While there is a voracious market appetite for NFT projects, the competition between new marketplace startups is stiff. Incumbent OpenSea remains dominant with $3.4 billion in volume processed last month. That said, curated platforms like Foundation, which launched in late 2020, have secured a foothold with a 30-day volume of over $77 million, according to DappRadar.
MetaDrop is aiming to stand out by applying a curatorial model not just to the work released on the platform, but also to the manner in which it’s released. According to “psyopcop,” one of the founders of the project, MetaDrop will design a new “custom sale mechanism” for each individual drop it hosts.
Current drop models, which often make a run of 10,000 NFTs available for purchase at a set time, can be wildly profitable for artists and platforms, but lead to “gas wars” as buyers attempt to secure an NFT by increasing the Ethereum network transaction fee they pay.
Drops have been straining Ethereum as of late and have even led to deflationary periods for the network as burns exceed block reward issuance following the implementation of Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, an upgrade to the network made in August.
MetaDrop is also planning to primarily fund itself through positions taken in projects launched on the platform, rather than with a marketplace fee.
“We plan to only work with projects we believe in, and so our fee is generally taken partially as a stake in the project itself as well as a small commission to fund the custom development work,” psyopcop told CoinDesk on Telegram, adding:
Psyopcop declined to give examples of drop types, but said that “each one will be unique and groundbreaking in its own way.”
The six-man team plans to initially host one drop per month, and will scale up once the platform has proven to be stable.
The first release hosted on MetaDrop has been teased for weeks on Crypto Twitter: loomlock, an NFT collection from loomdart, who is also a member of the angel investing collective eGirl Capital.
As has become standard practice with high-profile drops, individualized or “honorary” NFTs from the collection were distributed to influencers in order to build excitement in advance of the primary drop. The loomlock team cast an unusually wide net in this regard, sending more than 60 to community members.
As was the case with the honorary collection, the drop of 9,000 NFTs will feature “wassies” – tiny creatures designed in the mold of inversebrah, a trader who has been role-playing as one of the critters for over three years.
Wassie lore and culture largely centers on Twitter users pretending to cook or torture them during times of bearish market action, and many use the platypus-like images as their profile picture.
In an interview with CoinDesk on Telegram, loomdart said the drop will feature wassies with various attributes and features of differing rarity. The distribution will be through a custom-designed English-style auction.
“This auction mechanism was designed with the goals of loomlock in mind which included avoiding gas fees, making the sale as accessible as possible while knowing that there will be massive demand, and making the sale be a fun event and positive user experience as opposed to a stressful sale that goes by in an instant,” psyopcop told CoinDesk. He went on:
In addition to granting buyers their own wassie, the loomlock NFTs will be redeemable for a physical consumer good: a “physical lockout device designed to help you improve willpower and restore control of your life from addictions and vices,” per the drop website.
Psyopcop also hinted that the loomlock NFTs could have future utility on the platform as well.
“We designed a unique sale mechanism for the loomlock launch, but the initial sale is just the beginning as there are a lot of interesting collaborations in the works between MetaDrop and loomlock,” he said.