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The Zora Bull Case
Published on Apr 18, 2024
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Sponsor: Cartesi — Build app-specific rollups with Web2 tooling without the constraints of Web3!

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NFT NEWS
Yuga Sells IP
  1. 🙊 Yuga de-gaming? Yuga Labs just announced that it's selling its HV-MTL and Legends of the Mara (LoTM) games to Faraway, suggesting that the Bored Ape creators are doubling down on their core offerings.
  2. 🏆 CTG S2 finale. Yesterday, Crypto The Game wrapped up its Season 2 with the final survivor being Player #733, a collective that pledged their ETH winnings to the legal defense of Tornado Cash's devs.
  3. 📱 Lore liftoff. Lore, a group multichain wallet system, just unveiled its new revamped platform featuring initial support for Ethereum, Base, Solana, Bitcoin, and Blast.
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ANALYSIS
The Pulse of Zora
Bankless Author: William M. Peaster

Zora is a vibe. It’s also an increasingly dominant force in the NFT ecosystem, with its pillars now including the most influential NFT protocol, the leading NFT creator platform, and the leading art-centric Ethereum Layer 2 (L2)

User-friendliness is a big factor here:

  • 🎨 Creatives can now sign up and create on Zora without a wallet and without crypto, meaning anyone can jump in. 
  • 💎 On the flip side, fans can collect any NFTs minting on Zora with ETH from any chain Zora supports without waiting for bridging. 
  • 📉 Also, since the introduction of blobspace via EIP-4844, average transaction fees on the Zora Network have fallen to $0.001, or one-tenth of a cent, making the L2 very affordable for NFT activity. 

Relatedly, artist-friendliness is another big factor in Zora’s growing strength: 

  • 🧑‍🎨️ Zora Create is one of the simplest DIY mint interfaces around. 
  • ⛓️ Artists can create and customize NFT drops on contracts they control on any of the supported chains, currently Ethereum, OP Mainnet, Base, Arbitrum, Blast, and Zora Network.  
  • 🔀 Additionally, splits let groups of creators automatically distribute earnings from mints among themselves. 
  • 🪙 The keystone, though, is Zora Protocol Rewards, which lets artists earn from Zora’s 0.000777 ETH protocol fee every time someone collects from their “free mints,” i.e. drops with no list price. Zora creators earned +$4M rewards in March 2024 alone this way. 

These utilities have attracted a large and passionate user base of creatives, many of whom are increasingly turning to the Zora L2. So far people have deployed over 426k NFT contracts and participated in over 10.6M mint transactions on Zora Network, which only launched in June 2023.  

However, another considerable draw for Zora is how it is constantly rolling out new functionalities. In recent months, the team has added Arbitrum and Blast, deployed Uniswap on Zora Network, and unveiled a slew of new features like paying via credit card, support for HTML drops, ERC-20 minting, and Canvas, a media remixer tool for putting anything onchain. 

Yet it’s not just the Zora team building around Zora!

For example, infra-wise Alchemy just brought Account Abstraction support to Zora Network, and Conduit just rolled out the ability to deploy L3s (like an L2 atop an L2) over Zora Network. On the app side of things, platforms like Warpcast, Interface, and Surreal are becoming new gateways for collecting and commenting on Zora mints, especially with the rise of scenecoins.

Taken altogether, the bull case for Zora going forward is if it keeps doing exactly what it’s doing now, i.e. continuing to be at the forefront of NFT UX, continuing to uplift onchain artists, continuing to add new features, and continuing to benefit from new infra and apps, particularly crypto social ones. 

Another thread to watch closely is whether Zora can keep becoming a hub for AI creativity. They’ve added support for AI layers in Canvas, and the team’s been thinking a lot about AI x onchain as evidenced by recent write-ups like AI+ and Mintellectual Property. There’s a lot more to come here, in my opinion. 

Of course, there will be challenges ahead as well. For example, the Zora Network is an adolescent L2, and the work to mature and decentralize it will continue for some time. But these challenges will bring opportunities, too, and if anyone can tackle them, it’s Zora.

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TOOL TIP
JokeRace

Season 2 of Crypto The Game just ended, but what if you wanted to put on your own NFT-powered contest?

If you have any ideas in this ballpark, big or small, you ought to check out JokeRace, a platform that makes it easy to run and incentivize onchain contests on a wide variety of different chains.

There's a ton of flexibility, from targeting a small allowlisted jury or opening submissions to anyone. Your limited only by your imagination when it comes to the challenges you can run!

For example, the Ethereum Foundation is currently using JokeRace to surface new Ethereum data viz graphics. That's just a taste of the possibilities here, so be sure to keep this platform on your radar.


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WATCH
Casey Rodarmor on Runes

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how the new Runes token standard on Bitcoin will be a huge catalyst for the Ordinals ecosystem. If you're curious about learning more here, Ordinals and Runes creator Casey Rodarmor just came on Bankless to give the full rundown on the coming Runes frontier. It's a can't-miss watch in my opinion, so check it out!

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