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Formfunction to shutter marketplace amid Solana NFT slump

The platform didn’t disclose the reason for its closure, but Solana NFTs haven’t been having the best run lately.

Formfunction, a Solana (SOL)-based, nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, has announced it is closing up shop after only 13 months of operation amid a slump in Solana NFT prices and trading volumes.

On March 15, Formfunction announced it was “shutting down” on March 29, saying it “cannot continue to operate.” The decision was reached after “much discussion and careful consideration, it said.

The exact reason for closing the platform was not disclosed in the announcement.

Formfunction’s head of community and marketing, known by their pseudonym “Magellan,” tweeted on March 15 that the cofounders and the team will “pivot to a new direction, likely outside of the crypto [and the] SOL space,” but did not provide further details.

Cointelegraph contacted Formfunction’s cofounders — Matt Lim and Katherine Liu — for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

The marketplace’s shutdown comes after its launch just over a year ago, on Feb. 3, 2022. According to Magellan, over that time it conducted $5 million in sales despite a “brutal bear market.”

Shortly after its launch the platform also raised a $4.7 million seed round in March 2022 led by venture capital (VC) firm Variant Fund and contributions from other VC firms Solana Ventures, Canonical Crypto, Pear VC, Palm Tree Crew Crypto and OpenSea Ventures.

Since Formfunctions launch, the wider Solana NFT space has plummeted in terms of volume and floor prices alongside a drawdown in the price of SOL.

Figures from Solana NFT data aggregator SolanaFloor show its index of the “blue chip” NFTs on the blockchain saw a 75% price drawdown in dollar terms since early February 2022.

The USD price of an index of blue-chip NFT prices on Solana since Jan. 1, 2022. Source: SolanaFloor

The daily number of buyers of Solana NFTs has also seen a slowdown over the past 12 months. According to data from CryptoSlam, daily unique buyers currently hover around 7,000, almost half the amount seen on average at the start of 2022.

Solana has seen a slide in daily unique NFT buyers (blue) since March 2022 and daily sales volumes have also halved to under $4 million. Source: CryptoSlam

SOL’s price has also tanked since Formfunction’s launch. At the start of 2022, SOL traded at around $100; it has now fallen over 80%, at time of writing trading around $19.

The price of SOL took a significant hit in the November 2022 collapse of FTX and has struggled to regain traction since. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was an early investor in the Solana blockchain.

Related: Do ‘Ethereum killers’ have a future? Here’s what the crypto community says

Notable NFT collections first native to Solana are seemingly abandoning the platform also.

In December last year, DeGods and y00ts — two top-performing Solana NFT projects — announced they were bridging to Ethereum and Polygon to “explore new opportunities” and to allow for the continued growth of the collections.

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Nifty News: ‘Degen’ season returns with feet NFTs, disappointing Game of Thrones NFTs and more

Foot fetishists and crypto degens have taken interest in an NFT collection boasting 10,000 unique pixelated trotters with over $1 million in trading volume.

'Degen' season smells like pixelated feet

Feetpix.wtf’s newly launched nonfungible token (NFT) collection, “Feetpix” has seemingly taken the NFT community by storm with surging trading volumes, prompting some to suggest the return of “degen” season.

Feetpix.wtf’s collection soared ahead of the likes of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) on Jan. 11 with the fifth-highest trading volume recorded on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Feetpix NFTs come in different skin tones, nail colors, shoes and backgrounds. Image: OpenSea.

The project — which released 10,000 Feetpix NFTs — has traded over 825 Ether (ETH)($1,157,000) across nearly 18,000 transactions since its release on Jan. 8.

Crypto Twitter is still split on what inspired the surge in foot fetish-NFT trading volumes, though Feetpix noted the absence of a roadmap, promise and marketing scheme suggested a “love for feet” is not just legitimate but also clearly monetizable through the use of digital art.

Several Twitter users highlighted the absurd, short-term success of the project, suggesting a return of “degen szn” (season) which entailed a mass trading volume of high-risk NFT collectibles at the peak of the bull market in 2021.

But even the creators themselves implied something could be mentally wrong with collectors, suggesting buyers “stop buying feetpix” and instead “use that money for therapy.”

Game of Thrones NFTs: ‘Worst thing I’ve ever seen’

Game of Thrones’ highly anticipated "Build Your Realm" NFT collection launch has received a hefty dose of criticism despite completely selling out in seven hours on the NFT marketplace Nifty’s.

The collection was described by the pseudonymous co-founder of Web3 gaming project Treeverse, Loopify, on Jan. 11 as the “worst thing I’ve ever seen.”

Loopify told their 200,000 Twitter followers in a separate post that some of the avatars possessed “salad fingers.”

