Robert has reported for a variety of international publications including the Associated Press, The Guardian, Vice, and Decrypt. Current areas of interest include the political economy of technology, cryptocurrencies, and privacy. Robert has a Bachelor of Science from UCL, and a Master's degree from the University of Oxford's Internet Institute.
Enjin Coin (ENJ) is a cryptocurrency that powers a sprawling protocol of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Lots of Enjin’s NFTs are geared towards in-game videogame items. Developers can integrate these NFTs into their video games, meaning that players could one day be rewarded in cryptocurrency for completing a quest, slaying a dragon or winning a battle. Unlike most in-game items, these NFTs can be sold on secondary marketplaces that are completely out of the hands of the developers who make them.
ENJ, like most cryptocurrencies, is a volatile token that is prone to the whiplash ups and downs of the cryptocurrency market. If you don’t want to use it to craft NFTs, you can trade it as a speculative asset. You can hold ENJ in the hopes that it increases in value, aiming to sell it at a higher price than you bought it. In this guide, we’ll explain what it is, how it works, and how to get your hands on it in Canada.Buy and Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and over a dozen other cryptocurrencies with Wealthsimple. Sign up and Trade here.
NFTs and the videogame economy
Video game assets, for the most part, are controlled by the developers rather than the players. Take Fortnite: Epic Games, its creator, can create and destroy its virtual currency, V-Bucks, plus in-game character models it sells to players, whenever it likes. This is very handy for Epic Games, since it controls the entire economy that it’s based its game around; Epic can introduce tools to positively manipulate the market and curate the items up for sale. It can also block scammers, resulting in a safer experience for players. Indeed, Epic’s the only seller for Fortnight assets; you can only buy items sold by Epic Games.
Cryptocurrency projects like Enjin want to use decentralized infrastructure to change the distribution of power. If a videogame developer could tokenize an asset, the owner would have, at least in blockchain terms, something approximating property rights over that asset. It isn’t watertight—a videogame could still blacklist addresses or exclude certain items from a game—but the developer wouldn’t be able to take that in-game item away from the holder. This is because the asset would be an NFT, or non-fungible token.
The people who create the video game wouldn’t have exclusivity over the marketplace, either. NFTs can sell on secondary, public markets, over which the developer of a videogame has no control. The gamble for video game developers integrating NFTs into their game is that although they would lose control, they could access highly liquid markets and sell to traders who don’t even have an interest in playing the game. This is not a sure bet, since many gamers hate in-game purchases and consider NFTs nothing but cash grabs.
Even though the company that creates Enjin started as a videogame company, video games aren’t the only use case for Enjin—any community that requires NFTs, such as the music industry, collectibles (think trading cards or certificates), could mint NFTs with Enjin.
How ENJ coin works
Enjin is an end-to-end ecosystem for creating, distributing and trading NFTs. Crucial to the economy is the Enjin Coin, which backs the value of the NFTs themselves. When developers create an NFT on Enjin, they have to lock up a certain amount of ENJ within the NFT. NFTs can also be melted back down into ENJ, a little like how, say, a silver coin is backed by the value of the silver into which it can be melted back down.
This means that Enjin NFTs are “backed” by ENJ, and the value of that NFT will be interrelated with the market for fungible ENJ coins. The mint-and-melt model is different from minting regular NFTs on Ethereum—NFTs can be minted for free (plus the gas charge of ETH you need to pay the Ethereum network), and can’t be minted back into ETH. (That said, some protocols like Niftex allow for the fractionalisation of NFTs, which involves cutting up NFTs into fungible ERC-20 tokens, but such NFT derivatives form a minor part of the NFT economy).
NFTs on Enjin are what are known as ERC-1155s; regular NFTs, like the one that, say, NFT artist Beeple sold for $69 million in early 2021, are known as ERC-721s. Because the market for the ENJ crypto revolves around NFT-based Enjin staking, the circulating supply for ENJ is likely to decrease as people mint more NFTs. As of January 2022, the circulating supply for ENJ is 848 million ENJ.
ENJ is an ERC-20 coin based on Ethereum, meaning that you can use it within any Ethereum-based decentralized finance protocol that supports it. Separate from ENJ and the ENJ-backed NFTs is another coin called EFinity (EFI). This coin is based on another blockchain called Polkadot. The EFinity protocol is designed as a bridge to support trading from multiple blockchains. You could use EFinity, for instance, to port Enjin NFTs across blockchains. The EFI coin is used to pay for transaction fees on the EFinity network. You can hold all Enjin assets, plus those outside of the Enjin ecosystem, in Enjin’s proprietary crypto wallet, Enjin Wallet.
Only a handful of games actually use Enjin NFTs. These include a trading card game called Kingdom Karnage, Space Misfits, a free-to-play space exploration game, an online RPG called 9 Lives Arena, a first-person puzzle adventure game called Age of Rust, and an augmented reality game called Hololoot. Although the games are wildly different, they all fall under the banner of a new genre of video games called play-to-earn. These are games that reward players in cryptocurrencies.
As of March 2022, none of the Enjin games have truly gone viral. OpenSea’s marketplace for Enjin NFTs marks just 146 ETH, or about half a million dollars, in all-time Enjin NFT sales. On Enjin’s marketplace, one game stands above overs: Lost Relics, with a monthly volume of about 7,500 ENJ – but that’s only about $13,800. By way of comparison, a single project called IreneDAO, which represents trading cards from an Instagram and Twitter influencer called Yuqing Irene Zhao, traded 2,56 ETH ($8.6 million) in the first four months of 2022.
