Avastars: From Digital Collectible Success to Becoming An Identity Solution

Robert Hoogendoorn

2 years ago

Since its inception Avastars has been responsible for almost 700 ETH or 140 thousand dollars in trading volume. Each Avastar is uniquely generated, and its traits are stored on the blockchain. As a result the project now offers 5200 unique character faces after Series 0 and Series 1, while a second series is coming up. Together with Idaho-based founder Jim McNelis we look back at the past few months, and take a look at what the future may hold.

Users could generate random Avastars on Avastars.io. Once someone finds a character they'd like, they can choose to mint it. This process of scrolling is unavailable at the time of writing, but the launch of a second series is imminent. Before we look at what's ahead, let's first go back into the past.

The core characteristics of Avastars

Avastars can be best seen as an art project with some gaming capabilities. However, that's not the core reason why McNelis started this all. "We started Avastars to begin the development of NFT-based identity solutions, and to demonstrate the ability to store art and metadata directly on-chain", he explained to Dapp.Review. Each of the Avastars characters is an unique generative character, living entirely on the Ethereum blockchain as a non-fungible token (NFT).

A non-fungible token is by definition unique. The token is stored in the cryptocurrency wallet of the user. Developers can provide characteristics on-chain, but the token can also be tied to for example a game asset. That's why Avastars can potentially be used as for example a mask inside a virtual world.

Avastars is comparable with Cryptokitties and Cryptopunks, but McNelis sees his digital avatars more as an evolution from these older products. "Avastars is the first NFT project to demonstrate full on-chain storage of the art and the metadata", he explained to us. The American developer thinks this is a noteworthy innovation that adds durability to the project.

On a weekly basis Avastars is responsible for 10 to 30 ETH in peer-to-peer trading volume. At the moment McNelis considers visual appeal and scarcity of traits to be the biggest factors driving sales. "Collectors can spend time discovering attractive and rare Avastars. If they have a keen eye and good taste, they can find Avastars others will wish to acquire", he said.

Working towards Series 2

On April 20th the sale of the first series of Avastars started. According to our data the project had its biggest sales day just one day later. On the Ethereum blockchain 1774 transactions to 122 different wallets were registered. The sales of these computer-generated characters reached a volume of over 31 thousand dollars that day. It took the project less than a month to completely sell its first series of 5000 Avastars, while the first 200 Avastars sold during its Series 0. Currently there are 262 wallets holding all the corresponding tokens.

Like many other projects, there are some so-called whales involved in the project. Currently the biggest holder owns 681 Avastars, which is 13 percent of the total supply. Altogether the top ten holders control over 50 percent of the supply. However, the team behind Avastars is working on its second and third series already. "Series 2 will introduce all new common traits, while Series 3 will bring new common and uncommon traits", McNelis revealed to us.

The future development of Avastars

At this very moment the utility of Avastars is limited to collecting them or 'breeding' new ones. However, this is not the end for Jim McNelis and his team. His plans for identity solutions are still in place. "We plan to build login and identity features for Avastars, and we can work with virtual worlds to incorporate them into their environments", the founder explained.

In addition third party developers would be able to tap into the smart contract and use the traits of the Avastars directly into their game. Based on those traits, masks or skins could be created for Decentraland or The Sandbox. "Interoperability is a key tenant of Avastars", McNelis underlined.

Currently the interoperability of Avastars is still a bit limited, but several third parties are working on an integration. For example, Opensea wants to allow users to select their Avastar as a profile picture. A similar solution is also in the works for city building game Blockcities, while the Avastars could potentially become drivers in Cryptomotors. These features are all works in progress, and nothing is set in stone yet.

When we asked him about his favorite projects in the blockchain space, he highlighted Cryptovoxels for its easy access and intuitive interface. In addition he mentioned NBA Top Shot, for being a licensed collectible game by the creators of Cryptokitties. While McNelis also admires Pixelchain, because it allows anyone to create pixel art and store it on the blockchain. It's clear that the Avastars boss is a fan of accessibility.

Whether we will be able to use Avastars as an accessible form of online identity, is still up for grabs. However, the project is off to a flying start. Now let's see how fast Series 2 will be sold out.

About the author

Robert Hoogendoorn is a Dutch native with over 15 years of experience in media production. He worked for a variety of magazines, news agencies and video production companies. Currently he's writing about blockchain gaming, utility and adoption for specialized and mainstream media. Follow him on Twitter @nederob.