The Binance NFT marketplace, from the Binance crypto exchange, launches June 24th. The marketplace kicks off with “100 Creators” ranging from crypto artists to musicians to athletes. The launch is preceded by numerous NFT platforms and marketplaces appearing on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). In addition, Featured by Binance recently launched under the auspices of the Binance developer network, Binance X.
Binance is currently ranked by CoinMarketCap as the world’s largest exchange based on volume. It has been particularly adept at fast following trends developed in other ecosystems, particularly in the world of Ethereum, and in finding ways to participate in decentralization while maintaining a very centralized organization. It is not the least bit surprising to see NFTs launching on BSC and for Binance itself to be launching an NFT platform. What remains to be seen are the larger potential effects of NFTs being directly supported by such a major force.
Binance NFT is expected to launch on June 24th featuring a high-end “Premium Event” category and a more open “Trading Market” category. The platform is custodial and will require Binance.com accounts to participate. The overall goal, as stated by the Head of Binance NFT, Helen Hai, is to “provide the largest NFT trading platform in the world with the best minting, buying, and exchanging experience, by leveraging the fastest and cheapest solutions.”
With low transaction fees and a 1% processing fee on sales, Binance sounds like a great deal. Perhaps the biggest catch is that the secondary marketplace will provide only a 1% royalty. Given the sizable role Binance plays, one would expect a large group of collectors to respond to this opportunity. While they might appreciate lower royalties, increasing the percentage would be a smart move by Binance in order to attract the best artists active on other blockchains.
That said, the “100 Creators,” include some standout names such as Osinachi, Kelvin Okafor, the Uganda National Museum and Trevor Jones. Other participants are known more as influencers or celebrities, such as Russell Simmons, or have a solid history in crypto art with somewhat less visibility in the West, such as IOYOI. Overall, the group seems relatively diverse though seems to be overly dominated by male participants even more than is typical in the space.
Musicians and sports figures will also play a prominent role, as noted in two preview posts on the Binance blog (here and here) again featuring only men. Musicians include Lil Yachty, Kyle and Lewis Capaldi while athletes include Michael Owen, Alphonso Davies and Guti.
I spoke briefly with four crypto artists about their involvement with Binance NFT.
Trevor Jones, well known for the “Picasso’s Bull” drop on Nifty Gateway in 2020, also created the “Binance, Bull and Rocket” physical artwork shown above and an animated NFT MP4 at that time. Due to the pandemic, Jones’ plans for exhibiting this work were put on extended hold. When Binance contacted Jones to see if he would be interested in participating in the launch, he recognized that it would be a great opportunity to finally release the NFT.
Notable African crypto artist Osinachi found out about Binance NFT when a Binance Africa staff member contacted him. He will be “sharing 5 artworks that encourage people to create happiness with what is around them.”
He also states:
“I’m joining Binance NFT marketplace because I feel that, just as they are an exchange with incredible success, they can help spread the NFT gospel to people in crypto and even add to the already existing channels through which enthusiasts can buy and trade NFTs.”
IOYOI, a crypto artist based in Taiwan, is active on a variety of platforms and is also a member of The Sandbox Creators Fund. He is “currently focusing on the combination of voxel and painting.” His initial collection for Binance NFT “interlaces retro games with today’s blockchain universe (metaverse), from sports video games to Sandbox lands.”
IOYOI is “honored” to be among “talents from various fields selected by Binance NFT platform to exhibit together.” He appreciates being in the first wave of creators given that it is a “big platform” and a “new opportunity” with many more artists able to join after July.
Phygital artist MAIKEUL will also be offering three 1/1 NFTs “which are the digital versions of physical works that will be available at Eternity Gallery in Paris, on the same date as the launch date of the NFT platform of Binance.” He is “super excited” about the launch and “think[s] Binance NFT is a good thing” to achieve “more visibility and to share [his] vision of what NFTs are.”
Featured by Binance is a related NFT platform, though non-custodial, that Binance X launched on June 17th. Its debut featured the work of Dylan Cole who has designed for over 60 films including Lord of the Rings, Avatar and Maleficent. Essentially Featured by Binance supplies the decentralized wing of Binance’s entry into the world of NFTs. This approach allows Binance to satisfy a broader range of needs than a centralized NFT marketplace alone could address.
A variety of other NFT marketplaces and platforms have launched or are launching on BSC, including some that will be compatible with other blockchains as well, such as:
While the Binance NFT marketplace, along with Featured by Binance, may initially overwhelm smaller NFT platforms on BSC, in the long run, it may well produce a stronger ecosystem. Binance’s efforts to promote NFTs will likely validate them to skeptics in a way that numerous smaller platforms could not do so easily. As Binance introduces a growing number of new collectors to NFTs, some will eventually seek out specialized markets on BSC. Enticing artists and collectors when Binance will offer its own NFT marketplace next to Featured by Binance will be no simple task for smaller platforms. But those prepared for the long haul will find themselves part of what is likely to be an incredibly rich ecosystem for NFTs on BSC.
Featured Images by Binance