Banksy Burners Raise $3M to Build NFT Platform on Solana

Burnt Finance is taking a token-centric approach to decentralizing NFT auctions.

AccessTimeIconMay 6, 2021 at 2:01 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:18 a.m. UTC
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The people who burned a piece of artwork from street artist Banksy that was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) are back.

Burnt Finance has raised $3 million from Injective Protocol, Multicoin Capital, Mechanism Capital and others to build a NFT platform on the Solana blockchain. Alameda Research, the prodigious Solana backer helmed by Sam Bankman-Fried, was also involved in the funding round.

As with Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain and other efforts, Burnt is looking to establish a thriving NFT market beyond the collectible sector’s traditional home: Ethereum.

A team of 10 crypto-savvy artists burned and tokenized a Banksy piece in March in a prelude to the Beeple-inspired mania that followed later that month. The tokenized remains sold for 228.69 ETH, or roughly $380,000 at the time of purchase (worth $795,000 at press time).

The Burnt team, which insists on anonymity, said launching on the Solana network will help it tackle “bid manipulation” and “high minting fees” – issues the team says it experienced firsthand with its Ethereum-based OpenSea auction. 

“Some actors tried to leverage the congestion and manipulate the transaction fees to sway the results and the length of the auction,” Burnt Finance said in a statement. 

The Burnt team argues old-school English auction houses such as Sotheby’s take up to 25% in fees, while other NFT platforms take 5%.

“There are a lot of ways that the entire ecosystem can be improved and be fully decentralized,” Burnt said in a statement.

Burnt Finance is governed using the protocol’s native BURNT token.

“The Burnt Banksy team have helped bring NFTs to the mainstream through their activities earlier this year,” Marc Weinstein, head of portfolio development at Mechanism Capital, told CoinDesk via Telegram. “Combine this with the increasing momentum in Solana, and we believe they can become the leading NFT platform for that ecosystem.”

Other investors include Vessel Capital, Hashkey, Spartan, Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon and Polygon Chief Operating Officer Sandeep Nailwal.

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