Now that the RMRK Hackathon is drawing to a close, I have some time to make the case for why RMRK, Kanaria, and Singular together are a strong bet for mass adoption in the new year. I got started with RMRK just over a month ago with my Dalmatian Nation collection. The decision to list my NFTs with Singular has changed my life.
To set the scene a little bit, let's get a few definitions out of the way. Polkadot is the next-generation blockchain pioneered by Gavin Wood, Ethereum co-founder and ceaseless innovator. Its purpose is to allow different blockchains to communicate with each other and transfer value trustlessly. I like to describe Polkadot with a Lord of the Rings analogy: it's the blockchain to rule all blockchains—like Golem's ring, but for crypto. It acts as a technological hub that allows other chains to prosper side by side. These additional blockchains are called para-chains, and they are leased to startups for periods of 6 months of up to 2 years. It's a fascinating concept and has created a lot of excitement in crypto circles as many thousands of individual investors have staked their personal stash of tokens in support of diverse projects that range from data credential innovators kilt.io to 3d metaverse pioneers bit.country in what is called a crowdloan. But there is one permanent chain in the Polkadot ecosystem: that chain is Kusama. It is the alpha chain for Polkadot, so new para-chain hopefuls try out their ideas on Kusama first, while other innovate directly on the Kusama blockchain without having a need to bid for their own para-chain. That brings us to RMRK (pronounced remark), the 'NFT legos.'
What is RMRK?
RMRK was founded by Web3 Foundation alumnus Bruno Skvorc, a blockchain developer and serial inventor from Croatia. His vision for RMRK was to extend the usability and composability of the existing NFT ecosystem and push the boundaries of what is possible. The Singular marketplace is RMRK's answer to OpenSea and has brought together an exceptional group of artists and collectors under the banner of individuality and personal expression. As the Polkadot para-chain landscape evolves and permutates at a dizzying speed, RMRK, Singular, and the Kanaria birds are here to keep us grounded and focused on the mission: which is to build the brave new world of Web 3.0 on equal pillars of community, inspiration, and technology.
Exhibit 1: Kanaria
What is Kanaria? The world's first NFT Launchpad framework began as a proof of concept for the RMRK 2.0 platform, which allows NFTs to 'own' other NFTs. Kanaria birds were first released as eggs, and came in 4 different 'tiers' of Limited, Rare, Founder, and Super Founder. They were offered as a fundraising tool for the RMRK team, and although they didn't all sell out, they came pretty close, and at this point we can safely say it was a resounding success. At initial prices of 100 KSM for the Founder eggs, 20 KSM for Rare, and 2 KSM for Limited Edition eggs, the funds that were raised from this sale figured out roughly at a minimum of 40,000 KSM (KSM is the native token of the kusama blockchain) - and at today's market rates that adds up to about 15 million dollars. The original owners of these Kanaria birds were 'fairdropped' RMRK tokens when those were launched, which just adds to the fact that getting in on the Kanaria sale, in hindsight, was one of the biggest crypto plays in recent memory. But even now, it can be hard to explain to someone why NFTs are such a big thing. To me the entire story of RMRK, Kanaria, and Singular is emblematic of exactly why the evolution of NFTs is and will continue to be a generation-defining event. It's like the birth of the internet all over again. Kanarias will have an important part to play in the metaverse that RMRK is getting ready to launch next year.
TL;DR: With the rapid rise of RMRK, Singular, and the Polkadot para-chain ecosystem, we are witnessing a major cultural, technological, and financial watershed.
The importance of the next 12 months cannot be overstated. If you are not at least a little bit excited, you are not paying attention. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in this space, which I will cover in just a moment. But for now, let's talk about what the future holds.
Exhibit 2: The Road Map
RMRK is already ahead of their competitors with the RMRK 2.0 platform, which allows for composable NFTs—like their Kanaria birds—which are capable of owning other NFTs, which then allows for further nesting (forgive the pun) of yet more NFTs in a way that is unprecedented. No one else can claim this kind of feature set. Kanaria birds come with up to 5 'slots' for gems, along with 5 more levels of accessory (2 wings, head, chest, and foreground) as well as a slot for the background. And, at least in theory, any NFT that is equipped in any of these places itself could be made of other NFTs, although in practice at the moment I don't see that be the case—yet. The launch of RMRK 2.0, which will bring the Kanaria feature-set to the existing creator hub of Singular, will probably happen before the end of the year. And that release, in turn, will transform the entire Singular ecosystem from a niche OpenSea competitor to an unparalleled pioneer in the Web 3.0 space. In the new year RMRK will be leading the way as a bridge between the existing red-hot zeitgeist of 'dumb' NFT trading and the next elephant in the room: the metaverse.
Much of the allure of RMRK's commitment to cutting-edge innovation comes from laying the groundwork for future creators to take advantage of. The possibilities that can come from this combination of NFT flexibility and blockchain inter-operability are stunning. Many exciting new projects are already underway that involve bridging assets from RMRK and kusama onto other para-chains. But RMRK also has a bold plan for the future of their own platform which involves creating a world where the resources for minting new NFTs will be farmed in-game by staking Kanaria birds. Kanaria NFTs will not only serve as a gateway to the RMRK metaverse, but will also offer important in-game rewards. Not all of the details have been released yet, but one thing is for sure: the RMRK token will play a pivotal role in this deflationary ecosystem—where creators will pay a small fee in RMRK tokens to mint new assets, while players and collectors will pay with RMRK to rent or buy space in the metaverse.
Exhibit #3: Investment
It's no secret that the ascendance of crypto in recent years has made a small number of people very rich. Anyone who was smart enough to make the right bets with $10,000 on coins like Ethereum or Bitcoin just a few years ago could easily be a millionaire by now. The trick is figuring out which coin is the next Ethereum. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a few of the easiest bets right now for strong growth in the next year are: $KSM, $DOT, $MOVR, $RMRK, and $KILT. But beyond the idea of financial rewards, I think it is important to look at the future in a slightly different way: what if money is not enough? What else do we need to be happy? What other kind of investments can we make?
I love what the future looks like because early movers like RMRK and Polkadot are building a new technological ecosystem with decentralization as one of its core precepts. This could allow for the evolution of the metaverse—in general, as a concept, and specifically with regard to the world that RMRK is building as you read this—as the font of community and connection that the world desperately needs right now. Every user that logs off of Facebook and Youtube and puts down their XBox controller and instead engages with this new digital ecosystem in whatever way makes sense to them—as creator, spectator, gamer, or investor—will be rewarded with the ability to make a real difference in how it evolves. That to me, is the chance of a lifetime.
Don't be the person that wishes they had made a move.
Be the person that finds a way.
Sunrise photo by Mohamed Nohassi.