Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have already attracted multimillion-dollar deals and celebrity attention due to their increasing popularity. The NFT market is continuing to expand and diversify from its origins in simple pixel art and video clips. The latest buzz-worthy NFTs are touted as the owner’s ticket into the metaverse, although their actual utility upon purchase is often hard to discern. Still, the public’s growing interest in blockchains and cryptocurrency is driving investment in the NFT market, even as rising interest in the metaverse following Facebook’s name change announcement has even casual investors scrambling to find an entry point into the emerging sector.
The metaverse as generally conceived is a network of persistent, intertwined virtual worlds where people can spend time and do many of the things they do in real life. It will be a parallel plane of human interaction, where users run businesses, meet collaborators, socialize, date, play games together, and create personal worlds of their own. The latest cornerstone of the metaverse to be unveiled is Cinder, a massively multiplayer online world with blockchain underpinnings. Developed by veteran game studio WildWorks, the company describes Cinder as a crypto-native social hub, creative commons, and free-form community set in a digital dreamworld.
Many NFT projects aspire to become video games, with roadmaps that promote their sale to investors with promises of future utility in games yet to be developed. But where other developers typically produce and tokenize NFT characters first, sell them, then set to work building a game for them to inhabit, the developers of Cinder decided this process was backwards.
“We built the world and the NFT avatars together, then turned them loose in there to look around and make the place presentable,” said Clark Stacey, CEO of WildWorks. “Now we’re going to tokenize and sell them.”
WildWorks is calling the NFT collection the Cinder Fae, and it’s comprised of 11,111 exclusive avatars designed and curated by WildWorks’ veteran art team. Over 150 traits of varying rarity have been randomly distributed across nine categories of differentiation, guaranteeing that each will be a completely unique work of digital art. But while the Cinder Fae avatars stand out visually with their striking character design and attention to detail, what really separates these NFTs from other collections is their immediate utility. NFT owners will be able to use their Fae avatars to enter the Cinder Metaverse immediately when they’re minted on the eco-friendly Solana blockchain.
Cinder NFT owners will enjoy many benefits aside from day-one access to the Cinder metaverse, including a community tag on Discord, surprise airdrops, exclusive events, early access to new features, whitelist invitations to future drops, and much more. At launch, NFT holders will find a beautiful and fully functional world whose inhabitants can interact through chatting, direct messaging, and avatar animations.
Later in 2022 WildWorks will release a proprietary set of in-world creative tools enabling owners to design and customize their own avatars, social spaces, and other items in Cinder, which they can tokenize as new NFTs and sell for cryptocurrency. Cinder will give players the opportunity to own and profit from the items they create and trade in the world, a play mechanic the developers call “Create-to-Earn.” Despite these user-generated content plans, early investors in the Cinder Fae NFTs will still enjoy the exclusivity of owning one of a kind avatars that will forever be unique and instantly recognizable.
The Cinder team takes the battle against climate change very seriously, so after extensive research they chose the Solana blockchain technology for its eco-friendly validation network and smart contract capability. NFT’s have long drawn criticism for the energy cost and carbon footprint concomitant with validating transactions by “mining” proof-of-work blockchains like Ethereum. However, because the Solana blockchain doesn’t require mining, the developer calculates that Cinder NFTs will have no more carbon impact than ordinary credit card transactions.
The Cinder Fae avatars will officially drop in early January 2022, with the exact date to be announced later this month. Until then, future citizens can meet and join in the development discussion through the project’s Discord server.
To learn more about Cinder, check out its official website, Twitter, and Instagram.