Witek Radomski is Co-Founder & CTO of Enjin, an NFT industry pioneer, where he oversees the company’s technical engineering, product vision, and development. Witek wrote the code for one of the first-ever NFTs in 2017 and is the author of ERC-1155, an advanced Ethereum token standard that enables developers to deploy both fungible and non-fungible items in a single smart contract.
In this AMA, we asked Witek about:
This Slogging thread by Abeer, Witek Radomski, Drone Warfare, Jack Boreham, Sara Pinto, Igor Sokolov and Pamela Liang occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.
Hey all 🙂 Great to be here to discuss Enjin, Efinity and NFTs.
Hey Witek Radomski! It’s great to have you here! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself, your background and how you’ve come to co-found Enjin?
I'm the co-founder and CTO of Enjin since 2008, (our team has actually been working together in the web/gaming space even longer than that, around 18 years now).
I've been playing (and modding) video games since I was a kid, and started Enjin as a social/web platform that allowed gamers to build social networks for their guilds & servers. We started offering tools like in-game integration and payments, and noticed that this really fueled communities to offer perks to their members inside games.
We were one of the earliest companies to accept BTC, and eventually realized that we could create a powerful platform for game developers to use blockchain in their games. I started working on one of the first smart contracts for NFTs in early 2017, and that turned into ERC-1155 which is now supported by every major NFT marketplace.
Thanks for the great intro. That’s quite an impressive background. So for our less tech savvy folks, can you explain how Enjin utilizes blockchain and NFTs?
Our platform allows you to mint collections of tokens, both NFTs and fungibles (like points, for example) and integrate them into your game or website using our API or SDK tools.
Your treasury wallet exists on your own server (or mobile device) and you have full custody of all your tokens.
Users can link their mobile wallet and your software will be able to see what NFTs that user has. You can also trigger actions like token transfers, burns, or mints, using the Enjin API.
The existing platform was designed for Ethereum, but our new blockchain Efinity was just launched on Polkadot. This is a next-gen blockchain that will allow for even simpler onboarding of mainstream users. They won't even need to own a wallet to start receiving NFTs, reducing their barrier to entry.
Hi Witek Radomski! I'm not too familiar with NFTs. It just seems like images that people buy for a lot of money. Are there any other uses for NFTs besides owning digital artwork?
Hey Jackie, NFTs are significant because they give you un-censorable ownership of a digital asset. While a lot of early NFTs have been artwork or profile pictures, innovative companies are using NFTs for utility - to unlock access to experiences, to give you control over digital land/items in a virtual world, and to allow users to trade and collaborate outside of a walled garden.
Think about the digital world we live in now. NFTs can solve a few important problems. Your wallet and the assets it owns are impossible to "dupe" by bots or hostile organizations. It can represent your true digital unique identity, and the NFTs you hold are similar.
Here's a simple example: Companies like Microsoft (Azure) are using our stack to give the Open Source developer community recognition badges and certifications for attending events, being mentors, creating code, and this proves and verifies that they are a real member of the Azure community. The entire blockchain can be fed into a global online map that shows off what countries/users own which badges.
In the gaming world, this can really be highlighted properly. A player could have an NFT pet that levels up and progresses through the game with them. They can own, craft, or upgrade weapons and items, equip them onto their game character, and later trade items with other players, all within the game world.
I hope to see game developers building even more interesting experiences, like cooperative NFT gameplay, AR cross-over experiences where you can collect and use NFTs around the physical world, and new immersive game worlds that harness economy and rarity for things like crafting. Player-made NFTs could also be interesting in games that allow player-created items/skins/hats, in sandbox style games.
Wow! Thank you for the in-depth explanation. I really underestimated NFTs! Why aren't more businesses and game studios using NFTs? Because they're still new to the scene?
It's because NFTs only entered into general mainstream awareness a year ago, and it takes time to process & build.
We have more interest than ever from large (and small) companies, artists, game developers who want to use NFTs in some way. And most of them actually "get it" now - they want to build something that will live on and properly represent their brands and value their users. These aren't just quick ways to monetize but full roadmaps and transformations of entire games, sports leagues, and product suites.
It's interesting and refreshing to hear a large organization say that they need open interoperability and don't actually want a walled garden.
Give it a few more months/quarters/years and we will actually see rollout of blockchain and NFTs in both large and small enterprises, games, etc.
Hi Witek Radomski, great to have you with us. Can you tell us how you believe Enjin fits in the Metaverse? What does the future hold for Enjin as we approach web3?
Hey Jack, we want Enjin to help creators around the world become a part of the metaverse. We see the metaverse not as a single 3d VR game world but instead many different websites, devices, apps, and games that can harness your digital identity and where you can use your assets.
