This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only, and its content should not be construed as financial advice. The third-party websites linked have been provided solely on a convenience basis and should not be implied as endorsement, approval, or recommendation by assetMantle. AssetMantle will not be responsible for any failed investment that results from making decisions based on the content of the newsletter. You must do your research before venturing into any of the projects or services described here.
Behind the Scenes at assetMantle
AssetMantle has begun bootstrapping its NFT infrastructure on Tendermint, setting off the stage with a testnet launch that kicked off last Monday. The testnet launch marks the rollout of assetMantle as a framework for NFT marketplaces, where creators and artists will have the opportunity to launch storefronts to showcase their works.
AssetMantle is building a decentralized NFT framework that advances individual creativity, enabling creators to express themselves in the best possible way by launching metadata NFTs. Artists and creators can also customize their NFT metadata.
Sidestepping the existing infrastructure for NFT marketplaces which are mostly centralized and lack multi-chain support for NFTs (interoperability), assetMantle facilitates interchain NFT transfers for buyers on multiple asset types through an interNFT wallet different from the NFT module itself. This dichotomy helps both modules operate independently across several chains, including Tendermint.
AssetMantle threw the door open to validators, inviting them for the testnet launch as part of its plans to build robust and secured network infrastructure. Validators comprising existing partners, developers, and influencers were invited to make contributions to the assetMantle ecosystem.
Up to 450 responses were received from potential validators which were willing to be part of the transformation assetMantle is leading. However, only 282 were selected, all of whom have been helping to secure the network. Over 100,000 blocks have been created in the last six days, indicating that selected validators are hard at work.
You can get more updates about assetMantle’s validators and the progress of the testnet here.
What You Missed in the NFT Ecosystem
The NFT ecosystem seems to have taken a brief hiatus in this third week of November, as fewer sales were recorded compared to the previous month. NFT collector and commentator Jason Bailey, pseudonymously known as Artnome, attributed this to the convergence of collectors at the NFT conference held in New York City (NYC)— the second of its kind. The first conference was held in February 2019.
The New York City NFT Conference was well-attended by the crème de la crème of the NFT ecosystem, including music stars, several of whom are starting to acquire popular collections like CryptoPunks and BoredApes.
Blue-chip NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) added new celebrities to its long list of notable owners this week. Music superstar Post Malone, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel and founder of American retail fashion brand, Ronnie Fieg, respectively, bought different variants of the BAYC NFTs— now regarded as the world’s third-largest NFT collection, behind the Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Axie Infinity (Axies).
However, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection has interestingly amassed the highest trading volume ( 20,764.07 ETH) in the last seven days on Opensea, ahead of CryptoPunks (7,961.25 ETH) and The Sandbox (10,682.9 ETH).
This is a pointer to the rising interest in the collection, especially among celebrities. Two months ago, NBA star Kevin Durant acquired BAYC #7990 for a whopping 55 ETH ($180,000). Other basketball stars like Tyler Halliburton, Josh Hart have also joined in on the frenzy.
- Beeple’s Human ONE Steals Show at Auction House Christie’s
Popular digital artist Mike Winklemann, otherwise known as Beeple, stole the show at the renowned auction house, Christie’s 21st Century Evening Show in New York. The digital artist made another record-setting sale of his work, an animated digital illustration entitled Human ONE.
Beeple’s Human ONE is an NFT presented in a 3D digital lightbox made of four LED screens. Swiss entrepreneur Ryan Zurrer scooped up the NFT at a staggering price of $29 million, including buyer’s fees.
Currently, Human ONE is the second most expensive NFT after the “Everydays” collage NFT (also created by Beeple), which sold for $69.3 million back in March.
- Film Director Quentin Tarantino Rolls Out NFTs for 1994 “Pulp Fiction” Movie
Quentin Tarantino- a seasoned film director who clinched the Golden Global Award for Best Screenplay– Motion Picture in 1995, 2013, and 2020 made the headlines again for a different reason.
Tarantino plans to release and auction seven unique clips of Pulp Fiction– his 1994 blockbuster comedy which gathered over $200 million at the Box Office— as NFTs on popular marketplace OpenSea.
Still, Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is not the first film to toe the NFT path. In September, VeVe Partners and MGM Studios announced that they would be launching an NFT content for the latest release in the James Bond (007) series No Time to Die (2021).
Tarantino will be auctioning off the seven uncut clips as Secret NFTs on Secret Network— the first layer-1 blockchain that supports privacy by default for applications.
The planned auction has brewed some controversy as entertainment company Miramax claims Tarantino lacks the right to conduct an NFT auction of the Pulp Fiction, which the latter has debunked through his lawyer Bryan Freedman.
NFTs have found substantial use cases in the entertainment industry and are already being used to grant collectors exclusive rights to movies and screenplays.
