I Cracked & Bought A Stable Of Horses

Here is the TL;DR on why I cracked:

I have been a big fan of what the NFT, ETH-backed ZED RUN team has been doing for a long time, and when the last drop sold out in minutes, FOMO doesn’t do my feelings justice.

Here are some more reasons why they are market makers in this space:

  • Drop Culture: They expertly leverage the present phenomenon. Keeping an eye on, Content Seasons, as seen in popular free-to-play battle royals (with explosive in-game “cosmetic” purchases) as the next wave?
  • Play 2 Earn: Play to earn is the future, earn to play is the past (earn money to spend it on “playing” is no longer justifiable)
  • Web3: Web2 = buy things online; Web3 = buy online things
  • Gamification <> Commoditizing Simplification: Gamification meets commoditizing simplification (sell complex things, in a simple, engaging and “gamey” package)
  • ETH is King: Ethereum trading volumes, use-cases, and more continue to outshine peers

My Stable of (hopeful) winners

My Stable

Stable Name: Championship Stables

Horse 1: Meet Gladly (I did not get to pick the name)

Horse 2: Meet PurpleNurple (Again, I did not get to pick the name)

Here is why I wanted to try it

Drop Culture

Limited editions. Teaser campaigns. Hype.

Limited drops create a sense of urgency and scarcity that leave customers craving more. The result: merchandise flies off shelves.

“Drops” are special release products that are either scarce in quantity (due to intentionally limited production) or scarce in availability (due to a limited-time purchase window). Often they won’t be restocked, either.

The rise of drop culture — while not an entirely new concept — has recently gained momentum and capsized traditional production cycles.

Coming Soon: Content Season

Known well in gaming circles, Battle Passes or Premium Passes (non-Battle Royals) allow players the opportunity to earn, buy and unlock content limited to that Season. This is like a Drop, but exponentially more profitable. A great deep dive on the mechanics linked above (or click here)

Play 2 Earn

Play-to-earn games are becoming popular offerings in the blockchain gaming industry because they enable gamers to own the in-game assets they purchase. The assets are minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and can often be traded on platforms outside the game’s universe. Blockchain gaming companies raised $476M in the first half of 2021 (Venture Beat).

Want to find a game (or really any dapp) to play? → https://dappradar.com/

Web3

Web2 refers to the version of the internet most of us know today. An internet dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your personal data. Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized apps (dapps) that run on the blockchain. These are apps that allow anyone to participate without monetizing their personal data.

Many Web3 developers have chosen to build dapps because of Ethereum’s inherent decentralization:

  • Anyone who is on the network has permission to use the service — or in other words, permission isn’t required.
  • No one can block you or deny you access to the service.
  • Payments are built in via the native token, ether (ETH).
  • Ethereum is turing-complete, meaning you can pretty much program anything.
Web2 vs. Web3

Gamification <> Commoditizing Simplification

A perfect example, is the OG of the NFT space, CryptoKitties

Cryptopedia Feature

Launched in 2017 by Axiom Zen, CryptoKitties is an Ethereum-based game that allows you to buy, sell, and breed collectible digital cats, and was an early and highly publicized example of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) technology in action. CryptoKitties was designed to introduce new users to blockchain technology in an accessible and gamified way akin to card-based trading games like baseball cards. Simply put, CryptoKitties made buying NFTs less scary, and accessible to all.

ETH Is King …. for 5 reasons

1) Smart Contract Capability

Ethereum was built as a platform to run programmatic smart contracts and applications via its own currency — ether.

Real-world use cases are already beginning to emerge and sustain value, as the Ethereum blockchain can execute smart contracts that power dapps like decentralized finance (DeFi) or NFTs

2) A New Type of Connectivity

We can think of Ethereum as an infrastructure, one with the potential to revolutionize both finance and technology.

DeFi is potentially recreating the entire financial system. Ethereum-based applications are likely to impact markets, governance, public services, and perhaps even how identity is managed. In the future, we may use the Ethereum platform to change the way mortgage transfers, securities trading and many other fields work.

What’s more, this will happen on a network that can reach anyone, anywhere, who can connect to a public network.

3) PoW vs. PoS

The proof-of-stake model, transaction validators will replace miners. There will no longer be cryptographic challenges to solve. Validators will be required to own ether, and in order to validate a block, they will be required to put their ether stake on the line to certify that a block is valid. This way, if there is malicious behavior, their stake is at risk.

