Zash: New Models for NFT Marketplaces
CMC Research

Zash: New Models for NFT Marketplaces

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In the first column for CMC Research, Zash looks at three new entrants to the NFT marketplace space — Sudoswap, Hadeswap and Blur.

Zash: New Models for NFT Marketplaces

Table of Contents

Written in collaboration with Zash & June Tao Ching, Analytics Team Lead at Binance

2021 saw the rise of NFTs, with marketplaces such as OpenSea and Magic Eden taking the headlines. Whilst the NFT mania of 2021 is on standstill, business model innovation and creator monetisation continues to rapidly iterate. Today, taking just Ethereum, BNB Chain and Solana, we already have over  40 marketplaces competing for market share. This space is just getting started.

We wanted to dig deeper into three new players Sudoswap, Hadeswap and Blur to see how they have performed against incumbents in the market such as Opensea, Magic Eden and x2y2. All three of these protocols utilise a novel technology that allows users to trade non-fungible tokens through a liquidity pool, instead of an auction system.

Sudoswap being the pioneer to this tech solution:

Followed up quickly by a protocol on the Solana chain known as Hadeswap:

And the marketplace that generated a lot of hype recently thanks to a full-stack trading suit named Blur:

Sudoswap: Background

Since August, there is a new method for users to trade their NFTs. That being, trading via a liquidity pool with Sudoswap being a prime example. Liquidity pools are one of the major components in decentralised finance and Uniswap V3 has advanced the concept to provide concentrated liquidity with increased customisation.

On OpenSea, users trade NFTs through an order book model. But, being the first decentralised NFT marketplace, Sudoswap allows users to trade under an automated market maker (AMM) model. Through a liquidity pool, users can buy in and out of an NFT collection without authorisation required by any centralised entity. Liquidity providers (also known as LPs) can deposit NFTs and ETH into Sudoswap’s pools and earn fees from trades that take place through these pools.

Compared to traditional centralised NFT marketplaces like Opensea and Magic Eden, which are adopting listing / auction mechanisms for matching buyers and sellers, trading NFTs on Sudoswap happens instantly. This means that traders do not have to wait for a counterparty to list their NFT or the auction process to end. If there’s a pool for a desired NFT collection, users can immediately sell their NFT into a pool and receive ETH. That said, you may not always receive the price you’d like, so it may not be an ideal option for super-rare, high-priced NFTs. Also, the NFTs traded via the liquidity pool don’t involve royalty fees, which provides a higher profit margin for the trader too.

Sudoswap: Marketplace Comparison

Let’s dive deeper into the feature collection on Sudoswap to see if they have a superior floor price for the buyer.

In this case study, let’s take a look at the floor price trend for Azuki, Otherdeed for Otherside and Clone X. These collections were chosen because they are the featured collections on Sudoswap and they have more liquidity pools. By looking at the floor price trend, we can see that the floor prices of these collections on Sudoswap are similar to Opensea and x2y2. This might be due to the fact that sellers are not using this liquidity pool to sell their NFTs quicker, but instead to avoid the royalty fees. (Note that the transactions taking place in the liquidity pool do not require royalty fees).

Sudoswap’s weekly volume peaked at the week of 15 Aug 2022 and took a hit the following week, likely due to the announcement of x2y2’s optional royalties fees on 26 Aug 2022.

Traders have more options to trade without royalties, which is why, even though the AMM tech stack is interesting, all marketplaces must remain competitive in the market.

Hadeswap: Background

Hadeswap launched in September and is often dubbed ‘the Sudoswap for Solana. It’s an AMM that similarly utilises a liquidity pool mechanism to trade NFTs, offering 0% platform fees and 0% creator fees. Hadeswap’s popularity has resulted in a sharp increase in its market share amongst Solana marketplaces in mid-October.

Hadeswap: Marketplace Comparison

Let’s also deep dive into some of the popular collections in Hadeswap and Magic Eden.

Among these top collections like Okay Bears, Aurory and Critters Cult, we can see that the floor prices at Hadeswap tend to deviate from the floor price on Magic Eden. Unlike the behaviour we observed at Sudoswap, at times, Hadeswap has offered a more price competitive deal for buyers on occasion. It could also be that the owners of these collections are looking for liquidity from time to time. Meanwhile, on Ethereum-based Sudoswap, Blue chip holders are considered to have “Diamond Hands”.

Hadeswap’s weekly trading volume fluctuated throughout the period since its launch.

Due to the pressure of zero trading fees and zero royalties fees, Magic Eden introduced optional royalty fees and zero trading fee promotion on 14 Oct. This action did not impact Hadeswaps weekly trading volume significantly. Unlike Sudoswap, the users of Hadeswap most likely use the liquidity pool to solve their liquidity problems and not to avoid the royalty fees. It was surprising to learn that the same mechanism produced opposing results across the two different chains.

Blur: Background

A final marketplace infrastructure that has surged with considerable hype this month has been Blur.io: a marketplace, aggregator and NFT trading platform with real-time trading and advanced features.

These characteristics are the main pillar behind Blur, targeting “pro NFT traders” and portfolio managers of Ethereum-based NFT. But most of its social hype has been centred around its incentivized royalty mechanism, where 0% royalties are available, but an incentive in $BLUR tokens is airdropped to those who pay higher royalties to the creators.

Marketshare, by ETH Volume:

Blur: Marketplace Comparison

Royalties and Service Comparison among NFT marketplaces.

Assuming the royalty fee is 10%, and the expected return of an NFT is 10 ETH, here are the listing price for each marketplace (We chose to ignore royalty fee if the royalty fee is optional on the platform).

We can see that Blur’s listing price is very competitive for the trader. This is one of the reasons Blur could consume the market share in a short period of time.

Conclusion

Traders are very price sensitive especially in the bear market, platform fees have to be competitive to be relevant in the market. A 0% royalty fee attracts users in the short term. In the long term, platforms should provide incentives to traders to support creators and establish good relationships with creatorsco

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