Hot NFT Projects
While Ethereum blockchain has been the major platform for most top NFT projects, other blockchains such as Solana, Flow and Avalanche, and Tendermint (the chain upon which assetMantle runs) are starting to notice some NFT activities as they offer low-cost minting and faster transactions, in contrast with the mind-boggling fees on Ethereum.
Importantly, assetMantle is introducing a framework that allows the building of niche-specific marketplaces to increase the adoption of NFTs
- The Metaverse Wave
A large chunk of emerging NFT projects are focused on gaming, and metaverse utility as developers look to tickle the fancy of collectors and attract investors. Interestingly, an uptick in activities has also been observed on existing metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and The Sandbox. Tons of land parcels are being bought on these platforms. Industry experts believe that the trend is likely to continue, especially since social media giant Facebook announced its name change for its parent company, adopting the name ‘Meta.’
Other big players in the tech sector like Microsoft, Tencent, and Google have caught on to the trend as well. These tech giants are intent on building a centralized metaverse (a digital world) where users can share value and enjoy an immersive experience through avatars.
Blockchain games like Axie Infinity, Splinterlands, and Alien Worlds are currently pulling in the attention of several users from different parts of the world due to their play-to-earn utility. Players now earn more than the average employee just by playing games. In Brazil and the Philippines, play-to-earn games have become a staple, providing extra income for the teeming population.
The blockchain gaming industry is exploding, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are helping to lead its growth and adoption. While interoperability has remained a major challenge for NFTs with respect to play-to-earn games, emerging solutions like assetMantle aim to address this challenge, such that gamers can deploy in-game collectibles on other games and metaverse platforms apart from their native platforms.
Top New NFT Projects
#1 Web Generated Modular Interfaces (WGMI)
Leaning onto the acronym WAGMI (We Are All Going To Make It) that has become a catchphrase in the crypto ecosystem, Web Generated Modular Interfaces is set to release a collection of 10,000 randomly generated PFPPP (Profile Picture Passion Project), interestingly without promises or a roadmap, but just vibes.
The WAGMI term represents the bullish sentiments of crypto natives about the market and underpins the anticipation of new all-time highs for crypto assets.
There is also similar anticipation and hype for the WGMI NFTs as the team behind the project (comprising 3D artists, designers, and illustrators) promises nothing but vibes (will this take the project far enough?). The collection’s art looks cool and sophisticated at the same time, making it a must-have. NFT YouTuber Brett Malinowski agrees with this. A recent review by the YouTuber featured the collection as one of the highly anticipated NFT projects. The review video has gathered a fair share of views (over 21k) in the last three days. Here’s the link to the video
There is nothing concrete on the ground yet apart from eye-popping snippets of the collection on Twitter. According to the team— anna_paschenko, bestservedbold.eth, and Arek Kajda— they are still building and will be set for a proper launch in the coming months— perhaps December.
Understandably, the WGMI collection is not anything like blue-chip NFTs such as CryptoPunks, the MAYC, or the BAYC. Still, it is in a class of its own.
Stringing the collection alongside the WAGMI term is such a brilliant idea, and most likely, both crypto and NFT enthusiasts alike would want to have a digital collectible that perfectly points to that future.
Of the 10,000 supply, the WGMI team plans to reserve 404 PFPPP for the future. While you might think there is nothing much to expect from a project that is built around ‘vibes,’ the WGMI PFPPPs bring something different to the NFT ecosystem. Learn more about the WGMIInterfaces here
#2 Clone X- RTFKT Studios
After joining to kick-start the trend for digital collectibles and wearables like sneakers, including partnering with crypto-artist Fewocious and Jeff Staple, creator-led company RTFKT is launching headlong into the metaverse scene, capitalizing on the recent hype around augmented reality.
Marking its foray into augmented virtual reality (otherwise known as Metaverse), RTFKT is embarking on a generative NFT project entitled CloneX.
The Clone X project (also known as Project Akira) represents RTFKT’s most ambitious venture and the beginning of a full ecosystem into which it would incorporate digital wearables.
RTFKT is releasing a collection of 20,000 3D avatars with randomized traits, resulting in a rare combination of features for each avatar. The CloneX Avatars, based on the metaverse backstory, are deemed to have absorbed human consciousness, meaning that future owners will be able to express themselves with their avatars and forge relationships with 3D creators who will create tailored content for the avatars as well.
According to RTFKT Studios, avatars are just the tip of the iceberg. The team has also partnered with popular Japanese digital artist Takashi Murakami— whom they consider as their idol— to bring his unique designs to the CloneX Avatars. Click here to read more.
Focusing on the metaverse concept as well, the Metakrew NFTs is a collection of 9750 randomly generated PFP avatars with over 200 traits, loaded with metaverse utility. The Metakrew collection represents your identity in the metaverse. Metakrew will feature 2D and 3D avatars generated from the same metadata. The 3D avatars will find utility in several frontiers, including virtual worlds and games. They will also be fully customizable by their holders.
However, only Metakey holders will be able to mint the Metakrew collection.
