Enjin is leading us, and NFTs, into a cross-chain metaverse

Published on
May 11th, 2021
Category
Interviews
Enjin has been working to make NFTs frictionless. They started with a new Ethereum token standard. Now, they’re building a blockchain specifically for NFTs, ushering in the next chapter for the space.
Enjin believes that societies across the globe are heading towards a new form of digital ownership and a new economy — one that’s built on blockchain.
The company builds tools designed to make the digital economy easy and accessible for everyone.​​ Their key products — Platform, Wallet, Marketplace, and Beam — work together and complement each other. Developers and businesses use the Platform to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and integrate them with their apps, websites, and games. Users hold game inventories in their pocket (Wallet) and scan QR codes (Beam) to get NFTs they can trade on the Marketplace.
Recently Enjin has been building solutions to supercharge the NFT industry as a whole. Efinity will bring NFT projects together to eliminate friction for users and enable new features to fuel the next wave of innovation, and JumpNet is making blockchain transactions forever free for individuals and businesses.
We talked with Enjin about how they came to be a leader in this space, from NFTs to gaming, and what their new products mean for makers, gamers, and beyond.

Enjin has always been focused on a larger vision, which is the utility of NFTs

Enjin started out in the games industry. In 2009, Enjin co-founders Witek Radomski and Maxim Blagov created an online platform for people to build and host gaming communities. It grew to over 20 million users.
“As a company, we were interested in blockchain right away. With millions of virtual USD sales via our gaming products and services, we realized that the collision of gaming and blockchain is inevitable.”
By 2017, blockchain technology had matured, and Enjin created one of the first NFTs ever. Today, thanks to the growing adoption of crypto and recent booms in NFTs and trading platforms, more and more people understand the concepts that excited Enjin early on. We asked Radomski where things go from here.
“The main thing that people are playing with right now in the general NFT space is purchasing an NFT and trading it for profit. As it becomes a normal part of people's lexicon, they will demand utility for NFTs. They’ll be interested in more than just a JPEG file, for example, using NFTs as a tool to unlock things. They’ll look to gain benefits or tangible value — things that are simply not possible with traditional digital assets.
We want people to be able to interact with their NFTs. We want them to have access to the history aspect of non-fungible tokens, where they can see everything that happened with an NFT over the years, whether it's different owners, crafting, upgrades, metadata, and more.
We want to give them unrestricted access to all of that rich information.”
So how do we get there? Enjin is well-positioned to take the lead. It’s not the new kid on the block. The company’s role in standardization has set some of the structure that’s helping to push NFTs from simple assets to multi-purpose and multi-dimensional exchanges.

Building flexible, future-proof standards.

In 2018, Radomski pushed the first version of a new token standard called ERC-1155 to Ethereum’s Github repository. A year later, the standard progressed to final status as an official Ethereum token standard. The core concept behind ERC-1155 is that a single smart contract can govern an infinite number of tokens. Imagine NFTs as weapons or armor that players can pick up, craft, upgrade, freely trade, and actually use inside games.​​
Radomski had created ERC-1155 (built originally internally as their “Monolithic Token Contract” idea) to eliminate the inefficiencies of ERC-721, a legacy NFT standard.
“People needed a new token standard, one that would enable game developers to create NFTs that have real utility inside games. Eventually, we realized this new "contract" has use cases beyond gaming—and that it could be applied to virtually any industry. So we decided to standardize it.”
Creating a standard meant that the larger Ethereum community would begin to support this new kind of token, and it paved the way for quicker adoption in wallets, marketplaces, games, and new projects using NFTs. ERC-1155 set the foundation for Enjin to expand NFT utility as they simultaneously launched the products necessary to open up this technology for developers and companies.
“NFTs will become exponentially easier to interact with. When any mainstream user can create an NFT, attach utility to it, and send it—all with a simple voice command to their AI assistant— is when you will see an unimaginable explosion of creativity in the space. One of the core parts of Enjin's mission is to make NFTs frictionless, and enable anyone to easily mint NFTs and give them utility without having to recruit a whole blockchain development team.
That's why we're building Efinity.”

