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OpenSea Launches Support For Solana NFTs

OpenSea Launches Support For Solana NFTs

The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) industry can be traced back to the early days of the internet. The first NFTs were digital collectibles created on forums and message boards. These tokens were simply images or text used to represent a unique asset.

However, it wasn't until the development of blockchain technology that NFTs really began to take off. Blockchain provided a way to securely and permanently store data on a decentralized ledger. This made NFTs much more secure and trustworthy than traditional digital collectibles.

Since then, the NFT industry has exploded in popularity. Millions of dollars worth of NFTs have been sold, and the market is only getting bigger. With the help of blockchain, the NFT industry is revolutionizing the way we think about digital ownership.

This article discusses NFTs, including where they came from, important milestones, and what to expect in the future.

The Origin of NFTs

The first-ever known non-fungible token (NFT) was created in 2014 by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash. It was called Quantum and consisted of a video clip of digital art created by McCoy’s wife, Jennifer. Originally, the technology was called “monetized graphics,” and Quantum was registered on the Namecoin blockchain and sold to Dash for $4. Today, it’s on sale for $7M.

In October of 2015, three months after the launch of the Ethereum blockchain, the first NFT project, Ehteria, was launched and demonstrated at DEVCON 1 in London. Most of the 457 NFTs went unsold for more than five years until March 13, 2021, as interest in NFTs was renewed. These remaining pieces sold out in 24 hours for a total of $1.4M. At the time of their launch in 2015, their cost was only $0.43 each.

Increased public awareness began in 2017 when an online game CryptoKitties monetized cat NFTs. During 2020, the value of the NFT market exploded, tripling to $250M. During the first quarter of 2021, more than $200M was spent on NFTs.

Or Was the Origin in 2012?

There is another origin story out there on NFTs worth discussing, known as Colored Coins. Colored Coins, created in 2012-2013, are made of small bitcoin denominations–known as a single satoshi–which can be used to represent a multitude of assets and have multiple uses, including:

  • Coupons
  • Property
  • Issue shares of a company
  • Ability to issue your own cryptocurrency
  • Digital collectibles
  • Access tokens

Unfortunately, the whole Colored Coin system carries several flaws. But, they played a significant role in laying the groundwork for NFTs. You can learn more about them here in the “Overview of Colored Coins.” 

Counterpoint: “Counterparty”

Another early consideration for the creation of NFTs is Counterparty. Counterparty is a peer-to-peer financial platform and distributed, open-source Internet protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It allowed asset creation and even included a trading card game and meme trading, where Rare Pepes originated.

Rare Pepes

In October 2016, “rare pepes” were issued along the Counterparty platform. A rare pepe is a meme featuring a frog character that has developed an intense fanbase. Besides being incredibly quirky, the uniqueness of these images makes them such desirable NFTs. 

How the NFT space has evolved

In simple terms, an NFT is a unit of data stored on a variety of digital ledgers called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded. But, what started as a simple video clip has evolved into many use cases across various industries. But, perhaps none is more compelling than the art industry.

The History of NFT Art

Art is perhaps the most common way to use NFTs, as auctions from high-profile NFTs have made the biggest splash in public attention. Currently, the most expensive NFT ever sold was at an auction price of $91.8M–work by artist Pak, entitled The Merge.

The merge

The Merge is both a single piece of artwork and a series of artworks. When it launched, buyers could purchase an NFT, called a mass, for a set amount of money ($575). However, for buyers who purchased more than one mass, instead of receiving another NFT, their current mass actually increased in size. The price of a mass NFT grew throughout the sale, and buyers who bought a lot of mass were rewarded with free mass. 

It sounds a little confusing, but if you can picture a tiny ball of mercury as one mass, then add other tiny balls of mercury to it, you can see how each comes together to get bigger and bigger. That’s what The Merge is and was before the sale was brought to a close. Now, even though the launch is over, buyers and traders can still sell or trade their NFTs to grow their mass bigger, making their NFT more valuable. 

In the end, more than 28,000 buyers spent over $91M on what has been one of the most compelling NFT art concepts to date.