NFT enthusiast Justin Taylor shared his criticism with his nearly 60,000 Twitter followers stating the launch lacked “creative vision” and was outright “terrible.”

The first series NFT collection was born from a collaboration between Nifty’s and NFT production company Daz 3D, where each NFT is minted on Palm — an Ethereum-compatible sidechain — allowing collectors to create their own unique realms and avatars.

While the fast sellout came as little surprise due to the popularity of the show, many collectors reported issues with the minting process in addition to the widespread disappointment of the poorly designed avatars.

Yuga Labs announces skill-based NFT mint

Yuga Labs — the creative team behind the BAYC — is set to expand its NFT ecosystem with the launch of a skill-based NFT game called “Dookey Dash.”

In order to participate, BAYC and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) holders will need to mint a “Sewer Pass” on Jan. 17 in order to start playing the game on Jan. 18.

The aim of the game will be to navigate the sewer, claim as many NFT rewards as possible and record the highest score until Feb. 8 when the leaderboard freezes.

“Sewer Pass holders will compete for the highest score and earn their new power source," the BAYC wrote, adding “the highest single-run score on your specific Sewer Pass and accompanying wallet that achieved the run will determine what it reveals."

However, it’s not clear what the prizes will consist of with Yuga stating on BAYC’s Twitter account that prizes will “evolve throughout 2023.”

The four-week Dookey Dash experiment also appears to be the first part of a narrative experience, with segments “It’s Alive!” and “Chapter 1” expected to proceed with the “Sewer Close” on Feb. 8, according to a roadmap set out by Yuga.

Tennis Australia still playing ball with NFTs

Tennis Australia has confirmed it’s still investing in the NFT space, by continuing its Australian Open (AO) Artball NFT collection it created last year as a means to engage NFT collectors and tennis fanatics.

The Artball NFT serves to “leverage live match data to deepen global fan engagement beyond a tournament” through the digital realm, according to the Artball website.

With 6776 Australian Open Artballs sold in last year’s collection, an additional 2,454 Artballs will hit the market in time for the 2023 tournament, which officially kicks off next Monday, Jan. 16 in Melbourne.

According to the website each Australian Open ArtBall is linked to live match data corresponding to a 17cm by 17cm plot on the court.

If a winning shot from any match lands on a collector's plot the NFT metadata will be updated in real time and the collector will be rewarded.

One of the special ArtBalls is Artball SuperSight which enables an entire suite of exclusive 360-degree front-row viewing tools, a 3D stats explorer and personalized streams that has been “custom built” for members.

Collectors will also be in the running to win two free tickets to the equivalent live match in AO24 if their Artball scores a “Match Point” in AO23 in addition to being granted access to “exclusive behind-the-scenes streams.”

AO Artball holders can win themselves tickets to AO2024 if certain conditions are met. Source: Australian Open Artball.io.

Artball minting is currently subject to a waitlist, according to the AOmetaverse Twitter page.

Other Nifty News:

NFT platform Upshot has created a trading tool that scores and classifies wallets based on their trading success, which will enable crypto newcomers to get a closer look into the strategies adopted by successful collectors.

Blockchain security firm SlowMist revealed a sneaky trick scammers used in 2022 to steal NFTs was a “zero dollar purchase” scam where victims were tricked into signing over NFTs for basically no cost in a fake sales order, with scammers able to purchase the NFTs through a marketplace at a price they determined.

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Nifty News: NFTs in space, defunct CryptoPunks, Ernst & Young gets in on the act

NFTs have been streamed from and to the International Space Station, Unifty decentralizes its governance, and 342 CryptoPunks may be lost forever.

One small step for NFTs...

Two companies teamed up to stream a recording of composer Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” to, and from, the International Space Station on July 28, reportedly marking the first instance in which a nonfungible token (NFT) has orbited the Earth.

The orbital NFT expedition is the product of a partnership between Artemis Music Entertainment and space services company Nanoracks LLC, with the two firms minting the track as a nonfungible token after the hard drive the file was stored on completed one orbit of the Earth over roughly 90 minutes.

“The cosmic perspective of space inspires a cognitive shift in humans," said Artemis Music co-founder Bob Richards, adding:

"'Clair de Lune' perhaps comes as close as possible to stirring the emotions of awe and wonder experienced by space travelers."

Clair de Lune was published by Debussy in 1905, with the tokenized rendition capturing a performance of the classic by Hong Kong-based pianist, Wing-Chong Kam, that was recorded on July 19, 2021.

Richards indicated Artemis plans to sell the NFT in future, adding the funds would be forwarded to the Artemis Music Foundation to support future space initiatives.

