The trope that bear markets are for building may have the benefit of being true.
Case in point: Charged Particles, a project that allows users to deposit digital assets into NFTs, introduced a new token standard called ERC721i on July 15.
The standard brings a new capability to the NFT space. ERC721i will allow creators to pre-mint their projects’ NFTs for a very low cost. Charged Particles used the standard to mint one million NFTs for under $2 to demonstrate ERC721i’s capabilities.
This matters because, while creators obviously make the art for NFTs before they mint them, ERC721i will allow creators to interact with their NFTs on-chain before they’re released to the public.
“I separated concerns – mints from transfers,” Rob Secord, Charged Particles’ CTO told The Defiant over Discord on July 18.
Charged Particles enables NFTs to actually hold other digital assets, including other NFTs but also fungible tokens, inside them. ERC721i would allow a project’s creator to access such capabilities before they hit the blockchain and become tradable.
An example use case of “charged” NFTs, could be using them for voting, but also as a time-lock for equity tokens and to act as a mailbox of sorts to gift their owners with dividends or other digital assets.
Right now, these functions are somewhat nebulous. Secord acknowledged this, saying that he was trying to give developers options, not solve all the problems with NFT mints.
For example, even if the digital assets have been pre-minted via ERC721i, people purchasing the NFTs for the first time will still have to pay roughly the same fees to transfer the NFTs to their own wallet, according to Secord.
Extra Gas Fees
ERC721i’s second capability more directly affects NFT buyers. “Now people can pick exactly what NFT to buy rather than getting a random one at mint,” Secord said.
Of course, this might come with problems too — people might pay extra gas fees to snipe rare NFTs early, leaving a less level playing field for someone else hoping to roll the dice and acquire a rare digital asset.
Still, as Secord said, ERC721i isn’t meant for all NFT projects. To him, it’s about giving choices to creators.
With NFT trading volume down 96.3% to $36.8M on July 17 after topping $1B in January, according to a Dune Analytics query by hildobby, NFT creators may be will to try anything to breathe new life into the space.