In 2018 Enjin arrived in the NFT Universe with one big promise: a treasure discovered by solving a complex puzzle.
The clues to this riddle were to be spread across many different projects, all connected under the Enjin umbrella. To achieve this goal and maintain its community over 2018 and 2019 Enjin developed many tools to assist developers and make access to their ecosystem easier:
- Wallet with functions such as token swaps, access to exchange NFTs, the ability to list on their marketplace or even “melt” NFTs and link games to the wallet.
- Documentation and tools required to develop using their platform.
- Developer support system.
- Dedicated marketplace.
- Assistance with promotion.
Since the huge hype around the project launch, especially their ERC-1155 standard plus the many projects that have later developed using their tools, how has the Enjin ecosystem evolved today?
The limits of the Enjin Universe
With its range of tools for developers, project creators and players alike Enjin has been able to arm itself with tools that seem easy to use. Also the catalogue of games present in their ecosystem has grown over time offering greater diversity. However there are a few issues that appear once you start to take a closer look at how the system works.
The first of these restrictions is found within the Enjin Universe itself as all interactions that can be performed in this environment involve the use of their $ENJ token at some point.
To send or melt an Enjin NFT a certain number of $ENJ tokens are required beforehand and the number is determined by the NFT creator. These confinements result in locking the user into a world where they have to invest at some point in $ENJ in addition to covering the costs of the Ethereum network.
In a bid to compensate for these limitations Enjin looked to create an environment that was rich enough in potential for the user to evolve within it. The trump card offered up to achieve this was the interoperability of Enjin objects between different games.
It should be recognized that the community were able to be creative in terms of using their NFTs between platforms, for instance, Kriptomat rewarded its users with dragons that can be used as pets in Lost Relic and a sword from the original Enjin universe can be used in Forest Knight etc.
But even so, unfortunately three major drawbacks are clear that stem from their restrictive structure.
- The inability of external games to be able to interact with Enjin games.
- Growing inequality between early adopters and new users.
- New content evolving slower than the majority of the crypto-gaming world.
However, it should be noted that three games have managed to stand out thanks to the use of the Enjin system: Bitcoin Hodler, The 6 Dragons and Lost Relic. From an achievement reward in the form of an NFT medal to the accumulation of materials sent to your wallet at the end of a dungeon quest, the massive NFT sending system was favored over that of developing an economy with the ERC-20.
Another big project development was setting up an entire Minecraft server to be compatible with the Enjin Universe. Thanks to a plugin, it is possible to create weapons and armour in Minecraft which can then be used in other games in the Multiverse.
Outside of the gaming world, Coingecko was the first to take advantage of this ability to distribute NFTs in promoting their use and adoption. Followed by Binance a few months later who have shown an increasing interest in digital collectibles distribution throughout 2019 and following on with the same logic also, Coinmarketcap for Halloween 2020.
Emancipation of ERC-1155
There was a time when the ERC-1155 was synonymous with Enjin, but can we name many ‘standard’ tokens that are only used by a single entity?
Today mainly due to The Sandbox, Rarible and CryptoVoxels, a divide has been forged between Enjin and the standard they created.
The Sandbox has used it to allow creators to easily make multiple editions of the same object. In addition to giving their users the option to transform their ERC-1155 into ERC-721, The Sandbox launched $SAND in October 2020 which backs the value of their in-game NFTs. Even though it was announced in advance, by not using $ENJ for the game economy, The Sandbox has positioned itself as the first project to “break away” from Enjin.
From another perspective Rarible has shown that its use can benefit Artists with its extremely easy-to-use marketplace. Creating and selling works has never been simpler and even the airdrop of its controversial $RARI has still managed to attract many new users the platform.
That said, it’s still a whole ecosystem that developed around the ERC-1155 including the ERC-721 and the ERC-20.
Both these two projects have in common the fact that they have developed a whole monetary aspect in their own right, allowing them great freedom in regards to their communication and community.
It’s been some time now since the quest for the Enjin Monolith began and there is still little to date to be able to solve it. Although five new games have recently joined this family, it would appear that once again they are only in their developmental stage.
One of Enjin’s goals is to achieve a decentralized economy in a Multiverse that could interact mostly with $ENJ tokens, but with the advent of DeFI and governance tokens, that potential has now opened up to everyone on a much larger scale, embracing the entire NFT ecosystem.
One of the promises that once gave Enjin its strength has since been democratized by DeFI and the ERC-1155 was able to democratize itself thanks in part to The Sandbox and Rarible, two projects outside the Enjin environment.
By focusing too much on his own Universe, Enjin now seems to find itself somewhat isolated with a more limited evolution potential than other Ethereum projects in the space today. Even with the Efinity solution which will ensure free transactions (announced in 2018), other projects have already started to develop their own or will use an already existing sidechain.
If more projects continue to utilise the ERC-1155 standard without going through Enjin they will have access to a world of possibilities as well as a much larger audience. These new audiences may not be so interested in the “proprietary” solution of Enjin, leaving some doubt about the future of the platform.