Q3 Market-Product-Team Fit with Utility NFT for Creator Economy
🪘

Q3 Market-Product-Team Fit with Utility NFT for Creator Economy

Top Goals: NFT mints, Fiat buys, New users. To thrive as a platform, we must achieve 20% monthly growth per Market-Product-Team Fit. In this Q3 and Q4, rather than spreading thin, the team needs a single focus and going deep. Our theses are:

  1. NFT Mints. Primary sales of tokens are the most disruptive use case of blockchains. These sales as fundraising are also the most critical driving force of a new market. For examples, network tokens for funding protocols in 2017 and 2018, governance tokens for decentralized finance in 2020, non-fungible tokens for community engagements in 2021, and land tokens for Metaverse games in early 2022. We claim that NFT mints for artists, musicians, writers, athletes and performers will soon dominate the Web3 market as the creator economy. These mints are mostly intended for true fans to be funding creators with social collectibles rather than for secondary sales or speculative investments.
  2. Fiat Buys. An ecosystem grows by inflow of assets and by layering of services. For example, NBA Top Shot basketball NFT purchases were through credit cards, and exchanges heavily promote recurring buys through small but regular bank withdrawals. Users must deal with fiat gateways, bank limits, regional restrictions… as well as wallet custody and security. Native Web3 products, however, must use tokens as utility and incentives. Users must also deal with stablecoins, token conversions, bridging assets across networks… as well as treasury dashboard and portfolio management. We claim that solving these challenges for fiat buys and token management will be our most critical customer service.
  3. New Users. Anyone can participate in the Web3 economy but only tens of millions users so far. Hundreds of millions are creating content, commerce, games from the support of merely a thousand of true fans each. In contrast, tractions on decentralized finance and profile-picture NFT are mostly limited to crypto natives or influencers. We claim that, by onboarding a creator via new campaigns, many of their community will be joining our platform. For fast iteration, our focus should be creators with monthly production and consumers with weekly engagement – such as musicians on iterative mixes or writers on regular newsletters.

❤️‍🔥

And you can always feel product/market fit when it’s happening. The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it—or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account. You’re hiring sales and customer support staff as fast as you can... Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to… When a great team meets a great market, something special happens. – Marc Andreessen on Market-Product-Team Fit (and Y-Combinator’s 20% Benchmark)

📝

The initial use case of Ethereum was crowdfunding whether it be the original DAO or initial coin offerings…. the ability for strangers on the internet to come together to fund a campaign, whether through a DAO, smart contract, company, or NFT. Mirror has further enabled this behavior via its variety of crowdfunding mechanisms [Dutch auctions account for 25% of the total ETH fundraising contributions], and it will likely continue to serve as an important aspect of funding niche or large projects for creators and communities. The content platforms of tomorrow will not only be user-owned and operated, but they will also enable new user behavior such as spinning up DAOs based on niche communities, supporting creators directly via NFTs, and new business models based on cryptoeconomic primitives (e.g., programmable royalties, Mirror NFT splits, etc.) – Messari on Writing NFT (10.1K ETH raised, 16.8K sponsors, 624 writers)

🎵

Music also has a unique history and ownership culture that could unlock asymmetric value. Among artists, musicians arguably create the most cultural impact relative to what they capture… NFTs offer a lifeline for more artists to earn a living from their work, which could accelerate their adoption… Value comes from access to an exclusive brand, in-real-life events, and the growing mindshare. Musicians have some of the most rabid fanbases in the world, as evidenced by the 40M-strong fan club for K-pop band BTS. – Delphi Digital on Music NFT

🍕

Ownership manifests across a spectrum of experiences that range in user effort, responsibility and degree of collectivity. One user might own a single digital media asset, like an NFT. Another might influence a network’s operation via a governance token. The experience of being an owner encompasses both passive (i.e., hodling) and active participation. At its core, the ownership economy not only offers a powerful new tool for builders to leverage market incentives to jumpstart new networks—it also holds the potential to create positive social change through the wider distribution of wealth-building assets. – Variant Fund on The Ownership Economy (a16z’s Creator Economy)

Schedule

  • NFT.NYC (6/18 Sat — 6/25 Sat): Partners pipeline and followup with Leo, Peter, Danny, Sahil, Vera, Zi, Hochung, Paola, Darren, Eric, Jacky, Devin, Kayla, Jackie.
  • July Sprint (7/11 Mon — 7/16 Sat): NFT Products, Fiat Onboarding, User Analytics.
  • ETH.CC (7/14 Thur — 7/23 Sat): Partner showcases and artist pipeline with Zi, Paola, Eric, Abhi, Michael.
  • Executives in Office: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. (Also Demetre, Tim, Daine, Yuqi.)

