An NFT Game Almost Old as Ethereum Just Resurfaced—And Players are Cashing Out

If you thought the Civilization games were fun, wait till you get a load of Etheria, the bizarre blocky realm from 2015, where anyone can become a real estate tycoon and make real money in the process. 

Etheria.world launched just three months after Ethereum’s mainnet, presenting users with a virtual open world composed of hexagonal tiles that can each be bought, sold and built on, as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Each piece originally sold for 1 ETH, then worth under a dollar. Now they’re hot property: today, someone bid 70 ETH, or $130,781, for a single tile (or ‘plot’) of Etheria land.

Yes, $130k.

NFT’s biggest ever week

This week has been the biggest week in NFT’s short history. Digital artist Beeple sold an NFT artwork for an unprecedented $69.3 million on Thursday to renowned NFT whale Metakovan, who narrowly outbid flashy spender and TRON CEO Justin Sun.

And yesterday, the chance discovery of a stash of MoonCat tokens from 2017 prompted a digital cat finding frenzy that rescued 25,600 pixelated strays from the lonely avenues of cyberspace and plopped them in online auction houses where some of them resold for five digit figures. 

It sounds like madness, but NFT fans argue that it’s no less mad than the eccentric world of real-life collectibles. NFTs are just digital collectibles, created on Ethereum’s blockchain where, thanks to fancy one-way cryptography, they can prove their own scarcity. They can be bought, sold, and held while they accumulate or depreciate in value, exactly like real life collectibles. 

What’s the fuss about Etheria?

Much of the hype over yesterday’s MoonCats find was down to the fact that the tokens dated back to August 2017, making them the second oldest tokens built using the ERC-721 standard. However, Etheria is even older.

A Twitter account created in October 2015 called @Etheria_feed represents the project. Last night, the account tweeted that Etheria is “the first NFT project ever deployed to the Ethereum blockchain all the way back in October 2015 and presented at [Ethereum’s first tech expo in London] DEVCON1”

This means Etheria is almost as old as Ethereum itself. The blockchain launched in July 2015, making Etheria’s claims to being the oldest NFT very plausible. 

Etheria was promptly forgotten about. Its creator, Cyrus Adkisson of Lexington, Kentucky, still describes Etheria.world as “defunct” on LinkedIn.

Now, with the success of MoonCats and Etheria, two historically significant and scarce NFTs, it’s looking like many more “defunct” NFT projects will be exhumed as collectors scramble to find more rare Ethereum antiques.