Dustin Duane, a Strategic Advisor at Metaplex Foundation, and Kevin Arifin, Co-founder of Underdog Protocol, gave a spoke on the future of Metaplex and the opportunities presented by compressed NFTs on the Solana blockchain.
The conversation, which took place at Breakpoint 2023, provided insights into the challenges, solutions, and collaborative efforts shaping the landscape of decentralized standards and utility layers.
Metaplex is a Web3 project that provides a full-stack solution for various Web3 applications, including NFT ticketing, virtual office spaces, salary disbursement, and loans within a metaverse environment.
It offers a Creator Studio, which is a self-serve minting solution for creators to launch NFT projects, enabling them to build communities and connect directly with their audiences.
Metaplex also supports developers with Solana programs, such as Candy Machine, Auction House, and open-source SDKs. The platform aims to empower creators and developers to leverage NFTs and build digital communities, providing transparency and scalability for web3 projects.
Dustin Duane on the state of Solana NFTs
Dustin began by discussing the evolution of Solana NFTs. He highlighted the impressive growth and presented a bar graph showcasing the total mint in Gray of Solana NFTs and Metaplex. The graph also depicted the upward trajectory of Bubblegum compressed NFTs.
Dustin emphasized that this chart serves as a great representation of celebrating achievements on social media and presents a unique opportunity for enterprise adoption of compressed NFTs.
However, he acknowledged that there are significant barriers to decentralized standards within the Solana NFT token space.
These barriers include a single point of failure in existing solutions like Bubblegum and Candy Machine, which illustrate the complexity and resource-intensive nature of compressed NFTs.
It’s important to note that Bubblegum and Candy Machine are components of the Metaplex protocol, a platform designed for creating, managing, and trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Solana blockchain.
Kevin Arifin’s technical insights
Kevin took the stage to discuss the technical aspects of capitalizing on the compressed NFT opportunity. He highlighted the need to simplify the process of writing to and reading from the blockchain, addressing the challenges faced by enterprises.
Introducing Underdog’s solution, Passport, Kevin aimed to make minting compressed NFTs more accessible by offering a single API endpoint.
He also delved into the Metaplex Utility Layer, outlining its four core pillars: a single API layer for NFT metadata, interoperability for data providers, data storage CDNs for off-chain metadata, and enterprise-grade SDKs.
Kevin emphasized the goal of making building on the blockchain and using NFTs as easy as building a Web 2 product, with the intention of promoting broader adoption.
Progressively decentralizing the Metaplex Utility Layer
Dustin came up again to discuss how they are working with Solana to create a community-run, progressively decentralized utility layer. He noted the importance of acknowledging that the Solana NFT ecosystem is larger than one company or organization.
The co-founder introduced the idea of progressively decentralized governance, working with the Solana Foundation to transfer programmatic control to a third-party security firm.
The goals include introducing flexibility, reducing entry barriers into compressed NFTs, and fostering greater adoption, especially in enterprise use cases.
The motto is to be useful to builders, coders, and the ecosystem. Notably, there will be no protocol minting fees on compressed NFTs from Metaplex, aiming to encourage enterprise growth and flexibility at scale.
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