Tiger Team are come work in Palo Alto office for two weeks (Mon-Sat 10am-8pm) under the direct guidance of founder Stephen Tse. The first session is 7/6 Wed – 7/23 Sat (18 days), while the second session is 9/12 Mon – 9/24 Sat.

Proposed Initiatives

We’ve missed the perfect market timing or team expertise for DeFi and DAO in Q2. Let’s do better in Q3! Sahil and Eric will closely collaborate with us on NFT; Richard and Sammy have vertical-specific partnership experience; Jack and Brian can drive all internal initiatives toward NFT-related campaigns and products.

The proposed initiatives below are the first draft based on our current team skills and ecosystem opportunities. We need more input from managers and individuals, measuring growth metrics along the way, to narrow down further.

Estimated total Q3 Spending: $5M cash + $10M 6-month vesting tokens (unlocked by 2023 Jan 1st).

Technical

  • Leo, _: Port Immutable X’s Layer-2 NFT minting SDK
  • Ganesha, Aaron, Bruce: Trustless Bridge for NFT to OpenSea minting
  • Leon Do, _: Game SDK with NFT minting
  • Rongjian, _: Verified randomness for NFT minting
  • Jenya, Victa: NFT tools (more Explorer support)
  • Xiaopeng, *Jacky: NFT derivatives for royalties
  • Hakwan, Cathie: Koh Wei Jie’s ZKP NFT Drop
  • Michael Feng, Eddie: NFT liquidity and trading bots

Products

  • Zi, Paola: Mobile NFT minting on 1Wallet
  • Eric, Zi: Dynamic 3D avatars as NFT, DNA3 (Product landscape)
  • Dionysis, *Angelo, Andrianna, Orfeas: NFT Protect against stolen art (press), NFT as loan collaterals (audit)
  • Brian F, Mikey: True 100 fans for Top 100 musicians for $10K NFT drops, Economics for social NFT (ShowMe)
  • _, Tom: Instant NFT buy with Alchemy Pay and other fiat gateways
  • Tom, _: Fiat $20 buy and Proof-of-Attendance (POAP) for TGI and events
  • Demetre, Mikey, Eddie, Francisco: “Copy Room” minter for business cards, brochures, flyers; prototype by 7/8.
  • Demetre, Eddie: Develop native token gating system to compliment marketplaces and 1Wallet after artist onboarding. (Starting 7/9)
  • Jacky, Jessi: Derivative artwork and licensing for NFT, mondayape.xyz.
  • Jackie, Edison: NFT sales for mini WebXR games.

Marketing

Partners

  • Sammy, Adrian: Launch $10K Music NFT Sales with G via 1MusicDAO
  • Peter, Sam: $10K land or item NFT sales with 3 Unity games
  • Jack, _: $10K NFT sales from each of 100+ grantees and 50+ investments
  • Giv, _: Support for Music NFT, Podcast/Report with Delphi Digital
  • Rachel, Devin: $5K NFT sales from each of 30+ DAOs
  • George, Adrian: NFT mints at festival (Aug 20 – 21) with 1Wallet
  • Jay P: OneOf for music NFT.

Grantees/Investees

  • MAD | NFT (v2 deployment early July): _ artists, _ monthly users, $_ sales.
  • tofuNFT: _ artists, _ monthly users, $_ sales.
  • Cathie: zkPhotos (testnet): _ artists, _ monthly users, $_ sales.
  • Multichain NFT Bridge: _ artists, _ monthly users, $_ sales.
  • ShowMe: _ artists, _ monthly users, $_ sales.
  • Blockperks: _ artists, _ monthly users, $_ sales.

Tiger Team: July 2-Week Onsite

An asterick * indicate a confirmed attendees to July onsite.

