In the last year, NFTs have gone from a relatively unknown asset class primarily used by blockchain games and a handful of early digital artists to a full-fledged disruptive innovation leveraged for a huge range of novel applications.
With NFT trading volume skyrocketing, more well-known names and brands launching their own NFT-enabled projects and collections and interest in NFT use cases and platforms reaching record highs, few could argue that NFTs aren’t causing quite the stir.
But for those that don’t yet understand the hype or aren’t sure where to start in the fast-paced and oftentimes wacky world of NFTs, we’re breaking the NFT industry down into 26 bite-size chunks with the A to Z of NFTs!
Here, we will detail 26 popular projects building in the NFT space, each of which has its own token, giving you the foundations you need before exploring the sprawling NFT landscape further.
A is for Axie Infinity
Widely regarded as the first major player in the play-to-earn (P2E) genre, Axie Infinity is a massively popular NFT breeding and battle game that was initially built on the Ethereum blockchain, but recently migrated to a custom-built Ronin sidechain.
It was the first blockchain game to reach a multi-billion dollar market capitalization. It is also the first NFT game to clock in more than $1 billion in sales for in-game assets. Check out our full deep dive to learn more about Axie Infinity.
B is for Binemon
Binemon is a massively popular NFT game built on the Binance Smart Chain blockchain.
The game is centered around unique digital pets known as Binemon, with varying combinations of 10 body parts with different desirability, stats and rarity. These pets can be used to participate in various game modes to earn rewards, experience points and more.
As of writing, the game has a staggering 169,000+ players, and close to half a million Binemon now exist.
Billed as a relational blockchain platform, Chromia is designed to make it easy to build highly secure and scalable decentralized applications (DApps).
The platform can be used to build practically any kind of DApp, but is most commonly used for NFT-enabled games like My Neighbor Alice and Chain of Alliance.
The platform combines the security and decentralized resilience of blockchain with relational databases to produce a powerful, easy to build on, highly scalable infrastructure that can support even the most ambitious projects.
D is for Decentraland
Decentraland was one of the first blockchain games to demonstrate the potential of NFTs and cryptocurrency-powered in-game economies.
The game is a sprawling virtual world divided into individual player-owned parcels of land. On these parcels, players can build their own experiences and services using the platform’s free-to-use builder tools, making it easy to monetize and make use of their plots.
Decentraland can also be accessed in VR — making for one of the more immersive blockchain gaming experiences.
DuckDAO also deserves an honorable mention for the D section. Besides having its own NFT game (known as DUCK DAO Hunters), it has also helped launch a wide variety of NFT projects — including Wanaka Farm, Mist, Monsta Infinite and Hodooi.
E is for Enjin
Enjin is widely known as one of the most capable platforms for building NFT-enabled products, whether that be games, art collections, digital experiences or anything else.
The platform provides all the solutions needed to launch NFT-enabled projects, including powerful creation tools, a marketplace and wallet, as well as distribution capabilities.
Enjin currently powers a huge range of NFT projects and is trusted by dozens of major players in the blockchain — some of the most prominent projects include Binance Collectibles, Microsoft's Azure Heroes, Ether Legends and more. We even partnered with Enjin for our “RIP 2020” NFTs which were given away to 500 winners earlier this year.
Ethernity is another prominent name well-deserving of the E slot. Launched in 2021, Ethernity is one of the more recent NFT projects but has quickly grown to become a force to be reckoned with.
The platform allows artists and creators to easily launch their limited edition authenticated NFTs (aNFTs) collections. Players are able to bid on these aNFTs with the Ethernity token (ERN) and part of the revenue this generates is donated to charity. For more on Ethernity, click here for our tech deep dive!
F is for Flow
Built by Dapper Labs, the behemoth development firm behind the ever-popular CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, Flow is a powerful platform for creating and launching mainstream games and applications.
Flow provides the tools and services developers need to build highly scalable, intuitive decentralized applications that can rival current centralized offerings. It is widely regarded as one of the most capable platforms for NFT-enabled games since it's incredibly easy to build on and accessible to even those with limited experience with blockchain technology.
G is for GameZone
GameZone is a new platform designed to make blockchain games as accessible as possible while providing a launchpad for new gaming projects. The platform allows stakers of its native token, known as GZONE, to access initial NFT offerings (INOs) and initial game offerings (IGOs) for blockchain game NFTs and assets respectively. It also offers incubation services for blockchain-enabled games to help them develop sustainable tokenomics, grow their player base and more.
GameZone was created by BlueZilla, the same team behind the popular BSCPad and ADAPad project launchpads.
H is for Hic et Nunc
Hit et Nunc (Latin for "here and now") is a rapidly growing NFT marketplace that is built to empower creators by providing a permissionless NFT creation and trading solution.
