Thinking beyond Ethereum
While the markets bounce up and down it is important to remember that the builders keep building! That is why today I wanted to share this awesome interview that I did with Ardana, a Cardano based protocol. Cardano defi could be a very interesting area to keep on your radar moving forward. I also wanted to share this excellent report that Sam made on NFTs on Solana. As we all know Ethereum gas fees have made it so that buying, selling, and minting NFTs on Ethereum is a hobby for rick users only. However on Solana all of those actions costs pennies! So I hope you will enjoy this good overview of the Solana NFT world.
For anyone not familiar, what is Ardana?
Ardana is a DeFi hub built on the Cardano blockchain. Ardana provides Cardano’s users with tried and tested DeFi primitives that will catalyze and sustain it’s financial ecosystem. The first is a decentralized stablecoin platform which enables users to leverage supported Cardano native assets by generating stablecoins against them; the second is Danaswap, which enables high-efficiency swaps between stable asset-sets, and provides a venue for liquidity providers to earn trading fees & DANA rewards for their liquidity provisioning.
Ardana is an ecosystem of independently functioning, yet symbiotically operating DeFi protocols on Cardano. From a DeFi macro-perspective, Ardana & its constituent protocols have been designed individually & collectively to function as a financial base layer for the nascent Cardano decentralized economy by using historically proven protocol models based on capital efficiency, stability, and composability.
What does the Dana token?
The Ardana token (DANA) is the utility and governance token of the Ardana ecosystem which provides stakers with access to a share of the fees from Ardana and allows those who stake it to vote on changes to the project’s parameters. In order to exercise the governance & utility value of DANA, users will have to time-lock their DANA in the Ardana Reward Enhancement Module (AREM) where in exchange they will receive exDANA.
DANA is a Cardano Native Asset, users can obtain DANA either in the open market or through participation in any of Ardana’s various liquidity mining programs. DANA is currently trading on bitmart.com, gate.io, and mexc.com with plans to expand on more exchanges underway.
Tell us about your stablecoin?
Ardana will allow users to generate stablecoins against locked on-chain collateral. Users will be able to generate various currency stablecoins with dUSD being the premier stablecoin at launch. The Ardana Dollar (dUSD) is a decentralized, unbiased, on-chain, collateral-backed cryptocurrency soft-pegged to the US Dollar. dUSD is held in cryptocurrency wallets or within platforms, and is supported on Cardano.
Ardana Vaults will allow users to generate stablecoins against locked Cardano native token collateral deposited in our vaults. Ardana Vaults is a non-custodial & permissionless protocol and all generated stablecoins are backed on-chain by an excess collateral
dUSD is easy to access, generate and use. Users generate dUSD by depositing collateral assets into vaults within our protocol through unique smart contracts known as Collateralized Debt Positions (CDPs). This is how dUSD is entered into circulation and how users gain access to liquidity. Others obtain dUSD by buying it from brokers or exchanges, or simply by receiving it as a means of payment. Once generated, bought, or received, dUSD can be used in the same manner as any other cryptocurrency. It can be sent to others, used as payments for goods and services, and even held as savings.
Every dUSD and/or its corresponding currency variant in circulation is directly backed by excess collateral, meaning that the value of the collateral is higher than the value of the dUSD debt and all dUSD transactions are publicly viewable on the Cardano blockchain.
What is Danaswap?
Danaswap is a decentralized exchange designed to achieve high speed & ultra-low slippage multi-asset swaps between stablecoins and stable assets using multi-asset liquidity pools. Danaswap is an automated market maker (AMM) that automatically adjusts the concentration of a pool’s liquidity within a fixed range in order to create a tight spread between assets in the liquidity pool. This enables swaps to incur minimal slippage & fees without compromising the revenue of liquidity providers. Specifically, Danaswap is able to achieve minimal slippage even with 6-7 digit swaps between stablecoins or between tokens representing identical assets such as wrapped/synthetic Bitcoin.
Why did you choose to build on Cardano?
Cardano is a faster and cheaper blockchain to use. Furthermore, initial stablecoins on Cardano are largely algorithmic, so no other Cardano stablecoin is backed by collateralized assets. Combining Danaswap’s purpose-built AMM model with Cardano’s speed and sophistication allows DanaSwap to execute rapid and inexpensive transactions difficult to achieve on other chains or different liquidity.
As witnessed in Ethereum, for a DeFi economy to flourish there needs to be a decentralized solution that facilitates capital-efficient cross-liquidity between stable pairs. Opportunities present themselves in different forms. Chasing higher yields on farming, lending and arbitrage gaps between stablecoins or tokenized assets can require traders to quickly swap between one asset and another. Using the DanaSwap model, traders will be able to capitalize on these opportunities without the risk of high gas fees and significant slippage.
Tell us about your partnership with Near?
Through this partnership with NEAR, which includes a grant, Ardana will build the bridge infrastructure required for asset transfer between Cardano and NEAR. By connecting Cardano and NEAR and supporting integrations between projects on both ecosystems, Ardana will enable token transfers between the NEAR and Cardano blockchains and, later on, enable cross-chain smart contract functionality. The NEAR coin will also eventually be available as an asset on Cardano, and it will be usable as collateral on Ardana to mint stablecoins through our vaults.
What comes next for Ardana?
