Artion is a a new NFT marketplace on the Fantom blockchain that aims to challenge the dominance of the NFT powerhouse OpenSea. Here is how they plan to do it.
Artion: how it all started
Nate Chastain, erstwhile OpenSea employee, was accused of insider trading earlier this month—he knew which NFTs would appear on OpenSea’s homepage and allegedly bought and sold those NFTs for a tidy profit of about $65,000.
Chastain’s behavior infuriated the NFT community, leaving a void for a decentralized, open-source NFT marketplace that could undercut OpenSea’s 2.5 percent commission.
Yearning for a better way with Artion
Andre Cronje, the creator of Yearn.Finance, has issued a call to action. Artion, his new NFT marketplace, has just gone into beta on the Fantom blockchain. And it looks and works exactly like OpenSea. Why reinvent a wheel that’s already rolling, right?
Artion has no commissions
Artion, on the other hand, does not accept commission. It will eventually support the same ERC-721 tokens as OpenSea, and it only costs 1 FTM (about $1.3) to mint an NFT on Fantom. Minting NFTs on Ethereum can cost several hundred dollars.
Artion’s NFTs are stored on the decentralized web hosting network IPFS, have a size limit of 15mb, and are priced based on feeds from the decentralized oracle network Chainlink. Because Artion is based on the Fantom blockchain, it is faster and less expensive than Ethereum-based OpenSea.
Artion is open source
It’s all open-source, too, and Cronje anticipates that others will fork Artion. Cronje clarified to Coindesk that he is not attempting to sink OpenSea, but rather enjoys “starting fires.” Cronje then tweeted a GIF with the caption, “It’s not about the money; it’s about sending a message.”
Artion’s main limitation right now is a lack of options. Artion has approximately 50,000 NFTs, all of which are Fantom NFTs.
Rarity, Cronje’s take on Loot, is at the top of the list. StrangeBrew, FantomPunks, Ancestral Umans, and Fantom Waifus are among Artion’s rising projects.
A limited selection-for now
The majority of popular NFT projects are based on Ethereum—particularly OpenSea, which accounts for the vast majority of secondary NFT sales. However, Artion’s limited selection may soon change. Cronje’s list of blockchains to integrate into his marketplace begins with Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, and Arbitrum, and he plans to add a new blockchain every week.
Taking over a competitor’s platform by forking it or offering a service with similar fees or additional incentives is referred to as “vampire mining.” Sushiswap did it to the decentralized exchange Uniswap last summer, and it worked—the protocol is now worth billions of dollars.
Cronje intimated that vampire mining is not his game but that because Artion is open source, other teams could compete with OpenSea using Artion’s code.
If smart developers are inspired by Cronje’s marketplace, OpenSea may soon be sailing in rough water.
I write about blockchain, crypto, NFTs and other disruptive technologies and innovations.