There’s a reason why NFTs are all the rage. After all, they are tokens that can be used to denote ownership of unique goods. They enable us to tokenize items such as artwork, collectibles, music, and videos. There can only be one official owner at a time and is protected by the Ethereum blockchain, so no one can change the ownership record or create a new NFT.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have repeatedly demonstrated that they have the potential to change the gaming world since their introduction. The development of NFTs promises a new and exciting order in which gamers take on even more important roles in the gaming economy and are rewarded accordingly.
An NFT game combines traditional gaming designs with unconventional game mechanisms to give users more control over in-game assets such as skins, characters, weapons, virtual lands, and much more. Launching games on blockchains and anchoring them with digital asset-based economies makes this possible.
These digital assets are frequently NFTs, which make them distinguishable and tamper-proof. The use of NFT token standards also allows developers to keep some of these in-game items rare and unique. As a result, some blockchain game assets are more expensive than others.
Introduction to Zed Run
Zed Run is a blockchain-based game in which NFTs are used to represent a horse. It is based on the Polygon Layer 2 Chain that allows users to develop their own stable of racehorses by purchasing them on the peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace, at horse sales, or through the game’s breeding mechanism.
Each horse has its distinct characteristics, which means you could end up with a champion stallion, or your horse may be better suited to be a stud. Building a successful horse and stable, much like in real life, takes time, money, and careful attention to detail.
This world, however, is not physical in any way. Zed Run is entirely virtual. The horses you purchase, the studs you breed, and the races you attend. Except for the money, that is real.
The founder and CEO of Zed Run, Chris Laurent launched the company in Australia in 2019. Rob Salha, Geoff Wellman, and Chris Ebeling are the co-founders of Zed Run.
(Source: Zed Run, Youtube)
They saw horse racing as a fertile ground for new ideas. “It’s one of the world’s oldest sports, and it hasn’t changed since the beginning of time,” Mr. Laurent said.
According to Zed Run co-founder Geoff Wellman, the team behind the rapidly growing gaming platform is a group of sci-fi-loving 80s kids who have taken the blank canvas of real-life horse racing and painted it with some of the wildest digital art ever seen.
To get started, the team at Virtually Human Studios (Zed’s official parent company) raised a small seed round from early supporters. This got the team up and running and gave them the necessary early momentum.
The Zed Run community
You can’t understand Zed Run without first understanding its community. Zed Run places a high value on its community. It is, without a doubt, the single most important pillar of what they do.
In addition to having large Twitter and Instagram accounts, the Zed Run Discord has approximately 72,000 members, with close to 10,000 new members joining each month. The Discord channel has everything you’d expect: rabid fans debating strategies, asking questions, offering advice, offering product ideas, sharing photos of their horses, live streaming races, showing off a little, and primarily trying to learn, teach, and assist one another in navigating this new world.
However, the number of sub-communities that have sprouted up in the Zed Run community is the most fascinating part. There are now entire websites, newsletters, and datasets dedicated entirely to Zed Run. These are all completely unofficial, unsponsored, and unfunded by the company.
Financial and Legal Considerations
Despite the boom in sports betting, some have questioned Zed Run’s legality, claiming it may violate interstate gambling laws. Zed Run has stated clearly that they do not want to be a gambling platform. The team has made it clear that Zed Run is a strategy and skill NFT game in which users have autonomy and control over their performance and potential outcomes.
It’s challenging to maintain track of legal requirements across different jurisdictions since it adds another layer of complexity to their decision-making process. However, by treating legal challenges with a game-first perspective, they can maintain the product’s integrity and avoid allowing legal issues to hamper development. This can make things more challenging at times. It is, however, the correct thing to do.
What makes Zed Run a massive hit?
This NFT game has been around since 2018 but has gained popularity a few months ago. It had zero media coverage when it was launched, but suddenly it got the media’s huge attention.
Why is that?
It’s easy to forget that NFTs were still relatively unknown just a few months ago. They were not at all mainstream. Celebrities weren’t talking about them, and the media didn’t seem to know or care about them.
This all changed when the popularity of NFT sports cards skyrocketed as a result of NBA Top Shot. The NBA’s support for this movement gave it legitimacy. It drew celebrities and media attention, and it paved the way for much of the narrative we see today.
