By Samyukta Narasimhan, Content and Growth Strategist at Moving
Crypto is giving everyone a run for your money. No no, hear me out. A LITERAL RUN for your money. NFTs have been on the rise as it has expanded its horizons even to the extent of digital horse racing.
Horse racing is an extremely elite sport that dates back to its birth in 1665. It is unfortunately restricted only to a higher class of society with its strict etiquette and whatnot. Until now. Who knew that the sport would be disrupted by a couple of guys building this accessible-to-all platform in their bedroom? What’s even more surprising is how welcoming the equestrian community was to this turn of events though it breaks some traditions.
Reconstructing the Equestrian community
Zed run is one such online platform where players can buy, sell and breed digital racehorses using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Horses trade for $80 and even for up to $125,000 in the resale market! It has become super popular due to its simplicity — buy a horse, pay for it to participate in the race, and take home or lose your betting money. The entire simulation is extremely transparent and fair, the winner of the races being determined using algorithms based on a thousand combinations of different results. Zed Run takes place on a virtual, modern, futuristic landscape.
Capitalising on FOMO
Founder of Zed Run, Chris Laurent built a sense of exclusivity and excitement as he limited the number of digital thoroughbreds to only 38,000. This not only creates a feeling of FOMO and makes new users itch to be a part of this community, but it also increases the value and worth of each and every horse as they experience high demand in the market. The company makes exciting limited-edition drops that make the community of crypto enthusiasts rumble with delirium. Unlike real world racing, Zed run has races and events happening every hour, every day of the week, keeping owners on their feet at all times to race whenever they please! There are a number of cool features that are yet to be unlocked as the game is still in BETA mode.
The element of ownership is the real game-changer of this sport. The large audience of horse-racing enthusiasts at the Kentucky Derby are the spectators and gamblers.
However, the majority of the Zed-run races are all the owners themselves! What hits different with digital horses as an NFT compared to conventional art pieces is the involvement and emotional connection that gives owners a sense of satisfaction. Zed run horses are best described as “breathing NFTs” as quoted by Roman Tirone, Executive at Virtually Human, the same studio that created Zed Run.
“It can breed, has a bloodline, and has a life of its own. It races, it has genes it passes on, and it lives on an algorithm so no two horses are the same.”
If you were to buy a painting as an NFT, it would just lie in your possession or maybe you’d sell it someday. But owning a Zed horse as an NFT is a lot more inclusive as you get to handpick and buy your horses, send your horses off to races, breed with other horses and so much more. It also generates more value than the NFT itself as winning horse’s owners will get their share of the winner’s pot. Some owners get so emotionally attached and invested, even after selling their horse to a new owner, they still check in religiously to know how the horse is doing! With the game enabling Augmented Reality to view your horse as if it is in your living room right in front of you, how would you not get attached!
Sportico, the sports digital content company, has aptly described Zed Run as “Tamagotchi meets Churchill Downs,” comparing sports’ newest blockchain trend to a handheld digital pet.
Some of these horses are going at a higher price than the living steeds, the hype and craze for NFTs have never been louder! The crazy world of cryptocurrency is only beginning, stay tuned for more!