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Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank and Jordan Fried, CEO, discuss their ambitions to launch a community-governed NFT marketplace.
On the current NFT market, there is OpenSea and then everyone else. Far, far behind. OpenSea now leads the NFT business, with monthly trading volume in the billions of dollars. Although notable competitors are on the horizon, including crypto industry titans like Coinbase, none have yet had a significant impact on the NFT trading business.
NFT.com intends to alter this. The venture, led by CEO Jordan Fried, the former senior vice president of Hedera Hashgraph, wants to exploit the expensive domain name (which Fried stated cost his company $2 million) and branding to recruit mainstream customers into the burgeoning NFT sector.
But as Fried and advisor Kevin O’Leary, investor and “Shark Tank” star, recently told Decrypt, the idea is not to add an easy-to-remember dot-com to OpenSea’s well-known strategy. The developers of NFT.com disagree with the concept of a marketplace sponsored by venture capital companies and want to establish something managed by their user community.
“Many of the other NFT markets are Web2 firms rebranding themselves as Web3 platforms,” Fried said to Decrypt.
An NFT is essentially a receipt backed by the blockchain that shows ownership of an item. It is often used for digital objects, such as artwork, profile photographs, sports souvenirs, and video games. According to DappRadar statistics, the market grew to $25 billion in trade volume in 2021, with a further $12 billion added in Q1 2022.
Regarding how NFT.com intends to separate itself from its other competitors, the company’s website declares categorically: no venture capitalists and no limited partners. Instead, NFT.com will issue and sell 10,000 Genesis Key NFTs as governance tokens for the marketplace, which will be governed by a DAO or decentralized autonomous organization. Additionally, holders can mint an NFT to symbolize their profile on the network, which will display their collected items.
Fried stated that the model of the marketplace is based on the notion that consumers and NFT providers would gain value as the market expands. He said he considered himself more of a “steward and advocate” than a traditional CEO.
The concept of a token-driven, community-owned, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace without VC backing is not new, but it has not yet been implemented on a large scale. Fried said past efforts lacked “fully doxxed teams,” or creators who used their genuine identities and backgrounds as opposed to pseudonyms.
In addition, he urged that creators, such as Yuga Labs, the team behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, or the inventors of projects such as Doodles or World of Women, should have some influence over the NFT.com ecosystem and a connection with the marketplace’s crew.
“OpenSea does not have an account manager. They do not have a direct route to the CEO and CTO, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah. Creators are not valued, he stated. “OpenSea is worth $13.3 billion… However, neither a16z nor the investors contributed to their success. On this platform, NFTs are created by the developers.”
NFT.com is scheduled to launch in May. While Fried is partial to Hedera and the marketplace’s staff includes other Hedera founders, he stated that the platform would establish within the Ethereum ecosystem. Ethereum serves as the host for initiatives such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and Art Blocks.
It is now the most extensive network for NFT trading, and DAO members will vote on whether or not to include more networks in the marketplace. Fried acknowledged the rise of other NFT-hosting blockchains such as Solana, Avalanche, Polkadot, and Algorand but stated that “they pale in contrast to Ethereum’s incredible creator economy.”
“Our guiding principle is to encourage NFTs wherever they exist. But it would help if you began with Ethereum,” he stated. “Currently, no other protocol even comes close. The entirety of our first infrastructure is built on Ethereum, but we want to be multi-protocol as soon as we have the capability and our DAO permits us to do so.”
NFT.com also sees tremendous market potential for NFTs that reflect real-world items. The efficacy of NFTs has been demonstrated by avatars and artwork, but they may also be attached to actual objects like real estate, expensive watches, and stock certificates.
Fried stated, “Everything of value in the real world will be reflected in this digital universe as a token.” This is what makes me so enthusiastic about the possibilities presented by NFTs. They are superior methods for transferring proof of ownership of a specific item.”
Mr. Wonderful from “Shark Tank” is an advisor to NFT.com and a stakeholder in Immutable Holdings, the firm constructing the marketplace before its formal debut and transfer to DAO control.
The investor and television celebrity has stated that he has many cryptocurrencies and participated in Polygon’s $450 million February financing round. He said to Decrypt that he enjoyed betting on infrastructure and compared his stake in NFT.com to “having the picks and shovels” during the gold rush.
O’Leary stated that celebrities who are interested in the field continuously ask about NFTs, but they do not comprehend it or know where to begin. Currently, he directs them to Fried and the NFT.com crew.
“[Celebrities] are at a loss on what to do. O’Leary stated that they are approached by a million people, many of them are rogue actors. “You want to go somewhere where you can receive competent guidance and the necessary infrastructure, and I send them to him. Being an advocate for the business is perhaps my most significant contribution.
OpenSea possesses a significant first-mover advantage and has dominated the NFT industry since the “second boom” in August last year, which followed the original early-year market rise. However, O’Leary does not view the market leader as invincible. As the NFT market grows and expands, he anticipates that OpenSea’s position will be eroded by competitors such as NFT.com.
“The game has not even begun for NFTs. He told Decrypt, “It’s not like we’re in the second inning; the game hasn’t even begun.” “[OpenSea is] out there, but they have by no means become the standard. There are several opportunities here.”