The Metakey has several utilities within the metaverse. Learn more about the Metakrews here
Best Practices: Security, Design, and Performance
The NFT frontier has been receiving a lot of attention from the mainstream lately, especially from high-profile celebrities. However, this attention has come with many challenges, the majority of which revolves around scams from bad actors.
For retail collectors, the exorbitant gas costs on Ethereum is a huge let-off. With chains like Solana, Avalanche, Polygon, and Tendermint joining to pivot the NFT ecosystem, acquiring NFTs without paying much for gas fees is now a possibility- something that rarely happens on pioneering blockchain Ethereum. Even then, this is not an indication that these chains are entirely better than Ethereum. Most bad actors leverage low-cost chains to perpetuate their scams because there are fewer entry barriers to NFTs and other digital collectibles.
Certain benchmarks have been outlined to help identify a good NFT launch and beat scammers to their game, whether as a big-time collector or a newbie.
Tips on Identifying a Good NFT Launch
Unexploitable fairness: Launches must adopt mechanisms that prevent users with sophisticated tools from minting the rarest items at the detriment of less sophisticated users.
No race conditions: If an NFT collection goes on sale below its fair market price, it usually leads to what is known as auction-by-other-means. In practice, it means that users often scramble to get their transaction mined as fast as possible. Some users attempt to fast-track their transactions by incentivizing miners.
Others use sophisticated tools such as bots, Flashbots, or Eden to aid the minting process, beating other users to the NFTs.
Time-zone agnostic: An NFT launch has to consider the time difference among users. Most First Come First Serve (FCFS) launches are usually done at a particular block height, which is a disadvantage for users who are either asleep or at work due to the different time zones.
Gas Efficiency: A good NFT launch tries to minimize the number of transactions users have to make to mint their NFTs, especially for projects on the Ethereum blockchain.
Inclusivity: It is in the best interest of an NFT project to support inclusive minting. This will help create a vibrant and robust community that can drive the value of the NFT collection.
While the above tips will give you a headstart on identifying a good launch, it is expedient to do more research as a collector.
Protecting Your NFT Assets
- Avoid clicking unverified links on social media sites, especially Discord
- Avoid signing into fake Metamask prompts.
- Your seed phrases should be known to you only. Do not share with anyone.
- Double-check websites before connecting your wallets to mint NFTs
- If possible, use a hardware wallet to store your assets.
In our next edition, we’ll explain in detail how to protect your NFT assets.
Top Github Projects for the Week
This is a platform containing smart contracts that are aimed at bringing NFTs to DeFi platforms in order to enhance liquidity. Both individuals and companies can use tokenized non-fungible real-world assets as collateral to obtain liquidity. Learn more about Tinlake here.
Built on Polygon (MATIC), this is a web3 and hardware NFT art display platform that allows users to check the validity and ownership of NFT assets directly on Ethereum Mainnet by using interface contracts, given Polygon’s EVM compatibility. This means creators can keep their art gallery running without having to port it anywhere. Read more about MatiCast here.
Pastel Network on NFTs
This question has featured in several conversations around the world, given the myriads of centralized marketplaces where NFTs are traded. AssetMantle lays the argument on the decentralization of the NFTs to rest by proposing a framework for marketplaces where creators can build niche-specific stores for their assets and make interchain transfers with these assets without requiring any coding experience.
AssetMantle also fosters decentralization in terms of storage by enabling the preservation of NFT metadata through the IPFS (Interplanetary File System) mechanism. With this, the metadata is stored on several servers, making it easier to retrieve where a particular server shuts down.
Mantle’s Spotlight For The Week
Here, we feature artists who have been making waves in the NFT ecosystem. Check out the artists for this week.
SuperNfty is a Belgian NFT and virtual reality artist whose journey began nine months ago. Within that short period, SuperNfty has expanded his portfolio to include a number of projects such as Superballs (his debut NFT project), Super Nfty Floating Heads, and the latest IMPS. Super Nfty is also an owner of a Bored Ape (BAYC #3648).
His latest project, IMPS, is a collection of 10,000 generated, 3D animated NFTs riddled with the artist’s signature floaty style. The presale for the project is scheduled for next month, and a public sale will follow. IMPS is based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Dario De Siena
Dario De Siena is an NFT artist, a painting artist, and an NFT collector, and the brains behind the Mindds project. He has been in the NFT space for a while and gained traction on some of his projects, including a BoredApe derivative which he sold for a staggering 7.062 ETH ($31,125) on the secondary marketplace SuperRare. Dario De Siena also owns a CryptoPunk— Punk #7878.
Based in the UK, Waxbones is the creative behind the Waxbones collection- a crypto art collection that mimics the skeletal structure of both animals and humans. So far, the collection has been well-received and is trading on different marketplaces, including Rarible, Hi et nunc, Foundation.app, and Known Origin. Waxbones also works as a senior graphic designer. Waxbone is creating a derivatives collection for the Waxbones NFTs.
That will be all for this week’s Mantle series.
See you again next week!