4) Speed & Scale

Part of the ETH 2.0 upgrade, called the Beacon chain, employs shardchains, which are smaller groups of nodes that process their own portions of transactions in parallel, without needing to achieve a consensus across the entire network. This is meant to improve Ethereum’s scalability and vastly increase its throughput rate. It is expected that the Ethereum 2.0 throughput rate will be able to reach 15,000 transactions per second, allowing Ethereum to match any centralized payment system in transaction processing speed.

5) Disinflationary Supply

Bitcoin has a finite supply of 21 million coins, which is why it is often regarded as a store of value and an investment against inflation. Contrary to bitcoin, Ethereum offers an unlimited number of ether but does cap the amount released each year via the mining process. This removes the perceived scarcity that may be a factor in bitcoin’s higher valuation. Ether’s supply increases according to a disinflationary mechanism that will continue to be adjusted as the network matures.

So what is ZED.RUN?

When I said a stable of horses, I didn’t mean legitimate horses, I meant horses from Zed.Run, built by the Australia-based Virtually Human Studio, which consists of what creators refer to as “breathing NFTs,” non-fungible tokens that actually take on a life of their own. NFTs, for those unaware, are units of data stored on a blockchain digital ledger. Each non-fungible token acts as a certificate of authenticity, showing that a digital asset is unique and not interchangeable (think digital collectibles, unique and immutable).

How to cop a horse

You need to first set up your own Stable to support the purchasing and holding of the horses.

ETH and a digital wallet are needed to purchase horses on Zed. The horses are ERC-721 NFTs, a token standard used for most NFTs to make the tokens unique. Zed Run uses Meta Mask, a company that uses a cryptocurrency wallet to interact with the Ethereum blockchain.

Types of purchases:

Limited-Time Only Drops

If you want to start from scratch, try to mint your own by participating in the next drop (join their Discord for updates). Be mindful of gas prices and the inherent risks involved in minting — there is no guarantee you’ll actually end up with a ZED. Also, timing is essential: The last drop (March 19th, 2021) sold out of all 500 racehorses in less than 3 hours, with the most prestigious breed — the Z1 — all purchased in less than a minute…

Latest Drop Sold Out

OpenSea Aftermarket

If minting sounds too stressful for you, simply head over to OpenSea and pick a ZED of your choice. At an average price of currently 0.372 ETH, that’s a pretty low-cost way of entering the game.

What horse can I buy?

Like real-life racehorses, ZED have different traits that define their purity, rarity, performance, and ultimately value.

There will be a total of 6 breeds: Genesis, Legendary, Exclusive, Cross, and Pacer. The first generation is Genesis, and a total of only 38,000 will ever be released.

Then, four bloodlines (Nakamoto, Szabo, Finny, Buterin) allow for a total of 28 possible breeding outcomes.

Also, there is the genotype, denoting how far any given offspring is away from its ancestors. Within the Genesis breed, genotype levels are Z1 to Z10, with the lowest number indicating the closest relationship and therefore the highest value.

Lastly, don’t downplay Coat Color rarity, as it does drive the value of your ZED.

For example, take a look at New York Islander from OpenSea:

New York Islander

How do you earn and play?

Three ways to earn and play: Racing, Breeding, and good ol’ fashion appreciation (both the value of the NFT, and the ETH behind it)

Racing

Racing Dashboard

Anyone can participate, and while participant numbers in the individual races seem pretty low still, there were tons of races to pick from, with 1,476 users online at the time of this writing.

Race outcomes are based on the combination of relevant traits (properties) of individual ZED racehorses. All races are based on blockchain-based algorithms and smart contracts, making the process as transparent and fair as possible.

You can race for free or pay-to-enter for winnings.

Breeding

Whether you mint or purchase, there is no limit to how many ZED you can own. Your total ownership is known as your stable. And again, just like in real-life horse stables, you can increase your ownership by breeding.

You need at least one male or female, and there’s a limit to how many foals can be bred per month: A female ZED can produce 2 foals and a male ZED can sire 7 offspring per month. Also, there’s a fee associated with breeding, the bulk of which goes to the male ZED, making ownership of a high-priced stallion a potentially very lucrative business.

ZED Breeding FAQ

Appreciation

Let’s use New York Islander again, as you can see value can be created from either selling the horse for more ETH than purchased or by simply holding on to the appreciating asset, for example, the 0.079 ETH might be worth x today but then x+0.5% tomorrow.

New York Islander (OpenSea)

Thanks for reading!

Lucas

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