The platform is one of the first major NFT projects building in the Tezos ecosystem and offers a decentralized computing environment where users can create and trade static or interactive NFTs known as OBJKTs.
In development since 2020, Hic et Nunc is now one of the more promising NFT projects, and features a huge range of creators and NFT collections.
I is for Illuvium
Illuvium is an open-world RPG centered around alien creatures known as Illuvials, which players can collect, fuse and battle to earn $ILV tokens. Despite being built on the Ethereum blockchain, the platform is set to be one of the first play-to-earn games to eliminate gas fees thanks to its integration with Immutable X.
Illuvium is currently one of the largest NFT-enabled games as far as market capitalization is concerned, and is one of the few blockchain games with genuine AAA-quality graphics.
Want to learn more about Illuvium? Check out our full deep dive!
J is for Juggernaut
Juggernaut is a decentralized exchange platform and DeFi product suite built for NFTs.
It's designed to help blend NFTs with the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem through a decentralized marketplace where users can browse their favorite collections and buy/sell NFTs.
Besides the aforementioned NFT exchange, the Juggernaut ecosystem consists of two additional components. These are Diamond JGN (a membership program for JGN token holders and supporters, and JuggerDRAW (a mini-game that allows users to win NFTs).
K is for K21
K21 is a new protocol for digital art, as well as an NFT vault that will eventually contain a unique collection of 21 digital artworks curated by an experienced team of art connoisseurs.
As of writing, a total of 18 pieces have already been collected for the K21 art vault: these include works dating back as far as 1985 from a variety of well-known artists.
The K21 token represents partial ownership of the artwork collection and entitles holders to a share of the proceeds if the collection is ever bought out.
L is for LUKSO
LUKSO is a blockchain built to power the next generation of digital products. It's an EVM-based platform that aims to become the first to adopt the Ethereum 2.0 consensus engine to provide a high-throughput environment developers can use to host powerful applications.
The platform is primarily designed to provide infrastructure solutions for physical and digital goods, including a new set of standards and services that help empower the creators, holders and users of digital products.
M is for Monsta Infinite
Monsta Infinite is an upcoming play-to-earn game that is currently being built on Binance Smart Chain.
The game is centered around rare and powerful creatures known as MONSTAs, which are used to participate in battles to earn Stamen Tellus (STT) — the game's digital currency. Players can also clone their MONSTAs and fuse them to produce more powerful variants to help maximize their success in battle.
Each of these MONSTAs is backed by an NFT and is fully tradeable.
The game is currently in development, and its beta version is scheduled to launch in December 2021.
N is for NFTLaunch
NFTLaunch is one of the first launchpads dedicated to NFT projects — such as those building NFT-enabled games, NFT art collections, digital collectibles or anything else that can be represented as an NFT.
On NFTLaunch users are able to stake their NFTL tokens to participate in NFT decentralized offerings (NDOs) — allowing them to get early access to sought-after NFT mints.
The platform features deflationary tokenomics, with a 12% fee applied to all NFTL sell transactions. Out of this, 5% is used to purchase NFTs that are randomly airdropped to its users, 4% is redistributed to stakers in ETH, 2% is used for token buybacks/burns and the remaining 1% is allocated to charitable causes.
O is for Origin Protocol
Origin Protocol provides a range of products designed to help make NFTs and DeFi more accessible.
Chief among these is its powerful NFT launchpad, which can be integrated into any website to allow firms and creators to host their own NFT sales and manage their own branding. The platform is unique in that it features seamless support for both fiat and crypto payments.
Origin's self-serve NFT launchpad has already been used by prominent names, including 3LAU — which used the product to conduct the largest-ever NFT music sale.
P is for Polkadex
Polkadex is a decentralized orderbook-based exchange platform that aims to make trading cryptocurrencies more accessible, cost-effective and efficient by leveraging the capabilities of Polkadot.
The platform is set to support trustless cross-chain transfers, up to 500,000 transactions per second with minimal fees and decentralized KYC and fiat options to make DEX trading more accessible to retail users.
But more than this, it’s also set to become one of the first DEXs to gamify the trading experience through the use of NFTs.
Q is for QuickSwap
QuickSwap is the most popular DEX on Polygon and an entire ecosystem unto itself. The platform offers a simple to use trading platform for a range of Polygon-based assets, in addition to several pools and farms used to generate a further yield on QuickSwap LP tokens.
It's also one of the first projects on Polygon to dabble with NFTs, and regularly gives away NFTs to its users via its socials. Most recently, it gave away a bunch of NFTs in celebration of its one-year birthday. These currently trade on OpenSea for ~$1,000 a pop.
R is for Rarible
Rarible is one of the longest-standing and most popular NFT marketplaces operating today. The platform allows users to easily mint, sell, buy and collect NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
The platform supports many of today's most popular NFT collections, including MekaVerse, BoredApeYachtClub, MutantCats and hundreds of others, and provides an easy-to-use wallet that makes securely storing NFTs a less daunting task.
