In 2021, NFTs exploded on social media sites in part due to their confusing nature and astronomical price range. However, I believe that Shiny Pokemon should hold more value than a JPEG of a tired-looking monkey.
In an attempt to be completely transparent, I want to first say that I am not an NFT expert. Everything I know about non-fungible tokens I have learned from Coffeezilla and two Ro Ramdin videos. However, I like to paint myself as a bit of a Shiny Pokemon enthusiast.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into obtaining a legitimate Shiny Pokemon, and the amount of time and effort players put into a hunt should already make them more valuable than generic JPEG animals.
That being said, this article will argue all of the reasons why a slightly discolored electric rat should be more valuable than a picture of a lion wearing a top hat. NFT bros be warned, you might not like what you’re about to read.
Shiny Pokemon hunting takes time and effort
Seasoned Shiny hunters know the amount of time it can take to get a specific Shiny Pokemon. If you’re lucky or have boosted your odds high enough, a hunt can take a handful of encounters to complete. However, some Shiny hunts can take days, weeks, or even months to complete.
That’s because every time a trainer encounters a Pokemon, it either has a 1/4096 or 1/8192 chance to appear Shiny. Since trainers aren’t guaranteed to get a Shiny within those odds, some players can hunt for tens of thousands of encounters before getting their target.
NFTs on the other hand, take little to no effort to obtain. As long as you have a few hundred dollars to throw around, you can head to Opensea right now and purchase your JPEG.
Depending on how much you value your time or the time of others, it makes sense to value something that takes more time and effort to obtain. Grinding for a Shiny Pokemon is comparable to mining a Bitcoin if the Shiny that appeared was worth $40k.
Shiny Pokemon are more appealing
Have you ever looked at an NFT and thought it looks like a piece of clip art? Or maybe you’ve seen two people with different NFT profile pictures but could have sworn they were the same image. That’s because the dominant NFT communities are based around images that have the laziest design schemes.
The most popular culprits of this are Bored Ape yacht Club and Lazy Lions. They take a generic animal and then reskin that animal thousands of times.
It’s like they have a Pokedex with thousands of Pokemon but they are all Pikachu with different hats on. They are technically different because of their minor change in appearance, but they’re all the same underneath. And what’s underneath the cosmetics is a very boring Lion or Monkey.
Each Shiny Pokemon has meaningful differences
I know some of you are already thinking that my last point can also be applied to Shiny Pokemon. You’re probably thinking “Well, Shiny Pokemon are just a different color and you can capture the same Shiny over and over.”
To that, I say you are partially correct. You can get an unlimited amount of the same Shiny Pokemon, but the odds of two Shiny Pokemon having the exact same stats and abilities are very low. And with the addition of marks in Gen 8, the unique properties a Shiny can have are greatly expanded.
As well, the journey to obtain a Shiny adds to its overall value. While you may obtain three of the same Shiny, each hunt will have a completely different story. Buying an NFT isn’t nearly as exciting as the payoff of finding a Shiny Pokemon.
You can’t right-click a Shiny Pokemon
NFT owners hate when everyone right-clicks and saves their JPEGs. Yet, it’s easier to “steal” an NFT than it is to prove ownership. You can’t say the same for Shiny Pokemon.
Yes, you can inject Shiny Pokemon into games and attempt to pass them off as real. But again, that takes much more effort than a simple right-click. All I have to do to prove I caught/own a Shiny is whip out whatever game they’re on and pull up their summary.
This will show when, where, and in what game a Shiny was caught. As well, I can move all of my Shiny Pokemon into HOME allowing me to neatly sort my collection of Shinies. Unless someone gains access to my HOME account or to one of the games, it would be very difficult for them to claim ownership of one of my ‘mon.
In short, they’re more tangible than NFTs. I can pet my Shiny. I can play with my Shiny. And I can even cook my Shiny a meal. They have a purpose and can travel alongside their trainers for years to come. All an NFT is good for is making your opinions invalid on Twitter.
Regardless, no one is ever going to pay hundreds or even tens of thousands of dollars for a Shiny Pokemon. Heck, fake ones sell for $2-3 every day on eBay. It’s just disappointing to see art that takes so little effort to make hold more value than digital creatures that take hours upon hours to obtain.
For more Pokemon, check out how one trainer managed to beat Diamond and Pearl with only a single Bidoof.