In 2018, there is a confidence in platforms - projects that plan to carry many popular distributed apps on their networks. Beyond the leading Ethereum platform, there is NEO, QTUM, as well as TRON.
But so far, distributed apps are slow to arrive. So while platforms are waiting for the inflow of projects, the phenomenon of crypto collectibles has taken over. Perhaps the most popular one was CryptoKitties, the Ethereum-based game that at one point clogged the network. But before that, there were short-lived projects of varying fame. The biggest weakness was that in the end, the crypto collectibles were just images, and only depended on the community for their value.
Just as with other crypto assets, CryptoKitties spiked and crashed in price. Gen 0 kitties, the most valuable, fell from 9 ETH to as low as 0.2 ETH due to falling auction interest.
Yet collectibles and the technology for non-fungible tokens continues to expand.
NEO is about to host the Hash Puppies collectibles. An airdrop of the non-fungible tokens started back in December, but the game is not completed yet. Users may not even see their token balances in the wallets. However, the publicity may be affecting NEO already. And behind the scenes, the drive for non-fungible tokens is pushing the NEO developers to build a standard:
But crypto collectibles also go beyond an attempt to popularize already solid platforms. Some projects look just like another money grab by issuing essentially worthless tokens. The fact that the non-fungible tokens are unique does not make them inherently valuable, as their creation is as trivial as that of other types of tokens. One of the now-defunct projects with its website down was the intended Dash-Puppies, which at one point wanted to use IOTA as payment.
In the end, crypto collectibles may be just a fad, or another cautionary story of attempting to create value based on a very fluctuating user interest. But one thing can be said about those non-fungible tokens and the related collectible images - they have a very robust peer-to-peer trading system, and sometimes thrive without the need of exchanges.
As for platforms, it is possible that Ethereum again bears the weight of the new ERC-271 non-fungible tokens and all kinds of attempts at collectible games. The trend may just accelerate in 2018, and represent another form of risky investment for the crypto market.