Unique Network’s second NFT drop in partnership with Polkadot, established a powerful community of supporters and investors
What better way to continue amplifying Unique Network than to give back to the community that helped grow our platform through an NFT project critical to our early success? In September, we shared the news that owners of Chelobricks, the substrate-based collectible NFTs we dropped in May in partnership with Polkadot Decoded 2021, would be entitled to a share of marketplace profits, a pivotal move in our journey towards decentralization on our platform. As a result, all accounts holding one Chelobrick (as well as another NFT from our Marketplace, Substrapunks) would be entitled to get a share of 50% of market trading fees. As we recognize this critical milestone in the Chelobricks and Unique Network story, we thought it would be a good time to look back and reflect on how Chelobricks came to be in the first place.
In May of 2021, Unique Network released the first look into the power of our Marketplace, a white-label product that enables anyone to build an NFT — and do so in the best, most sustainable, and innovative way possible. So if you're going to launch an NFT Marketplace, why not kick it off with a moment that truly flexes the platform's power and gives users a taste of what to expect from the future? Say hello to Chelobricks.
Chelobricks are a collection of 10,000 NFTs, built on Substrate, that currently live on our Marketplace today. Not only was this drop a significant milestone to showcase how our product allows creators to build on Polkadot, but it was an early look into our dedication to building a new kind of efficient community on the blockchain.
As excited as we were about the Chelobricks drop, it would appear the community was as well! The Substrate-based Chelobrick Collection saw most of the 10,000 unique, randomly generated, characters (Chelobricks = “Person” or “Man” in Russian) claimed in less than 20 hours. This sale welcomed a variety of new users to Polkadot and showed them NFTs on this platform can shake some of the constraints that many users face running on ETH (slow network speeds, limited feature set, lack of scalability).
So what's so special about Chelobricks anyways, and how these digital characters got claimed in less than a day? Some might say it's a bit of nostalgia, as Chelobricks run on Substrate. This is the same chain that birthed Unique's Substrapunk project, an ode to the iconic Cryptopunks, one of the first ever NFTs. Also released in a collection of 10,000 (four years prior in 2017), Cryptopunks helped set the scene for the immense energy of the burgeoning NFT community.
As of writing, the lowest price available to pick up a Cryptopunk of your own is 81.99 ETH ($280.52K) and rare punks are selling for upwards of $10,000,000. For Chelobricks holders, one could say owners and buyers sensed that they were a part of another historic moment for digital collectibles — the NFTs available on Kusama Parachain. Who wouldn't want to hold one of the next Cryptopunks?
Our September announcement about marketplace rewards alerted our community that all addresses that own at least one Chelobrick (as well as one Substrapunk) will be entitled to profit-sharing rewards, which at the time of the news was over 300 addresses. Those part of this group were entitled to 50% distribution of the marketplace's commissions (around 48 KSM). We believe that this substantial reward will give more value to the owners of Chelobricks and Substrapunks, while encouraging a healthy marketplace activity.
A look at the growth in the number of trades and average price of both the collections on the Unique Network Marketplace seems to confirm this kind of energy.
Nostalgia and recent big numbers aside, Chelobricks were the start of an exciting chapter in our NFT offering, and one that brought people together to experience how NFTs from different blockchains can layer their design and expand their utility, usability, and functionality for the broader metaverse. We know that the increase in popularity of NFTs and the massive cultural rise of crypto art have instigated a clog of networks and a laundry list of problems across chains. We set out to solve these problems via the Chelobricks drop because we know that a sustainable future for NFTs means that they must be accessible and approachable for average consumers to navigate (and have fun with).
Chelobricks helped showcase a new kind of future for NFTs on Polkadot, demonstrating the power and potential of composable, forever-liquid, multi-resource NFTs. These collectibles also offered an intuitive experience for the user/buyer, replicating some of the early excitement people felt when they first explored digital collectibles, where everything from Crypto Kitties to avatar-centric art disrupted what they knew about creating, gaming, and collecting. Chelobricks are a new chapter in this story and one that we know people will still be talking about years down the road.
At Unique Network, we’re truly just getting started with how we will nurture and facilitate the future of NFTs. In June of 2021, with RMRK, our partnership shared our plan to merge Substrate-based Chelobricks with the Kusama-based Kanaria NFT collection — the first cross-chain NFTs with composable functionality and evolving traits. This collaboration allowed holders of Chelobrick NFTs who buy a Kanaria egg NFT to have their pieces interact with each other, get new looks and applications via upgrades, and even be governed by decentralized autonomous organizations.
Our RMRK collaboration presents an exciting future for NFT-to-NFT interactivity, demonstrating an eclectic future for lucky Chelobricks holders. Through this partnership, we’re offering them the chance to gain some new buddies in the form of Kanaria eggs, furthermore displaying how we’re always looking towards the future of experimental, generative art.
This partnership comes at an important time for us Unique Network as we expand on the initial launch of our Marketplace, where our advanced features demonstrate how we’re building the most efficient and progressive runway for building and selling digital collectibles. As we shared above in the intro of this story, we’ve also recently taken strides towards decentralization on our Marketplace, something that will revolve around Chelorbricks themselves.
Our decentralization announcement will also ultimately help provide more support towards building new projects, as a remaining 50% of the Marketplace commission will be kept in the Treasury for the development of the Marketplace and future games with our collections. As far as more announcements and updates, there's plenty more on the way to look forward to. For now, we hope you enjoyed this reflection on Chelobricks and how their launch and community continue to show how we’re adding an excitingly unique spin to the world of NFTs and the technology from which they are built. Check out some Chelobricks out here. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!