Don’t Hate the NFT Haters

By DRepublic | DRepublic | Cradles Blog | 23 Jun 2022


One of the known inexplicable phenomena in technology is that, even for those familiar or tech-savvy, and even for those who can be regarded as highly intelligent, the potential of emerging technologies is always difficult to discern, particularly for disruptive ones like blockchain.

Bitcoin, when it first made its rounds on cypherpunk mailing lists, was well received because it was a direct solution for the community — a new form of cryptography and a new alternative to money that sought to break free of state manipulation. But even when the new asset appeared on geek forum Slashdot, it didn’t immediately appeal to everyone. Magic internet money it used to be called (or still is, perhaps).

Bitcoin wasn’t the first to face such ridicule, even malice. Most people in tech know about the Western Union story when they turned down the chance to use the telephone, fiercely attacking it as an invention even and laughing at it. More recently, the Internet was also viewed with deep suspicions and attributed to drug dealers, criminals and porn (sound familiar, Bitcoiners?).

Why the NFT Sector Must Make Room for Skeptics

The first instinct when it comes to new tech is always that of the skeptic and the cynic — and this is a useful defense mechanism in any case since healthy skepticism is a product of experience and the depth of understanding that comes from being a knowledgeable person in the field.

For some, it also comes from ego — the embarrassment or inadequacy that an expert feels when coming face to face with an idea that is unfamiliar to them. So don’t be surprised to find that those most vocal against NFTs are those most familiar with the space, be it cryptocurrency, blockchain, or the sectors where NFTs are used, namely gaming and art.

Now that we are now witnessing a lot of the attention and focus on the fastest-growing sector in crypto and blockchain, naturally, there has also been plenty of criticism in the mainstream media, focusing on several drawbacks of the NFT industry. Some are familiar, like the amount of energy required to maintain blockchains — which isn’t actually specific to NFTs since they are merely tokens on already-operating networks.

We ourselves have pointed out other drawbacks, such as the low-value and unsustainable projects that merely churn out “Play to Earn” games that are copycats of each other. These don’t contribute to actual innovation and only encourage speculators rather than NFT users.

It can be easy to react with indignance to these so-called NFT haters. Certainly, on Twitter there are plenty of people trading insults and arguments, going back and forth on “for or against” NFTs. But personally, we at Cradles feel that we need to learn from the lessons of crypto and blockchain in dealing with the haters.

Every new update, upgrade and improvement has been the result of concerns brought up by those criticizing blockchain. When Bitcoin proved to be too slow, too expensive, and too energy-intensive to be used as a daily payment method, developers brought scalability improvements like SegWit and second-layer technology like Lightning. When Ethereum went through the same problems, they finally made a move to migrate to Proof-of-Stake, which has far lower energy consumption.

As a result, both Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have probably had their fair share of haters over the years, are much more mature and battle-tested today than they were just five years ago.

Constructive criticism helps us construct

Now it’s no secret that we at Cradles: Origin of Species work with blockchain. We are building a game, first and foremost. A game that wants to introduce, for the first time ever, virtual persistent worlds that not only exist online but also respect time and physics laws as we do in real life, with in-game characters, items and even elements all containing their own unique characteristics that change with time.

To do this, we’re looking to use NFTs imbued with a wider range of smart contract capabilities than the regular NFTs already popular in the market.

Tech-speak: we’re using a new EIP-3664 protocol that allows for more data to be attached with each token, including traits that change as blocks are produced to give a realistic experience of time.

Regular-speak: items, characters and elements that are freely combinable and detachable with each other, with the ability to change according to the passage of time.

But as we pointed out above, a new technology comes with new, often unexpected outcomes that we as developers cannot fully identify on our own. We need users to try them out and to report back problems. We need other developers to stress-test the code, finding chinks in the armour. And we certainly need haters, as they are the most motivated to find issues and problems that we and supporters may not be able to find (isn’t it hard to find something wrong with something we love?).

This is why we also discuss the shortcomings of NFT and blockchain gaming. For example, we spoke about the problem of creator empowerment and will strive to make Cradles: Origin of Species a fair metaverse that will uphold the ownership rights of the creator.

We believe in blockchain and in NFTs and in gaming. For that belief to become reality, we must be prepared to welcome criticism (and hate) to allow us to improve and build the right solutions.

After all, there can only be solutions when there are problems.

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DRepublic
DRepublic

Metaverse - Blockchain Gaming Studio


DRepublic | Cradles Blog
DRepublic | Cradles Blog

Cradles is the first time-lapsing metaverse game – a living, breathing virtual world that continues to evolve and progress, simulating the laws of time and physics just like in real life.

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