  • Core: *Adrian, *Danny, Matty, *Essa
  • Technical: *Bruce, (Semar), Eddie, (Casey)
  • Products: Eric, *Demetre, *Stephanie, *Devin, *Jeremy, *Amy
  • Marketing: *Darren, Kelly, Paola, *Matthew, *Timothy, *Daine
  • Partnership: Sammy, *Suede, *Kayla, Juan, *Novell, *Mikey
  • Investor/Community relations: *Bryant, *Al, Liang
  • Local Core: *Stephen, *Rongjian, Leo, *Li, *Ganesha, Sam, Giv, Jack, Daniel, *Tom
  • Local Fellows: *Zi, Richard G, Rachel, Aaron, Dionysis
  • Local Friends: Sahil, Vera, Kai, Henry, Jackie, Edison, Shamir, Jacky, (Alan C), Richard Y, Kushagra, Joel
  • Remote Core: Peter, Hakwan, Brian
  • Remote Fellows/Contributors: Leon, Hashmash, Xiaopeng, Amanda, Flu, George, Garrick, Rob, Yi
  • Remote Friends: Hochung, David K
Team Questions & Discussion
  • ☁️Giv: What are our success metrics? Can we work backwards from desired metrics such as user growth, transactions, total value locked?
    • We need more and real-time data (see some /sprint) to model and track these top goals: NFT sales, Fiat buys, Engaged community.
  • ☁️Giv: There are a lot of initiatives above. If we focus on everything we will again spread ourselves too thin. By 7/1 can we narrow down to just a few focused areas? If so, what is our criteria for selection? 🎽🎤
    • Yes, we must be laser focus. Currently we have very diverse and organic initiatives on /6. The proposed initiatives above are our first draft based on the current understanding of team skills and partnership opportunities. We need more input from managers and individuals, measuring impact metrics along the way, to narrow down further.
  • ☁️Giv: It doesn’t seem like any of the items under Technical will move the needle (see success metrics question) since they are NFT toolings and primitives. How will we benefit from them within Q3?🔭
    • Leo and Ganesha will brainsform for more NFT technical innovations that are ready in Q3.
    • 🚜 Demetre: If we’re allocating technical resources, we’ve drafted a Harmony native minter dApp that we’re dying to get functional by mid-July to aid in multiple initiatives, including an NFT onboarding sprint and the ability to transform our promotion/communication efforts into user onboarding opportunities. Success metric = new wallet addresses with at least one HRC-20 or HRC-721. See below:
      📠
      The Copy Room
  • ☁️Giv: I’m not seeing any marketplace partnerships. This seems like the easiest way to mint and launch NFT campaigns. Can we accelerate NFTrade port? Number 6 marketplace.
  • ☁️Giv: Assuming we have built and delivered products, will there be enough user adoption during a bear market? NFT prices/activity have dropped in a major way.
    • In any market, we must build toward that with the “most adoption”, hence the market-product-fit. So far, comparable platforms such as Immutable ($2.5B private valuation in March) and Near ($2.5B valuation on 6/15) still have plenty of traction with NFT.
  • 🌲Sam: Are the top goals for this project the right goals for ensuring success for the Harmony protocol? “NFT Sales” will not generate the level of transactions that we will need for long term stability. “Fiat buys” - while increasing demand for the token - also is unlikely to create that positive ecosystem flywheel that we need. While “Community engagement” is good - the community has made their voice fairly clear that the direction we started moving in a week or two ago (RPC Cost Reduction, Trustless Eth Bridge, User Adoption) was the correct move.
    • Not just our community of developers and investors, but fans communities of artists, musicians and athletes. See “To create cooperation for global communities, and scale their digital economies” on /333.
  • 🌲Sam: Are we looking at NFTs to replace Gaming and DeFi as the single adoption stream? Why the shift? NFT purchases tend to be driven more by FOMO and speculation historically. The current market wouldn’t support the needed level of emotional purchases to drive our success metrics.
    • Peter and Sam will still lead gaming separately as a guild, while Jack and Demetre on DeFi. As a whole team focus, NFT is more ready for Q3. In comparison, we started Game Initiative around Game Developer Conference in March, but the first 10k users for our new Unity games on mainnet likely won’t arrive until late Q4. Both our games and DeFi can have support and sales with NFT; see the tasks on land sales and NFT as loan collaterals above.
    • See some real adoption for NFT in the markete research above: NFT Market in Q1, Immutable X as Layer-2 NFT, Music NFT.
  • 🛹Peter: “$100K land or item NFT sales with 3 Unity games” - bad timing. People have run out of liquidity and the Harmony audience buys at a much lower price point than the Ethereum community. For example, rocket monsters sold land at 300 ONE each. To hit $100,000 we would need to sell 12,500 parcels of land. i’m not being negative, but I just don’t see it happening in this market.
    • Indeed we must adjust our expecations along the way, but each of our initiatives and partners should drive some NFT adoption. What can be the total NFT presale target in Q3 for all Unity games we are engaging?
    • 🦒Brian: There are many excellent, thoughtful comments in this thread and I am reaching out to many of the team to focus efforts. Many echoed my thoughts, and I can’t add a line to this page, but I will note to Peter’s point here, that one of our partners, a metaverse designer under Animoca, has experienced the challenges of releasing NFTs in this market: a huge brand of theirs launched on OpenSea yesterday and was a huge disappointment to them. They also point to the fact that launching an NFT is easy, but maintaining a community and roadmap is hard, as is evidenced by Floyd Mayweather's release. Like you, they point to the importance of entertainment, but also add fashion rather than athletics to that. Still, they say that it's tough timing now unless you have a strong brand or IP with a story. The good news is that this is achievable in a shorter timeframe, with our infrastructure, focused marketing, and strong bizdev.
  • 🛹Peter: Our partner [XX] is doing a series of shows all throughout South East Asia and the Philippines and a tour in the USA. That can be a great opportunity for Zi and 1Wallet NFT activations. We need to pick a thesis. Here’s what I think we should do instead - focus on a vertical. For example:
    • 1Wallet NFT activations with [XX]’s
    • Create NFT Music-only marketplace
    • This gives us some focus and a chance. In the theory of marketplaces, it starts out very general, then aggregated, then very niche. For example, Opensea ⇒ Gem ⇒ but there’s no clear leader yet on specific NFT niche verticals.

