NFT Gaming: Parallel
In the second half of 2021 the NFT scene exploded, driving more than $20 billion in trading volume across all marketplaces. The momentum of 2021 has continued into the new year with users trading $5b of NFTs on OpenSea in January alone, a new record. The primary driver of these trading volumes are ‘Profile Picture’ projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club where the NFT is largely used as an online avatar. Holders of these high profile NFTs enjoy the digital status and reputation that comes with owning a luxury good. In many cases, it also gives them perceived reputation and credibility. There are other benefits such as token or NFT airdrops, like the March 17 ApeCoin airdrop, that give the owner the potential for future revenue streams.
While Profile Picture projects will likely continue to be a relevant and potentially lucrative investment, there are several other exciting use cases for NFTs that are being explored. In particular, I’ve been following and investing in a new trading card game (TCG) project called Parallel. In 1993, Magic: The Gathering, pioneered the idea of using cards to represent playable, in-game objects. The TCG model was an instant success and would be quickly expanded on by franchises like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Parallel has taken the TCG concept to new heights by replacing physical cards with NFTs. Holding a Parallel NFT in your Ethereum wallet will grant the user the ability to use it while playing the virtual game (currently in development). Players will buy and trade cards to construct a deck with the purpose of competing head-to-head in a game that takes between 15–20 minutes. As a player accrues played matches, they will earn a ranking and compete against players of similar acclaim.
Parallel is also innovating an exciting Win-to-Earn game economy where the winner of a ranked match receives a variable amount of $PRIME tokens. Holders of $PRIME will have a multitude of options that include card upgrades, in-game cosmetics, redemption of physical cards, merchandise and other NFTs. In addition, cryptocurrency marketplaces will be seeded with $PRIME so that holders may seamlessly convert their $PRIME to other preferred cryptocurrencies such as $ETH. Depending on the value of $PRIME and the success of a player, it’s reasonable to expect individuals could earn substantial wages by playing the game.
The Parallel founding team’s vision doesn’t stop at developing a single-game economy, they’re creating an entire platform and governance structure for Web3 gaming. In their highly anticipated “Prime Proposal”, the Parallel team announced the creation of Echelon Prime Foundation, a DAO in charge of $PRIME distribution and platform governance. The Parallel Trading Card Game is essentially the first member of the Echelon ecosystem.
Leading up to the Prime Proposal, the Parallel development team had been releasing teasers of exciting Web3 gaming infrastructure. With the introduction of Echelon, this infrastructure will be made available to other game developers looking to launch into an established ecosystem. In addition to the immediate marketing benefits that come with an existing consumer base, developers will be able to focus more on game development and less on organizational components.
An example of this infrastructure is a product called Inb0x. This simple Ethereum wallet messaging system allows users to securely communicate using their MetaMask wallet. Inb0x functions similarly to popular messaging applications but doesn’t require personal information. It also lets the user challenge friends to a game and then launch the game directly from Inb0x. This social hub is truly unique, as it will be a launchpad for friends to combine community and gaming into the same experience.
Investing in Parallel NFTs
*None of this is financial advise, make sure to do your own research and understand the risks associated with NFTs
Similar to traditional card games, Parallel NFTs can be purchased on secondary marketplaces like OpenSea, acquired by opening packs, or by trading with friends. The cards that exist now are expensive, by most standards, and are being billed as collector items for early stage investors. However, these collectables quickly become a more interesting investment if you understand their importance for claiming $PRIME rewards.
The currently unreleased $PRIME token will have a fixed supply of 111,111,111.111 with about 20% of the supply given directly to the community and the remainder going to ecosystem token reserves, early investors and founders. At this stage of the project, individuals are looking to accumulate “Parasets”, a group or collection of Parallel NFTs. Owning and staking a Paraset will be the method for players to claim a share of the 20% community allocation at a later date.
Echelon Foundation (the group in charge of distributing $PRIME) has been publishing proposals for their distribution plans, expected to start some time this year. As the community learns more about the distribution method and timing, collecting these NFTs becomes a fairly simple math exercise:
Investment Profit = (($PRIME received * expected $PRIME price) - Cost of NFT acquisition) + Expected Market Value of NFTs)
In conclusion, the Parallel development team has shown an impressive blend of strategic thinking and execution. From the formulation of Echelon Foundation to the detailed art on each card, Parallel has consistently produced high quality content while scaling their operation.
Since it’s launch in Spring 2021, Parallel investors have traded 64k ETH or $192M worth of these NFTs on OpenSea. As it stands today, Parallel is the 18th all-time NFT project by volume in OpenSea’s history. When combining Parallel’s ability to deliver with potential for incredible user growth, this project is on pace to change the future of blockchain based gaming.