Can the Samsung and Enjin partnership usher in a new mass market for non-fungible tokens?

Despite Enjin's CTO "officially confirming" that the project has a partnership with the South Korean giant Samsung, no one seems to know what the rumoured project is all about

The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has barely seen its surface scratched, with the most popular application being a crypto game that involves collecting and breeding “digitally scarce” cats.

However, Samsung could soon be about to shock the market with the possible release of a wallet that includes tokens with a suite of new special features powered by Enjin’s ERC-1155 NFT standard.

In a recently released video showing the current Korean version of the “Blockchain Keystore” for the mobile giant’s flagship smartphone the Galaxy S10, we can see a user demonstrate features including the ability to swap coins directly in the wallet through the supported exchanges (Changelly, Kyber, and Bancor) and also the “Wallet Store” that can hold game items and collectibles.

The update – which is yet to be released in North America and Europe – shows that the team is working on releasing updates for Samsung’s native blockchain wallet following its confirmed partnership with the Enjin team.

Digital wallets today

Today, we have not yet seen a standardised implementation of a digital wallet. People tend to use a digital wallet on their phones in two ways (similar to their physical wallets): they store credit cards to make payments and they collect things that may have redeemable value.

Apart from the obvious use case for NFTs as part of a gaming platform (envisioned by Enjin), another use case that many may have overlooked is the ability to use NFTs for things like loyalty points and time-sensitive discounts that could be sent to a ‘blockchain wallet’ at the same time someone is making a purchase via their mobile phone.

While there is some mobile wallet-based functionality for brand loyalty available today, this mainly consists of just QR codes for a vendor to scan rather than any smart tokens being issued as part of a better incentivisation mechanism.

Why now and not before?

Unlike the most widely-tested non-fungible Ethereum standard ERC-721 (which requires a separate contract for each token), Enjin’s new innovation with ERC-1155 is far more efficient as it stores the ‘common’ data in a central smart contract.

From this benefit, you could look to optimise the amount of fees or ‘Ethereum gas’ required to create and transfer tokens on a given smart contract platform.

In December 2017, the Ethereum network slowed down as it struggled to handle the surging demand and transaction backlog from the CryptoKitties dApp. This spike in demand for platform power (based on the ERC-721 token standard) made the Ethereum gas price jump nearly 4,650% from 20 to 950 wei.

With ERC-1155, we may now have an NFT standard able to actually scale to the demand generated by mass use cases such as brand loyalty schemes.

Whatever Samsung and Enjin are working on seems to be kept tightly under wraps at the moment. The obvious direction would be blockchain gaming, but we may see that Samsung has plans to enter a much wider and untapped market and create a new standard of smart and non-fungible tokens on mobile wallets.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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