🦧 The Winners and Losers of the Blur vs OpenSea Chaos

Plus Arbitrum Airdrop PROOF?! CoinBase's Optimistic L2 AND MORE

GM Legends,

Is today the day? The day we have all been waiting for? Will we see the Arbitrum airdrop or is that still a myth? (we might have proof!) Yesterday Optimism teased us and CoinBase said they’re dropping their own L2. More psyops as Synapse and ChainLink also posted a 🔵?

In the meantime, Bitcoin is chilling at the $24,400 mark whilst Ethereum is at a cool calm $1,650.

Today we look at the winners and losers of the NFT marketplace wars featuring Blur, OpenSea, Sudo Swap and Gem.

PS. Possible proof that the Arbitrum airdrop is closer than we think 👀 

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Here's what's inside today.

🔥 The big topic. NFT Marketplace Chaos

🗞 Hot crypto news. Is CoinBase launching an Optimistic L2? Frax goes fully collateralised, JP Morgans's Athens-based Innovation Lab AND MORE.

👀 Updates across the bloc. Trident to list on Gate.Io, Dsquared Finance DSQ/ETH pool goes live, Smilee Finances Impermanent Gains Model (plus blocmates Interview) AND MORE.

🛡 Chart of the day. $OP’timistic price discovery… is $4 on the cards?

🧵 Thread of the day. 5 tips from riches to rekt to riches (again) by Louround.

🔥 The big topic.

NFT Marketplace Chaos

OpenSea is getting absolutely cooked right now.

Blur is the talk of the town.

Sudo Swap is down only.

And Gem is launching its V2.

But wait… what’s this?

Arbitrum Odyssey NFTs are booming?! (we’ll get to this at the end)

JFC, the NFT space hasn’t seen this much drama since KinkyBedBugs bought Pudgey Penguin #6873 for 400 ETH.

Blur SINKS OpenSea

Blur is totally smoking OpenSea in the battle of the NFT marketplaces.

The 7-day figures | DappRadar

With a little bit of innovation, gamification (BAYC whales trading) and one of the most profitable airdrops (check out how Blur made millionaires) it’s no surprise.

In an attempt to become the #1 NFT marketplace on the bloc, who’s actually winning and losing?

The Marketplace Winners

Right now, it’s Blur and here’s why.

It’s cool AF and it’s making people A LOT of money. Pacman even dox’d in true NFT community PFP fashion.

Blur continues to have a narrative with the third part of the airdrop and whales are farming it harder than ever.

And like the Ancient Crypto Proverb says:

With increased pumpage, comes increased dumpage.

Exposure and innovation are both winners in this awkward love story between Blur and OpenSea as they duke it out to attract creators and traders through the battle of the marketplace royalties.

Innovation creates new platforms which are bringing life to those illiquid jpegs. With nftperp being one of the most fun ones to leverage trade NFTs.

Blur has recently updated its policy to “enforce royalties on collections that block OpenSea trading.”

OpenSeas's response felt like something out of a late-night infomercial with a “limited time, not to be missed, totally exclusive, 0% fee reduction". This brings into question the debate of creator royalties and what % should be charged. But that’s a story for another time.

The Marketplace Losers

OpenSea is centralised with an on-chain royalty enforcement scheme that gives them the power to blocklist other marketplaces, and well… it’s OpenSea, so the biggest player in the space automatically brings FUD.

Traders are getting bonked on by the Blur whales farming and manipulating the prices. Whether you’re a stink bidder or a max bidder… please stay safe.

And the creators lose out due to the 0% fee wars. If creators are the ones taking the biggest hit in this war then, long term, it’s safe to say that the whole NFT ecosystem can take a hit.

Beeple does bring up a good point though. Kind of reminds me of an old friend in a rooftop loft apartment trying to make it as a real-life artist.

What about Sudo Swap and Gem?

I hear you asking.

Sudo Swap is good tech but has been down only since people learned that the dev and governance teams are completely separate, which has probably caused the relentless sell pressure.

Is Gem the hidden Gem in all of this?

Acquired by OpenSea in April ‘22, Gem, is your all-in-one pit-stop chop shop NFT aggregator, for degens, collectors and traders.

V2 is going live soon, beta testing is testing and word on the street is there might be an airdrop coming.

If Blur is the “OpenSea Killer” then will this little hidden Gem be the platform that attracts the tadpoles and dolphins that are farming Blur? Leaving only the whales to play whale games?!

We asked NFT Industry Expert Teng Yan

We’re seeing a fierce battle between marketplace platforms: OpenSea and Blur. Blur seems to have the upper hand today: by having 0 fees and limiting creator royalties, it has attracted a large number of traders to its platform.

The BLUR token launch allows it to continually incentivise liquidity on its platform, drawing even more people to use it.

The ball is in OpenSea’s court now. What will it do next? I suspect OpenSea will be sending Gem to compete with Blur for the Pro-trader audience, while it continues to focus on the retail and creator communities. Gem is a marketplace aggregator that was acquired by OpenSea in 2022 and is launching its v2 marketplace soon which promises many power features.