    • See above – George, Adrian: NFT mints at festival (Aug 20 – 21) with 1Wallet.
    • The challenge of music NFT as a single vertical focus is the current market size: $76M vs $3B for arts and $1.6B for games; see NFT Market in Q1 at the bottom. But contrast that with some key insights and growth of Music NFT at the very bottom here.
    • Yes, we must narrow down further; see some answers to Giv’s similar question.
  • 🛹Peter: Music niche was just an example. My point was more about focus, but niche focus is important (vertical, language, geography, type of art, etc.). But what is your goal for shifting the entire project to focus on NFT’s? At this point, market size arguments aren’t relevant - let’s just show some traction. If that means 1% of a $76M market, I’m fine with that. Better than 0%. 🔭
    • Exactly, it is the relentless seek of market fit as a startup. We need more research on which area of NFT to narrow down the focus – yes! the sharper, the better. It could have been games or even metaverse NFT, as the data for Q4 last year and Q1 this year had shown. Critically, the choice of focus depends on the team skills, re-purposing our current product offerings (3d avatars, cross-chain bridges, non-custody wallets), and exisiting partners.
  • 🛹Peter: Sincere concern and suggestion - the Best thing we can do, if we want to do something meaningful in the nft space, is to buy an nft, become active members of a community, and learn. Besides me, Ganesha and Leo who else owns nft’s, participates in communities, and are active in buying, selling, and part of any nft community at Harmony? I own a mutant, 7 azukis, 15 beanz, other stuff, and a portfolio worth a lot. I’m really active in the azuki community, have become friends with pudgy penguins and will be having dinner with the founder in nyc. I’m a member of friends with benefits, etc. And my wife owns even more nft’s than I do and is very active in many communities. It’s hard to know what the problems and opportunities are as an outsider and detached observer. User centered design and innovation comes from creating solutions to the things that bother you as a user. Detached, outside observers won’t have those insights. That’s my feedback and concern. Instead of creating a solution to perceived problems, let’s learn about the problems first - first hand not from reading only - then come up with a solution to solve customer problems. 🔭
    • Indeed – from now many of us must, per Open Tasks, ...
  • 🛹Peter: Back to music nft’s: we need to be asking questions from the perspective of the stakeholders in the music business. For example, as a musician, she might want to ask: how can NFT’s help me grow my fanbase and help me increase engagement and help me get closer to my fans? Approaching it from their perspective will help us come up with solutions that will solve real problems that they face. Again, this is an example, but principles can be applied to other areas that nft’s touch.
    • 🚜Demetre: I spent enough gas on NFTs in 2021 to buy a used Camry. Harmony is in prime position to dominate grassroots indoctrination for low-barrier fan engagement.
  • 🚜Demetre: Immediately onboard and educate artists and songwriters in Nashville to Harmony NFT marketplaces and private authorship verification collections. I have access to large network via relationship w/ an artist manager. I had 2-hour meeting with the MADNFT team to ensure the proper tweaks were implemented in v2 to ensure smooth one-on-one onboarding sessions and viral referral capabilities. IMO we should really rally behind the MAD team - if they deliver on v2, they’ll be in pole position to be our white label for many initiatives. Working with Eddie to develop functional token gating app to use artists’ NFT collections to expand user engagement immediately. I had a deep-dive interview with our Nashville connection and we’ll focus gating on 1) proof-of-fanship (separate hardcore fans from driveby) 2) private concert and space access 3) exclusive fan clubs in public fan Discord. Interestingly she said, ease of onboarding in order of genre would be metal, then pop, then country if you have a warm handoff. We can also test drive 1Wallet gated-messaging by sending an artist’s NFT to a 1Wallet and experimenting with how artists can directly communicate with fans via NFT ownership. Finally, Eddie, myself and others are spinning up a native minter dApp for our (Harmony) team so every community interaction turns into user acquisition (NFT business cards, flyers, brochures, etc.). Every lens of these initiatives should be boots-on-the-ground executable.
    • Glad we are asking everyone to jump on! We should definitely be building an end-to-end onboarding both for independent artists as well as larger networks.
  • 🔭 Daniel: With regards to NFTs, I think our primary play should be to attract the talent who creates impressive and potentially viral content. We already have the platforms with MAD and NFTKey but we lack the content creators who drive enthusiasts and a devoted audience to Harmony. We should work to get quality generative NFTs, music, art, and games — content made by creatives who aren’t yet part of our ecosystem, then work hard to amplify that content to attract the general audience to Harmony.
  • 🔭 Daniel: This seems like a distraction from our goals which were formulated and communicated externally from our Q2 offsite and June onsite. Multiple team members and contributors have voiced this concern to me as well. One contributor’s feedback was, “What is going on here? What are we doing now? Why are we constantly pivoting? This is a lot to decipher without clear communication.” Over the past eight months, our external image has become “the chain that constantly pivots to follow trends”; that Harmony cannot decide on what it wants to accomplish. This will add fuel to the fire and exacerbate that image. We must adapt to attract user growth, but we cannot adapt and pivot too frequently. Adapting takes time. Adapting takes a strict vision and time to get there. Changing our objectives too frequently leads to fragmentation, confusion, and it will show externally which leads to FUD and a loss in faith within the team and our community.
