Issue 34 🍵 Usurping Opensea

Everything is liquid, including users.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is not financial advice. We buy what we like, and you should buy what you like.

Hot on the heels of Opensea’s insider trading scandal comes a challenger: Artion.

This one specifically got attention since it was announced by Andre Cronje, a dev best known for launching one of the most pivotal DeFi applications, Yearn Finance.

Artion bears a pretty similar interface to Opensea, and instead decided to make a difference in its ideology:

  • Artion charges 0 fees, while Opensea takes 2.5% of every sale

  • Artion open-sourced its code; Opensea still hasn’t verified its contracts

  • Artion is currently launching on the Fantom chain, but intends to expand to Ethereum and as many other blockchains as possible

This was created by Andre and a team of six other people, so when asked to comment on why they would just give it all away for free, Andre commented: “I like building open protocols and then seeing wtf people can do with it.” (source: Coindesk)

It’s an interesting move, because unlike Web2, there’s really no friction to switching providers on Web3. If you’re just even making the switch from Amazon to Etsy—you would need to fill out your basic info, shipping details, and payment information over again.

In Web3, once you got your wallet set-up, that’s it. All the marketplaces basically provide the same essentials of allowing people to mint and sell NFTs, the only thing different is the social perception of these marketplaces.

Does this marketplace do more artist promotions? Does that marketplace have more sales by artists that I know? It’s just all social, and popularity can change in the blink of an eye.

So, it’s hard to definitely say that Opensea will just be overthrown. For what it’s worth, the Opensea team has done a marvelous job at the small technical things—lazy minting for newcomers, no transaction fees for listing items. They have all the traffic right now, and for what it’s worth, having $100M in the bank has to count for something.

But as the insider trading news revealed, a lot of people on Twitter aren't happy that Opensea’s success isn’t open for all. The only ones winning right now are Opensea and the ones who funded them, of course. Maybe that discontent does lead towards adoption of other platforms, especially if that platform shares a piece of the pie to everyone.

Only thing we'll bet on is that where the creators go, the crowd will follow. And when it’s so easy to switch and Artion gave a template for everybody to play with, Opensea really can’t rest on its laurels.

Other news

🌱 Dapper Labs is bringing football-style Top Shot with their NFL partnership. That model did well with basketball, so if it ain’t broke, why fix it right?

🌱 The creator of The Sims has announced a new game that involves NFTs and AI. Named “Proxi”, the game will focus on self-discovery, where players will be tasked to make “memories”. The game is expected to be released this fall, but you may now buy starter packs of NFTs on their website.

🌱 Still on the topic of video games, the founder of Atari is releasing AR NFTs of 3D renders of the game cabinets for “Pong” and “Computer Space”. The game cabinets will also show video clips of the said games. The 3D renders can be digitally placed on real-world locations because of the AR aspect of the project.

🌱 More nostalgia: the hit 2000s web game Neopets is releasing NFTs on Solana.

Reading list

  • If someone tells you that NFTs are environmentally destructive, just send them this article. (TL;DR - physical manufacturing creates more harm)

  • As the market has gotten turbulent, projects are stopping active development. :/

Creative corner

We’ve been featuring some glitch art the past few weeks, but Germany-based artist Aurorasector’s works takes us to dream-like worlds that we can’t take our eyes off.

Check out more of their works on OpenSea and Foundation! If you like what you’re seeing, follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Showtime!

Try this

We got nothing for this week! Have a break, play a game or two (Elle can recommend Timberborn).

If you got any news or feedback to share, you can find us on Twitter.

🍵 See you again next Wednesday! - Elle and Gian