Even outside the Enjin ecosystem, only a handful of play-to-earn games have ever hit the big time. The most successful NFT game is called Axie Infinity; the monster battling game has generated $3.8 billion in sales, as of this writing. NBA Top Shot, a crypto collectibles market for virtual NBA trading cards, each of which represents a clip from a memorable basketball game, has generated $861 million in sales. A conceptual “game” called Loot has generated $722 million in sales, and a soccer card trading game called Sorare has generated $188 million. A lot of analysts are closely watching GameFi, or crypto-powered videogame finance, to predict the next play-to-earn video game that’ll take off.
How to buy Enjin Coin (ENJ) in Canada
There are three main ways to buy Enjin Coin (ENJ) in Canada. The first is to use a brokerage service, like Wealthsimple Crypto. The second is to use a centralized exchange. The final method is to use a decentralized exchange. Let’s go through each method in turn.
Through a brokerage platform
Brokerages are companies that buy heaps of crypto from elsewhere—usually exchanges—and sell you that crypto, usually at a slight premium (known as a spread). These services often sell crypto to you in fiat currencies, like the Canadian or US dollar. Brokerages are usually slightly more expensive than peer-to-peer trades on crypto exchanges, but the advantage is that it’s slightly easier, more convenient, and usually better-regulated than alternatives.
Wealthsimple Crypto is an example of a brokerage platform, but most crypto exchanges will have a brokerage arm alongside their peer-to-peer exchange. To get started on a brokerage, you need to work out which brokerages sell ENJ, if they’re licensed to sell in Canada, and for what currencies they will sell you ENJ.
To buy through a brokerage, you’ll need to set up an account, pass an identity check and link your debit or credit card. Then select ENJ from a list and hit “buy.” Before you do so, be sure to check the fees—you might get a better deal on a centralized exchange, even if it’s a smidgen more complicated.
Through a centralized crypto exchange
A centralized cryptocurrency exchange is a trading platform that lets you trade directly with other users. They are called centralized exchanges, or CEXes, because their trading platforms are run by companies; this stands in contrast to decentralized exchanges, which are autonomous protocols that run on code. Fees on CEXes are often lower than brokerages, and they often offer far more coins. Unlike some brokerages, you can also buy coins with other cryptocurrencies rather than with regular money.
The disadvantage of a cryptocurrency exchange is that you might have to jump through a few more hoops to trade cryptocurrencies, such as buying an intermediary currency like USDT (Tether). This is because while most exchanges support deposits of Canadian dollars, pairings for individual coins might be offered in far fewer currencies. On one exchange, for instance, ENJ is only paired with Bitcoin, the euro, the British pound and the US dollar. That means that CAD traders will have to swap their coins for one of these other currencies first, incurring a minor trading fee (usually around 0.01%), then buy ENJ for another ~0.01% fee. This isn’t a great inconvenience, however, considering the reduced fees.
Getting set up on a centralized exchange is a little like creating an account on a brokerage: add your personal information and create a password, and you’re pretty much good to go. You’ll have to manually fund your account rather than buying crypto directly with, say, a credit card. Since the industry lacks regulation, it’s a good idea not to keep too much money on an exchange—just in case the exchange goes bust.
To work out which crypto exchanges support ENJ, head to the “Markets” tab on a site like CoinMarketCap (Google something like “Enjin coinmarket” to find similar sites that display Enjin’s coin value, historical price chart, and Enjin crypto news).
Once you’ve set up and funded your account, head to the matching engine and place a “spot” trade for a currency of your choice, first for a coin that pairs with the CAD and next for ENJ. You’ll then have ENJ in your account.
Through a decentralized crypto exchange
The last method is to buy ENJ through a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. These exchanges only accept cryptocurrencies and require you to connect a Web3 wallet, like MetaMask. The most popular DEX for ENJ is Uniswap. Note that you’ll have to also hold ETH in your cryptocurrency wallet to pay for a transaction. Fees are high on decentralized exchanges. As of this writing, it would cost $52 in ETH to swap 1 ETH for ENJ—this fee is dependent on the congestion of the Ethereum blockchain and is constantly in flux, as is the Enjin coin price. You don’t have to provide any identification to trade on a decentralized crypto exchange.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can buy ENJ crypto through a brokerage, crypto exchange platform, or decentralized exchange. Each venue comes with different risks, fees, and processes. In Canada, you can buy it through brokerages like Wealthsimple Crypto, crypto exchanges, and decentralized exchanges like Uniswap.
This is a difficult question to answer, and making Enjin Coin price predictions is not something we’re able to advise on. However, when considering ENJ, think about the NFT economy it powers. Do you think that ENJ will become popular? Do you think its suite of ENJ-backed NFTs will take off? Do you see a great arbitrage opportunity across exchanges? Can you construct a financial model that uses historical ENJ price data to predict the coin’s future? Will play-to-earn gaming take off, and carry ENJ’s price along for the ride? It’s impossible to predict the future with any great degree of certainty, but ENJ investors are likely confident that positive scenarios will one day bear fruit.
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