Taking a Community-First Approach to the Solana Ecosystem

Unlock DeFi supports NFTEyez Digital Gallery

By: David Koroma

NFTs are thriving and the metaverse is on the way – that’s the message coming out of two companies hard at work within the Solana ecosystem. Jack Shi, CEO of Unlock DeFi, recently invited Andy 801 and Andrew Zdrobilko, co-founders of NFTEyez, to discuss their collaboration in the NFT space and their shared vision for the future of the Solana blockchain. 

Andy and Andrew have built NFTEyez.global as a virtual NFT gallery that displays the collection from your wallet in a grid layout on their site. This is done using publicly available blockchain data from your wallet address, with support for not only Solana but Ethereum and BsC (Binance Smart Chain) as well. Ethereum has some similar sites that will sync up with your wallet to show off your collection, such as tryshowtime, but these are not yet easy to find within the Solana ecosystem. 

Credit: NFTEyez on Twitter (@EyezNft)

With Solana’s NFT market experiencing a surge in recent weeks, there is a growing need for gallery options for collectors who want to show off what they have acquired. Most Solana NFTs are done on custom contracts that mint directly to your wallet where you can see your NFTs in the Collectibles tab. At the same time, sites like MagicEden.io and Solanart.io allow you to link your wallet and sell on secondary markets similar to OpenSea. Jack found NFTEyez.global to be a useful tool and asked their team to join his Unlock DeFi podcast to discuss the future of digital galleries operating in the Solana space. 

Credit: Phantom Solana wallet app (https://phantom.app/

During their conversation, Jack found out they were using the free version of Solana’s required Remote Procedure Call (RPC) node, which offers a limited number of interactions on the high-speed blockchain. He mentioned that this limitation might pose an issue as more people find out about this gallery function and rush to their site. Sure enough, just hours later, NFTEyez.global crashed due to RPC node limitations – and Jack immediately stepped up to help. His team at Unlock DeFi has their own dedicated RPC nodes and graciously offered to assist NFTEyez at no cost. Their site has been buzzing ever since and is averaging 5,000 Solana galleries a day. Andrew says they are now working on improvements to the User Interface, including new sorting and filter options as well as more details about your NFTs, including rarity information.

“For now, we are happy to offer this service for free because we are doing it for the community,” says Jack. “We will offer our own server nodes as a service in the future.”

This story is a microcosm of what is going on in the Solana ecosystem right now. You see a thriving, growing NFT market but a shortage of hardware and software needed to keep up with the chain’s momentum. The most important element of this story is the strong community in this space, where everyone is working toward the common goal of a thriving Solana ecosystem. 

These RPC nodes are not cheap, costing roughly $24,000 per month to rent, but Jack sees the value in the digital gallery service that NFTEyez provides. His own project, NEONEXUS, has seen a massive boom in popularity over the last two weeks following the launch of their Golden Tickets and the presale for their first NEONEXUS properties that sold out 15 seconds after launching on October 9. 


Boasting to be one of the first Solana metaverse projects, with an ambitious roadmap and impressive 3D buildings being sold as NFTs, Jack and the Unlock DeFi team have been putting their community first as they execute on their roadmap. For example, following concerns from their community that whales would grab all the properties during the presale, their team guaranteed that all ticket holders at that time would receive a token NFT that would be redeemable for the ability to purchase a property NFT. However, only the first 5,000 Golden Tickets would receive this token for a property, which led to a mad dash for tickets and a fairly high floor price for those first 5,000. Outside of presale benefits, Golden Ticket holders are also prized members of the Unlock DeFi community – receiving future DAO memberships, monthly NFT airdrops, merchandise, and exclusive access to future events in both real life and the metaverse. “We will end up losing money on these Golden Tickets in the long run because we plan on adding so much value for our earliest supporters,” says Jack. 

The NEONEXUS project is evolving, and so is Jack’s following as he consistently pulls hundreds of community members into his Twitter Spaces, where he speaks candidly about the project’s future. So, if you have any doubts about the direction of the Solana NFT marketplace, just tune into a talk with Jack (@JackShiUD) and he’ll likely convince you how unstoppable this train is. And if you’re a fan of the metaverse, then NEONEXUS is a project you should be paying attention to.

“Once you have a group of people who are coming in, having fun, building products, and launching really quickly, other use cases that you could launch on other chains but also work great on Solana are just gonna hop along and start building as well,” says Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Labs CEO and Co-founder. “A lot of the success there builds a lot of the user-facing tools that people need for everything else. It becomes very easy to adopt to any other application — gaming and NFTs included.”

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