This NFT is Untradeable
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This NFT is Untradeable ...

by ash herrFebruary 22nd, 2022
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NFTs can represent much more of who you are and not just what you can afford. Projects like Seed Society and POAP explore what it means to have a soulbound NFT.

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To date, the NFT ecosystem has mostly been wealth signaling. You’ve seen the multi-million dollar auctions. And people are still buying Cryptopunks and Bored Apes - just to show that they have the means. But what if NFTs could signal something else? Something collaborative and fun?

Ethereum founder, Vitalik, in a blogpost in late January 2022, revealed thoughts around a new type of NFT he calls Soulbound. Soulbound NFT cannot be transferred or sold to another player; these are NFTs that signal greater meaning and experience. With Soulbound NFTs, NFTs can represent much more of who you are and not just what you can afford.

Referencing World of Warcraft, Vitalik described a soulbound item as an item that is received only after completing a complicated quest or killing a very powerful monster. Such an item keeps the game challenging and interesting - it’s an item that is earned. But what is the NFT equivalent?

For the plant people, Seed Society does growable plant NFTs that evolve on-chain as you water them. The NFTs are untradeable until the plant NFT matures, and can permanently “die” if not watered before maturity. Those who are able to successfully water the plant into adulthood, are rewarded with an NFT that is trade-able and has all attributes revealed. It’s like a plant tamagotchi pet, living on the Solana blockchain.

Growing and watering a Plant NFT on the Solana blockchain.

Another soulbound NFT are POAPs. POAP NFTs are earned to commemorate a moment in life. These NFTs are usually gifted to show attendance at moment in time. And over time, users are rewarded with a unique set of POAP NFTs that illustrate where you’ve been - physically or virtually.

Vitalik's POAP collection.

There is a lot of under-explored opportunity in trying to go beyond financilization. Making more items in the crypto space “soulbound” can be one path towards an alternative, where NFTs can represent much more of who you are and not just what you can afford. Ultimately, its these soulbound NFTs that will make our blockchains more culturally-rich, collaborative, and fun.