The platform has its own native governance token, known as RARI, which is used to submit proposals and vote on changes to the Rarible protocol.
S is for SuperFarm
SuperFarm is a burgeoning NFT ecosystem that combines the benefits of DeFi with the unique qualities of NFTs to provide an outlet for NFT enthusiasts.
The SuperFarm ecosystem is comprised of five major products, these are:
NFT Launchpad: for launching limited edition NFT collections on SuperFarm’s drop platform;
NFT Farm: a yield farm that rewards users with NFTs;
NFT Creator: a tool to simplify the creation of NFTs;
NFT Marketplace: for buying, trading and selling NFTs;
NFT Swap: for performing direct NFT swaps.
For more information on SuperFarm, check out our full deep dive.
T is for TRON
TRON is one of the most powerful smart contract platforms and a diverse ecosystem of projects and services built on a high-speed layer one blockchain.
The platform is designed to provide a suite of tools and protocols that help users better manage their resources while providing the infrastructure for the next generation of DApps.
Though TRON is largely picking up momentum for its DeFi platforms like JustLend, JustSwap and decentralized file-sharing sister project BitTorrent, it’s also rapidly gaining prominence for its NFT projects.
Tpunks is arguably the most popular of these — a collection of 10,000 unique characters (some of which resemble TRON CEO Justin Sun). The most expensive Tpunk recently sold for 120 million TRX (approx $10 million at the time).
U is for Ultra
Billed as a "new era for gamers," Ultra is an entertainment platform that offers a wide variety of gaming-related tools and services to both developers and consumers.
Ultra provides a powerful blockchain and toolkit developers can use to integrate novel features and game mechanics that were previously not possible without blockchain technology. Its SDK can also be used to turn regular in-game assets into blockchain-based NFTs — opening up new revenue streams while allowing players to truly own their assets.
Unisocks also deserves an honorable mention in the U section if for no other reason than its sheer obscurity. The platform offers a bonding curve for NFT-backed socks (known as Unisocks) — only 500 will ever exist and each pair is now worth a whopping $100k+.
V is for Velas
Velas is an AI-powered blockchain that was forked from the Solana code base. The platform is billed as the first AI-optimized blockchain platform and uses “artificial intuition” to automatically adjust its operating parameters to maximize security, speed and efficiency.
As a fork of Solana, Velas inherits all of its capabilities — which means it supports practically any scale of NFT-enabled projects.
And with the recent advent of VelasPad (a Velas-centric launchpad and incubator), the number of NFT projects building on the platform is likely to skyrocket in the coming months. Velas is also offering grants to teams to help bootstrap its NFT ecosystem with an NFT marketplace and minting platform.
W is for WAX
The Worldwide Asset Exchange (WAX) is a blockchain specifically designed for eco-friendly blockchain games and digital collectibles.
Being purpose-built for NFTs, WAX makes it easy for brands to launch their NFT collections. Besides being fast and efficient, it's also certified as carbon neutral — allowing creators and enthusiasts to create, buy and sell NFTs without worrying about any environmental consequences.
WAX technologies have already been used by a huge range of well-known brands, including the likes of Atari, Topps, Capcom, Bratz, Funko and Robotech.
X is for XCAD Network
XCAD Network is a platform that allows YouTube content creators to launch their own creator tokens. Users with the XCAD plugin installed will earn these creators tokens as a reward for watching and interacting with their content.
The platform provides a way for creators to further monetize their platform while allowing fans to better interact with their favorite YouTubers. To help achieve this, the platform allows fans to earn special creator NFTs by staking their creator tokens. These tokens can also be redeemed by merch and other experiences.
Yield Guild Games, or YGG, is a play-to-earn gaming guild and decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that helps players easily gain exposure to a wide range of blockchain gaming asset NFTs.
The platform aims to maximize the value and utility of NFTs used in blockchain games, and helps reduce the barriers to entry for earning a return from blockchain games like Axie Infinity. It features a variety of yield generation options for participants, including the rental and sale of YGG-owned assets — which generates profits shared with the community.
Want to learn more about Yield Guild Games? We’ve covered it in more depth — here.
Z is for Zilliqa
Zilliqa is a high-speed blockchain that leverages a unique sharded architecture to achieve a level of scaling that few competing platforms can rival.
In development since 2017, Zilliqa has grown to become one of the most promising smart contract platforms and is currently host to a wide array of applications — including popular DApps like Unstoppable Domains.
Due to its speed and versatility, Zilliqa has recently begun picking up momentum among NFT projects, including Mintable (which now supports Zilliqa NFTs), and upcoming projects like XCAD Network, DeMons and Heroes of Lowhelm.
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