Here Is the Next Big Thing Toward a Decentralized Society

World of Warcraft, Vitalik Buterin and a new type of token

Eugenio De Lucchi
4 min readJul 18, 2022


Photo by Jane Palash on Unsplash

The game World of Warcraft ignited in Vitalik Buterin the spark to create Ethereum.

When the game developer changed the damage component of his “beloved” character, Buterin realized the “horrors centralized services can bring.”

He soon decided to quit, and the search for a new purpose in life led him first to Bitcoin and then to create Ethereum.

Now, World of Warcraft has inspired Buterin again to create another fundamental building block for a decentralized society.

A peculiarity of the game is that the most powerful items are soulbound. Once a player collects one, he cannot transfer or sell it to another player.

Based on this concept, Buterin has co-constructed a new pillar of Web3 and a decentralized society.

In a 37-page report, Buterin discussed Ethereum’s future role in a decentralized society. And in detail, he proposed a new type of token to give people more power over their digital data: Soulbound Tokens.

Like soulbound items in World of Warcraft, Soulbound Tokens are not transferable.

They will be stored in a blockchain wallet and be public and transparent as NFTs, but as a distinguishing feature, they will not be transferable.

Indeed, SBTs will be permanently bound to a wallet or “Soul” for their entire lifespan.

The problem with NFTs

NFTs have introduced an important function: guaranteeing the authenticity and ownership of an item on the blockchain.

But one feature that does not make them adoptable in every sphere of a decentralized society is their transferability.

In the case of driver’s licenses, biographical data, academic degrees, and other strictly personal information, transferability compromises their trustworthiness.

Someone could exhibit an NFT as evidence of a specific path, but you would not know if they followed that path themselves or paid someone else to do it.