Over the past couple months many projects including Doodles, Psychedelics Anonymous, and Creepz have announced “trait marketplaces”. These trait marketplaces allow holders to buy, sell, and trade pre made traits made by project founders. This allows for a new level of customization of your PFP’s, with the idea that the holder will become more attached. This should theoretically lead to more diamond hands and higher floor prices. Not to mention royalties from the traits. These announcements have led to mixed reactions. While many welcome this new level of PFP immersion, many believe this is a negative advancement because it ruins rarity rankings, therefore destroying the “purity” of the collection. While I do believe these trait marketplaces are a small step forward for PFP’s, I more importantly believe it’s a step towards where we are ultimately heading, which is a “Creator’s Economy”. I believe a fully realized Creator’s Economy will unlock the true potential of Web 3 and create a new billion dollar market you can get ahead of right now.
Now what is the Creator’s Economy you ask? In my opinion this is an economy powered by assets created by the people in a decentralized manner. This isn’t a project’s art team creating a thousand traits and selling them to holders. This is the holder’s themselves having the ability to take open source tooling and create their own assets, earning money for their work. So what’s a practical example of this? Say you have a PFP and the project founders allowed ANY holder to create clothing and attributes for their avatar. You can use any tools available to the general public to create these assets- say an open source free to use 3D modeling tool like Blender. Now anyone with a little determination can pick up these skills and create their own assets for their avatar and do as they please. THIS is true customization. On top of that, you can take those assets you made and sell them to others. This will allow for true economics powered by value, rather than ponzinomics like you see in most projects today.
When people talk about the “metaverse”, this kind of economy is critical towards that fully realized vision.
Instead of rewarding holders based on who has been in the project the longest, a model that almost always eventually fails, you reward users based on their creativity. Based on their engagement with the project. This reinforces actually healthy behaviors for an NFT, rather than staking which reinforces pseudo pyramid scheme economics. By allowing holders to create their own assets and profit off them, users get reward for contributing to the ecosystem, rather than just holding the NFT for the longest. The most creative and well executed ideas get rewarded the most, increasing the value of the entire ecosystem as a whole. When people talk about the “metaverse”, this kind of economy is critical towards that fully realized vision. Imagine a world where creators in projects can open up their own marketplace filled with digital assets they created. Instead of having a trait marketplace economy that’s powered by randomized loot boxes like they are today, they are powered by the holders and their artistic skills and determination. This seems like a longer lasting, healthier web 3 economy to me.
The question becomes, as an investor, how do you profit off of this new trend? There’s two ways, investing in the projects working towards the vision, or better yet, becoming one of these creators. Let’s start with the projects. Two projects I’m watching right now that are building out a true “Creator’s Economy” is RTFKT and Sandbox. RTFKT with future customization of their CloneX, and Sandbox with the ability to create assets in a voxel editor. With RTFKT, they’ll be releasing 3D models of their avatar collection CloneX in the next couple of weeks. Once they release this they will allow holders to start using widely available 3D modeling tools like Unity and Blender to create clothing for their avatars. By the end of the year these clothes will not only be tradable on their marketplace with a new custom token (preliminarily called $DRIP), but some of them will actually be foregable. In RTFKT term “forging” is the act of turning a digital asset into a physical item. By leveraging Nike manufacturing powers, RTFKT will allow holders to actually turn some digital items into real life wearables. You want to get a holder connected to their PFP? How about you allow them to custom design its clothing and then allow them to actually WEAR the clothing too. I don’t see that NFT being sold anytime soon.
On the Sandbox side, the project is allowing holders to create different assets for their lands in a voxel editor. By using open source voxel software, land holders are able to create different artifacts and characters that they can then place in their land or even sell in a marketplace. This will allow a full economy in game for holder creations. Do you think if a land holder creates a whole world from scratch they’ll be looking to paper hand the project anytime soon?
Here’s the rub though- I don’t think the opportunity here is investing in these projects. Nope. I actually think the opportunity here is BUILDING in these projects. This Creator Economy is going to be a multi billion dollar industry. The metaverse will be powered by these custom assets. How do you get ahead of this industry so you can capitalize when it becomes fully realized? You learn the skills necessary to create desirable digital assets NOW. All the skills necessary to make tons of money in this new economy is free to learn and widely available. I’d highly recommend checking out Unity, Blender, and Unreal Engine. The people who learn these skills and start building desirable assets now, will be a thousand steps ahead of the game when these digital economies launch. There will be a Gucci of the metaverse. There will be an Adidas, a Louis Vuitton, a Canada Goose. They will all be created by people who learn these skills then produce assets people want to wear and use. Getting ahead of this trend will allow you to profit big time when people start putting money into these assets. BUILDING in a bear market is actually learning skills and using them, not posting on Twitter engagement farming tweets like “which project’s floor should I sweep next??”.
While these trait marketplaces are getting mixed receptions by the Web 3 community, they are still very important. They are the next logical step for static PFP’s. The Creator’s Economy is a mix of this trend and many other trends in Web 3 right now. Staking, defi, customization, custom marketplaces. These are all trends many projects are actively implementing in their ecosystems. The Creator’s Economy grabs a little bit of each of these and combines them in a fully realized vision. If you apply yourself right now you can pick up the skills you need to make big noise in this space. This is what Web 3 is about, opportunity for everyone and not just a select few.
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