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Are NFTs a perfect tool for community building?

james_bohrman profile image James Bohrman Originally published at bohrman.io ・3 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • Many members have the desire for games and activity
  • Non-fungible assets have the potential to “gamify” users community experience
  • Creating scarcity in a community breeds engagementent
  • Solutions can go beyond collecting and into custom games tailored to community needs

Introduction

It’s been a big week for NFTs this week with stories of artists and influencers selling digital assets for millions of dollars that most people would be able to simply download with a few clicks of a mouse. This might sound like a crazy way for the super-rich to flex their wealth, but NFTs happen to have a very interesting use case in community building.

The concept of non-fungible assets may be new to some people so let’s get a little crash course. To begin, let’s consider the difference between fungible and non-fungible. Bitcoin is a fungible asset, which means you can one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. On the other hand, that super rare Pokemon card you’ve been saving for years is a non-fungible asset. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different.

Hold on a second... What are NFTs?

NFTs are like a digital “certificate of ownership” that are meant to authenticate a claim to an asset, and allow it to be transferred or sold. These certificates are supported by blockchain technology similar to what supports Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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The key difference between NFTs and cryptocurrencies is that currencies allow fungible trade, which means anyone can create Bitcoins that can be exchanged for other Bitcoins. NFTs are by definition non-fungible, and are deployed as individual chains of ownership to track a specific asset. NFTs are designed to uniquely restrict and represent a unique claim on an asset. - Luke Heemsbergen

NFTs enable the creation of technical scarcity on the internet by allowing new types of goods.

How does this relate to community building?

One of the most important things about running any community is finding new ways to keep members engaged. It may not seem like it on the surface, but creating scarcity in a community breeds engagement. Members of a community often thrive when offered games and activities that allow rewards for engagement. This is where NFTs have the potential to “gamify” users’ community experience.

For example, take the popular NFT based game “Cryptokitties” where users can trade and sell virtual kittens. This game is WILDLY popular with some users paying thousands of dollars for these digital cats. This is a prime example of how scarcity can breed engagement in a community.

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So let’s imagine that you’re looking for a way to gamify your users’ experience, and are exploring involving NFTs in some way. You have a few options if that’s the case:

  • Collectibles
    • You can create a range of NFT collectibles for your community to exchange among themselves. The issue with this is that simple collecting can become repetitive.
  • Collectibles + Gamification
    • You can create a range of collectibles, but also add gaming elements into the process. A trading card game is one good example, where members exchange the cards and then battle them.
  • Badges
    • You can create NFT badges for special events that are able to be sold and exchanged as digital assets.

Whatever you do, it is important that you keep the assets you make true to your brand. For example, if I was building NFT assets for Orbit, I would probably keep an astronaut/space theme for whatever assets I create.

Conclusion

There is definitely a lot of promise in using NFTs to gamify community engagement, and I hope to get to put the idea to work one day. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic, so feel free to leave some feedback!

Originally published at James Bohrman | Developer Avocado 🥑 on March 06, 2021.

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