Rentfuse won the award for the Best NFT Project in the Neo Frontier Launchpad hackathon. It is a protocol that enables NFT owners on Neo N3 to rent out their assets while maintaining ownership control. The developer, Michael Fabozzi, was inspired to design the protocol while thinking about potential use cases in the gaming industry.
Rentfuse creates new ways to tap and distribute the inherent value of digital assets, such as in-game items.
“I saw that the NFT market has been really increasing in the last years. And I was only seeing that the NFTs were traded, there was no renting anywhere.” Fabozzi noted. “So I thought, well, maybe I can build something.”
Rentfuse is a protocol that manages NFT rental agreements between owners and tenants. It allows renters to use an NFT for a predetermined period of time in exchange for GAS, without the owner relinquishing custody of the asset. Speaking on gaming as an example, Fabozzi said:
“Sometimes there are monsters that are really difficult to be defeated. Maybe you can rent a really powerful weapon that you can use for some time just to kill the boss, for example, and then the owner gets it back. So you don’t have to pay the cost of buying the real weapon or the real armor – you can just rent it.”
It has become quite common for gamers to participate in P2P marketplaces. Many video games, especially massive multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft, heavily depend on their in-game economies where players can freely trade with each other. If a user wants rare weapons or armor but can’t complete the quest needed to get them, they may purchase these items from other players.
Third party marketplaces such as PlayerAuctions.com, in operation since 1999, also exist to facilitate these transactions. PlayerAuctions claims to have over 2 million registered users, with over half a million offers made per month across 215 games, including World of Warcraft, Fortnite, and Runescape.
As NFT usage grows within the gaming industry, Rentfuse would create new opportunities for players to participate within these game economies. Instead of simply selling an item, the owner could generate recurring income, while players can get access to items they need for a much lower cost.
Established names in the gaming industry such as Atari and Sony are already exploring more NFT integration within their products, so there is good reason to believe Rentfuse could serve a growing niche.
For example, Atari recently announced a new blockchain division, while game studio Blockpegnio received a partnership license from PlayStation for its RPG game The Six Dragons. Planned for release later this year on the PlayStation 5, the creation and trading of The Six Dragons game items take place on Ethereum, making it one of the first releases on a mainstream gaming platform to incorporate NFTs.
A prototype of the Rentfuse platform is currently live, following the Neo Frontier Launchpad.
Expanding the sharing economy
Looking beyond games, Fabozzi, can see other useful ways in which the Rentfuse protocol can be applied. For example, he envisions a future where NFTs could provide access to physical assets that have been converted to digital assets, especially when integrated with the Internet of Things:
“Another idea could be the rental of an apartment. Imagine using IoT, you can have a door lock that is connected with the Neo blockchain. And so it means the rental of the property depends on whether you have paid your rent. This could be applied to any other items that you could think of. And it could be handled totally in a safe way and reliable way, all without any middlemen, directly by the contract.”
In a conversation with Neo News Today, Neo Frontier Launchpad judge, John deVadoss, seemed to share Fabozzi’s outlook on the possibilities for the platform application:
Rentfuse brings the sharing economy to life on the N3 ecosystem. With an evocative and intuitive user experience, the team demonstrates the power of the platform and productivity of the tools with their brand of energy and excitement.
Fabozzi, a software engineer at a robotics company, is the sole developer of the protocol. His last successful project, an Android-based alarm clock that would not turn off until the user took a selfie to register they had indeed woken up, has surpassed 300,000 downloads. Fabozzi notes, “I mainly work solo, but there are already some people who are interested in working on [Rentfuse] and want to be involved in it.”
As a major prize recipient of the Neo Frontier Hackathon, Fabozzi won US $12,000 in NEO. After being awarded a 1.4x multiplier from the Planathon phase, his final prize rose to $16,800. He will also receive incubation support through NGD’s EcoBoost program and a custom vested NEO package that will reward future development.
Looking forward, Fabozzi would like to collaborate with NFT-based games in the Neo ecosystem, recognizing that early feedback from other developers could help improve his API and platform. He is also considering plans to introduce a platform native token that would provide holders with discounted fees and other benefits, perhaps in the form of a DAO.
To learn more about Rentfuse, visit the Devpost link below: