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Top NFT Projects Explore Chainlink VRF’s Role In Building The Metaverse

Randomness is an inescapable phenomenon in everyday life but it’s also key to building the metaverse. During a SmartCon panel discussion titled Evolution of the Metaverse: Building Bridges to the Real World, representatives from top NFT and gaming projects – HECO Chain’s Lei Zhao, Aavegotchi’s Jesse Johnson, ChainGuardians’ Idon Liu, Illuvium’s Kieran Warwick and Ether Cards’ Andras Kristof – shared key insights about how verifiable on-chain randomness provided by Chainlink VRF is shaping the way people experience value and ownership in the virtual world. 

Kristof said Chainlink VRF is the backbone of projects like Ether Cards, which is unlocking the real-world potential of NFTs including NBA star LaMelo Ball’s debut dynamic NFT collection. Though randomness is essential to blockchain-based NFTs, Kristof explained why it’s “technically impossible” to create tamper-proof, verifiable randomness using blockchain data alone. He said Ether Cards saved the inordinate time and expense it would have taken to build its own trusted randomness infrastructure by integrating Chainlink VRF.  

“VRF has made it possible for us to do all the dynamic NFTs and all the random distributions of traits and different features and functions and gamifications that we are using. So, for us, it is pretty much a requirement for our existence,” he said. 

Liu echoed the importance of using a decentralized service like Chainlink VRF for NFT mining platforms like ChainGaurdians. “It kind of defeats the purpose to be using blockchain and then having a centralized solution,” he said. 

When it comes to the “potentially high value” of NFTs on platforms like Illuvium, Warwick said that a tamper-proof source of randomness is “critical.” 

“Obviously, Chainlink being the industry standard, we decided to go with them,” he said. “We did look at other solutions, but Chainlink has proven time and time again that they’re the best.”

In community-owned blockchain games like Aavegotchi, where randomly-generated NFTs hold different values, Johnson said the community’s faith in distribution tools like lotteries simply cannot be undermined. “With crypto, we’re all looking for fairness, and Chainlink VRF really unlocks a lot of that, so we use it everywhere we can,” he said. 

In Johnson’s view, digital worlds have “only just begun to scratch the surface” when it comes to unlocking the value of NFTs. In the future, he said Aavegotchi plans to use Chainlink VRF for determining verifiably random inputs or “alchemica” that assign unique value to parcels of land in its Gotchiverse.

Given how in-demand NFT real estate has already become in blockchain games like Axie Infinity, which is now such a vibrant player-owned economy that it’s approaching the heart of the metaverse, Johnson stressed the critical role VRF will play in fairly distributing ownership of the Gotchiverse.

“That’s coming up and Chainlink’s going to play a very big role in what is probably the highest stakes yet. Because if I get a parcel and I’m next to a certain area or it’s a certain size, I want to know it’s fairly distributed and the results are provable.”

Watch the full panel discussion.

Explore other presentations from Smart Contract Summit #1’s playlist.

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