The non-fungible token (NFT) rush of 2021 feels like something with a long-standing effect. Few once-subterranean phenomenons have been adopted by the mainstream as quickly as NFTs. As perhaps the most understandable example of transactions on the blockchain yet, the NFT craze has finally made its inner workings clear to the general public.
One of the most fascinating aspects of NFTs’ development is the community model. NFTs are the centers of blockchain communities gathering around common interests. No longer just for collectors and artists, communities now look to highlight the utility potential of NFTs by connecting blockchain assets to practical usage.
November 4 at 1:00 UTC will mark the launch of a much-anticipated NFT collection by XY Finance: GalaXY Kats.
10,000 New NFTs and a Game
GalaXY Kats is an assortment of 10,000 unique meerkat NFTs. To be sold as industry-standard ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, the GalaXY Kats will serve as buyers’ avatars and tickets to a blockchain game.
GalaXY Kats is the brainchild of XY Finance founder Wilson Huang. The story behind the NFTs combines elements of blockchain theory, financial operations, and the classic science fiction novels that most of the XY Finance team reveres.
“The story of GalaXY Kats was inspired by the sophisticated DeFi (decentralized finance) and MetaVerse ecosystem,” Huang says. “In GalaXY Universe, each character represents a specific role in XY Finance, such as developer, validator, ambassador, DAO member, and so forth.”
Like many of the latest NFT releases, GalaXY Kats are meant to highlight the utility possibilities of the token. The first step in that development is the release of a blockchain game reserved for meerkat holders.
Huang says the game will be released once GalaXY Kats’ trading volume reaches 5,000 on the NFT marketplace OpenSea. NFT holders will have the opportunity to win tokens in the game’s play-to-earn model, which means that they have a chance to actually profit from their play.
“Depending on the meerkats you minted, you will get special utilities such as APY boosts, swap fee discounts, token airdrops, and more to be unveiled as the dev team unlocks more achievements along with our roadmap,” Huang says.
The pending game takes place more than 500 years in the future when a band of humans-turned-meerkats tries to colonize an uninhabited cluster of planets after Earth has become uninhabitable for humankind.
Building the GalaXY Kat Community
The GalaXY Kat community, Huang hopes, will represent a hybrid of NFT, DeFi, and GameFi culture. The founder says XY Finance will work with influencers in those realms for the new community.
Those efforts reflect the increased importance of the community model in NFTs. Huang places special significance on communication and responsive interaction, two hallmarks of contemporary blockchain communities.
“We think the key is to build trust and enhance engagement in the community,” Huang says, “We have designed various campaigns to maintain community engagement and better help users understand our product. By creating and providing the best products, we can build a strong presence in the market and more people will naturally flock to us.”
NFT communities have evolved into true barometers of NFT value. In the early days of the concept, communities formed around a shared interest in a single artist or group of artists.
With the advent of collections like GalaXY Kats, communities centered around other interests — such as finance — have begun to appear. In many cases the communities have earned fans among those who don’t even own any NFTs themselves, cementing their popularity.
A Banner Year for NFTs
It’s impossible to ignore how NFTs exploded in 2021. The tokens have grown from the fringe of collectible commodities into a very reachable vision of the future of art and commerce.
Huang cites groundbreaking collections like The First 5000 Days by Beeple, the first NFT collection ever to be sold by a major auction house (Christie’s), as major milestones in the ongoing phenomenon.
Mainstream culture’s quick endorsement of NFTs also accelerated their growth as celebrities, the media, and the worlds of music and sports have adopted the tokens for promotional purposes.
All this activity has led to sky-high trading volume for NFTs in secondary markets. This year’s new offerings of the likes of CryptoPunks have helped NFT revenue to obliterate sales records in July and August of this year.
As for GalaXY Kats, Huang believes the rise of play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity has unlocked yet another aspect of the blockchain’s potential. “We think the GameFi buzz will last for a while, and that’s why we decided to release our own game.”
Huang sees other applications for NFTs on the horizon. “RWA (Real World Asset) NFT can denote virtual ownership of any kind of physical good, while Versatile NFT (vNFT) can express financial NFTs.”