • Free to use

1. All-Around Best Crypto / NFT Wallet: Trust Wallet

Trust Wallet Specs:

  1. Custodial / Non-Custodial: Non-Custodial
  2. Hot or Cold? Hot
  3. Security:
    • Open Source
  4. Tokens Supported: Supports 53 blockchains and over 53 million different assets.
  5. Price: Free
  6. Ease of use:
    • Easy to use compared to most crypto wallets.
    • As with any new system, it takes some getting used to but there are many instructional guides available.
    • Includes a Dapp browser which lets you connect to various web3 tools and dapps.
  7. Devices Supported: Mobile crypto wallet
  8. Popularity:
    • 168,000 reviews in the app store
    • has a very active user community with forums and comments where community members discuss topics and answer questions.
  9. NFTs Compatibility:
    • Displays images of your NFTs readily, as well as enables you to send and receive them.
    • Only displays NFTs from within the Ethereum Ecosystem. Not compatible with Solana NFTs, for example.
  10. Additional Features:
    • Direct Deposit: you can buy crypto using your credit card.
    • Staking: you can earn 11% APR on quite a few different coins.
    • Multisig: No

Trust Wallet Overview:

For the general user, Trust wallet is great because it has a huge community, open forum discussion, and supports one of the largest number of different assets of any wallet on the market.

For the user looking to stake crypto, you can earn a sizable yield on your assets as well.

From owning some of the most well-known blue-chip assets, to buying and trading NFTs on the Ethereum Ecosystem, as well as browsing dapps within the web3 internet, the Trust wallet provides a well-rounded experience within crypto and NFTs for any user.

2. Best Beginner-Friendly Crypto / NFT Wallet: Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase Wallet Specs:

  1. Custodial / Non-Custodial: Self-custodial aka Non-custodial
  2. Hot or Cold? Hot
  3. Security:
    • Open Source
  4. Tokens Supported: The Coinbase wallet supports popular tokens like BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, XRP, XLM, and DOGE, all EVM-compatible and ERC 20 tokens, as well as some stable-coins like DAI. (read more)
  5. Price: Free
  6. Ease of use:
    • User friendly and easy to learn.
    • There are many instructional videos on YouTube to help new users learn the ropes.
    • Supports dark mode.
  7. Devices Supported: Browser and Mobile crypto wallet
  8. Popularity:
    • 103,000 app store reviews.
    • One of the most popular and well-known crypto exchanges has a large team behind the product.
    • Publicly traded company
  9. NFT Compatibility:
    • NFTs supported and displayed.
    • ERC-721 compatible.
  10. Additional Features:
    • Direct Deposit: support credit / debit direct purchases for crypto. Easy cash on ramp
    • Staking: Earn interest via smart contracts.
    • Multisig: not supported
    • Anything else? view crypto price movements directly from the app.

Coinbase Wallet Overview:

One of the largest publicly traded crypto exchanges in the world has a non-custodial wallet available for download.

The Coinbase wallet is best for beginners because it enables you to link your existing account on Coinbase.com to your self-custody wallet in order to move some of your funds off exchange.

Having the big tokens supported like Ethereum and Bitcoin as well as Polygon is key. Although it doesn’t have as many coins available as other wallets, it is great for getting started.

As staking is supported, this is a good opportunity for beginners to learn a bit more about DeFi and experience earning some yield on their assets, if that is within your risk tolerance.

One of the downsides to Coinbase is that you can’t use it in some jurisdictions, like Hawaii.

3. Best Crypto Wallets for Security: Hardware Wallets (Ledger Nano X)

Ledger Nano X Wallet Specs:

  1. Custodial / Non-Custodial: non-custodial
  2. Hot or Cold Storage? Cold
  3. Security:
    • Most secure hardware / cold storage. Open Source. Keeping your coins and NFTs offline and protected.
  4. Tokens Supported: over 5,500 tokens supported
  5. Price: $149.00
  6. Ease of use: Setting up the Nano Ledger X takes less than 30 minutes.
  7. Devices Supported:
    • Mobile friendly via bluetooth connection. Bluetooth enabled, access your wallet via your phone.
    • Install up to 100 dapps at a time.
    • You also have access to the Ledger Live, a browser and mobile wallet that enables you to access your funds on the go, if you don’t want to bring your physical hardware wallet with you.
  8. Popularity:
    • Ledger wallets have thousands of reviews on Amazon.
    • There is a community on Reddit with over 86,000 members.
    • Ledger Academy provides intro information for people to learn about crypto, such as how to keep their assets safe.
  9. NFT Compatibility: does not display your NFTs
  10. Additional Features:
    • Direct Deposit: no
    • Staking: no
    • Multisig: no

Ledger Nano X Wallet Overview

Ledger, a French company, has a number of hardware products designed to store crypto and NFTs in the most secure way possible.

The only real difference among the Ledger line of products is the number of features like which assets are supported. From a security perspective, all hardware wallets are equally secure because they keep your assets offline, aka in “cold storage”.

Ledger Nano X is the most advanced, and robust wallet from the Ledger line of products.

Granted security is of top priority here, the Nano X supports the most tokens and has the best screen display for usability.

4. Best Crypto Wallets for Ethereum Ecosystem: Metamask

Metamask Wallet Specs:

  1. Custodial / Non-Custodial: non-custodial
  2. Hot or Cold Storage? Hot
  3. Security:
    • Most popular wallet to use in the Ethereum ecosystem, enabling you to connect to web3 dapps as well as EVM powered networks such as Polygon and Optimism. Open Source. Your coins and NFTs are easily accessible.
  4. Tokens Supported: all ERC-20 tokens and EVM compatible NFTs (ERC-721 and ERC-1155)
  5. Price: Free
  6. Ease of use: Quick setup, many tutorials online as well as instructional how-to’s in the Metamask support site. As with all self-custodial wallets, make sure you store your private key in a safe, secure location.
  7. Devices Supported:
    • Browser and Mobile enabled. Access your wallet via computer or your phone.
  8. Popularity:
    • Most popular web3 wallet to date with more than 21 million active users.
    • Large Metamask community with forums and more.
  9. NFT Compatibility:
    • Displays your NFTs on mobile, but the functionality could be improved.
    • As the NFT display system is not optimized, Metamask users often find themselves going to OpenSea or Quixotic to view their NFT portfolios as opposed to the wallet display.
  10. Additional Features:
    • Direct Deposit: yes, via credit card, however transaction fees can be high.
    • Staking: no
    • Multisig: no

Metamask Wallet Overview

Metamask, an open-source software wallet built by Consensys, is by far the most popular wallet by user count in web3 as of 2022.

The wallet is focused on crypto and NFTs that leverage the Ethereum protocols, ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155. Additionally, the ability to add Ethereum Virtual Machine networks to your wallet makes bridging to layer 2 rollups easy and user-friendly.

For people that want to explore the emerging world of web3 decentralized applications (dapps), using a Metamask wallet is the way to go.