Phygitals: Bridging the Gap (Ep. 3)

In a recent episode of the Block Consult podcast, Cyrus, founder of NFTCG, a company disrupting the $27 billion trading card industry, reflected on his journey from being a trading card enthusiast to pioneering the integration of physically backed token (PBT) technology in trading cards.

Bridging the Physical and Digital: The Concept of Phygitals

From an early age, Cyrus was captivated by the collectability aspect of trading cards. His foray into the web 3 space began two to three years ago when he started creating his own art. He discussed his decision to build a physical experience for his digital-first product, which he believes helps to onboard individuals who may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with purely digital collectibles.

Mastering PBT Technology: The Challenges in Building Lunar Legend

The concept of phygitals, objects that bridge the gap between physical and digital collectibles through the use of PBT technology, was also explored. PBT technology uses a specialized chip embedded in a physical item, essentially creating a hard wallet in the item, to link it to its digital counterpart. One project utilizing PBT technology is Lunar Legend, a trading card game with physical cards containing encrypted chips that hold the digital version of the same card. Mastering PBT technology was cited as the biggest challenge in building the Lunar Legend project.

Overcoming Manufacturing Hurdles in Integrating PBT Technology into Trading Cards

The conversation delved into the specific challenges NFTCG faced when incorporating PBT technology into their cards. Finding a manufacturer capable of producing the specialized chip required to house the PBT contract on the card was a significant hurdle. The team ultimately partnered with Arx, the team that assisted Azuki with their PBT technology. Selecting the right material for the card was another challenge. The chips used in PBT technology are about the thickness of a quarter, necessitating a switch to a plastic material similar to credit cards to accommodate the chip without compromising the card’s integrity or visibility.

The Vision of NFTCG: Fostering Unity in the NFT Space with a Universal Trading Card Game

Cyrus discussed his vision for NFTCG’s future, which includes the creation of a universal trading card game encompassing various NFTs from different collections. The company anticipates launching a digital platform for gameplay and potentially a digital marketplace for trading cards. They expressed a keen desire to connect diverse communities in the NFT space and foster unity through the game. Collaborations with other NFT projects are welcomed and encouraged.

The Importance of IP Rights and the Future Role of Phygitals in the Web3 Space

The process of acquiring individual IP rights for each cat in their collection, and the importance of discussing with the founder of a project before releasing a collection, was also discussed. The conversation then pivoted to the future of phygitals in the web3 space, which they believe lies in bridging the gap between digital and physical assets. They acknowledged the challenges newcomers face when navigating the web3 space and expressed their hope that phygitals will simplify understanding the value of digital assets. They also saw potential in phygitals providing anti-counterfeit measures for high-end brands through the integration of PBT technology.

Leveraging Phygitals for Anti-Counterfeit Measures in High-End Brands

The potential impact of using phygitals to verify the authenticity of fashion items was also discussed. While there are digital authentication methods currently available, many consumers may be unaware of how to utilize them. Phygitals, on the other hand, would allow anyone with a smartphone to swiftly verify the authenticity of a purchase. This technology could potentially eradicate the $70 billion counterfeit market. It was emphasized that future success will hinge on companies’ ability to bridge the gap between digital verification and the physical world.

You can watch the full podcast here:


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