OpenSea Debuts Solana NFT Launchpad to Lackluster Demand
In an apparent attempt to match rival Magic Eden’s feature set, OpenSea has rolled out its new launchpad feature for minting new Solana NFT projects. However, the leading NFT marketplace’s first drop on the launchpad has been far from a sizzling success from the start.
Zoonies, an alien-themed Solana NFT profile picture project, debuted on OpenSea’s new Solana launchpad yesterday, marking the first project to utilize the feature. A launchpad lets collectors mint (i.e. generate and purchase) NFTs during a primary sale, and it’s a feature that Magic Eden and gaming-centric Solana marketplace Fractal have both had in place for several months.
However, it’s been more than a day since the Zoonies mint began on OpenSea and the project has yet to sell out. As of this writing, less than 5,000 of the 8,888 total Solana NFTs have been minted. The whitelist sale began at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, with the public sale commencing at 7 p.m. ET.
Currently, some of the NFTs that have been sold are listed below the 2.5 SOL ($109) public mint price on OpenSea’s secondary marketplace, where the cheapest available items in the collection are listed as low as 1.97 SOL (about $86).
PUBLIC SALE IS LIVE ON @opensea
Price: 2.5 SOL
Minting page: https://t.co/T3hImofvBW
Zoonies collection: https://t.co/aN2glpjHiY pic.twitter.com/0Xsa0Ec1Ii
— Zoonies 🛸| Minting live @opensea (@ZooniesXYZ) July 20, 2022
There aren’t other examples yet of Solana NFT launches on OpenSea to compare it to, but Zoonies’ sluggish start isn’t unique in the current NFT bear market. Tiffany Huang, Magic Eden's head of content and marketing, confirmed to Decrypt that some of its recent Solana NFT mints haven't sold out either.
“Given market conditions, we haven’t sold out some of our launchpad collections recently, but place care in the way we’re vetting projects," she said. Huang added that Magic Eden had recently updated its guidelines to "show our commitment to launching the best projects."
Amid rising demand in the Solana NFT space, high-profile projects like Okay Bears and Trippin’ Ape Tribe have seen rapid sellouts and significant secondary market action in recent months that has even at times outpaced NFT trading volume on Ethereum. However, not every project is an instant success, and project creators will sometimes cut down the intended supply to secure that “sold out” tag without a lengthy wait.
Zoonies may ultimately go that route as well. On the project’s official Discord server today, administrator Zario wrote, “We are considering cutting the supply and we will make [an] announcement about it soon.”
An NFT is a blockchain token that works like a proof of ownership for an item, including digital goods like profile pictures, artwork, collectibles, and video game items. Ethereum is the leading NFT platform, based on total trading volume and overall value, but Solana has gained steam as an emerging rival with cheaper fees and a fervent community of collectors.
OpenSea’s entry into the Solana NFT market in April was noteworthy, given that the Ethereum-centric marketplace is the largest in the overall NFT space. From August 2021 through May, OpenSea put up billions of dollars worth of NFT trading volume each month, although the recent crypto market crash has impacted NFT sales and values as well.
However, OpenSea thus far hasn’t made a significant dent in the Solana market, as Magic Eden has routinely maintained a 90% or greater share of trading volume in the Solana space, based on public blockchain data. The rival marketplaces’ official Twitter accounts traded barbs and memes yesterday amid the Zoonies launch, just as they did when OpenSea first enabled Solana NFT trading on its platform.
...orrrrrrrrr you can stop by the marketplace that doesn't take custody of your NFTs but w/e pic.twitter.com/UR4hroff5z
— OpenSea (@opensea) July 20, 2022
Whether Zoonies ultimately sells out its full 8,888 NFT supply or cuts the total remains to be seen, but we won’t have to wait long to see OpenSea’s next launch. Monkai, an anime-inspired Solana profile picture project, is set to use OpenSea’s launchpad starting on July 26.
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