There are individual virtual worlds you can explore with NFTs; Decentraland, Crypto Voxels, and The Sandbox are just a handful. But what if you could visit a single resource to explore multiple virtual realities and related projects? That’s the goal of the project known as NFT Worlds.
NFT Worlds is described as a “play-to-earn metaverse project” on the Matic/Polygon L2 layer. There are some 10, 000 virtual worlds to explore, and each is compatible with Minecraft. This project allows players to build virtual worlds within the game system.
This project raises some interesting questions along the way, as NFT Worlds being a Minecraft-compatible project has forced some to ask what the regulatory consequences of that might be.
Microsoft owns Minecraft. It has literally millions of players (140 million by one count) and NFT Worlds has been described as “piggybacking” on Minecraft, which lets the project access a massive “playable world” without sinking cash into development of a world from scratch. NFT Worlds allows players to build a world-within-a-world in Minecraft.
This was made possible when Microsoft partnered with a third party to allow NFTs to function within Minecraft, and NFT Worlds offers incentivized game play within Minecraft. You can earn crypto rewards playing the game if you associate a crypto wallet with your account.
The whitepaper for NFT Worlds includes discussion of this project’s claims to be the first “truly decentralized, cross-platform (computers/consoles), community driven & developed play-to-earn gaming metaverse platform”.
So when you purchase a token from this project you purchase the ability to create your own virtual world compatible with Minecraft, which though owned by Microsoft is an open-source ecosystem.
NFT Worlds real estate, simply known as “worlds”, is available for sale on platforms like OpenSea.io. There are 10,000 tokens available, and here’s where some confusion comes in. At press time on OpenSea, there some 700 owners listed. The “floor” for NFT Worlds at press time was 6.2 ETH.
But there’s more. A blurb below the official stats on OpenSea reads:
“90% of NFT Worlds are staked”, with a “true owner count” of 4,700+. That may warn some away from investing in this project out of fear that some kind of scam is running–the anomaly of the “true owner count” being something hard for some to shake as being dodgy.
Is this something for investors to worry about? Or is it just a practice that’s not done on a larger scale but harmless where it does occur?
It’s not the first time an NFT project has done something like this. Billionaire Coyote Cartel ran a similar blurb in discussions of their own NFTs, saying in one “true owner count” update, “The true number of owners is higher than what OpenSea displays, because most coyotes are staked to earn $BCC tokens.”
Whether this serves as a warning to you or not, it’s important to note these issues where they arise. Some investors are far more risk averse than others and anything that seems out of the ordinary in this space may be enough to scare some away from a project until they understand the opportunity better.
If you don’t understand an aspect of an investment you want to make — ANY investment — it’s better to learn more before you pursue the option.
NFT Worlds isn’t the only project that allows players to create their own worlds within Minecraft. One example, Blockverse, is accused of setting up operations for a similar project only to perform a “rug pull” and disappear with over a million USD. This was reported by multiple sources including PC Gamer Magazine, which mentions that after the projects 10,000 NFTs sold out (in eight minutes according to PC Gamer) the Blockverse founders were silent for three days before posting on Twitter that Blockverse was being developed.
But the project featured high gas fees, suffered from limited capacity in-game, and no utility for tokens earned through gameplay. Widely reported as a scam, Blockverse is an example to be mindful of.
Because if enough problematic NFT projects crop up in an open-source environment, how long before keeping such a resource truly open-source turns into a massive liability for Microsoft? And what happens if federal regulators step in to add a layer of regulatory must-haves to prevent scams and fraud in the space?
These are unknowns for many investors, and food for thought. Investing a lot of time and effort to build a virtual world could be ruined or simply compromised in an ecosystem that starts off as an open-source free-for-all but gets regulated down to something different or even entirely new. Is that a possibility with NFT Worlds? Only time will tell.
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.