Dr. Seuss and Decentralization


Dapper Labs the creator of CryptoKitties is bringing Dr. Seuss collectibles to the digital world using blockchain technology. Anyone will be able to buy packs of Dr. Seuss digital collectibles, featuring characters from The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, and other famous works by Seuss. Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated more than 60 books and many remain top sellers long after his death in 1991. His projects have been adapted into feature films, cartoon series, stage shows and now they are being adapted for blockchain. This blockchain adaptation, brings fans closer with iconic and popular characters they love and lets them connect and engage with each other in meaningful ways. Fans will compete to collect limited edition items from the Dr. Seuss World in surprise drops, using them to complete sets that unlock new and hidden exclusive content. The creation of Bitcoin introduced the concept of trustless, digital scarcity. Crypto collectibles, also often referred to as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), expand on this idea. Non-fungible tokens could easily grow into a multi-trillion-dollar market, and collectibles will likely grow significantly as NFTs enter the mainstream.

Ilias Louis Hatzis is the Founder and CEO at Mercato Blockchain AG.

In the world of money, fungibility means that a currency’s individual units are interchangeable and essentially indistinguishable from each other. Fiat currencies are fungible, because each unit is interchangeable with any other equivalent individual unit.

When you think of a non-fungible token, imagine creating a Bitcoin with a unique identifier.

A non-fungible token is a type of cryptographic token that represents a unique asset. Unlike cryptocurrencies, where all tokens are created equally, non-fungible tokens are each unique and limited in quantity. They can be entirely digital or tokenized versions of real-world assets. As NFTs are not interchangeable with each other, they may function as proof of authenticity and ownership within the digital realm. In 2020, digital collectibles are by far the most established use case for non-fungible tokens.

People like to collect everything, from art and sports memorabilia, to stamps, music, books and classic cars.  The estimated size of the global collectibles market is $370 billion.

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Image by Christian Braun via hobbyDB

Crypto-collectibles are just one part of a larger trend which is seeing physical assets moving to digital representation. Digital collectibles are the first versions of unique digital assets that can truly hold value. The possibilities are literally endless and they will take an ever increasing role in our daily lives.

Who hasn’t heard of CryptoKitties, that swept the crypto world with a wave of cute, cuddly pop culture. CryptoKitties is a game in which users can purchase, collect, breed, and sell virtual cats. Each cat on CryptoKitties is unique and represented through an ERC-721 token. When it first came out, in November 2017, many claimed that the app was little more than an overhyped development in the dApp space, but three years later, it’s still going strong, recently adding Dr. Seuss to its arsenal of digital collectibles. Dapper Labs has already partnered with NBA and NBPA as well as the UFC, Warner Music, Ubisoft, and Animoca.


BitPainting is another example of a crypto collectible platform. BitPainting allows users to buy and sell famous paintings using blockchain.  These famous paintings exist in the form of digital collectibles. To be exact, this isn’t a marketplace where you can use Bitcoin to buy a Picasso. The physical works are held by museums and are not available for sale, but using blockchain people can collect and trade virtual versions of these iconic works. An app like BitPainting could eventually evolve to track physical works of art, or even track the transition of digital masterpieces to physical formats.

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Gaming is a huge market that only going to get bigger. Over the years its has exploded and is expected to reach $138 billion in 2021. When we think of the freemium business model, the way many games make money, then digital collectibles fit like a glove. In-app purchases (IAPs) happen when the user already uses an app or game and decides to improve their experience by spending money. Just like digital collectibles, IAPs are assets that hold value within digital environments, have some kind of utility and are tradable. NFTs tokens offer an exciting new opportunity in online gaming, allowing users to truly own the assets they create, earn, and purchase. IAPs in the future will be held on blockchain.

But NFTs, will create value for industries like art, sports, real estate, ticketing, supply chain and credential verification. There are projects already trying to solve issues in music licensing, creating a direct channel for up coming artists and at the same time dealing with the realities of piracy and streaming platforms. Imagine opening up your news app in the morning and seeing nothing but verified stories, with fake news already removed by a blockchain-based network. Redpen and Pressland are working to build non-fungible tokens, to support news organizations, independent media and freelance journalists. Art platforms like Artory are working to connect NFTs with physical art assets. Trading card giant Topps is now offering crypto collectibles. Nike made headlines last year, when it was awarded a patent for NFT -based footwear.

In 2018, OpenLaw announced an initiative with ConsenSys that proposed using ERC-721 tokens to carry out transfers of houses, land and other tokenized properties. AlphaWallet created a smart contract using the ERC-875 standard (also designed for non-fungible tokens) and sold 2018 World Cup tickets by working directly with FIFA. OpenSea used ERC-721 tokens for issuing tickets to the 2018 and 2019 NFT.NYC conferences.

To find more than 80 projects experimenting with NFTs, have a look at: NonfungibleAlliance.org.

NFTs could unlock new revenue streams in gaming, sports, the arts, and technology and introduce millions of people to cryptocurrencies for the very first time. They can transform our attitudes toward ownership and make it possible to own real-world assets that are thousands of miles away. But, building decentralized apps for non‑fungible tokens can be tricky and time consuming. And most importantly, while the potential impact on the cryptocurrency landscape can be profound, the risk of piracy is still high. Anyone familiar with the issue of piracy knows that keeping the lid on software can be virtually impossible.

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