Beware of the NFT Rabbit Hole

If you are anything like me, all new projects look promising, and given a little nudging encouragement by some marketing mumbo-jumbo, we can easily fall heading long into this rabbit hole and never see the day of light again. That’s a little drastic but yes, it can be overwhelming. However, if we are disciplined enough, we can make choosing the right project to support a little easier.

Regardless of whether these virtual properties exist as ‘Planets’, ‘Lands’, ‘Game Pieces’, they all exist as Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs. In this article, I’ll assume that you are familiar with NFTs.

I’d previously written two articles on virtual properties I bought and why I bought them specifically in the Upland Metaverse.

I’ve listed these two articles below so you can check them out:

1.      Discover Upland – Virtual Properties: Why I Bought What I Bought

2.      Discover Upland – Virtual Properties: Why I Bought What I Bought (Part II: Brooklyn)

If you had read the above articles, you can see that I’m quite passionate about those properties I owned and up to date have been reluctant to sell them in the secondary market. I’ll be writing a third installment soon. Do follow if you’d like to be notified once that’s published.

I’m constantly on the lookout for affordable virtual properties to ‘invest’ in. Kindly take note that this is neither investment advice nor investment recommendations. I’m just sharing what projects I follow and why I buy certain NFTs. You’ll have to do your own research and decide what is right for you.

Having said the above, I do look at projects that meet certain criteria.

My Criteria

1. Is it within my means?

This is a no-brainer criterion. If it’s beyond my means, then there is no point in considering it at all. Move on to the next project.

I’d say that under no circumstances should anyone consider getting into debt to purchase any virtual properties. The risk is just too high. What is your investment pain threshold? Never invest more than you can lose and you can in fact lose everything…overnight!

2. Will it be a successful project?

This is an important question to answer. If you don’t think it’s going to be successful, then there is no point in putting your time and money into it.

How can you tell and where do you look to get an idea of whether a project will be successful or not?

The easiest place to start would be to look at the project’s whitepaper. Does it make sense to you? For me, personally, if it’s just a bunch of technobabble, I’m out of there. It’s not targeted at the mainstream consumers or they are unable to put their vision in simple terms for the general public to understand. This is a sure sign that they are not a consumer-centric project…and this is a “Danger” sign for me.

Next, would be to check their social network channels. Do they have any? Twitter, Discord, Telegram, etc would be a good start.  Is the community engaged and excited in these channels or are they mostly complaints?

Are the moderators and developers actively engaged in addressing any questions on these channels? If not, then you may want to think seriously if this is a project you want to support.

3. Will the virtual properties (NFTs) be worth anything in the future?

This is a little difficult to answer as no one has a crystal ball that tells the future.

Although that’s the case, there are some tell-tale signs to look for whether a project will be successful and whether there will be a demand for their NFTs.

First off, does this project have a first-mover advantage? What sets it apart from the gazillion number of projects out there? Does it offer NFTs that are unique and not found elsewhere yet?

Does it invoke some kind of emotional response and connection with you?

Keep It Simple

I keep it simple and use the above 3 criteria to get started. The first criterion addresses my limitation and my ability to invest. The second addresses the developer’s ability to perform and deliver and the third criterion determines if the virtual property has an appeal and be worth your time and effort.

Taking Upland as an example, I’ll run through with you my thought process.

Criteria Test: Upland

Criteria #1: Is it within my means?

The way that the Upland game is structured allows a low barrier of entry for new gamers.

There are currently two beginner-friendly cities (Brooklyn, NY and Oakland, CA) where the cost of ownership is cheaper.

When I first started, I was given some free UPX (the in-game) currency to start with. Since the link I used wasn’t a referral link, I missed out on the additional 50% UPX on my first in-game currency purchase. This would have been a significant boost depending on how much I’d fiat-in on my first purchase.

(Note: You are welcomed to use my referral link – I’ll get some benefits from it and It costs you nothing. If you do use the link, you’ll get an additional 50% UPX (in-game currency) on your first purchase.)

The game is free to play and you can grow your networth without putting any money into the game. Having said that, if I had not decided to put in money, I would not have been able to buy what I bought, especially those virtual properties in the 2 articles mentioned above.

You decide if it’s within your means. As for me, Upland is definitely within my means.

Criteria #1: Checked

Criteria #2: Will it be a successful project?

This wasn’t a hard question to answer because when I signed up, Upland has already been in existence for close to a year with a solid community base. I wasn’t on the Upland Telegram but was on the Upland Discord server.

The community engagement is outstanding and one of the nicest people you can find anywhere in the Metaverse.

The developers are active in the Upland Discord channels and do their best to address issues. As the gamer base has grown substantially over the last two months, there are bound to be hiccups and the developers are engaged with the community to address some of these issues. On-going communication means the project is alive and it’s a good sign. It means the developers are actively working on the game experience and features and accepting feedback for improvements.

Oh yeah. They have an easy-to-read and understand Whitepaper too. On top of that, they put out roadmaps, the latest is for 2021!

Criteria #2: Checked

Criteria #3: Will the virtual properties (NFTs) be worth anything in the future?

I’d shared this in my earlier Upland articles about what aspects of it caught my interest.

First off, it is a property trading game with true ownership of the virtual properties purchased. All transactions are recorded on the EOS blockchain.

Secondly, these properties are affordable. In fact, it is so affordable that you can start without using any of your own money. You can immediately purchase a property right after you have gotten your account started.

From then on, you decide what your strategy is and if you need to fiat-in to advance faster.

Thirdly, there is a potential to build a business in the Upland Metaverse. I’ll not go into details here but you can read up the whitepaper and the roadmaps.

Last but not least, and one of the most important aspects for me is the fact that all the virtual properties in the Upland Metaverse are based on real-world addresses.

On this last point – Why is this important? Why would this impact the value of the properties and NFTs?

Imagine for a moment you are doing a survey in the world’s busiest intersection – Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing. You managed to find someone who can at least comprehend some English and you ask – “Did you know that Nike is having a major virtual sale at LAND X, on PLANET Y of XYZ Metaverse?” Do you think they’d know what you’re talking about?

How about if you said, “Did you know that Nike is having a major virtual sale at Pier 57, Manhattan, New York in the Upland Metaverse?

Which of the above do you think would invoke some emotional response and connection and be more effective?

Manhattan was fully opened on 2 November 2020. In the last month or so, after the opening of Brooklyn, there was a mad rush to buy up Manhattan properties. By 21 April 2021, and in less than 6 months since opening, all available properties in Manhattan were fully minted! This is significant given that some of these properties cost in the 4 figure USD range.

I don’t have any doubt that these virtual properties will be worth something in the future. It is already worth something at present!

Criteria #3: Checked!

All 3 criteria checked!

So, Upland is definitely a project I’ll follow and continue to invest in.

Other Projects under my Radar?

Besides Upland, are there other projects under my radar? Glad you ask. Yes, indeed.

I’ve currently invested in quite a few painting NFTs from a new project. I am very excited about this relatively new project so it’s a good time to get in and grow with this project.

I’m working on an article about this so keep an eye out. I may even decide to do a giveaway from my own collection with this article. That’s how excited I am!

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