NFTs are still confusing for many people, but Zed Run has made significant efforts to simplify the world of NFTs. They make everything accessible, understandable, and simple to use. Everything is built on the blockchain, but much of the noise and confusion has been abstracted away. They recognize that while blockchain is at the forefront, it is not the star. The star is the game itself.
The emphasis on usability may have played a significant role in their success.
Zed Run’s Mission
ZED’s mission is to build an ecosystem where collectible digital assets have value and can be used in an exciting and ever-changing gaming and wagering environment.
The Zed Run team wants to give digital asset ownership a meaning that everyone can understand. They are dead set on making an emotional connection with your digital asset, something you can nurture and pass down to future generations.
Zed Run raised $20 million
Virtually Human Studio (VHS), the company behind the digital horse racing service Zed Run, has raised $20 million in Series A funding from Red Beard Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
Since its start in 2019, Zed Run has sold $30 million worth of NFTs, making headlines. One participant made $252,000 from the sale of his racehorse stable, while another earned $125,000 off a single stallion.
A statement from the company mentions recent collaborations with Atari, Stella Artois, and The Preakness. An auction of 20 exclusive racehorse skin NFTs featuring classic Atari games was completed just a few days before the announced investment, netting a $410k profit.
With Zed Run, Virtually Human Studios struck gold, with the platform proving an undeniable success. They have 125,000 connected users and 14,000 unique stable owners so far. Furthermore, Zed Run assets, which have so far only been horses, have been trading for as much as 30 ETH.
The company intends to expand its game economy by allowing players to own racetracks, create and sell accessory designs and other features. The additional funding will be used to hire new developers and accelerate VHS growth in general.
How to get started and buy your first digital horse on Zed Run
Creating a MetaMask Wallet
Making a Zed Run account — or stable — is the first step in getting a horse. You can sign up with your email address, but using a MetaMask wallet is the best option. MetaMask is an ERC20 wallet that is widely used by NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
ETH transfer to MetaMask
The next step is to transfer Ethereum (ETH) from Coinbase or another cryptocurrency wallet to your MetaMask.
Click the Chrome extension, click “Account 1” to copy your wallet address, click account details, and click a photo of the QR code to get your MetaMask wallet address.
You can also purchase ETH on the MetaMask app with a credit card, but the card company has a mixed record of approving or declining the transaction.
Finally, when moving ETH, keep in mind what the gas expenses are. Late at night or early in the morning, they are frequently cheaper.
Creating an account
Now that you have your ETH in your MetaMask, navigate to Zed Run and click the “Start” button in the upper right-hand corner. Next, choose “Connect MetaMask” rather than “Enter your email.” To finish the account setup, simply follow the prompts, then go to Settings and add your email and stable name to your account. Don’t worry if you haven’t decided on a permanent name yet; you can change it whenever you want.
Wrapping your ETH
To participate in the drop, wrap your ETH or transfer ETH to WETH as the final step before purchasing your first horse. Wrapped ETH is used to avoid paying gas fees on every transaction (buying horses, racing, and breeding).
Go to your Zed Wallet in the upper right corner of the screen, scroll down to WETH Balance, and click “Deposit.” Enter the amount of ETH you want to convert and then click “Deposit to WETH Balance.” This procedure can take up to thirty minutes, so don’t worry if the transfer does not occur immediately.
Keep in mind that there will be gas fees associated with this transaction. WETH will be used to purchase horses, enter races, and breed. You can also keep some ETH in your wallet if you need to convert WETH to ETH to begin the withdrawal process.
Key attributes of Zed Run Horses
Every Zed Run horse, like other NFTs, has characteristics that make it different. The first is the horse’s name and gender, which have no known correlation to how well it performs on the track. Other factors, such as bloodline, genotype, and coat color, can all affect the performance of that specific horse and the performance of future offspring.
As previously stated, Zed Run has four bloodlines: Nakamoto, Szabo, Finney, and Buterin. Each bloodline has unique characteristics that influence its performance on the racetrack. The Zed descriptions for every bloodline, which are named after historical figures in cryptocurrencies, are listed below.
These are the rarest Zed Run genesis horses or the only horses Zed will ever release, with only 2,000 ever released, accounting for approximately 5% of the genesis population.
