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Metaplex Creates an Advisory Board and Hires a Former Google Developer as CEO

Since its inception in June, the Solana-based project has seen rapid growth, indicating increased desire for digital artifacts.

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Metaplex, an NFT marketplace, has hired a new CEO and formed an advisory board with some of crypto’s most potent voices, paving the way for the project’s continued expansion.

Metaplex Studios said Wednesday that Adam Jeffries, a developer who has worked at Google, Amazon, Citadel, and Kaggle, has been named CEO. Audius, CoinShares chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors, Cultur3 Capital co-founders Alex Yamashita, Mark Streeter, Rolf Hoefer, Phantom chief product officer Chris Kalani are among the new board of advisers who have joined him. Steven Irby, co-founder of Street Dreams Magazine, and Dylan Macalinao of Saber Labs round out the advisory board.

Jeffries was hired for his wide codebase knowledge, which encompasses around two dozen different languages, in addition to his professional expertise. His focus on the user experience through application development prompted him to finally join Metaplex. He said:

“From my experience and also from watching the last decade of tech innovation, I know firsthand that in order for new technology to gain mass adoption, it needs to be simple and easy to use by everyone. So, building the right tools for people to interface with new technologies is incredibly important.” 

Metaplex began operating on the Solana blockchain in June and has since processed $385 million in NFT sales. During their separate NFT drops in September, projects like Degen Ape Academy and Aurory saw a lot of interest.

This year, NFT sales have surged to new highs, making it one of the most talked-about businesses in blockchain and cryptocurrency. In the first half of the year, revenues reached $2.5 billion before reaching a single-month sales record of $4 billion in August.

Metaplex is behind several other prominent NFT marketplaces despite solid growth in the first three months of operations in terms of sales volume. According to DappRadar, OpenSea remains the single largest NFT platform. The top five NFT marketplaces include Axie Infinity, CryptoPunks, SuperRare, and NBA Top Shot.

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Shopify Expands Online Retailers’ NFT-Gated Options

Brands are able to increase the exclusivity of their shops thanks to the e-commerce platform.

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The future of e-commerce, according to Shopify, is in NFTs.

As a new option for brands wishing to make their stores more exclusive, the online retail behemoth, which enables small businesses to construct customized e-commerce shops, is providing NFT-gated storefronts, Shopify announced on Wednesday.

In the Shopify introduction video, which includes a skating woman who passes through a pastel portal and transforms into a Doodles NFT, a voiceover urges viewers to “invite their communities into a world that acknowledges and rewards devotion.”

The video explains that token holders can access special shopping opportunities by connecting a cryptocurrency wallet, including early access to drops and limited collections as well as one-of-a-kind experiences and other surprises.

Only individuals with existing NFT collections are able to apply for early access to Shopify’s “gm” shop, which is a gated merchandise store and a play on the Crypto Twitter acronym for “good morning.”

However, those that haven’t received approval yet can still integrate NFT token-gating apps like Shopthru or Single into their Shopify sites.

Shopify announced that it has already collaborated with the Adam Bomb Squad, Doodles, World of Women, Invisible Friends, Superplastic, Stapleverse, and Cool Cats NFT collections to develop token-gated shops as part of its token-gated business launch.

Shopify is introducing “IRL” token-gating in brick-and-mortar stores in addition to online token-gating, which restricts access to certain merchandise to authorized NFT holders exclusively.

Why is this important? The future of Web3 commerce will focus on exclusivity, for one thing. NFTs, which are distinctive blockchain tokens that denote ownership over an asset, are increasingly employed as membership cards, tickets to events, and “keys” to open benefits, despite the fact that they are frequently oversimplified as digital art or “jpgs.”

Additionally, this isn’t Shopify’s first venture into NFTs: The business has been involved with Web3 since last year, when it announced the launch of NFT sales on its platform. Brands can mine and sell NFTs on Shopify to clients using the Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, or Flow platforms.

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OpenSea, beware—Uniswap is pushing into NFTs

The NFT aggregation platform Genie is being purchased by Uniswap Labs, the organization that created the Ethereum-based decentralized exchange Uniswap.

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In a Bankless interview on Tuesday, Uniswap founder and CEO Hayden Adams said, “We’re attempting to transfer what we brought to the ERC-20 market to the NFT sector.”

You can buy NFTs—individual blockchain tokens that represent ownership—on a variety of different marketplaces, such as OpenSea, LooksRare, or Coinbase NFT. However, few allow consumers to buy many things at once, and none provide aggregation tools that let traders view listings on competing marketplaces.

According to Uniswap Labs on Twitter, “We see NFTs as another form of value in the burgeoning digital economy, and it’s a no-brainer for us to integrate them.”

The NFT aggregator Gem, which also enables customers to acquire numerous NFTs in a single transaction, was purchased by OpenSea just two months prior to the announcement of its acquisition by Genie. OpenSea intends to incorporate NFT aggregation functions into its primary platform, just like Uniswap.

A new tab dedicated to NFTs will be added to Uniswap’s main website later this year as part of the company’s push into NFTs, according to a statement from the company. Additionally, NFTs will be included in its developers’ APIs and widgets.

Uniswap Labs intends to airdrop an unspecified quantity of the stablecoin USDC to Genie’s early backers as a way to commemorate its acquisition. By April 15th, USDC will be given to everybody who had utilized the platform at least once or owned a Genie Genesis NFT. (The business had earlier tweeted that Genie Gem owners were eligible for the airdrop.)

Uniswap entered the NFT market for the first time in 2019 with Unisocks, an NFT that granted holders access to a real pair of socks.

The largest NFT market, OpenSea, has a floor price for Unisocks of 13 ETH (about $15,300) at the time of writing.

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NFT marketplace in Solana Magic Eden completes a $130M Series B investment with a $1.6B value

Over 90% of NFT trade volume on Solana is accounted for by Magic Eden.

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On Tuesday, Magic Eden, a popular nonfungible tokens (NFTs) platform on the Solana (SOL) blockchain with 112,927 SOL ($4 million) in 24-hour trading volume, announced that it had closed a Series B round for $130 million. The funding round was led by investors such as Electric Capital, Greylock, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Paradigm and Sequoia Capital valued the firm at $1.6 billion.

The newly-infused capital will be used to expand the company’s primary and secondary marketplaces, explore multi-chain opportunities, allow new hirings, and for use in research and development. Since its inception in September 2021, the marketplace now receives an average of 22 million unique monthly sessions and sees over 40,000 NFTs traded daily.

Magic Eden’s Launchpad has also onboarded over 250 projects to date. In addition, it offers customization, marketing support, and operational execution to new NFT collections coming onto the primary market. Meanwhile, its secondary market covers over 7,000 listings and sees over 92% of all NFT volume on Solana.

Furthermore, Magic Eden has also launched over 50 games and metaverse projects. In that segment, the firm oversees 90% of all gaming NFTs on Solana traded on its marketplace. Regarding the development, Zhuoxun Yin, chief operating office and co-founder of Magic Eden, commented:

“We’re thrilled to have the continued support of our investors and community and look forward to delivering on Solana and beyond.”

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