Perhaps the most obvious use-case for cryptomedia is one-of-a-kind digital art. Some cryptomedia artists have made millions selling their cryptomedia creations with top mentions including Beeple, Pak, TYLERXHOBBS, XCOPY, and others.
Remember, cryptomedia encompasses all types of media and can range from static images, gifs, videos, 3D models, and blog posts.
I personally like the audio + video combos by artists like Grimes and Fvckrender. Check it out with the link above.
Some of the original open-source code that made the internet possible was sold as an NFT for $5.4M.
And viral memes that have graced the internet for over a decade have sold for millions as well, like one of the most viewed YouTube videos: Charlie bit my finger. Turning the video into cryptomedia made this piece of internet history sellable and ownable
One of the most important product categories in Web3 is NFT marketplaces. This is where people buy and sell cryptomedia, and NFTs of other sorts.
There are generally two types of NFT marketplaces: curated and open. Curated marketplaces only sell NFTs by pre-approved artists in an effort to control quality. These marketplaces tend to have “NFT drops” where an artist’s collection is promoted ahead of time and a public countdown signals when bidding starts on their cryptomedia collection. It’s the first time the cryptomedia is available for purchase, and there are a variety of drop styles that artists can chose from. Curated exchanges include Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, Foundation, and KnownOrigin.
Other NFT marketplaces are open for any artist to list their cryptomedia. Open marketplaces are popular because they facilitate the secondary sale of cryptomedia. These marketplaces are similar to eBay in that cryptomedia can be listed in an auction with live bidding, or as a buy-it-now offer.
OpenSea is by far the most popular NFT marketplace. They charge a 2.5% fee on all purchases, and their revenue soared with the explosion in NFT popularity starting in 2020. OpenSea is a hybrid between a Web2 and Web3 app. OpenSea matches buyers and sellers with its off-chain orderbook, and facilitates the actual swap of currency for cryptomedia via smart contracts. It is criticized for it’s closed, and centralized order book, which limits liquidity and allows for censoring trades.
Rival marketplace Rarible takes one step closer to fulfilling the ethos of openness and censorship resistance with its governance token ($RARI), and by opening its orderbook up to third-party developers as an open-source API.
NFT aggregators like Genie and Gem improve UX for NFT buyers. Instead of having to manually search through multiple marketplaces for the NFTs they want, NFT aggreagators show all listed NFTs across all NFT marketplaces from one UI. It also allows users to buy multiple NFTs with one transaction, which saves the user network fees.
Zora Protocol enables a fully open NFT market. Zora builds an orderbook into each NFT, so buyers can place bids directly on the NFT without it needing to be listed on a marketplace. At any time the NFT owner can accept an offer, and initiate a decentralized swap. Also, owners can set ask prices, which is the minimum price they are willing to accept. Zora provides developer tooling for querying this NFT data, and standing up NFT marketplaces.
As you’d expect, marketplaces allow users to explore trending NFTs, as well as search for specific NFTs with filtering options. Once you land on a particular piece you can see that NFT’s ownership and bid history.
Finally, marketplaces allow users to mint their own NFTs. This provides creatives a simple UI for minting cryptomedia, as opposed to requiring them to manually deploy smart contracts to the blockchain.
The marketplaces we’ve discussed sell all sorts of cryptomedia. Specialty NFT marketplaces include:
- Video – Glass Protocol
- Music – Catalog, Sound
- Photography – Sloika
- Generative Art – Async Art, Art Blocks, Archipelago
DEXs like Sushi Swap and Uniswap, used for swapping fungible tokens, are starting to get involved in NFT trading. Sushi Swap plans on launching an NFT exchange called Shoyu, and Uniswap recently acquired Genie NFT and plans on integrating the NFT aggregator into its web app. Also, projects are experimenting with new ways of swapping NFTs without an orderbook. Once such project is sudoAMM.
Last thing, minting NFTs cost a network fee, which is high on Ethereum right now. Currently, it costs $70-$300 to mint an NFT on Ethereum’s mainnet. For this reason we are starting to see the emergence of Layer 2 NFTs and marketplaces. Minting and transferring NFTs is significantly cheaper on L2s. This is also why OpenSea is beginning to support other chains like Polygon, Solana, and Katlyn. Here are some other L2 NFT marketplaces:
- Quixotic (Optimism)
- Treasure (Arbitrum)
- Aspect and Immutable X (StarkNet/ZKRollups)
If you enjoy videos over reading when it comes to online learning then checkout the course on YouTube. This is part 2 of 8 in the NFT Design Course 2022. Also, make sure to checkout other Web3 Design Courses.