According to Zed Run legend, Nakamotos are known for their personality, endurance, intelligence, and, most importantly, purity. This is the most valuable bloodline in terms of racing and breeding.
Szabos account for approximately 5.26 percent of Zed Run’s thoroughbred genesis population and only 2,000 thoroughbred Szabos will ever be sold. Szabos were originally bred for pleasure riding but are well-equipped for racing, according to Zed Run lore. Szabos can also withstand cold temperatures because they originated in a region known for harsh winters. Though this is anecdotal, Szabos are the closest in bloodline to Nakamotos.
Finneys account for 9,000 thoroughbreds, or 23.68 percent of the total thoroughbred population.
Finneys, according to Zed Run lore, can be difficult to train, but mating between the Nakamotos or Szabos can help to mitigate some of the more difficult character traits. These horses have high endurance and resiliency because they have survived unpleasant, hot conditions for generations since their origins in the Middle East.
Buterins account for approximately 65 percent of the 25,000 thoroughbred Zed horses, making this breed not only the most common but also a great performer on the track. Buterins were raised in Siberia, according to Zed Run lore, and this breed is known for its ability to perform in harsh terrain, extreme temperatures, and dry conditions. Buterins have thicker necks and wider chests than other breeds, giving them a sturdy and reliable build.
Although the purer the bloodline, the better the chances of being a good racer, Buterins can beat any other bloodlines, this is important to understand when we get into the specifics of racing and breeding later on.
The Z number of a horse is referred to as its genotype; thoroughbreds range from Z1 to Z268. The horse is purer if the Z number is lower. Non-Genesis horses (offspring) can have Z numbers lesser than 10, while Genesis horses (original bloodline) always have Z1 — Z10 (due to the Z numbers of their parents). Again, a low Z number does not always imply a better racer.
The Breed Type of a Zed horse is the next feature to consider. In order of rarity, the six breed types are Genesis, Legendary, Exclusive, Elite, Cross, and Pacer.
All of the horses sold during Zed Run drops are Genesis, the rarest and purest breed type. There are only 38,000 of these horses minted, and once they are all sold, no more will be minted.
Z9s and Z10s are excellent starter horses because they have the lowest initial cost (approximately $205 and $125) and can compete on the track or in the stud.
In Zed Run, there are male and female horses, each with two options: have children or do not have children. A colt is a male horse that has yet to have children, and a filly is a female horse that has yet to have children. A Mare is a female horse that has given birth to children, whereas a Stallion is a male horse that has fathered children.
Female horses have a slightly higher premium because you get to keep the offspring when the horse breeds.
Then there’s Coat Color, which is the metallic-looking color of your horse. Earth, Neptune, Wild, Moon, Fiery, Classic, and Mystical are the seven Coat Color Groups. Each of these color groups can influence a horse’s temperament and personality.
Each group is divided into three tiers: Super Rare, Rare, and Common.
There are also Super Coats, which can appear when two horses with the same coat color mate.
Racing the Horses
After you buy your first Zed horse, you can participate in the best part of the game, racing! Nothing compares to the joy of your first victory. Twelve horses enter every race, but only the top three will receive their share of the prize pool.
Class 1-5 (Class 1 being the highest and Class 5 being the lowest) are the five classes for raced horses, and Griffin is the class for unraced horses. Before entering ranked paid races, each horse must compete in a free Griffin race, although they will only do so once.
Entering the First Race
To enter a race, first, choose your horse’s class (Griffin if it hasn’t been raced), then scroll down to find the option to choose a gate and enter a racehorse. Select your racehorse and sign the MetaMask contract by following the prompts.
You’ve signed up for your first Zed Run race! You can now watch your horse compete on one of several amazing 3D tracks. Wait until the race fills up, then select the “Next To Run” tab to see how much time remains until the race begins. To filter the list and fund what you need, use the “My racehorse only” toggle.
Following the Griffin race, you will be assigned to a certain racing class based on your genotype base rating, and you will be limited to participating in that class until your race results move you up or down in the rankings.
Entering paid races is the most effective way to determine where your horse stands on the track. There are nine different race lengths ranging from 1000 meters to 2600 meters, with the other distances increasing in 200-meter increments.
One advantage of racing your horse is learning what it excels at. Horses have preferred distances, so race a few times at each distance to determine your horse’s sweet spot.
