The Quest of Evolution, a decentralized artist collective, is launching a new non-fungible token (NFT) collection called The Oracle’s Verse. The collection, which is now available on OpenSea, is being offered as the world’s first “crypto novel.” The Oracle’s Verse includes six multimedia NFTs that let their owners contribute to the underlying story, 200 words at a time.
The Oracle’s Verse: A Unique Collaborative Crypto Novel
The Oracle’s Verse lore follows the journey of six characters who traverse the memories of the collection owners, gathering more information that’s inspired by the underlying art, which includes music, images, and text. Each new owner can continue the narrative as they see fit, allowing the story to grow forever.
NFTs are used to help build the story and ensure that each contribution is unique. Every time that someone purchases one of these NFTs, they get access to the collection’s website, where they can add another 200 words to the story. When the NFT is sold, each new owner can continue the process and add their own input.
All of the text is stored on the blockchain, as each new piece writes directly to the underlying smart contracts. This marks an interesting spin on the concept since artistic NFTs are usually static, as they point to an unchangeable image or another kind of media file stored on the Interplanetary File System, or IPFS. This network, which is not technically a blockchain, allows storing any kind of file “forever,” with no one able to change it.
With Oracle’s Verse, since the object of the NFT is text, it can be easily written to the smart contract directly. The record of the stories will also be forever “engraved” in the chain, and no one will be able to change what’s already been written.
An interesting aspect is that here, there’s an incentive to be “serious” with what you’re putting down in the world. Every contributor to one of the crypto novels will receive a share of the so-called Global Royalty Pool. This pool collects funds from NFT sale royalties, and if a novel’s intellectual property (IP) is licensed or sold to third parties for creating films, games, videos, or other forms of merchandising, contributors may also benefit from it. One point worth mentioning is that 80% of the funds will still go to the DAO of the project, not the NFT holders.
Intellectual Property in NFTs is a hotly-debated topic. Most of the time, buying an NFT does not entitle you to the IP of the underlying art, and at most, you’d obtain a limited license for non-commercial use. Here, Quest of Evolution is trying to partially decentralize IP so that everyone can benefit from the royalties. The actual rights are still held by the company behind the project, though they claim that this is purely for simplicity as otherwise it’d be impossible to track individual contributions.
The Oracle’s Verse is certainly quite innovative in the space. It’d be hard to organize something like this without having NFTs as reliable proof of ownership and value. Ultimately, the success of this collection is in the hands of the NFT owners. If it goes well, it could be the first crowdsourced novel whose contributors actually get rewarded for it.
The project says that The Oracle’s Verse is just the beginning of a series of crypto novels. They already have plans to follow up with more individualized collections developed by known experts and artists. For example, a collection of scientific essays penned by philosopher and scientist T. Dylan Daniel (also known as Epic Dylan) is being auctioned on OpenSea, and the first one went live on May 1st.
Another upcoming work is a crime fiction crypto novel created in collaboration with renowned author Joseph Nassise and musician Zep. Nassise is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer who published over 60 titles, while Zep is known for his catchy hip-hop tunes and video shorts that caught the attention of artists like Limp Bizkit.
The Quest of Evolution, the collective behind The Oracle’s Verse, is developing a multi-chain platform to launch evolving NFT collections across various EVM networks, such as Ethereum (ETH-USD), Polygon (MATIC-USD), Moonbeam, Optimism, and Arbitrum. It has a governance token named QEV, which is currently used as an incentive mechanism.
For example, buyers of The Oracle’s Verse NFTs who contribute to the story will receive an additional 200 QEV tokens (the token has yet to be launched). The plan is for the holders of the token to receive the majority of the royalty proceeds from the art generated by the collective.