Playground, in partnership with Ether Cards and Chainlink, will launch a limited-edition Dynamic NFT collection for LaMelo Ball on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike NFTs that only represent static artwork, LaMelo Ball Collectibles can evolve to take on new traits and utility based upon the trajectory of his promising NBA career. As one of the most electrifying and popular young players in the NBA, LaMelo’s fans will soon be able to own a piece of his legacy by purchasing themed Digital Avatars that evolve alongside his basketball career.
“LaMelo Ball Collectibles is the first blockchain project to tie VIP access to Melo’s community directly to real-time updates to his stats, highlights, and awards,” stated Sher Chaudhary, Co-founder at Playground. “This never-before-seen fan experience will see each NFT have ‘level up’ capabilities based on the outcome of off-chain events, like a Rookie of the Year announcement. When special events occur, fans holding certain NFTs will win highly-curated memorabilia and even direct access to chat with Melo himself.”
Chaudhary envisions the project setting a new precedent for NFTs and the fandom experience at large: “Looking forward, LaMelo and other cultural icons will gamify the NFT experience tenfold. The idea that NFTs only exist as digital artworks is already falling behind us. We’re now moving toward special and ever-changing access to unique experiences. We see this as the new standard for collectibles and, eventually, for the ‘fandom’ economy as a whole.”
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique blockchain-based tokens that give holders sole ownership over the specific asset they represent, such as digital artwork, real-world assets, or special access privileges. LaMelo will launch a collection of 10,000 NFTs, consisting of 9,500 Standard NFTs with three classes of rarity, as well as 500 EVOLVE NFTs. Each of these NFTs will contain unique artwork, attributes, and perks, such as special artist renditions, exciting highlight reels, random fan rewards, and opportunities to interact with LaMelo himself.
Using Ether Cards’ proprietary NFT Super Powers and Chainlink oracles, LaMelo’s EVOLVE NFTs feature new random, gamified elements never seen before in previous athletes’ NFT offerings, leading to a truly interactive and unpredictable user experience. Specifically, LaMelo’s EVOLVE NFTs will track his current statistics, individual awards, and cumulative achievements, which can then change the composition and value of the NFT over time. For instance, an EVOLVE NFT will update if LaMelo wins Rookie of the Year in 2021 and will capture additional accolades throughout LaMelo’s career.
“Being able to interact with my fans in a more personal and gamified way is very rewarding for an athlete,” LaMelo Ball explained. “I’m excited to work with Playground, Ether Cards, and Chainlink to make this possible, and look forward to engaging with my fan base through these new dynamic NFTs.”
Playground is leveraging a technological framework built upon Ether Cards and Chainlink to launch LaMelo’s Dynamic NFTs. Ether Cards is the market-leading NFT creation and issuance platform, which enables artists, players, and creators to issue unique NFTs that can take on new traits in response to real-world events. Traits, such as those used for LaMelo’s NFTs, are customized attributes embedded into the NFT series. Traits can be acquired both at the moment of purchase (e.g., predefined Vanity Traits) or upon performing a specific set of actions (e.g., once a player reaches a certain career milestone). To provide the best user experience possible, these traits can be continuously enhanced and refined.
“The possibilities of NFTs extend far beyond static images, whether it’s evolving artwork that changes in real-time based on current events or NFTs that provide special access to your favorite athlete,” stated Ether Cards Founder Andras Kristof. “Lamelo is pioneering a new standard in fandom experiences through the launch of his dynamic NFT collectibles, creating a more direct and gamified experience that strengthens the bond between fans and their favorite athletes and allows fans to share in the athlete’s achievements.”
These traits, and other gamified elements of LaMelo’s Dynamic NFT collection, are made possible by Chainlink, the industry-leading decentralized oracle network. Chainlink provides the NFTs access to real-world data and computations only available outside the blockchain. In this integration, Chainlink will provide two key functions: verified data feeds and verifiable randomness.
Chainlink oracles will supply LaMelo’s EVOLVE NFTs with data about real-world events like NBA match results, player stats, and rewards to determine their unique traits. As the most time-tested and widely adopted oracle solution, Chainlink will ensure the integrity of the data and the security of its delivery to the blockchain by using a decentralized oracle network to aggregate information from multiple premium data sources. This removes any centralized point of failure so the NFT can evolve in an automated manner.
Additionally, Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function) will initially be used to fairly determine the recipients of LaMelo’s EVOLVE NFTs from the pool of users who sign up for a chance to win. Because Chainlink VRF is tamper-proof and auditable by anyone, it is guaranteed that LaMelo’s EVOLVE NFTs will be distributed to users in a provably fair and unbiased manner that no external entity—including Playground, Chainlink, or Ether Cards—can manipulate or predict.
“The linking of what LaMelo does on the court back to his on-chain NFT enables an entirely new relationship between him and his many fans,” stated Sergey Nazarov, Co-founder of Chainlink. “Dynamic NFTs enable a continual increase in value for NFTs based on real-world activities, such as each additional point, winning a game, or various other titles like ‘Rookie of the Year’. Dynamic NFTs are the more advanced version of how NFTs will continually accrue value based on their subjects’ off-chain behaviors.”
This new dynamic NFT standard, jointly developed by Chainlink and Ether Cards, is designed to transform plain NFTs into a much more engaging and real-world experience that perpetually reinforces consumer loyalty with brands and artists. Playground expects it will become the standard industry model employed by other players and artists in the future and looks forward to leveraging this integration with both technologies to support additional clients.
Playground is an NFT studio pioneering the world’s first Dynamic NFTs, or NFTs that update themselves based on real-world events. In collaboration with Chainlink, Playground allows anybody to issue scarce digital tokens that award their fans with utility, exclusive access, and predictive market capabilities based on events off of the blockchain.
Chainlink is the industry standard oracle network for powering hybrid smart contracts. Chainlink Decentralized Oracle Networks provide developers with the largest collection of high-quality data sources and secure off-chain computations to expand the capabilities of smart contracts on any blockchain. Managed by a global, decentralized community, Chainlink currently secures billions of dollars in value for smart contracts across decentralized finance (DeFi), insurance, gaming, and other major industries.
Chainlink is trusted by hundreds of organizations, from global enterprises to projects at the forefront of the blockchain economy, to deliver definitive truth via secure, reliable oracle networks. To learn more about Chainlink, visit chain.link, subscribe to the Chainlink newsletter, and follow @chainlink on Twitter. To understand the full vision of the Chainlink Network, read the Chainlink 2.0 whitepaper.
About Ether Cards
Ether Cards is an NFT framework that connects real-world utility and the digital space. This framework allows talent, celebrities, and projects to connect with their communities in engaging and unique methods, while simultaneously unlocking new monetization channels.
The team behind Ether Cards consists of industry veterans and experts throughout the blockchain sector. With more than 50 years of combined experience behind them, they have supported some of the biggest names in the industry, including the Ethereum Foundation and Consensys.