Debussy’s composition was not the sole NFT to make it into orbit on July 28, with Micah Johnson's tokenized artwork depicting a black child astronaut dubbed “Aku” also being streamed to and from the space station by Artemis on the same day.

The forgotten CryptoPunks

The founder of NFT marketplace Masterpiece, Jereon Hesp has shared data revealing four wallets, containing 342 prized CryptoPunks between them, have not been active in at least three years.

Hesp suggested it was likely the address owners have lost their keys or misplaced the wallet: “If you have this many punks and haven’t sold a single one by now, it probably means you lost access to the wallet.”

Despite — or perhaps because of — their crude, pixelated appearances, the pioneering NFTs have seen extreme value appreciation since CryptoPunks’ June 2017 launch, with just 110 transactions driving more than $16.5 million worth of CryptoPunks trades over the past 24 hours.

EY OpsChain used to create NFTs

Italian blockchain start-up, CinTech, has created nonfungible tokens celebrating the 22 main scenes in the 2012 Italian film, La Leggenda Di Kaspar Kauser.

The tokens were minted using the EY OpsChain, a blockchain-as-a-service product from Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY). EY staff assisted in formulating the sales process and strategy for the NFTs.

CinTech’s founders, Renato Pezzi, and Jacopo and Nicolo Lucignano, have stated that a portion of revenues from the token’s sale will be used to fund a documentary on the nonfungible token sector.

“We are proud to support a new and innovative way of driving value for the film industry,” said Giuseppe Perrone of EY.

Unifty decentralizes governance

NFT marketplace, Unifty, has decentralized its governance through the introduction of a dual-token economy. On August 3, the platform announced that its native NIF token will now exclusively be for governance and unveiled a new utility token for fee payment and other use-cases.

The new UNT token will be issued to NIF stakers as rewards, with users able to receive further UNT rewards for participating in the project’s governance process. Unifty’s CTO, Markus Bopp, stated:

“Decentralization should always be the answer in crypto. Maybe not right at its start, when the project is still young and its success is heavily reliant on great execution and the founding team's vision, but it should be the ultimate goal."

Unifty is currently live on Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Celo, xDai, and Avalanche.

Related Nifty News:

In other NFT news, the United Nations (UN) unveiled plans to tokenize the work of young artists tackling themes pertinent to climate change. To facilitate the initiative, the organization has chosen to build an NFT marketplace on top of Polkadot parachain, Unique.

Dapper Labs has announced it will sell exclusive NBA Top Shot NFTs at this weekend’s NBA Summer League games from physical kiosks in Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center. The NFTs will be the first Top Shot moments to be sold at a live NBA basketball match.

Leading NFT marketplace OpenSea is extending its dominance over the sector, with daily volumes now bubbling to beat out the value of all trades executed on the platform in 2020 combined. Daily OpenSea volume has increased more than 650 times since 2020.

The Polygon-based CryptoPunks clone project, Polygonpunks, was removed from the OpenSea marketplace earlier this week. Comments from OpenSea’s Nate Chastain suggest the tokens were likely taken down at the behest of CryptoPunks’ creator, Larva Labs.

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Nifty News: NFTs for Trump-haters, carbon offsets, fractionalized CryptoPunks and more

Hit Trump where it hurts by buying his Tweets to help out charities, a new scheme to enable NFT purchasers to offset carbon emissions, and get yourself a piece of a Punk.

A group of anon uni students has come up with a way to hit former President Donald Trump where it hurts: by using his Tweets against him to raise money for charities they believe he "despises."

'Strategic Meme Group Incorporated' has set up the website Drumpfs.io to sell Trump's tweets, at least as recorded by the Trump Twitter Archive. However, there's no digital certificate of authenticity and the legal status of "ownership" of Tweets outside of the Twitter platform is dubious to non-existent. One hundred of Trump's most infamous Tweets are selling for 4.5 ETH each, while regular missives from the former Leader of the Free World change hands for 0.0232 Ether.

Around 97% of the money raised will be donated to Americares, Clean Air Task Force, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Doctors Without Borders, and NAACP, while the rest will fund overheads. Drumpfs can be resold on secondary platforms.

Carbon offsets for NFTs

NFTs have become an unlikely poster child for ruining the environment, ahead of other candidates like international flights, heavy industry and car commuters. Various estimates suggest OpenSea is responsible for a cumulative 67.8 million kilograms of carbon emissions, while the recent NFT drop from musical act The Weeknd apparently emitted more carbon than a plane flying from New York to London 86 times.

