• David Pakman is bullish on NFTs and gaming, he told the crowd at the NFT NYC conference Tuesday
  • NFTs are already being used successfully in gaming, and the trend is not going to stop anytime soon, he said

NFT NYC — Non-fungible tokens are not a fad, and the gaming industry is proof, David Pakman, managing partner at CoinFund and Dapper Labs board member, said during a keynote speech at the NFT NYC event in Times Square Tuesday. 

“It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. There’s so much going on, prices are going up. NFTs are everywhere,” said Pakman. “But as builders, as people whose job is to carry this flag for the next 10 or 20 years and build a completely new internet, build a completely new financial system and completely take back intellectual property, you are all owners.” 

The phenomenon of digital commodities has attracted the attention of major names in finance and media, including Visa and the National Basketball Association, and drawn in no shortage of cash. As Ethereum rocks sell for $1.3 million though, skeptics wonder whether the craze is nothing more than a bubble. There are use cases, Pakman insisted during his talk, and they are going to be user driven. 

Gaming is going to be the tipping point for mainstream adaptation of NFTs, Pakman said, and it all starts with NFT collectables, which have already seen immense growth in recent months

“It’s because of the blockchain that we can now collect digital items,” Pakamn said.

“NFTs create scarcity, provable ownership and provenance for digital items and using a collectible in a game is step one.”

Digital collectables are not all that different from trading cards or physical commodities, but NFTs can evolve and change, which adds another layer to the phenomena, Pakman said. 

Games that incorporate NFTs successfully are those that allow the NFT to progress and develop based on player usage. Axie Infinity is the prime example, he said, because players purchase NFTs to increase their score and earn rewards. 

“Plus, it makes game play more fun,” Pakman said. Axie Infinity’s success is just the beginning, he predicted. 

“I’m confident that we will literally see tens of thousands of blockchain games based partly on the Axie model,” he said, referring to what’s become known as play-to-earn. 

While the concept of NFTs can seem impractical and abstract to many, NFTs represent connection for those in certain communities. 

“NFTs represent our token in a community and what we as humans like to do,” he said. “One of the reasons we collect is to connect with other people in the community.”

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    Casey Wagner is a New York-based business journalist covering digital assets and macro economics. Prior to joining Blockworks, she reported on markets at Bloomberg News. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Media Studies.