Why people are paying €100,000 to breed digital horses online

Bonus — No animals harmed

By Shannon McDonagh | EuroNews, Living Section

McDonagh writes:

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) have existed for over half a decade but have found their place in tech since the beginning of this year, having permeated art, music, and most recently, sport.

The latest chapter of the crypto-boom is leading to thousands of people racing digital horses.

At the forefront of this is ZED, a platform opening users up to virtual horse breeding, purchasing, and racing through the use of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

This means the animals are only ever owned in a virtual reality, powered by secure blockchain technologies.

It’s creators, Australia-based tech studio Virtually Human, got in on the NFT game earlier than most, launching the platform back in 2019. It was an instant success, selling over 4,000 horses at the value of €25 each.

Newly launched rare horses can sell for as much as €12,000.

Now, the eyes of environmental activists and e-Sports enthusiasts are firmly on these trends to see just how far crypto could go in reshaping our culture.

And they have every reason to do so – ZED’s popularity has soared to such highs that newly “launched” rare horses can sell for as much as €12,000. One horse recently sold for over $125,000 (€103,000) and this is expected to escalate even further as the rising value of NFTs redefines our way of experiencing tech.

Could ZED be a win for animal welfare?

ZED serves an environmental purpose from an animal welfare perspective. Charities far and wide have campaigned for the end of using “animals for entertainment” in any capacity.

“Behind the romanticized façade of Thoroughbred horse racing is a world of injuries, drug abuse, gruesome breakdowns, and slaughter. While spectators show off their fancy outfits and sip mint juleps, horses are running for their lives,” states People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Platforms like ZED enable fans of horse racing to indulge in the sport without concern for these implications. Though its developers are in the process of debating whether their virtual horses should be granted a lifespan, there is a guarantee that no animals are harmed in the process.

There’s more to this fascinating story. Read it all here »

Image Credit (cropped): Copyright © Virtually Human Studio »

Note: 1 Euro equals 1.21 United States Dollar (as of this writing)

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