We’re proud to say that DANA token is currently live on several exchanges. It’s been an exciting past few months between working on platform development, securing critical partnerships, engaging our vibrant communities, and launching DANA token. We are looking forward to all that Ardana has coming.
First, we are working around the clock to bring our collateral vaults and dUSD to market in Q1 2022. Next, we will launch Danaswap, our stablecoin decentralized exchange. These are cornerstone defi primitives that any vibrant ecosystem needs. After our core platforms go live, we will eventually expand our stablecoin offerings to include some of the most traded currencies in the world, such as the GBP. This will then set the foundation for Ardana to bring the first scalable, decentralized forex market in the world. It will be beneficial for anyone to use our solution because of its time savings, capital efficiency, and easy accessibility to anyone in the world.
NFTs are primarily associated with Ethereum, but with the infamously high gas fees putting up a barrier to entry (at least until Ethereum 2.0 comes along), newcomers to the space are looking at other options, and Solana is establishing itself as an attractive layer 1 alternative for NFTs.
The great thing about Solana is that if you’re just curious about NFTs, then you can easily dip a toe, at not much expense. That in mind, let’s take a look at how to get started in the Solana NFT ecosystem, what the big collections are, and what’s happening at the moment.
The go-to and most popular Solana wallet is definitely Phantom, which operates as a Metamask-style browser extension. It’s easy to set up and use, and is supported on all the marketplaces.
If you’d like to try an alternative, then there’s Solflare, which has web-based, browser extension, and mobile versions.
There’s also Sollet, which again is available web-based, as a browser extension, and for mobile, but which actually warns you when you visit its website that it’s aimed at developers and advanced users. It’s perhaps not the best choice if you want to get started quickly without much prior knowledge.
Marketplaces and Tools
Solana’s NFT space is at an earlier stage of development than Ethereum’s, and so there isn’t a default major marketplace. In my opinion this is an attraction, as you get to participate in not just the evolution of the products themselves (the NFTs), but also the construction of the supporting systems.
Solsea is user-friendly, allows you to search for NFTs according to their style, for example 3D, PFP, photography, and so on, and links you easily from the collections to their websites and Twitter accounts.
Magic Eden offers a very smooth, nicely presented experience, and is easy to navigate and get around, with useful filters and activity trackers.
Solanart also works well, has a lot of listings, and contains a very useful stats page so you can get a quick idea of what people have been trading, and how prices and volume are doing.
Some other well-constructed contenders are Digital Eyes and Alpha Art Market. In general, the ecosystem feels new and developing, so it’s really a case of exploring what’s on offer. Having said that, the user experiences are smooth and fast with low transaction costs, and leave you thinking about just how far Solana might go in disrupting Ethereum’s dominance.
Beyond the dedicated Solana marketplaces, there’s also FTX, which supports both Ethereum and Solana NFTs.
The fun part, of course, is the NFTs, so let’s get on to them. Ethereum has CryptoPunks and BAYC, and while not quite hitting those stratospheric levels of exclusivity, Solana also has some heavyweight collections.
The first project that captured attention in a big way, and contributed significantly to the hype around Solana, was Degenerate Ape Academy, which launched in August. In a nutshell: 10,000 pieces, simian-themed, very expensive and unlikely to relinquish blue chip status.
Some other highly valued collections you might want to take a look at are Solana Monkey Business (expensive pixel art PFPs), Aurory (part of a huge play-to-earn gaming project), Galactic Geckos (cool-looking PFPs), Frakt (dark and atmospheric generative art), Abstratica (more colourful generative art), and SolPunks (the inevitable homage), although there’s a huge amount more to look around.
Some projects, such as Degenerative Ape Academy and Solana Monkey Business, have their own self-contained marketplaces.
Interesting New Projects
SkinFlip is a slick and ambitious looking project, involving cartoon turtles and a multichain gaming platform/marketplace. The NFT drop (that’s the turtles part) is a PFP collection, but the project as a whole looks focused on gaming utility.
DeFi Land is, in its own words, “a multi-chain agriculture-simulation web-game created to gamify decentralized finance”, which pretty much ticks all the boxes I’m looking for at the moment (although I’m flexible about the agriculture part).
Solamids is a metaverse type project that minted this week, in which you can acquire property within a 21-floor pyramid building that contains 4914 unique apartments. It has a very distinctive aesthetic, and an incredibly comprehensive, 25-page rarity breakdown.
And if you’re interested in Solana-based metaverse projects, then you might also want to take a look at Portals. Again, whether or not it will take off is a matter for speculation, so be aware of the risks if you choose to participate.
I expect there will be an increasing number of launches that promise metaverse-like environments, so you need to exercise caution before buying in on new projects.
Always Beware of Scams
This issue is by no means exclusive to Solana, but when you’re shopping for NFTs be constantly alert to the possibility of rugpulls and fraud. There have been numerous rip-offs over the past few months, from which scammers have pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in SOL.
Among others, projects that went by the names of Astrosols, Iconics, Baller Ape Club, Solana Towers and Technidroids all took the money and ran, so learn from others’ mistakes, and don’t pay for anything that you’re not sure (or as sure as you can be) is legit.
Thank you so much for your support, and I truly hope that today’s issue will give you insights needed to help you master your wealth.
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Lark and the Wealth Mastery Team
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