    • Since very early, we are committed to “To Scale Trust and Create a Radically Fair Economy”. That means building a decentralized, scalable and secure blockchain to settle any transactions without trusted parties. Specifically, ”To build tools and users for developers, bring the best research to production, and scale digital economies among communities.”
    • At both May’s offsite and June’s onsite, the team agreed on narrowing initiatives and driving user growth. Since just a few weeks ago, the market has drastically changed and our project resources has significantly dropped. With Q3 on NFT as a whole team initiative, we can re-align everyone’s skills and make bigger impact together.
  • 🔭 Daniel: I strongly believe this Notion page should be made private while the details are ironed out. We’ve recently seen YouTubers and Twitter influencers spread negative information about our treasury after that was made public. This post, and the counter arguments/suggestions here, will provide many with the impression that we’re aiming for an unclear goal.
    • Yes, we must improve both our internal as well as external communication. The tradeoff is tough. Having 67 extended teammates commit a new message before publishing takes weeks; but, the community also demands updates almost every day. We must do better with our public content, and respond properly to social media. At the same time, much like open source and Ethereum projects, we must not hide our development process or content in progress. In contrast to a few negative feedbacks and misunderstandings, many of our partners and friends have jumped on to help this initiative (and many others in the past) within days because all content is open.
  • 🏏Ganesh: Generally, we should avoid getting into building new NFT products. NFTs are still very speculative and lets first get this most popular utility working smoothly. In terms of what can be done:🔭
    • Study our nft ecosystem (tools & projects) to understand how they are doing (sales, txns), what are they missing, and make concrete plans on how we can help them.
    • Telegram group with all NFT ecosystem representatives to directly listen to their issues, resolve them, set expectations, and figure out how to collaborate better. 🎽: Harmony mints.
    • Build analytics/dashboards tracking data of marketplaces & projects.
    • Pursue missing tools/projects and make them launch on harmony (see solana nft ecosystem tools).
    • Make explorer nft friendly. 🎽
    • 1wallet (web, mobiles) ready for nft.
    • Get artists/brands/partners (should be decent, low-key artists no good) to do nft drops (the tooling & experience should be fixed before this).
    • ☁️Giv: I will prioritize the list here along with the Proposed Initiatives above.
  • 🏏Ganesh: I see that some of the technicals, products, marketing, partners, cover the points above, however it also includes new products which i am against. Also, if we can form some tasks around the points mentioned above, it will be nice. Finally, I encourage we (everyone) spend 0.5-1 day using our NFT products and make smaller groups discussing the experience and what can be done to improve.
    • Indeed – from now many of us must, per Open Tasks, ...
  • 🏏Ganesh: Why spend resource on both immutable-x (leo) and game sdk (leon)? Given that immutable-x predominantly has games and if some of them utilize their sdk, just porting immutable-x sdk should do it?
    • We must merge more workstreams but initially each is starting from their current expertise, hence: “Leo, _: Port Immutable X’s Layer-2 NFT minting SDK” versus “Leon Do, _: Game SDK with NFT minting”.
  • 🏏Ganesh: In the "Trustless Bridge for NFT to OpenSea minting", what do you mean? I worry about pushing heavily on crosschain nfts mainly because the whole concept is new and has not found its use case. For instance, no one will bridge their ethereum nfts to harmony because there is neither a market nor a marketplace which is great. No harmony nfts will be bridged over to ethereum due to both the reduced interest in ethereum nfts and also missing use case for the bridged nfts on ethereum. While we will enable the 2-way nft crossing, we need to work hard on finding the real adoption use cases. 🔭🛹Peter
    • True, the proposed initiatives above are our current workstreams to be re-aligned. Hence, “Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market.”
  • 🏏Ganesh: here can i find information about how much money have we invested on our NFT ecosystem? (i know we have grants for madnfts, defira, etc, but is there an exclusive list?)
    • Full list on an internal Airtable. Curating a short list here.
  • 💊Sahil: Iterate to narrow the ideas down to top three that the team can focus around and work together to drive impact. Work closely with 20-30 developer teams in our ecosystem and help them solve problems together / drive artists and volume to their platforms. Reach out to up and coming projects in the EVM ecosystems that are looking for a new chain.
  • 📚Dionysis: A few project ideas:
    • Create the facility to make NFTs "fungible" on Harmony (fungibilization mechanism).
    • Create the facility to "fractionalize" NFTs on Harmony. (these two points involve porting existing projects from Ethereum to Harmony, e.g., NFTx, and adapting them appropriately)
    • Look into cross-chain "wrapping" and movement of NFTs across chain, for example between Ethereum and Harmony through the existing mechanisms that Harmony employs, but also more trustless mechanisms that could inspire trust in the community.
    • Investigate the current NFT marketplace situation on Harmony, ensure this is usable and people can use it on-chain and off-chain as necessary, porting any technologies that may be useful to have.