Everydays: The first 5000 days

The second most expensive (at $69M) was a piece of artwork by Michael Winkelmann–known as Beeple–called Everydays: the First 5000 Days.

Beeple is a graphic designer and motion artist from South Carolina who is well-renowned in the digital art world. However, his rise to fame reached a new height with his NFT collage created from 5,000 images created daily for 13 years. The images were put together and formed one NFT unit that sold for almost $70M making it the third-most-expensive piece of art ever sold.

CryptoPunks

Perhaps, the most well-known NFT digital art pieces are the collection of CryptoPunks, which is credited with starting the NFT craze of 2021.  

CryptoPunks is a series of 10,000 unique collectible characters stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Each character is created using an algorithm and no two are identical. The images are 24x24 pixels and feature some combination of guys, girls, apes, zombies, and aliens. While some of the images share attributes, the rarest ones feature the fewest attributes. For example, on the current marketplace, CryptoPunk 5822 is on sale by the owner for $34.89M. It features one attribute–a bandana–which is only shared by 481 punks. 

Perhaps the wildest part of CryptoPunks is that initially, they were all free. One simply had to claim them. Now they sell for hundreds of thousands to multi-millions of dollars.

CryptoKitties

In the 90s, we had Tomagotchi–a handheld digital pet that you could feed, love, and–if neglected–kill. In the 2020s, we have CryptoKitties! CryptoKitties are digitally created breedable and collectible cats. Each is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed.

It turns out that breeding digital pets is big business for at least a short period of time. While CryptoKitties was the first widely recognized blockchain game and featured astronomical growth, the popularity was short-lived. In fact, it reached its peak on December 10th, 2017. But, by the beginning of 2018, the game’s popularity fell by 90% of users. However, for those that were fortunate during that short time. One CryptoKitty fetched $1.3M, another $566,000, and the third most expensive CryptoKitty was sold for $107,000.

Bored Ape Yatch Club

Similar to CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a collection of 10,000 unique, algorithm-created images. Except instead of aliens, zombies, and humans, BAYC features images of–you guessed it–apes. In March of 2022, sales of BAYC made up more than a third of total NFT sales. In January of 2022, BAYC surpassed $1B in total sales.

Who Can Create & Purchase NFTs?

The easy answer is that anyone can create or purchase NFTs. Some companies help guide you through the process of creation, connecting your content through blockchain, and getting the proper paperwork done to develop your own NFTs. Purchasing is also as easy as connecting with an online marketplace and working with vendors to purchase or acquire the NFTs you want.

You can launch your NFT collection in seconds with Mantial. We assist everyone, from entrepreneurs to celebrities and large companies throughout the whole process of conception, sales, and management of NFT collections.

In Conclusion

The future is wide-open for the NFT industry. As it becomes more and more popular, creators and even NFT experts are still exploring the possibilities of this technology and how it collides with our everyday lives. While the exact future of NFTs is uncertain, the market is expected to continue growing, and NFTs worth millions of dollars today could be worth billions in the future. 

And, when money like that is involved, everyone will want a piece of the action.

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The Walking Dead

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Rick’s NFT

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The Walking Dead

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Michonne’s NFT

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  • OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace has added support for Solana NFTs.
  • Solana is a blockchain that runs offers fast transactions and low fees.
  • Solana is fast gaining ground on the number two NFT-enabling blockchain, Ronin.
  • OpenSea currently offers a limited selection of Solana NFT collections with more being added daily.

OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace by volume has officially added Solana NFTs to its users. The move has been rumored for weeks before it was announced on Twitter. Solana is the second blockchain to be incorporated into the platform since Klaytn support was added over a year ago. 

Prior to adding Solana, sellers’ only option for minting NFTs, aside from Ethereum, was on the Polygon network. Polygon is a layer-2 scaling solution compatible with Ethereum but with far lower gas fees. OpenSea users can mint Polygon NFTs at no cost. 

In late March 2021, OpenSea added support for Klaytn NFTs. The Klaytn blockchain is focused particularly on gaming and is renowned known for its hugely popular Axie Infinity play-to-earn game. 

In January, OpenSea announced that it had raised $300 million in venture capital putting the company’s valuation at a whopping $13 billion. 

