Nate Chastain, a (now former) OpenSea employee, was charged with insider trading earlier this month. He allegedly knew which NFTs would appear on OpenSea’s homepage and allegedly bought and sold those NFTs for a profit of $65,000.
Chastain’s actions enraged the NFT community, leaving a void for a decentralised, open-source NFT marketplace that may undercut OpenSea’s 2.5 percent charge.
Yearn. Andre Cronje, the inventor of the finance industry, has sounded the alarm. On the Fantom blockchain, his new NFT marketplace, Artion, has been debuted in beta. It also has the same appearance and feel of OpenSea.
Artion, on the other hand, does not accept commissions. It will eventually support the same ERC-721 tokens as OpenSea, and minting an NFT on Fantom costs merely 1 FTM (about $1.3). On Ethereum, minting NFTs can cost several hundred dollars.
NFTs from Artion are kept on the decentralised web hosting network IPFS, are limited to 15MB in size, and are priced using feeds from the decentralised oracle network Chainlink. Artion is currently faster and less expensive than Ethereum because it is based on the Fantom blockchain.
Cronje intends for others to fork the Artion code, as well. In an interview with Coindesk, Cronje explained that he doesn’t want to sink OpenSea, but likes “starting fires”. “It’s not about the money, it’s about putting a message out.” Kronje then tweeted a GIF along those lines.
There are few alternatives available to Arttion right now. There are approximately 50,000 NFTs on Artion, and all of them are Fantom NFTs. Cronje’s take on Loot, Rarity, is at the top. Artition’s collection features rising music projects like StrangeBrew, Fantom Punks, Ancestral Umans, and Fantom Waifus.
In the case of secondary NFT sales, the vast majority of secondary NFT sales are done via OpenSea, which is the most popular platform for NFT projects. But Artion may soon be able to offer more products. He is likely to add a blockchain every week, starting with Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon and Arbitrum. Cronje plans to integrate Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon and Arbitrum into his marketplace.
“Vampire mining” is the process of sucking up a competitor’s platform by forking it or offering a service with similar pricing or additional incentives. Sushi did it to the decentralised exchange Uniswap last summer, and it worked: the protocol is now worth billions of dollars. Cronje told Coindesk that vampire mining is “not my game,” but that because Artion is open source, other teams might use Artion’s code to take on OpenSea.
If Cronje’s marketplace inspires smart developers, OpenSea might be in for a real struggle.