By building on Enjin, your app can recognize any blockchain NFTs and fungible tokens your users have and tap into the growing metaverse network. We want to encourage interoperability and support existing NFTs and formats. Inspire new standards like interoperable NFT token standards on Efinity, and better metadata formats - more than just centralized JPEGs. We need to work on open protocols that allow projects to be interoperable without necessarily needing to know about the details of particular projects.
Enjin is working on many front-end and backend aspects of the metaverse (blockchain, wallet, marketplace, dev platform, explorer) which gives us insights into the worlds of both developers and end-users. We see ourselves both as a platform/highway and an ecosystem partner to many companies that will want to become metaverse-enabled.
Hey Witek Radomski, glad to have you here! I'm a newbie to these subjects, so can NFTs improve the Metaverse? How?
Hey Sara Pinto - Yes, I think NFTs are essential to the Metaverse working smoothly 🙂
Think about our physical / analog world - everything is constrained by finite limits: Land / real estate, energy, financial resources, unique art, historic artifacts -- and most importantly, everyone's finite time and attention.
While the metaverse is connected through digital networks, we must delineate ownership, identity, and scarcity of resources to structure & make sense of the digital world as humans. Otherwise, all you'll have is noise and chaos which ends up not being very compelling or sticky.
We as humans need to see growth, progress, identity - our society and world is built around it. NFTs give you the tools to create digital items that can be owned, modified, extended, and recognized across the metaverse.
There are so many interesting use-cases of NFTs and user identity - and it should be more and more apparent these days, as we're all waking up and realizing that there are frightening challenges around information-warfare - online propaganda, disinfo trolling, bots, etc. The online space will only become more chaotic as machine-learning, AI, deepfake tech keeps improving.
NFTs and blockchain in general can bring clarity and certainty into an online world of infinite chaos and replication.
Hi Witek Radomski. I see that Enjin allows Music NFTs. As an aspiring music producer, how do Music NFTs on Enjin differ from putting my music up on SoundCloud or Spotify?
Igor Sokolov this is an early area of experimentation, which we'd like to explore more. I've spoken with a number of musicians that already have large audiences who want to use NFTs to enhance their fan engagement - like selling limited editions of new songs or their unreleased back-catalog/demos which give the holder access to the artist over time. Things like front-row seats at shows, fan zoom calls for NFT holders, etc.
As an aspiring music producer though, you're probably interested in growing an audience - and the way to do that these days is through collaboration with other producers & musicians. Remixes of existing songs, featuring others on your productions, etc.
I think there's potential in the space to experiment - like granting different rights to song stems to NFT holders beyond just Creative Commons licenses offer. Broadcast/streaming rights. I'd love to explore this further, perhaps we should exchange some emails and brainstorm.
Hi Witek Radomski. I'm fuzzy on a lot of this. What exactly is the Metaverse? How do you see it affecting our lives in the future?
Hey - we see the metaverse as an interoperable identity + asset network between many different websites, games, apps, connected devices, social networks, VR worlds. The key idea is for many different universes/worlds will recognize and utilize your blockchain address and the NFTs (and possibly cryptocurrencies) that you own.
For example, think about buying some Adidas Originals sneakers, and you'll get the physical copy of them sent to you as well as owning the NFT.
You'd be able to "wear" / display those on your virtual user avatar across supported social networks and games. Maybe they'll appear on your profile page in Slack or virtual workplaces. You could gain the ability to jump higher in some games on the Xbox. Perhaps a celebrity working with Adidas will hold a Twitter Spaces event and "virtually sign" the metaverse items of people who attended.
Once thousands of apps, marketplaces, and games are part of the network, you'll be able to trade and utilize a large variety of items and assets across the digital world.
Witek Radomski Thank you so much for the enlightening answers! It was fantastic having you here. Before we wrap up this AMA, do you have any final thoughts, closing remarks, or anything you’d like to promote to our readers?
Thank you Abeer, I really enjoyed being part of this AMA! Closing remarks: We will all see NFTs being used in games, business and creative fields over the next few years. If you're a creator, think about how you could use this technology to empower your audience. Give your users & fans special access, ownership, and artwork they can share & trade. Go beyond simple JPEGs / collectibles and put thought into how your NFTs can become an interactive part of your brand and user experience.
See how some of the game developers on our platform are innovating with NFTs and building their section of the metaverse: https://enjin.io/ecosystem
And please check out what we're releasing with Efinity on the Poladot network: https://efinity.io/ - we think it's going to be a great platform to build your NFT & metaverse network on.
Finally, we're going to be releasing Enjin Wallet 2.0 pretty soon, and here's our new teaser video 🙂