NFT Platforms

Immutable X as Layer-2 NFT Platform

image
Our team has decided that the next piece of our developer experience suite will be a developer dashboard where developers can get information about their project performance and registration information. This dashboard will initially solve the key problems projects currently experience: 1. API Key management; 2. Project and Collection Registration; 3. Metadata Recrawling. In the future, we will introduce analytics into this dashboard so that developers can have a single view of how their project is performing and how users are interacting with their NFTs.
Our APIs have been consistently performant and reliable. However, they haven’t always been fit for purpose for specific use cases, particularly for those seeking to maintain rollup or order book state independently. Various marketplaces and utility tool makers have expressed the difficulty in polling our public APIs to sync blockchain state and how inefficient the process is. There are a few examples of this:
  • We don’t expose an endpoint that enables developers to get a transaction by its ID.
  • To get all actions on Immutable X (as a block explorer like Immutascan might desire), you’d have to poll five endpoints (v1/mints, v1/transfers, v1/deposits, v1/withdrawals, v1/trades) using timestamp as a filter and then normalise this information into a format that enables per transaction querying.
  • We don’t support event streaming, websockets, webhooks or any pattern but polling to synchronise state.
image
Immutable X uses a ZK rollup: we take thousands of off-chain trades, generate a proof that these trades were all valid (i.e. the users who owned the assets signed the trades), and then publish that proof on-chain, where it is verified by a smart contract.
During this process, the on-chain user assets are held in the smart contract, and can only be released after a valid proof, including them, has been published in a batch.
The Immutable X stack consists primarily of: the ZK-Rollup scaling engine, Link UI, and the APIs. Together, these components lower the barriers of entry in the NFT space for developers and users, enabling instant trade confirmation, massive scalability, and gas-free minting and trading — all without compromising user custody.

