• SuperRare, an Ethereum NFT marketplace, has launched a token and is giving away 150 million tokens

  • SuperRare, one of the leading marketplaces for NFT artwork tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain, announced today that it has begun decentralization efforts. To that end, SuperRare has created a new RARE “curation token” for community governance, as well as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to go with it.

    Until now, SuperRare staff has chosen the artists who release NFTs on the platform. SuperRare’s new RARE token will allow token holders to vote on new community-operated Spaces, allowing a broader range of artists to join the platform.

    Each SuperRare Space functions similarly to a custom storefront for operators selected by the community. Space operators will bring in artists, sell their work through a dedicated gallery, and then take a percentage of the sales. The ongoing voting process is dubbed the “Space Race” by SuperRare, and the company plans to launch two new Spaces per month during the project’s first year.

    The newly formed SuperRare DAO will then act on token holders’ votes and manage the growing RARE and ETH treasury. SuperRare has formed a genesis governance council to oversee the DAO’s initial operations. Additionally, through a new feature called Sovereign Minting Contracts, the NFT marketplace will allow artists to mint their artwork using custom smart contracts—that is, the code that powers NFTs and performs set instructions.

    According to today’s announcement post, “decentralization has been at the heart of the SuperRare ideology since day one.” “It was practical to keep governance decisions internal during the early stages of platform development, driven by the vision of an agile founding team. Our baby, on the other hand, has grown up and is ready to face the world on its own. “If you love something, set it free,” as the saying goes.

    SuperRare will airdrop 150 million RARE—or 15% of the total supply—to artists and collectors who have already used the platform to get community governance up and running. The number of RARE tokens awarded to each user is determined by factors such as sales volume and the number of marketplaces with which collectors have interacted, and tokens must be claimed within 90 days. The full details can be found in SuperRare’s post.

    SuperRare, which debuted in 2018, skyrocketed in popularity as the NFT market exploded earlier this year. According to DappRadar data, NFT marketplaces logged $2.5 billion in transaction volume in the first half of 2021, and SuperRare hosted notable drops from TIME Magazine and leading NFT artist Beeple. An NFT functions as a deed of ownership for a digital item, such as still artwork, video files, and many others.

    According to the announcement made today, SuperRare has now handled more than $90 million in trading volume since its inception. SuperRare raised $9 million in Series A funding in March from billionaire investor Mark Cuban, SamsungNext, and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, among others.

    Following a late spring and early summer decline following the early-year boom, the NFT market has recently seen a resurgence in activity and trading volume. According to Dune Analytics, rival marketplace OpenSea, which acts as a secondary market for the sale of popular NFT collections such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, is leading the recent surge with more than $830 million in trading volume so far in August alone.

    SuperRare is far behind, with slightly more than $13 million in volume so far this month, but it leads the pack in terms of average price per NFT sale. According to Dune, the average price per NFT sale on SuperRare this month is more than $17,000, compared to around $10,850 for OpenSea sales. SuperRare only sells single-edition NFT artwork pieces, whereas competing marketplaces may sell open editions in larger quantities or support large-scale NFT collections.

    Rarible, a competing Ethereum-based NFT platform, has a governance token called RARI, which it launched in July 2020. Rivals such as OpenSea and the Gemini-owned Nifty Gateway, on the other hand, are more centralized and do not provide a token or community governance.

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