What is Solana? 

Solana is a beast of a blockchain. The network runs on a hybrid proof-of-stake/proof-of-history consensus mechanism that offers users high-speed transactions at a low cost. It also uses much less energy than Ethereum and has a far lower environmental impact. (However, Ethereum is in the process of converting from energy-intensive proof-of-work mining to proof-of-stake.) 

Solana’s native cryptocurrency, ticker SOL, is used to pay transaction fees that are charged by miners for minting and transferring ownership of NFTs. 

OpenSea’s beta launch will feature a limited selection of Solana NFTs and will be limited to collections minted using Solana’s Metaplex collection standard. Metaplex is a Solana protocol that interfaces with web2 applications such as OpenSea and enables artists and creators to launch self-hosted NFT storefronts. So far, nearly 10 million NFTs have been minted using the Metaplex protocol. 

According to the OpenSea website: 

“Full launch will include a scalable way to expand coverage via the Metaplex collection standard, so if you want to prepare, you can adopt the standard now… Over the past year, Solana has emerged as one of the fastest-growing NFT ecosystems in the world and is among the most requested chains by the OpenSea community… You can now buy, sell and transfer Solana NFTs using OpenSea.”

what is solana

Solana NFTs are fast gaining ground 

According to data tracker CryptoSlam, over the course of March 2022, Solana NFT trade volume was about $173 million. (Compare that to OpenSea’s trade volume of roughly $3.4 billion, according to The Block.)

The addition of Solana NFTs on OpenSea puts serious competitive pressure on existing Solana NFT marketplaces such as Magic Eden, which recently raised $27 million in venture capital. Magic Eden had the largest volume of Solana NFTs prior to the OpenSea listings. 

Ethereum is the clear leader in the space with more than $21 billion in total NFT sales. Solana quickly blew past $1.6 billion in total NFT sales volume since launching on OpenSea and now sits in 3rd place in NFT sales behind Ethereum and Ronin. However, Solana is fast gaining ground on Ronin and was actually ranked second behind Ethereum in total sales over the last 30 days.

Ronin is a Klaytn sidechain that hosts the highly popular Axie Infinity game which has racked up $4 billion in total sales. (However, a recent Ronin bridge hack has put a large dent in volume as of late.) 

Many experts expected the price of SOL cryptocurrency to pump after the OpenSea announcement. However, trader sentiment has been tepid. The price of $SOL fell by about 23% over the past seven days to $110, sagging along with the broader crypto market. 

OpenSea rocks Magic Eden’s boat

Currently, Magic Eden is the number one Solana NFT marketplace. The platform is responsible for around 90% of Solana NFT sales. Because of its sheer size, OpenSea’s addition of Solana NFTs is expected to begin taking away some market share from Magic Eden. In fact, in the 12 hours after Solana NFTs launched on OpenSea, Magic Eden’s sales volume was down 24%.

Nonetheless, despite the drop in volume, Magic Eden processed nearly 25,000 Solana NFT transactions in 24 hours whereas OpenSea had only sold 500 Solana NFTs. Those numbers are expected to converge over time. 

Overall, NFT sales are in a slump

After beginning 2022 with strong sales, NFT volume slumped somewhat in February. In fact, the number of monthly NFT buyers fell below 800,000 for the first time since October 2021, according to Crypto Slate. In March the number had fallen to around 630,000. 

According to DappRadar, OpenSea’s trading volume has declined by around two-thirds since the beginning of March, while competitors LooksRare and Magic Eden both saw greater than 80% reductions in sales. 

The reductions are being attributed at least in part to rising inflation and uncertainty caused by the conflict in Europe. In the long run, however, as NFTs gain more utility, sales are expected to be in an overall uptrend. 

Buying Solana NFTs on OpenSea

OpenSea’s Solana NFT collection can be found here. In order to purchase Solana NFTs on OpenSea users will need to connect to a Solana wallet such as Phantom and create an account. 

As we mentioned, the catalog of Solana NFTs is presently somewhat limited. According to the company’s website, OpenSea is currently supporting 165 Solana NFT collections and is “adding more every day.”