Near’s Organic NFT Growth

Naksh Marketplace is an Indian NFT platform on NEAR that caters to artists and artisans from across the country. The app works with artists from parts of India where blockchain technology is not commonly known or used. The marketplace helps these artists digitize their work and showcase it as NFTs.
The number of artists and collectors using Paras has grown exponentially in the last year, thanks to the low-cost of minting artworks on NEAR. Paras now boasts 90K registered users, 20K of which are regular users. Together, 12K artists and 50K collectors have generated approximately $18 million in artwork sales.
Earlier this year, Paras launched NFT staking for the $PARAS token. Created as a utility token back in September 2021, $PARAS’s use cases include an exclusive pass to future deals and events, as well as for DAO governance.

Solana’s Magic Eden Rises

Interestingly, the average Ethereum NFT sale price in October was $3,147 while the average Solana NFT sale price in the same month was $1,097.
Additionally, Ethereum’s NFT ecosystem saw 132,879 unique buyers and 101,920 unique sellers while Solana clocked 48% of Ethereum’s unique buyer numbers and over 68% of the unique sellers.

Industry Research

Market Opportunities

The first quarter of 2022 saw a record-high $10 billion in secondary sales volume.
The top six NFT platforms were responsible for 98% of the volume.
More recently, the NFT market has seen a proliferation of niche NFT marketplaces including music (i.e., Sound and Catalog), photography (e.g., Sloika), and digital land (e.g., MetaHood).
image
image
There are several early experiments within the non-fungible token space specifically in regards to the creation of images, music (EulerBeats), videos, gifs, and memes. Additionally, domain names are one of the largest digitally native intangible assets and are already being ported over to Ethereum with ENS (Ethereum Name Service), Unstoppable Domains as well as other blockchains like Handshake.

Markplace Tractions

There are two common places that tie these hangout spaces together: games themselves, and NFT marketplaces. People chat about the games mostly outside of the game, and then go into the games to play. Similarly, they learn about what NFT communities are doing on social channels, then go to NFT marketplaces to complete a transaction. Communities are unlikely to ever congregate in one place. At a minimum, there will always be a Twitter-style global stream that is not community specific. And so communities will want to embed their marketplaces in a Twitter-like product, in addition to Reddit-like and Discord-like products. It’s therefore paramount that the NFT marketplace that powers these communities is API-first. It should be a marketplace that’s intended to live within other user interfaces from chat to livestream to dedicated two-dimensional HTML.
Nifty Gateway has largely succeeded because of its access to Gemini’s userbase. Coinbase will inevitably convert some portion of their current consumers into NFT degens.
More than wallet integration, Coinbase will have the potential to leverage its existing infrastructure (e.g., bank account integrations, node infra, custody, payments, etc.) to build a robust platform for the entire NFT lifecycle.
image
image

Research Reports

image
image
Utilities [NFT] remains the 3rd segment in regards to active wallets, but remains the bottom of the pack in volume of dollars traded with only $277 million. This segment remains for the moment dominated by domain names and NFTs around the creation of community.
https://nonfungible.com/reports/2022/en/q1-quarterly-nft-market-report
image
https://go.chainalysis.com/nft-market-report.html