When you enter a paid race, you will be charged WETH, and you can check the prize pool breakdown by lingering over the entry cost in the expanded view after clicking on a race. WETH entry fees range from around $2.50 to $400+ depending on the class. Winners are automatically paid out shortly after the race, and the WETH is transferred to your Zed Run wallet.
Breeding is back on ZED RUN! The stud farm has reopened for business after months of maintenance, allowing ZED RUN horses to find their ideal mates. They are an important part of Zed Run and the future of NFT horse racing on Zed. The main points to remember are that males are placed in stud farms so that females can choose who to breed with, and the female keeps the child.
A male horse can currently have up to three offspring per month, while a female horse can only have one. While a horse is being bred, it cannot compete in races.
Zed Run’s breeding limits have been updated so that studs (males) can have three children per month and mares (females) can have one child per month. When a child is bred, the Z numbers of the parents are added for the determination of the child’s Z number. For example, a Z10 father may mate with a Z10 mother to produce a Z20 child.
A horse’s gender is also determined by whether it has been bred; stallions are bred males, colts are unbred males, fillys are unbred females, and mares are bred females. These distinctions are not known to affect track performance.
How to invest in a Zed Run horse?
Buying horses via drops
The biggest surprise for many visitors to Zed Run is that you can’t just go and buy new horses whenever you want.
The company, like many NFTs, only releases new horses during drops. Drops are coordinated events where specific batches of horses are released at specific times, as announced on their Discord and Twitter. You’ll also need to pay attention because drops sell out quickly.
Remember that Zed has only released about half of the Genesis horses so far, so it’s not too late to start. The last drop, known as the ECHO DROP, occurred on June 10th. The company has been putting measures to prevent hoarding and make horse purchases more fair and equitable for everyone.
They ensure that supply is not overly restricted during drops to give newcomers a fair chance of owning premium horses. At the same time, they must be cautious not to flood the market with new supply suddenly, as this will irritate the older, most loyal, stable owners, whose aggregate value will be significantly reduced.
It’s a delicate balance, and they’ve been taking it very seriously. As great as it would be for their bottom line to flood the market with new horses, it is in their best interest to ensure the ecosystem’s longevity.
Purchasing horses on the secondary market
It’s fine if you don’t get a horse during a drop. They are still available on secondary markets such as Opensea.
Purchasing a horse on a reputable, transparent market, such as Opensea, reduces the possibility of being scammed to near nil. In comparison to the drop, you may have to pay a premium. “Horse flipping” is a real thing, and it can be quite profitable for savvy sellers. Simultaneously, you might be able to acquire a good deal on a horse that is undervalued.
Future of Zed Run
This company can go in so many different directions. The sub-economy is one of the most intriguing areas to explore.
The Zed Run ecosystem has given rise to some truly fascinating phenomena. You now have a thriving sub-economy in addition to a massive community, including massive stable owners, stable conglomerates, Zed Run trainers, and Zed Run consultants.
However, because these sub-economies are all community-driven, Zed Run does not want to get too involved in them. If they provided these services themselves, they would effectively be taking market share away from their fans. It is far more prudent to take a step back, empower them, and allow these movements to evolve independently.
However, there is one area where getting more directly involved may make sense, and that is with opportunities in the metaverse. The concept of virtual land ownership and development is becoming more popular.
Consider what this concept could imply for Zed Run. There could be virtual landlords who own not only horses and stables but entire racetracks. Players could create, build, and own their tracks, then sell to other players. Horse owners could even be charged to race on them. Tracks may have different properties, weather conditions, and other characteristics that make them more appealing to different types of horses.
Zed Run NFT Game: Verdict
The world of Zed Run is enormous, and this is only the beginning. There is always something new to discover and learn, and the platform is getting a lot of new features. This NFT game is constantly evolving, and the future looks promising, so there has never been a better time to get pumped and start your stable.
You can learn the ropes, study the facts, and give yourself an edge with Zed Run. You can make a real return not only by racing your horses but also by breeding them. Breeders establish their own pricing and team up with other players to produce high-value horses and divide the profits.
Zed Run, according to the company, is first and foremost a game. It is, however, a game involving precious digital assets. Like any other active investment, the return on your investment is determined by the amount of effort you put in.
Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.
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