Digital Collectibles Are Being Used Like Money

It's a glimpse of how we'll be able to use our assets in the future


The cute digital cats that brought the Ethereum network to its knees at the height of the 2017 bubble are now being used as money to buy another type of crazy digital creature.

More concretely, CheezeWizard #5221 sold for 30 Wrapped CryptoKitties, or WCK, on Wednesday. Beyond the whimsical names and characters, there’s another level of weirdness to this.; it’s one of the few cases (if not the first one) where a non-fungible token was used to buy another non-fungible token.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

First thing to get straight is that a non-fungible token (NFT) is a digital asset that’s made to be unique and not interchangeable. 1 ETH equals 1 ETH, while Cheeze Wizard #5221 is different from every other Cheeze Wizard out there because of how their code is written. NFTs fall under a token standard called ERC721. Second thing is that wrapped tokens usually refer to tokens that have been made to conform with the most common token standard, ERC20, so they can trade with other coins.

Recently developers decided to wrap CryptoKitties, which are NFT tokens, and turn them into ERC20 tokens so they can behave like money. In 24 hours, almost 2,000 CryptoKitties were wrapped to make WCK tokens, tweeted a developer.

People can trade their CryptoKitties in exchange for an equal amount of WCK (10 CryptoKitties will give you 10 WCK tokens and the market will price them), or buy WCK in an exchange. WCK can then be used like any other digital currency, including to buy NFTs like Cheeze Wizards (which was developed by Dapper Labs, the same company that created CryptoKitties).

More sophisticated financial assets like loans and derivatives based on CryptoKitties and other NFTs are just around the corner. Like Joey Krug said, '“next thing you know people are gonna be trading kitty default swaps.”

This transaction also gives us a peak into a truly wild future where we’ll be able to seamlessly trade our non-fungible assets. Today, it’s things like CryptoKitties and Cheeze Wizards, but in the future it could be things like property and art.


Google Wants Devs to Build Ethereum Oracles Using Its Data

The tech giant described how to build oracles for Ethereum by using BigQuery, its cloud-based data warehouse, and Chainlink, which connects real-world data to smart contracts, in a blog post Thursday.

So What? Oracles in the context of crypto are agents that find and verify real-world data and submit it to smart contracts, which will act based on that information ( to pay a derivative when the price goes over or under a certain thresh hold, a reliable pricing source is needed, for example.) A Google cloud-based oracle can be a way for decentralized applications to get trustworthy data.

Decentralized Asset Management Tip-Toes In

Eighty-four funds have started operating on the Melon protocol since the platform launched on March 1, according to their Q2 update. Assets under management have steadily climbed to around $40,000, according to data compiled by Defi Pulse. Melon, founded by former Goldman Sachs VP Mona El Isa, is one of the few decentralized platforms that allow users to create, manage and invest in crypto funds.

So What? Decentralized asset management has been slower to take off than lending and trading in the DeFi space, and these are the first green shoots. One reason for the slow uptake could be there was just not a lot of appetite for launching crypto funds as most cryptos lost 80%-90% of their value. Another is probably concerns about regulatory risk. The DAO was the first project to try decentralized fund management and nobody needs reminding that it prompted a slap on the wrist from the SEC.