Multi-chain staking and lending platform MANTRA DAO has made its first foray into the NFT space with resounding success. The project made just 88 of its limited edition cards available, each represented as a non-fungible token (NFT). The auction sold out in 30 minutes, attesting to both the demand for NFTs and the enthusiasm of the MANTRA DAO community.
Emblazoned with a Polkadot logo in the top corner, the network on which MANTRA DAO operates, the rare artwork was created by ‘NFT GEM’ whose work is a regular fixture on Rarible’s marketplace. While aesthetically pleasing, bidders weren’t snapping the cards up on account of their composition – each one entitles the holder to future airdrops, meaning it could potentially prove to be a profitable card to hold.
✈️The first #airdrop to NFT holders will be 888,888 OM!????
Proceeds will be going back to the SHERPA community! MORE info following????️https://t.co/FBxLzgZV2d
— MΛNTRΛ DΛO (@MANTRADAO) December 7, 2020
All the Eights
The decision to issue just 88 of the cards was a highly symbolic one. MANTRA DAO has deep ties with the Asian crypto community, and in China the number eight is synonymous with wealth. This is because eight (‘Ba’ in Chinese) has similar pronunciation to 发 (‘Fa,’ meaning wealth or fortune). Later this month, the project will also be airdropping 888,888 OM tokens to Sherpas – the name given to its community members.
For interested parties who missed out on the limited edition NFT sale, there is still a chance to snap one up on the secondary market, and thus qualify for future token airdrops. Several of the cards are currently available on Rarible, where the highest bid stands at 0.65 ETH.
Are NFTs the Next Big Thing?
The jury is still out on whether non-fungible tokens are the next major growth vertical in crypto, or a concept that’s still several years from maturity. A number of defi projects have dabbled in NFTs this year, with the most notable being MEME, whose token was airdropped for free to community members. The 355 tokens each individual received were worth over $700,000 at their peak, and at current prices are worth more than $50,000.
MEME has gone on to have considerable success with auctioning limited edition NFT art, with its most recent initiative seeing 12 cards auctioned off, one of which contained 1 BTC. The winning card was only revealed when its owner unpacked it, adding a sense of mystery to the normally staid world of art. MEME was also the first project to launch NFT yield farming, and spawned a string of imitators and collaborators.
If Ryan Selkis’ influential Crypto Theses for 2021 is anything to go by, the future is bright for NFTs and the art, collectibles, and gaming applications they support. The Messari.io founder mentions NFTs 47 times in his widely shared 134-page report.
“I buy the thesis that almost every type of NFT built to date is likely to get traction eventually and that Web3 platforms open the door to that natively digital future,” writes Selkis. “Bitcoin and the smart contract platforms are predominantly rails for the decentralized financial system, but Web3 networks and NFTs are the real critical building blocks of a more open internet.”
MANTRA DAO isn’t focused on NFTs, but like many innovative defi projects, is keen to explore the possibilities they offer for community engagement and incentivization. Its primary focus is on provisioning tools for cross-chain staking, allowing users to manage their assets via a single dashboard and to earn rewards in the form of OM tokens.