Although Ethereum remains the most popular blockchain for NFTs, its relatively high entry point can be off-putting for new entrants. Spending US$80 on an NFT becomes less appealing when you’ve to pay an equal amount on gas fees too.
Almost a year ago, Solana emerged as a promising alternative, with transaction costs capped at a small fraction of a dollar. Currently, it sits as the second-highest volume for NFT trading among all blockchains.
For those looking to diversify their NFT holdings across different blockchains, NEAR protocol has recently thrown its name in the hat too.
In late 2021, NEAR announced that it was dedicating US$800 million to the growth of its ecosystem. Along with this, Proximity Labs announced that it would contribute US$350 million worth of grants to projects on NEAR as well.
Such funding has incentivised more developers to build on NEAR. Here’s a look at the blockchain’s definitive NFT projects.
Antisocial Ape Club
Antisocial Ape Club (ASAC) has been a permanent resident on the homepage of Paras, the biggest NFT marketplace on NEAR.
The project gained notoriety for its self-fudding culture. On its Discord group, ASAC founders would often troll new members and tell them that the project was a ‘rug’. Holders used to rally for the NFT floor price to drop to 0.1N and lose almost all of its value.
ASAC built a cult-like community fueled by satire and memes. However, behind this façade, the developers have been building legitimate utilities which bring value to the NEAR ecosystem.
ASAC has built its own launchpad to facilitate the minting of other NFT projects on NEAR. It has also introduced staking in collaboration with Paras, and is currently rolling out a partnership with NEKO, the first meme coin on NEAR.
At their peak ASAC NFTs have been worth as much as 140N (~US$1400) on the floor. 1/1 ASAC NFTs have been sold for as much 1,000N on auction.
Secret Skellies Society
Secret Skellies Society (SSS) is among the most highly valued NFT collections on NEAR. In February, the collection rallied from a floor price of 10N to 300N. Since then, it has sustained a floor price above 200N.
With only 777 NFTs initially minted, the collection makes use of a deflationary mechanism. The team sporadically buys back and burns NFTs which are listed on the floor.
At the time of writing this, only 747 Skellies NFTs remain available for trade.
SSS is built atop an ongoing lore, which features a war between two factions: Skellies and Grimm’s Army.
Grimm’s Army was recently minted as SSS’s second NFT collection and it currently trades at a floor price of 120N. Along with this mint, SSS also introduced their own launchpad and the UTO token.
The UTO token will provide utility to the SSS ecosystem including the minting of a Gen 3 collection. The proceeds from the SSS launchpad will also be used to buy back and burn UTO tokens.
One of the most highly anticipated mints on NEAR, NEARton is the first project to explore metaverse utility on this blockchain.
Holders of other NEAR projects, such as ASAC and NEARNauts, will be able to stake their NFTs in NEARton in exchange for their native token $NEXP.
$NEXP is readily adding to its list of utilities. NEARton boasts partnerships with most renowned projects in the NEAR ecosystem, and is building up to be somewhat of a keystone.
After launching staking this April, NEARton plans to build and launch its public spaces. These will comprise galleries where holders can show off their metaverse home and other NFTs.
The rollout of BOO Monsters has been a fresh change of pace from the NFT mints which we’ve become accustomed to.
Instead of launching the entire collection at once, the team decided to put up two NFTs (out of a total supply of 100) up for sale at a time.
The first two BOOs were sold in mid-January for 0.3N. The next two went for 0.6N, and the price kept increasing going forward.
As the project gained more traction, the team decided to start auctioning BOOs with a reserve price instead. BOO#21 sold for 300N, and BOO#25 sold for 1300N.
BOO Monsters has sold 30 NFTs from its collection so far, and continues to put a new one up for auction every week. A percentage of the revenue is being dedicated to their DAO’s treasury, which will be put into use by the community members.
With such a limited supply, BOO Monsters is primed to be one of the most exclusive DAOs on NEAR.
NEARNauts was among the first generative collections to be launched on NEAR protocol. Despite a rocky start and a relatively slow mint, the project has continued building over the last few months.
With funding from the NEAR foundation, the NEARNauts team are expanding their efforts under the umbrella of the AstroVerse Collective.
First off, they’re working on the AstroGen platform, which aims to be the most affordable and convenient platform to launch generative NFT projects. Half of the revenues generated by this launchpad will be distributed to NEARNauts holders.
The team has also announced plans for AstroMarket, a marketplace dedicated to PFP (profile picture) NFT projects. NEARNauts holders will also receive a percentage of the royalties generated through this platform.
NEARNauts has established itself as one of the top projects on NEAR and has an ambitious roadmap ahead.
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Featured Image Credit: Near Protocol via Medium