It is open for beta testing, worth signing up to test it, IMO.

Our Take

Despite the whales winning… again. The Blur airdrop has brought life back to NFT trading which I’ve got a sneaky suspicion will bring about a new generation of NFT marketplaces and trading platforms.

nftperp is the strongest contender for NFT leverage trading whilst Gem looks like a good aggregator for degens and sweepers to flip NFTs.

Oh yeah, Arbitrum. Someone definitely knows and is sweeping the Arbitrum odyssey NFTs with haste. Eth Denver comes to mind…

24-hour Arbitrum Odyssey NFT Volume | Nansen

🗞 Hot crypto news.

🐮 Bullish News

Frax goes FULLY collateralised to retire the algorithmic element of frxUSD. Proposal FIP-188 passed voting and now looks set to purchase $3m of frxETH to prop up reserves. This is an active response to the recent de-pegging of other algorithmic stablecoins.

JP Morgan’s Crypto Lab is set for Athens. Despite CEO Jamie Dimon being bearish on crypto, Tryone Lobbam, head of JPMorgan's DeFi platform Onyx made the announcement that JP Morgan will open an “innovation lab” focusing on “blockchain capabilities” to support Onyx.

CoinBase Layer 2 Airdrop? Speculation and interpretation suggest CoinBase is launching a Layer 2 Rollup on Optimism and airdropping a token. However, as GCR points out, it’s probably not quite going to happen due to regulatory ramifications. But it is great psyops and we have seen stranger things happen in crypto.

🐻 Bearish News

SEC Strikes Binance… again but this time they are objecting to Binance US’ bid for crypto lender Voyager. The SEC is claiming that the deal to acquire Voyager “may” be unlawful and discriminatory as they seek to repay customers which mayviolate the prohibition in Section 5 of the Securities Act.”

Crypto Exchange CoinEx is next on the list to be sued by the New York Attorney General alleging that the exchanged listed tokens that were securities and or commodities under New York state law.

FOMC Meeting Minutes were widely shrugged off by the crypto markets yesterday, however, it should be noted that “a few” members favoured a 50 bps rate hike as the FED is still looking to bring inflation down to its magical 2%.

👀 Updates across the bloc.

Project Updates

Blur gets three new updates including individual NFT pages being mobile-friendly.

Dsquared Finance DSQ/ETH pool goes live on Camelot DEX.

Eigen Layer releases its official white paper along with a discussion forum and a look back a yesterday’s Twitter spaces.

Margin Finance is a new lending foundation built on Solana and will be supporting will soon be supporting $BONK, $USDT, $mSOL, $stSOL, and $jitoSOL shortly.

Oasis Swap definitely time rugged last week but according to their medium will launch between 24-26th February. Cozas gives an in-depth look at the $INK token and airdrop coming.

Perpetual Protocol now lists Optimism ready for trading whilst Perp holders locked over 803,000 $PERP tokens into $vePERP in 24 hours.

Smilee Finance and their impermanent gains (IG) model gets broken down using $GRAIL as an example. Check out the interview here we did with Tempesto and Alberto.

Trident might just be in for a Gate.io listing as they buy 12,307 on the open market.

Synapse gets listed in the Binance innovation zone and on Huboi yesterday. Synchain coming soon??

Yearn Finance is getting ready to expand the minds of its users through LSDs with its close-to-the-line marketing advert.

Plus, Bitcoin. Were the Chinese buying their own FUD all along?!

Governance Updates

Level Finance’s latest proposal “Remediation” goes live to stop any form of trade manipulation as an individual or group was able to manipulate the price of BNB on Binance whilst being able to take profits on the Levels platform. Voting ends February 25th.

Optimism’s governance forum is full of draft grant proposals from the likes of Zonic, Premia, Sonne Finance, Thales and many more. Worth keeping an eye on who passes.

Platypus submits a proposal and comments to Aave to get communities’ feedback on how best to recover the exploited assets that are stuck in Aave V3’s contract.

🛡 Chart of the day.

$OP’timistic price discovery

$OP 1D Chart | TradingView

With the CoinBase news, noise and being on the verge of price discovery…where could $OP go in the short term?

Using Fibonacci we can make a speculative guess using the golden ratio of 1.618 which sits at the $4 mark, which just so happens to be another major psychological checkpoint for traders.

Bull case. The Optimistic bulls break through into price discovery mode targeting $4 - $4.13 as the first checkpoint.

Bear case. The breakout fails and targets the $2 mark again.

Coming up next week.

A relatively quiet week next week for major news announcements next week. Ready for the next leg up?

🧵 Thread of the day.

We’ve all been there before. Round tripped some of the most life-changing bags because we got greedy, didn’t have a plan or didn’t want to dump on our frens.

Grab a pen and paper as Louround shares 5 tips from riches to rekt back to riches again.

And on that note, thanks for reading, catcha apes in the next edition!

blocmates team 🫡

🤝 A final word.

A quick word from our super awesome sponsors who help us make this all possible...

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