Collins dictionary has been sticking to the digital trend and picked NFT as the word of the year. It defines NFT as a unique digital certificate that is used to record the ownership of any digital asset such as an artwork or a collectible and is registered in a blockchain.
The sales volume of NFTs surged from $1.2 billion in Quarter 1 of the year 2021 to $10.7 billion in Quarter 3 of the year 2021 as per the data from market tracker DappRadar. OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace currently with 1.4 billion in September 2021. The public attention toward NFTs has exploded in the year 2021 experiencing record sales.
The NFT marketplace is the gateway for participating in the sale and purchase of digital assets right from art to music to the entire virtual universe. One can compare NFT marketplaces to the Amazon of the digital realm. The number of buyers in the NFT marketplaces is estimated at more than 30 thousand unique wallets that bought NFTs from popular marketplaces.
Even with its growing popularity, very little information is available regarding the overall structure and evolution of its market.
Metaplex is a Solana-powered decentralized protocol paired with an open-source web framework. It allows artists and creators to launch their own NFT storefronts. These NFT storefronts are self-hosted and can be built as easily as a website. It empowers creators and brands to build a direct relationship with their audience. Metaplex-powered NFTs engage and provide utilities to decentralized communities everywhere.
It allows the creation and minting of NFTs in a standard way across wallets and applications. The Metaplex NFT consists of two components. One of them is an on-chain program and the other one is a self-hosted front-end web2 application.
The Solana Program Library (SPL) includes Metaplex’s NFT standard. It can be characterized with a fixed supply of 1 and 0 decimals as a unique token.
NFT on Solana very is complex as compared to NFT on Ethereum. But Solana currently is the cheapest and fastest blockchain and thus is attracting large numbers of users. NFT structure on Solana is different from that of Ethereum but users are adopting it.
Bytom is an interactive protocol that is a multi-bit asset. There are different forms of heterogenous bit assets like native digital currency and digital assets and atomic assets like warrants, equity, dividends, bonds, and forecast information that are running on Bytom blockchain and can be registered, exchanged, and many more complex operations based on contracts.
Bytom connects the bit world with the atomic world. It allows the interaction and circulation of assets between the two worlds. Bytom provides a one-stop NFT platform that provides everything right from NFT minting, authorization, and adaption to trading functions. This helps the NFT on the blockchain to represent real-world non-standard assets. The NFT marketplace is low cost with low barriers to entry and friendly to artists and collectors.
Users can easily issue NFT assets on Bytom using Bytom’s UTXO model. This lowers the entry barrier for NFT and makes it a user-friendly platform for artists. The Bytom platform has high scalability that provides more business models for upper-level applications.
Mask network aims to help Web 2.0 users to Web 3.0. The Mask extension brings the decentralized application ecosystem onto traditional social networks and provides a decentralized option for the features that the We 2.0 users are familiar with. Users could enjoy the features of Web 3.0 effortlessly. They could also enjoy secure and decentralized social messaging, networks of payment, and sharing of files without moving away from traditional social media networks.
Mask Network encourages people to own what they produce, their data, and the virtual space they plan to contribute to. Mask Network allows users to enjoy familiar Web 2.0 sites like Twitter with the added benefits of Web 3.0. It is a portal to the new and open internet.
Unlock is an open-source, Ethereum-based protocol that has been designed to manage and monetize memberships for communities. Its monetization/ membership model is used by artists, musicians, game developers, and discord community, and others. Media brands that are using its protocol are planning partnerships with Unlock.
Unlock is an NFT-based protocol that records the transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. Various use cases of Unlock include a WordPress plug-in that allows developers to easily add a membership or subscription option to their website. Another use case is a community-created plug-in that enables retailers on Shopify to add an Unlock-based purchase option to their website.
The open-source protocol that Unlock has for creator community memberships assures redefining how creators will interact with and grow their audiences in the future.
Samila is a generative art generator that is written in Python language. It allows you to create artworks based on thousands of points and the position of each of these points is calculated using a formula that has random parameters. Since these numbers are random every image looks different.
The uniqueness about Samila is the way one can make actual artworks using mathematics. The concept on which Samila is based can be explained as follows – when a square-shaped space is transformed from the Cartesian coordinate system to any other arbitrary coordinate system, a plot is generated that feels or looks like an artwork.
Secretnetwork is an open-source protocol and is blockchain-based that allows anyone to perform computations on encrypted data. It helps bring privacy to smart contracts and public blockchains. The mission of Secretnetwork is to benefit all by improving the adoption and usability of decentralized technologies.
Secret Network supports encrypted inputs and outputs and encrypted state for smart contracts and improves upon traditional smart contracts. Secret NFTs are non-fungible Secret Tokens that allow the representation of unique items and events in such a way that ownership and transactions are private by default. It is believed that tokens ought to be private if they are representing a person’s goods and experience. These unique items can also be used for a variety of purposes. For these types of use cases, Secret NFTs are perfect.
Ethora is an open-source NFT communities’ builder. The project has been in the making for about three years. Mobile app users can collect, mint, and send C-20 and NFT tokens directly in group chats using application engines. Blockchain and tokenization will become more accessible and understandable to non-experienced users with this innovation.
NFT technology has helped artists and creators obtain a new way of distributing their arts. The infrastructure of NFT technology is still nascent and developing and there is no easy way for the creators to connect with their fans or for the NFT owners to connect and trade with each other.
The above problems are being addressed by the Ethora project by offering an open-source “low code” engine built in React Native for all platforms. The server and blockchain infrastructure that supports the application ensures users are on-boarded with crypto wallets based on their social logins. It also allows sending chat messages and tokens between such wallets.
Ethora can help developers, startups, and businesses to easily offer communication, coin & NFT transfers, merit rewards like crypto likes, and push notifications to their users. Dappros, the UK-based blockchain software firm was responsible for the R&D efforts for the Ethora project. The Project team has plans to switch its governance to DAO which is a decentralized organization in the future.
The creator community
At present more than 50 million people worldwide consider themselves creators and this has become a type of small business that is growing fast. The creators can include independent content creators, curators, and community builders such as bloggers, social media influencers, and videographers. The creator community is relatively new and only a decade old.
The influencer marketing market is expected to cross the $3 billion mark by the end of the year 2021. On every front, the creator community is currently thriving at roughly $20 billion. Each of these creators is currently operating as a start-up in itself instead of an individual.
With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the creator community has received their proof of concept from streaming content from anywhere in the world. The world that became disconnected from one another during these times of pandemic has been able to connect with creators from around the world in different situations.
The current times have clearly shown that there is huge demand, money, and sustainability in the creator community. The rapidly scaling social media platforms and streaming services have also helped in the significant growth of the demand for content amongst people and audiences. This has led to the rise of the creator’s economy to the mainstream.
Individual creators have the potential to become lean start-ups that are providing support to e-commerce, brand awareness, and audience engagement. The creator community has become a part of the global economy.
The NFT marketplace and creator community have been thriving in this time of the pandemic. They have both shown great growth potential and are here to stay. Both these concepts are relatively new and are still in the experimental stages. But the time is not far when they will be globally accepted for their merits.