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Magic Eden has introduced its “semi-fungible token” (SFT) marketplace with the blockchain game Genopets.

I’ll explain the SFT in a second, but you can think of it as a new take on non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which use the blockchain to authenticate unique digital items. Depending on who you talk to, NFTs could either revolutionize gaming with player ownerships or become a new way to fleece gamers.

San Francisco-based Magic Eden said the Genopets community can now trade in-game SFTs through Magic Eden’s marketplace. Genopets is a “move-to-earn” digital pets game. SFTs are digital assets that can be minted in quantities greater than one. The marketplace is also supported by Serum’s asset agnostic orderbook, which allows protocols to use Serum as their backend matching engine for any type of financial product.

Regarding the SFT marketplace launch, Albert Chen, CEO of Genopets, said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to work with Magic Eden to continue pioneering the future of Web3 games by being one of the first games on Solana to roll-out efficient token technology and game mechanics that enable players to meaningfully create and transact value.”

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Members of the Genopets community can mint and trade in-game SFTs vital to their crafting economy, like Crystals and Terraform Seeds, through the Magic Eden marketplace, creating a more efficient gameplay model.

Magic Eden is a community-focused marketplace for NFTs, and it recently announced it would fund its own games through an internal gaming division dubbed Eden Games. Magic Eden said it accounts for 90% of NFTs sold on Solana, and Magic Eden recently raised $130 million in a funding round that valued Magic Eden at $1.6 billion. Magic Eden has a platform launchpad to market inaugural NFTs, and it has a storefront for secondary NFT trading, where players and other users can sell their NFT collections.

Zhao joins Yoonsup Choi, Harrison Chang, and Matt Biamonte, who all have backgrounds in professional gaming and esports. Choi and Chang are championship-caliber former League of Legends and Fortnite players and, along with Biamonte, have all individually launched NFT projects. Alongside the establishment of gaming investments arm Magic Ventures, Eden Games has also finalized partnerships to power marketplaces for games including, but not limited to, Aurory, Genopets, Mini Royale: Nations, Nekoverse, Remnants, Yaku, Halfwish, VBA and Sugar Realm.

Magic Eden intends to continue building out a suite of essential tooling and services for games to enable developers to focus on building gameplay, rather than worrying about blockchain tech. Eden Games has ushered in over 50 games and seen over 310,000 users mint or trade gaming-related NFTs on the company’s marketplace. Since its inception, the marketplace has seen 21.2 million SOL (worth nearly $2 billion) traded on secondary markets since it launched in September 2021. The company has more than 100 employees. In June, Magic Eden represented over 92% of all gaming NFTs traded on Solana. Huang said Magic Eden doesn’t incentivize “wash trading,” where users sell to themselves to hype an NFT before unloading it. The company also screens content and verifies NFT collections in an attempt to minimize fraud where perpetrators sell fake version of NFTs.

The Genopets partnership

The Genopets leaderboard.

Through its partnership with Genopets, Magic Eden will enable a streamlined experience for gamers by powering the minting and trading of SFTs.

SFTs are the newest addition to the GameFi space that will bring familiar Web2 gaming mechanisms like “stackable” assets onto the blockchain. In Web3 games, NFTs have become a core technology that allows game developers and players to store in-game assets (like accessories, weapons, characters, clothing, etc.) on the blockchain.

For certain in-game assets that are not one of one and can be redeemed in greater quantities, SFTs become a useful way to “stack” like-for-like assets in the player’s inventory. For creators developing games on the blockchain, SFTs lower the amount of resources needed for players to efficiently mint and transact during gameplay. SFTs minted on Solana share a “mint account”, which results in less storage used per asset and lower minting fees.

Crystals and Terraform Seeds are among the first Genopets SFTs that will be listed on Magic Eden’s marketplace. Within the game, Crystals are base layer materials used for crafting other items and players will be able to use multiple quantities of them at a time.

Terraform Seeds allow players to make aesthetic customization and performance upgrades to evolve their Genopets’ habitats. Traditionally, if a player sells ten Water Crystals to craft a new item or sells a number of Terraform Seeds, they would be required to sell each NFT individually. SFTs allow players to sell all ten Crystals or Terraform Seeds simultaneously and experience more efficient gameplay via one-click trading features.

“We are excited to partner with Genopets to power their new SFT marketplace which will bring familiar Web2 trading mechanics to players looking to build and grow their in-game assets,” said Tony Zhao, head of gaming investments for Magic Ventures, a venture arm of Magic Eden, in a statement. “In support of NFT gaming developers, we’re confident that our SFT tooling will allow projects to make further in-roads with creating high-concept, playable games on the blockchain.”

In an email to GamesBeat, Magic Eden said SFTs are not new, but this will be the first time they will debut on the Solana chain.

“We see a strong use case for a hybrid version of NFT technology for application in games where fungible, non-unique assets are common,” Magic Eden said. “In Web3 gaming, NFTs have become a core technology that allows users to store in-game assets (like accessories, weapons, characters, clothing, etc.) on the blockchain. However, in a game where players are chopping wood, each piece of wood generally has the same value, so it doesn’t need to be represented as a unique item. That’s where SFTs come in.”

Magic Eden said it has expanded its marketplace and mint solution to accommodate SFT asset creation and trading on the secondary market. The marketplace is also supported by Serum’s asset agnostic order book, which allows protocols to use Serum as their backend matching engine for any type of financial product–in this case, the assets are Crystals and Terraform Seeds that are used by Genopets players to craft, customize, and evolve their digital pet.

Genopets is a free-to-play, move-to-earn game where players can customize, upgrade, and evolve their Genopets fueled by the steps they take every day. All players get a baby Genopet to start, but players who purchase a Habitat on the Magic Eden marketplace are able to craft and create SFTs like Crystals and Terraform Seeds they can use in-game or sell on Magic Eden.

Genopets is built on a creator economy, Crystals and Terraform seeds are the base layer materials players need to craft other items in the game like power-ups, augments, and nurture items to feed and play with your pet. These items will also be SFTs that will trade on Magic Eden.

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