Over a decade ago, Bitcoin put money on a public decentralized ledger, and today the cutting edge technology of NFTs is bringing a sport born in the 18th century onto the blockchain – horse racing.
Horse Racing NFTs combine the best of both worlds: crypto and sports betting. Moreover, it’s not merely a game of chance, with some skill being required to breed and train horses to win races and money.
What Is NFT Horse Racing?
In the real world, horses can be bred, trained, and raced because of defined horse ownership, and the value of a horse depends on its revenue generating potential. With NFTs, these features can be digitized, with tokens granting complete proof of ownership, while the NFTs themselves represent the various unique traits and characteristics of a particular horse.
NFTs are deployed on the blockchain via smart contracts, and this also enables interacting virtually with horse NFTs to train and race them. The game’s mechanics differ from project to project, but some ideas are common across the majority of these platforms.
Real Horses vs NFT Horses
Below is a cost comparison between real and digital horse breeding and racing, explaining why netizens are all over the once exclusive and elite sport.
|Costs||Real Horses||Horse NFTs|
|Average cost of raising a horse||$3,876 with exclusive horses costing much more||As low as $10-$15 with higher costs for more and better inputs|
|Purchase a trained horse||$76,000 with exclusive horses selling at higher premiums||Starts from $50 with exclusive horses selling at higher premiums|
|Enter a race||$3000 – $50,000||$2 – $15|
On digital platforms, your horse NFTs can go for more frequent races and breeding cycles, making them much more cost efficient. In fact, the efficient use of technology, lower costs, and rising adoption all point to a bright future for this trade.
How Does NFT Horse Racing Work?
Common elements of horse racing NFT platforms include
- Ownable horse NFTs with their own metadata on the blockchain
- Plots of land where horses can be trained and bred
- Prize pools for winning races
Like their real world counterparts, NFT horses are very demanding. They require constant petting in the form of food and other equestrian activities that have to be catered to by the owner. Some platforms also require maintaining stables on plots of land, which requires an ongoing investment into the NFTs.
Each horse NFT has a unique set of metadata like the bloodline, genotype, coat color, and more. A well groomed horse NFT will have competitive statistics on each of these attributes, giving it higher odds of winning a race suited to its condition.
The player needs to approach each race strategically. Entering a race costs an entry fee and the prize money is divided between the winners. Despite owning a good horse NFT, races may be lost if the horse NFT has the wrong attributes for the race. These races run on algorithms that create unique conditions, and this high randomness makes it unpredictable and gamifies the process of racing NFTs. Some horses even enjoy celebrity status on NFT horse racing Discord servers.
Breeding Horse NFTs
A horse NFT requires time and money to become competitive. The game also allows for horse breeding, which opens up strategic opportunities for players to look for horses that will produce a good offspring. The metadata of each breeding horse should be considered for compatibility and quality. This ‘selective breeding’ also requires a social strategy to reach out to players with the appropriate horse NFTs.
Horse breeding and their training directly lends to the profit outcome. Just like in the real world, horse NFT breeders can enhance their horses and put them up for sale on secondary markets. A Zed Run breeder sold a stable full of horse NFTs for a quarter million dollars.
However, should horse racing NFTs turn out to be a fad, these digital horses could be rendered worthless in time. There are even risks of blockchain analysts and e-sport players trying to game the system by identifying algorithms. This information asymmetry may drain the innocent players’ money and time if not checked.
Top 3 NFT Horse Leading Projects
- Zed Run has been a leader when it comes to NFT horse racing because of their simple structure. Horses can be raised to race, with races taking place every hour, each day of the year. It has a community over 70,000 strong on Twitter, with even celebrities like Mike Tyson having purchased Zed horses. Zed Run maker ‘Virtually Human Studio’ recently partnered with Australia’s Melbourne Cup to extend its reach into the realm of horse racing.
- DeRace is a complete NFT horse racing ecosystem where you can participate in horse races, breed NFT horses with unique characteristics, build your own NFT hippodrome, bet on races, and earn DERC while doing it.
- Oly Sport is trying to create a horse metaverse where all activities will take place in the same space. Launched in December, the platform will have special foods that are extractable from land parcels to enrich horse traits. To make Oly Sport’s land more enticing, the company will also tie certain parcels to physical real estate, starting with some land outside of Toronto, where the company is based.
Many are expecting horse racing NFTs to be at the forefront of crypto gaming and gambling adoption. It also promises to implement the first engaging and entertaining content in the metaverse. Should this pan out, advertising, ticket sales, and championships will follow, fast tracking adoption and visibility of digital sports and gaming.