What Is the Best Blockchain for Crypto-Collectibles?

2019-11-20 08:05:00 · 6632 views · 4 min read

The 2nd most expensive gaming card is a crypto-collectible


That’s right. While the card game Magic the Gathering has been around since 1993 and sold a card for $87,000 (the Black Lotus), it is now competing with Gods Unchained, a one-year-old crypto-collectible company that recently sold a purely digital Titan card for a whopping $60,000. 


That is another evidence that crypto-collectibles are heating up. And the future of crypto-collectibles promises to be big. But what is the best blockchain for crypto-collectibles? Which blockchains will survive … and which will fade away and die? After all, we don’t want to buy a bunch of crypto-collectibles on a blockchain that will die — taking our collectibles with it. We need to find out.


And to answer that question, I will take a look at the top 3 blockchains hosting crypto-collectibles today. Remember: a blockchain needs to run smart contracts for it to host crypto-collectibles. Therefore, sadly, the Bitcoin blockchain is not eligible at this time. Fear not, these top three blockchains all offer cool crypto tools for you to use. So if you’re serious about making money and having fun buying, selling, and trading crypto-collectibles, read on.

The Ethereum Blockchain

Ethereum pioneered smart contracts and crypto-collectibles. But that fact that it was first doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best blockchain for crypto-collectibles. After all, CryptoKitties was blamed for clogging up the ETH blockchain with so many transactions it slowed the blockchain to a crawl and raised GAS fees.


So let’s take a look at a few pros and cons for buying, selling, and trading crypto-collectibles on Ethereum.


Pros of Crypto-collectibles on Ethereum

  • Largest number of devs

  • Most smart contracts

  • Most crypto-collectible companies

  • First to market, proven.

Ethereum has the most brainpower — the most developers — working on improving Ethereum. This means they have the most deployed smart contracts, companies using and developing crypto-collectibles, and all because ETH was the first in the market. All this can be summed up in one word: momentum. Ethereum has tremendous forward-moving momentum. But can it keep the giant ahead of the pack?

Cons of Crypto-collectibles on Ethereum

  • Slow

  • Expensive

  • Potential for hacks of Solidity since it’s not a tested and proven language

Again we see that being the first to the market with something isn’t always the best. Ethereum is stuck with its language and legacy blockchain. It can only handle 15 transactions per second. A far cry from Visa’s thousands of transactions per second. This makes transactions expensive. There’s also the potential for hacks, like the eth DAO hack in 2016. Scary stuff.


Still, there is hope on the horizon. Vitalik Buterin announced Ethereum 2.0 — which will apparently cut mining by 99%, making the whole network lightning fast.


The Steem Blockchain

There are a number of quite popular crypto-collectible games on the Steem platform. 

Source: sticksforstones.net


The biggest is Splinterlands (formerly Steem Monsters). And it’s easy to see why. Buying, selling, and trading collectibles on Steem is a breeze. It’s fast and virtually costless. Does it make Steem the best?


Pros of Crypto-collectibles on Steem

  • Created in C++, which is a widely known language 

  • Scalable

  • Excellent performance

Cons of Crypto-collectibles on Steem

  • Smaller development community than other platforms

  • Fewer tools available

Steem may be faster and cost less, but without the overall momentum of a large blockchain project powering through many levels of smart contracts … Steem just doesn’t stack up. This might change in the future. As cryptocurrencies, blockchains, smart contracts, and blockchains become widely used, Steem may gain more traction. But keep in mind that Ethereum is used for all sorts of smart contracts whereas, Steem is mostly a social platform with some crypto games. 


The NEO Blockchain

Neo is quite an ambitious blockchain startup. They promise smart contracts with transaction speeds rivaling VISA, and even fewer fees. But do these promises translate into the real world?


Pros of Crypto-collectibles on NEO

  • Uses languages that are already known. 

  • Their smart contracts are a lot easier to write

  • They make use of a proof-of-stake system

Cons of Crypto-collectibles on NEO

  • Low activity on crypto-collectibles

  • Low smart contract activity and development

NEO suffers from similar problems as Steem: low momentum. The technology may be leagues ahead of Ethereum … but with no one to use it, the whole thing may not get anywhere. What NEO needs is adoption. Not just by consumers, but by developers too. It needs life breathed into it. When this happens, we may see it begin to outpace Ethereum in many ways. But what if Ethereum 2.0 comes out first?


Want To Make Your Own Crypto-Collectible?

Now that you’ve seen the blockchains compete — perhaps you’ve decided to create your own cryptocurrency (or NFT)? Or perhaps buy, trade, and sell crypto-collectibles? Many resources exist. Remember what I wrote about these three blockchains.


If you’re buying, selling, trading, or even creating your own NFT tokens, then the best blockchain for your crypto-collectibles needs to be balanced. If you want your crypto-collectibles to be fast and nearly feeless, then NEO or Steem or similar new blockchains would be the way to go. But if they don’t gain momentum (developers and users), then the risk is they might die out. If you want your crypto-collectibles to last a while, then Ethereum may be the solution. It has tremendous brand recognition and momentum. But if they don’t speed things up and lower costs soon — releasing Ethereum 2.0 and making it work — they may be crushed by their competitors. 

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