Efinity will make the cross-chain metaverse possible

Enjin recently announced Efinity, a blockchain specifically built for NFTs to help usher in a new generation in the NFT space. Radomski said that he and his team built Enjin as a reaction to a lot of difficulties that currently exist when it comes to usability and the state of the NFT industry as a whole.
“​​What has happened through the years is a fragmentation of NFT platforms and marketplaces, with walled gardens adding another level of unnecessary complexity for end-users that already have to deal with learning a new technology, slow transactions, and endless friction points. Efinity is probably the biggest thing that we ever started building to change this.”
Efinity is purpose-built for NFTs. It's designed to eliminate that friction and make NFTs cross-chain, bringing platforms together. Efinity is fully decentralized and open with a robust economy. While transactions are not free, they are significantly less expensive and companies can also subsidize transaction fees, making them free for end-users.
Enjin is building Efinity on Polkadot in order to optimize the platform for NFT users and reward them for participating in the network. Users won’t need a blockchain wallet, won’t have to pay transaction fees, and will be able to bring any NFT from any blockchain to Efinity.
We asked Radomski what Efinity means for makers.
“There are many, many amazing use cases for Efinity, as it's technologically superior to existing solutions; if I had to pick the most exciting one, I'd say it's making the metaverse happen.
Efinity will supercharge any NFT that is brought onto the network, and help the entire NFT space to evolve into a true decentralized metaverse. For example, Decentraland's MANA and LAND tokens can be transferred to Efinity with a simple transaction, and used in any projects that support Efinity. ​These tokens can be traded on the marketplace and moved back to Ethereum at any time.”

A trilogy of products to power a multi-chain NFT ecosystem

Enjin recently released JumpNet, too—a blockchain that allows instant, free transactions. JumpNet enables individuals and companies to launch campaigns where they send thousands of NFTs to their users without having to pay massive gas fees on Ethereum. Users can then easily move their assets to Ethereum at their own pace.
“Ethereum is currently very congested and expensive for businesses that are launching blockchain projects, so we wanted to give them a way to do a large number of transactions without the large overhead costs. JumpNet, Ethereum, and Efinity each have their own purpose in our ecosystem.”
Radomski believes the main use case for JumpNet will be large numbers of transactions of less valuable items, for example, common items in video games that need to be moved around for free.
One example is what the company is doing with Microsoft now. Microsoft has been using Beam to distribute NFTs to Azure developers as part of the Azure Heroes program (Beam is Enjin’s service that lets a user scan a QR code to instantly receive an NFT). Now, Microsoft is creating its NFTs on JumpNet. During the recent Global Azure 2021 event, Microsoft used JumpNet to easily mint more than 7,000 NFTs for event attendees.
“The Azure Heroes project continues to push us to make everything user-friendly. Working with an enterprise is also interesting because we also had to provide a backend NFT platform for a hundred of Microsoft's employees to interact and collaborate with each other.”
By the way, the Enjin team has been working with Microsoft for years on innovative implementations. Radomski said that working with them helped Enjin realize and fix NFT distribution problems and friction points.
The most recent collaboration enabled participants to earn special-edition NFTs in the Azure Space Mystery, an educational space exploration game that aims to champion women in science and technology. These “Learner” NFTs have also been integrated into Minecraft, giving its holders access to a special sequel quest in the MyMetaverse Minecraft server. Enjin’s “EnjinCraft” plugin enabled this cross-game functionality.
From ERC-1155 to Efinity and Jumpnet, Enjin has been quick to tackle the limits of non-fungible tokens from how they were initially introduced, including recent concerns raised about the tech’s environmental impact.

Carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030

With Earth Day just behind us, we couldn’t have this conversation without talking about the environment.
“​​​​We recently introduced a plan to enable carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030, led by the JumpNet and Efinity solutions. ​​JumpNet, which is already used by over 50 companies and features around 1.5 million minted blockchain assets so far, only consumes ~0.000002 of the electricity of the Ethereum blockchain.
The ERC-1155 token standard already saves projects up to 90% on fees when minting NFTs, by the way, which in turn means less electricity spent by the Ethereum network.”

Not your typical NFT auction platform or marketplace

Enjin is working on its next addition to its ecosystem, NFT.io. Radomski said they are working towards a Q3 reveal.
NFT.io is a powerful, versatile platform to showcase NFT projects by everyone from celebrities, artists, and influencers, to forward-thinking startups, corporations, and brands. It's not your typical NFT auction platform or marketplace—each NFT offered will have some additional value, whether that's some sort of access to the creator, digital or real-life gamification, or some other tangible utility. We're looking to create a mainstream-grade experience for both end-users and NFT creators. NFT.io will only get better as various parts of our blockchain ecosystem are brought to life and evolve over time.”
This article was sponsored by and crafted in collaboration with our friends at Enjin.
Published on
May 11th, 2021
Category
Interviews
Comments (1)
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