Vertical Specifics

Music NFT

Allan also sells songs individually on the NFT music platform Catalog—which doesn’t require him to surrender the rights to his work. Combined, he says he now makes 85% of his living off NFTs. Hundreds of musicians are following Allan into this world. On Catalog, 140 artists have sold over 350 records for more than $1 million combined.
DAOs acting as labels… experiment with token communities and DAOs to create more intimate connections, but also to crowdsource financing and marketing… label DAOs are promising new institutions for talent development… incubating artists and music businesspeople using the latest web3 tools and community-building strategies.
Virgil Abloh, a longtime collaborator with West, planning an NFT-centric DAOAudiusModaDAO, and Metaplex are attempting to bring crypto incentives to music streaming, licensing, and merchandising… Friends With Benefits (FWB) has proven to be a powerful artist community. The popular DAO started a fellowship and benefactor program to support creatives, and grants are run by Pat Lok, an electronic musician whose work has sold on Catalog and Sound.
Taking after the Pleasr model, groups like Noise DAO, which has 1750 ETH pooled, and Morii Music have been quietly acquiring music NFTs… The Avenged Sevenfold’s Deathbats Club (DBC) collection has already generated over 280 ETH in trading volume.
Audio NFTs—in the form of MP3 and WAV files—are a relatively tiny niche compared to JPEGs, where the daily volume on Opensea often tops $100M. In October 2021, Catalog’s volume surged up to $600k, a 13X jump month-over-month that helped push its cumulative sales past $1M.
Sound has onboarded 66 artists for 84 total song releases, generating 432 ETH raised in primary sales ($1,197,587) and 855 ETH traded in secondary volume ($2,369,882). Since artists receive a cut from secondary sales, there’s been 518 ETH in proceeds paid directly to artists ($1,434,586), an impressive figure for launching just four months ago.
A prime example is Daniel Allan, who was able to crowdfund the costs of making an EP with only a few hundred Twitter followers. Allan raised 50 ETH ($140k at the time), more than doubling the fundraising goal on Mirror. Supporters of Allan’s Overstimulated EP got 50% of the future master royalties, which effectively decentralized the typical label advance.
A notable indie case study is Haleek Maul, a Barbados-raised rapper who sold 9 works on Catalog for a combined 133.6 ETH ($299k at the time of writing). Maul’s following on Spotify and Twitter were relatively modest (about 4k monthly streams and 8k Twitter followers)… the median artist on Catalog has 16k monthly Spotify streams and 3300 followers on Twitter.
Using tech from 0xSplits, 20% went to Soulection+, 5% to Joe for curating, 5% to the project’s designer, and the rest was split among the artists in agreed-upon terms. The whole collection sold out almost immediately, raising 33.3 ETH (~$90K) for the artists involved.
Latashá, an L.A.-based musician who has sold over 50 music and multimedia NFTs, says that the ability of labels to nurture talent from the ground up was already on the wane before the rise of NFTs. “I haven’t connected with a label in years that was fully into developing artists anymore,” she says. “Artists had to before really cultivate numbers on platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Twitter before a label would even look at them. I think it’s important for artists to think about their autonomy.”
image
image

Writing NFT

image
Writing NFTs are a very early niche, with fewer than 734 writers and only $60,000 in NFT volume, most of which has been generated by a few essays. While most individuals often first think of Mirror’s publishing platform, its crowdfunding aspect is more successful, having facilitated over 10,000 ETH in fundraising across nearly 17,000 buyers.

Social NFT

Modified Sharding (SBT-based). The second solution puts credentials on-chain (e.g. in the form of SBTs), but instead it leverages sharding to increase scalability and reduce overhead. Basically, different sets of credentials are managed under shards maintained by a network of verified/permissioned issuers, with each subset taking care of the state changes of credentials within itself. Each shard comes to consensus on its state and produces a Merkle root signed by a quorum of shard validators. Then, the beacon chain combines the shard roots into a beacon root as settlement.

The benefit of this design relies on the limited requirement of cross-shard communications, as most credentials are simply non-transferable. Thus, there’s no need for accounts to try and find Merkle paths to a transaction in the source shard atomically. Of course, this would require a very careful design for the specific domains each shard should take care of to minimize such communication.

This design aligns with the direction Ethereum is currently moving toward, so it might also be interesting to explore. The privacy issue can be somewhat addressed if a subset of shards is implemented with additional trust assumptions (e.g. with trusted hardware, or a specific set of zk sigma protocols/commitment schemes like Aztec11). This would require different shards to have different properties, though (similar to phase 1/2 sharding for Eth, when some shards can handle code execution while others serve as availability engines). The cross-chain interoperability issue might be harder to tackle here, as bridging would still be a necessity.

Games NFT

Athletes NFT

Creator NFT

The Financial Times and Chainalysis estimated that there were 360,000 owners of NFTs as of 2021. Beyond that, there are tens of millions of users of cryptonetworks. Metamask, a wallet that is used to connect to decentralized applications, recently announced that it had 32 million monthly active users as of February 2022, and Phantom (a wallet currently focused on Solana) announced monthly active users of 2 million in January 2022. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Ethereum had monthly average transactional users of about 6 million and daily active transactional users of about 400,000. From a multi-chain perspective, there were approximately 2.5 million average daily active users interacting with the smart contracts tracked by DappRadar. As a rough approximation, if we extrapolate these 2.5 million daily users to calculate monthly users using Ethereum’s DAU/MAU ratio of 0.06, we could estimate MAU of 39 million across the 29 networks covered by DappRadar’s data.
image

Metaverse NFT

Names NFT

Financialization: DeFi + NFT

Storage for NFT

NFT Communities

image

Market-Product-Team Fit

User Adoption

Current Proposals

Harmony NFT Mints

🌿
NFT Mints (Fiat Fundraising) via Events & Merchandises
🎏
Music NFT: Access, Social, Livestreams