One of the most powerful qualities of blockchain technology is that it allows for absolute ownership of a virtual good. A crypto token on a blockchain can’t be moved, traded, or divided without access to its private key, making it an ideal solution for creating virtual money. But not all crypto tokens need to represent cold, hard cash. As the groundbreaking Ethereum network game CryptoKitties proved in 2017, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can also be used to create and trade virtual collectables.
Today, there is a lot of experimentation with the concept of collectible NFTs. When combined with a distributed application (DApp), these crypto collectables can become tiny, self-sustaining ecosystems within their respective blockchains. For the most part, they come across as strange little coding projects with little real-world utility. And that’s half the fun, isn’t it?
In this post, we take a look at the nine most popular blockchain-based DApps for digital collectables ranked by DappRadar.
1. Clovers Network: Boil down the idea of crypto collectables to its most essential elements, and the result would be something very close to Clovers Network. The idea is to generate a unique icon (random dots in a circle) using your browser, find “rare” symmetrical ones, and then sell them to other collectors for ETH. It’s more a proof of concept than anything else — think “QR Code Generator: The DApp” — but it clearly has some appeal to minimalism-loving digital art collectors.
2. CryptoFlowers: If you’ve ever wanted to unleash your inner Gregor Mendel, breeding virtual plants to create unique combinations of traits, CryptoFlowers may be just the DApp you’ve been looking for. Based on the TRON blockchain, CryptoFlowers allows users to breed virtual flowers to their hearts’ content, and then display them via augmented reality (AR) and social media. And, of course, users can trade and sell them using the DApp’s Flower Expo.
3. CryptoPunks: Have you ever wanted to collect, buy, and trade randomly generated 8-bit style characters? Are you willing to pay 1.95 ETH ($370) to have exclusive, blockchain-verifiable ownership of an ERC-721 token represented by a mocha-skinned redhead wearing sunglasses? If so, CryptoPunks is the digital art project for you.
4. Crypto-Cards: What if individual cryptocurrencies were more like collectable trading cards? That’s the idea behind Crypto-Cards, where users can buy 8-packs of virtual trading cards representing individual cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, and so on — and then trade or sell them to create a complete set. Each card is serialized as an ERC-721 token, and there’s also a 1-in-12 chance of getting a rare “Legendary” version of each card. The team is even working on a print-on-demand option that will allow you to turn your virtual cryptocurrency trading cards into real ones.
5. CryptoAtoms: Why own virtual flowers, video-game characters, or trading cards when you can own virtual versions of the fundamental particles of creation itself? That’s the idea behind CryptoAtoms, where users collect, trade, and sell virtual Atoms. (Confusingly, these Atoms are made up of virtual DNA strings, but it’s a DApp so you just have to roll with the logic.) The result is a connect-the-dots kind of collectible icon that can be combined with others to create new and unique Atoms.