One of the reasons we decided to build our blockchain-agnostic NFT dApp platform on Polkadot is the burgeoning ecosystem. There are hundreds of teams creating Polkadot-compatible projects on Substrate — and many of them also focus on NFTs. Read on for our top 3 picks!
Before we begin: Polkadot or Kusama?
While the title of this post mentions Polkadot, you should remember that most of the projects we’ll discuss will be released on Kusama first. Kusama($KSM) is the canary network for Polkadot — a sort of an experimental ground. Polkadot itself isn’t fully operational yet: the Relay Chain is functioning, but there are no parachains or parachain auctions. You can only play with parachains on the Rococo testnet.
By contrast, Kusama has already had several auctions, and more are coming soon. And since everything that’s built on Substrate is compatible with each other, you can launch a project on Kusama and then move it to Polkadot when it becomes possible. In fact, many key Polkadot startups have a ‘junior’ Kusama version under a different name!
With this information in mind, let’s proceed to our list of the three most promising NFT projects on Polkadot.
RMRK (pronounced ‘remark’) is fun, audacious, and fiery-pink. It’s also a completely new approach to implementing NFTs… without smart contracts! The Relay Chain (on both Kusama and Polkadot) doesn’t support smart contracts, so traditional NFTs like Ethereum’s ERC-721 won’t work there. Of course, you can create a parachain with smart contracts and its own NFT token standard, but what about writing NFTs directly onto the Relay Chain?
RMRK’s creators call what they do ‘graffiti’ — custom notes that can represent various features, from NFTs to token sales and polls. Thanks to this approach, the NFTs will be able to do many things that Ethereum-based NFTs cannot — for example, they can nest inside each other, issue commands to other NFTs, or even react to digital objects that you send to them.
The first NFT offering by RMRK is Kanaria, a collection of cute eggs that will hatch at a certain block height. We think they look great:
The concept of Unique Network has something in common with XP.network. It will let users do many different things with NFTs: mint them, start marketplaces, lend them, share in the ownership, etc. The difference is that we have a focus on building NFT dApps without code and deploying them to any chain (the blockchain-agnostic approach), though Unique is also aiming at interoperability.
Unique Network is the home of Substrapunks, the Substrate version of CryptoPunks. It was actually thanks to SubstraPunks that the team won Hackusama, a major hackathon for Kusama projects. You can read the full story here.
SubstraPunks were officially the first functioning NFT game on Substrate. Another remarkable thing about them is that the game is fully hosted on IPFS, or Interplanetary File Storage System. It’s a decentralized, content-based alternative to the traditional address-based way of storing files on the internet.
The network is still in the testnet stage, and most features are Proof-of-Concept, but Unique Network has big plans — and is actively bringing them to reality. The project is a member of the Kusama NFT Strategy Team, so we’ll definitely be following their progress.
Efinity by Enjin
Enjin is one of the biggest projects on the intersection of blockchain and gaming. Its products include a platform for minting NFTs, a wallet, and even a service for embedding NFTs within QR codes. Enjin is also credited with creating the ERC-1155 token standard on the Ethereum blockchain.
With Efinity, Enjin takes the first step on Polkadot. The focus is on cross-chain capabilities: it will be possible to transfer any NFT from any blockchain to Efinity. The aim is to process up to 1,000 transactions per second, with the average final confirmation time of 6 seconds.
In March 2021, the team raised $18.9 million to build Efinity. The release of Phase 1 is scheduled for the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022 — and we’re really looking forward to it!
You might ask, are we worried about the possible competition from all these projects? The answer is absolutely not. XP.network does something completely different and unique: it lets even non-tech founders build great dApps. We aren’t creating a marketplace or an NFT minting service: rather, we give users the tools to create 10+ types of NFT applications on any blockchain — even if they can’t code.
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