Hi everyone- Parker here. Coming to you from NFT NYC! If you’re attending, feel free to shoot me a DM. I’d love to say hi to as many of you as possible :)
Now, jumping right in...
ETHGlobal is an organization that runs Ethereum hackathons around the world. Supported by the Ethereum Foundation, their goal is to be the best on-ramp to the global Ethereum community. Its biggest hackathon of the year, #EthOnline, just concluded this past month. I was incredibly energized by the startups coming out of this event, so I thought I’d share my top 5.
*Note: This post is not sponsored by EthGlobal, Ethereum Foundation, or any of its affiliates.
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1: Degen Dogs: NFTs that do DeFi
NFTs that do DeFi? Sign me up. Degen Dogs is an NFT series that invests in DeFi, streaming money to its NFT holders. There are two primary reasons this project excites me: (1) it affirms my thesis that the intersection of DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs is about to explode, and (2) I adore the underlying economics. To give you a brief overview of how Degen Dog works, one dog is minted per day and sold at auction. Each time a dog is sold, the next dog in the series is listed with a 24-hour countdown. The auction proceeds of each dog sold go to a Degen Dogs treasury, which invests in DeFi on Compound and then streams yield-earning tokens back to Dog owners. The breakdown:
Why is this project so great? The incentivized tokenomics are strongly aligned to benefit the entire community of Dog holders (aka “Degen Dog Club” members). I also admire the trickle-down reward system employed here incentivizing users to get in earlier than later. The jpegs themselves are also cute af. Should I cop?
2: WAGMI.ai: NFT discovery and analytics platform
WAGMI.ai is an NFT discovery and analytics platform that uses AI to surface the most promising NFT projects. The NFT space is blowing up, which means tools to track the analytics of NFTS will only become more important with time. That being said, the NFT space is still incredibly fragmented right now. WAGMI.ai aims to fix this by providing users with a dashboard to explore and compare the most relevant projects in the space. While there are already a few decent NFT analytics dashboards out there (Dune, Opensea, etc), WAGMI’s real differentiator is their use of AI to filter signal from noise. Using both on and off-chain analytics, WAGMI tracks, and indexes all Opensea transactions and new mints on the blockchain, analyzing that data in real-time to display statistics on the hottest up-and-coming mints and collections in the space. Traditional NFT analytic tools, on the other hand, typically display market statistics retroactively, post-mint. WAGMI, therefore, is not just a data dashboard, but an NFT discovery platform- allowing users to find popular NFTs before they’re even done minting. It seems like WAGMI only sources data from Opensea right now, so I’d love to know if they have plans to expand to other marketplaces as well. I can only imagine how powerful a tool like this would be if it aggregated data across a plethora of marketplaces, like Rarible, Foundation, and SuperRare, or even created unique dashboards for different marketplaces.
3: Neptune: A financial incentive layer on top of StackOverflow: Connecting devs and DeFi protocols
Neptune is incentivizing developers to answer questions and contribute to DeFi protocol documentation by creating a financial incentive layer on top of StackOverflow. Currently, DeFi protocols like Uniswap, Aave, and Ceramic use DAOs to answer developer questions and generate protocol documentation, but there is a strong barrier to entry to DAOs for non-crypto-natives. In creating a financial layer on top of StackOverflow, the world’s go-to resource for developer Q+A, Neptune enables DeFi protocols to incentivize an even wider developer community to contribute to their protocol’s documentation and development. Neptune’s financial layer on top of StackOverflow does this in two ways: (1) reducing friction: allowing developers to maintain comfort using existing tooling and (2) subsequently, lowering the barriers to entry for developers to contribute to the development and improvement of DeFi protocols. In a nutshell, Neptune enables another layer of more (and more highly decentralized) contribution and interaction between developers and DeFi protocols. How it works:
4: PayMagic: A payment tool for DAOs
As we (hopefully) all know by now, the DAO space is exploding (our friend Mario recently published a great piece on it). And within DAOs, a lot goes on. There are guilds. There are working groups. DAO members are paid and granted rewards for their contributions and time. Still, there’s no uniform infrastructure to execute and manage all of the payment and distribution systems that happen within these DAOs. While blockchains are frequently used to execute specialized crypto payments, there's still no simple application to manage and execute them all in one place! This is a hassle- distributing payments and rewards within DAOs usually means engineers have to create (and deploy) entirely new smart contracts, which is an inefficient and tedious process. PayMagic aims to solve this problem by creating an application to distribute payments and rewards within DAOs. PayMagic allows in-DAO payments for batch transfers, airdrops, vesting schedules, streaming payments, and more- all from one app. I’m excited about this project because of how incredibly bullish I am on DAO infrastructure. In my eyes, the need for DAO infrastructure- especially on the operational and organizational side- is becoming increasingly apparent. Without the right framework, DAOs will struggle to scale and maintain sustainability. More on that later, but it’s great to see a new project focused on DAO payment underpinnings, and I look forward to seeing more tools like PayMagic enter the market.
5: Splice: NFTs for your NFT PFP: Generative-art NFT headers
Over the past year, NFT profile pictures have gained immense clout and prevalence (Crypto Punks, Cool Cats, Bored Apes, or any of the other million PFP (profile photo) collections out there- do I even need to give examples)!? The large communities that grow around these NFT collections invent tangible, complementary assets- like complimentary $MILK tokens for Cool Cat NFTs or the spin-offs that’ve come out of the Bored Ape Yacht Club community. Splice is taking a new approach to derivative NFT value, creating generative-art NFT header images for your NFT PFP. These header art NFTs work to complement your NFT PFP in the places that matter most (like Twitter and Discord, obviously, because that’s where the NFT community lives). Here’s how it works:
What’s special about this project is both obvious and inadvertent. Splice’s “NFT for your NFT” runs with the immense (and almost ironic) value the NFT community places on face-value aesthetics and the explicit buy-in to in-groupery and clout associated with that. Perhaps less obviously, Splice is generating a building block for NFT-based metaverse creation. In creating a tangible, non-fungible and perceivable accessory to complement NFT ownership, Splice creates a derivative asset that has the potential to contribute to a metaverse where NFT communities flourish. We’ve seen similar derivatives (like the ones aforementioned), but this is the first I’ve seen that’s explicitly aesthetic and social-media-based. What other NFT derivative projects are also playing around in this space that I don’t know about?
I hope you enjoyed learning more about these projects as much as I did. What did you think? Which was your favorite? Which didn’t deserve to be on this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts and discuss- feel free to drop a line (or several paragraphs) through DM here or via [email protected]! Until next time…
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Opinion and analysis. Educational explainers. Interviews with founders and operators working on interesting projects in crypto & DeFi. Presented by Fintech Today.