Environmentally conscious NFT purchasers can now paste in the address of an NFT drop into the Aerial platform and it'll tell you how many carbon credits you need to buy from them to balance the scales. You can pay with either USD — or weirdly enough, Ethereum — a payment which itself presumably requires additional carbon credits.  Aerial co-founder Andreas Homer said: 

"We really want to shed light on the environmental consequences of blockchain transactions, and give people those ways to mitigate them through carbon offsets.”

CryptoPunks go to pieces

CryptoPunks are among the earliest, and consequently most valuable, NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain — with individual punks selling for more than $7 million each. In other words, most of us can't afford one to hang in the digital pool room. The Unicly CryptoPunks Collection (uPUNK) will offer 250 million fractional shares in a collection of 50 CryptoPunks. It's the largest collection of Punks to be tokenized so far (but it's not the first attempt to do so).

At present, 80 investors have created 3.6 million shares at 5 cents each. While there's growing interest in fractionalizing high value NFT collections, SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce has warned such tokens could run afoul of securities laws.

Drop it like it's Dogg

When he's not flogging food delivery services like Menulog in Australia ("chicken wings to the crib") Snoop Dogg can be found toiling away in the NFT mines. He dropped an NFT collection on OpenSea on 4/20 (a day sacred among smokers) in collaboration with the artist behind the Nyan Cat meme. "Nyan Dogg", which is pretty much exactly the same thing but with a dog, sold for a little over 14.2 ETH.

Meme based NFTs are hot property right now with the 'Overly Attached Girlfriend' NFT selling recently for $411K and 'Bad Luck Brian' selling for $36K. LA Mag notes that NFTs are finally allowing meme creators to profit from their work.

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Nifty News: Sophia the Robot sells $1M worth, Cardano to clone NFT platforms, and more

Sophia the Robot has generated more than $1 million in NFT sales, Bhad Bhabie is dropping NFTs to help the “troubled teen industry”, Cardano trying to convince top NFT platforms to port over.

If creative self-doubt and competition between humans in the art world weren’t already hard enough, artists now face the prospect of battling it out on Nifty Gateway with artistic robots.

Sophia, the world-famous humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, has generated more than $1 million in sales from her debut NFT drop on Nifty Gateway.

The “Andrea Bonaceto and Sophia the Robot drop” was launched in collaboration with contemporary artist Andrea Bonaceto. The drop included tokenized portrait GIFs that morphed from artist Andre Bonaceto’s paintings into Sophia’s artworks. The portraits depicted figures involved in her development such as Hanson Robotics founder David Hanson and the AI researcher Ben Goertzel, along with self-portraits of Sophia.

The drop consisted of four open editions of 30 copies, for around $2500 to 3000 apiece, and a one-of-one self-portrait which was auctioned for more than $680,000 on March 25.

After the auction, winning bidder and digital artist “888” tweeted “I have goosebumps,” with Sophia responding “Me too, we really had a connection. Your work was very inspiring on so many levels, so I want to hold on to its meaning a little longer. Will share soon.”

Bhad Bhabie’s ‘cash me outside’ meme

Rapper Bhab Bhabie, famous for her antics on the Dr. Phi show, which turned into the viral internet meme “cash me outside”, appears to have realized the artistic significance of non-fungible tokens.

Bhabie is set to release “ETH ME Outside”, a week-long NFT drop across NFT platforms, OpenSea, Rarible, and Zora, starting from today.

The NFT drop will consist of a collection of digital meme iconography surrounding her world-famous “cash me outside” catchphrase, with part of the proceeds going to the non-profit Breaking the Code of Silence, an organization focused on raising awareness for the “troubled teen industry”

Cardano approaches NFT marketplaces

The founder of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson stated on March 25, that he is exploring ways to incorporate NFTs into the Cardano network.

Hoskinson said that he has already approached some of the top-10 NFT marketplaces about porting over to the network from Ethereum:

“It’s easy to clone these protocols; it’s easy to partner with these. Just in NFTs, we approached several of the top-10 marketplaces and already begun discussions porting them over to Cardano. Because, why not? It’s an easy conversation, and it’s just engineering resources.”

Porting over top NFT platforms could provide a notable use case for the network given high gas fees on Ethereum, and coincides with the upcoming rollout of the Alonzo hard fork, an upgrade that will allow smart contracts on the Cardano network.

Royally good personal NFT concert

Prince’s legendary bass player and Grammy award-winning producer, Andrew Gouché, will become the first-ever musician to broadcast a live, virtual and personal NFT concert.

Access to the event “Wakanomy Presents: NFT Live feat. Andrew Gouché” will be auctioned off as an NFT on Open Sea on April 21, with the highest bidder receiving access to the online concert from the comfort of their own homes.

The concert will be performed exclusively for the highest bidder and any guests they chose to choose to view it with.

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