Rise of Rarible 2: A New Incentivized NFT Aggregator Launches In Time For Cryptoween

Zinger Key Points
  • Rarible has handed over governance of the Rarible protocol to the Rarible Foundation.
  • Rarible has redefined the site as an aggregator for listings on all major NFT marketplaces.
  • Rarible now offers RARI rewards tokens when users buy and list NFTs.
  • Locking 100 RARI tokens gives users zero transaction fees and voting rights.

Traveling ghouls and candy-seekers this Halloween may find their bags slightly light compared to previous years.

The price of bulk Halloween candy has increased over 13% among Hershey products, and the average household expects to spend $30 to $35 on candy, with a total of $10.6 billion spent on the spooky holiday in 2022, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

Of course, to the Web3 aficionado, fat sacks of candy are not the only bags they are watching closely, and not all of the Halloween festivities will take place IRL.

Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult is offering an in-game trick-or-treat opportunity, and the Halloween event runs from Friday, Oct. 28, to Monday, Oct. 31. 

Participants who knock on the door will receive a Treasure Box from the Nightmare Imp, with one out of 100-plus different (ERC-1155) items. Participating ghouls will also get a golden candy to forge an in-game Gilded Warrior Weapon and airdrops of tokens for a new game that is yet to be announced.

In the meantime, Rarible RARI/USD has introduced “Rarible 2.” Like the sequel to a good franchise, Rarible 2 is offering something a little new — a DAO-led, first-of-its-kind aggregated NFT marketplace fueled with RARI token incentives to keep users interacting with the new platform.

RARI token holders can lock 100 RARI in a token-locking contract, following a vote-escrowed (VE) model.

That means when you lock 100 RARI, you can vote on Rarible’s weekly featured $RARI Rewards Collections, govern the Rarible Protocol through the RARI Foundation, receive access to the special Discord channel and benefit from zero trading fees on items listed on Rarible. Rarible claims to be the first blue-chip NFT company to integrate a ve-model.

We spoke with Alex Salnikov, Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Rarible, to learn more about the strategy of moving to a NFT aggregator model and offering an incentive token. Alex will be speaking regarding the future of digital ownership at Benzinga’s Future of Crypto summit Dec. 7. 

BZ: What is the goal of Rarible 2? Is this new version of Rarible driven by the RARI Foundation?

Salnikov: “So there are a lot of goals in mind. It’s bigger than becoming an aggregator of NFTs.

Launching the RARI Foundation as an independent entity was very important in decentralizing Rarible. We follow the framework of progressive decentralization. At first, the government was working through a simple live vote. Then we updated the governance to fully on-chain — you can vote on chain, and there is on-chain treasury. The governance is now independent of the Rarible team. The future of the RARI token is fully in the hands of the RARI community. Now, the RARI foundation is the legal entity for that community that can enter into agreements or people and do all sorts of cool things. So that is just the grounds for the update.

The RARI Foundation passed a new proposal with a new rewards system. The previous program was stopped and the foundation passed the new proposal, and the update went live very recently. And if you go to Rarible.com, you find a new website and a new rewards program.”

BZ: What does Rarible 2 offer?

Salnikov: “So, the new Rarible tool is an aggregator that allows everybody to get the best prices across all marketplaces including LooksRare, OpenSea, and X2Y2. So it's a really cutting-edge aggregator. All items from everywhere are on sale, and you can buy them through Rarible. You can use it to make multiple purchases across platforms, so you can buy item number five from OpenSea and item number 10 from LooksRare. On Rarible, they will be all added to your shopping cart, you click one button, and all purchases are executive executed in bulk and you have all these items in your wallet.

The Rarible reward is an extra layer. So this is an aggregator, you buy items from all over the place, and use this slick interface. It shows your item right on the main items from the top collections right on the main page. We are really proud of this product. And the innovation is that this is the aggregator that offers you rewards. Aggregator and token – that is the core thing that nobody has yet done on the market.”

BZ: So as an aggregator you are more of a Kayak of NFTs than a Travelocity?

Salnikov: “Oh, yes, absolutely.”

BZ: What is that going to do to your business? How are you monetizing?

Salnikov: “What ultimately it’s going to do for our business is we're serving the users. And we do not monetize the aggregation model. So if you come to Rarible and you buy an item that is listed somewhere else, you will just pay the fees of the destination platform. But you will enjoy the Rarible interface and stay on the platform. And at some point, you'll start to buy items later on Rarible. That is the part that we monetize.”

BZ: And in this way, Rarible can be a one-stop destination?

Salnikov: “Yes, you're exactly right. Just bullseye.”

BZ: Do you think OpenSea will keep this dominance they have over the market? 

Salnikov: “They are in a good position, because the market shifted towards PFPs. And in PFPs, OpenSea was always No. 1. So they established themselves as a market leader. I think what's going to happen in the unbundling thesis – multiple categories will emerge into their own places, and marketplaces.  Some will continue to be bundled, and OpenSea will be pretty strong. They've got a great team, they are shipping quite fastly lately.”

BZ: Do you think the NFT market will break out into more niche audiences during this bear market? How do you expect the needs of NFT buyers to change?

Salnikov: “New use cases will drive the adoption in the same way that the new use case of PFPs drove the market landscape. For example, gaming NFTs are going to get more and more popular at some point. And they will feel less and less comfortable on the marketplaces that are not tailored to the gaming experience. Eventually, they'll branch out into gaming marketplaces. And for custom branded marketplace experiences as well.”

BZ: What are you looking to accomplish with RARI rewards?

Salnikov: “The goal of the RARI rewards is to move supply from other places to the Rarible orderbook. We reward people for buying through the Rarible aggregator, and we reward people for listing on the Rarible order book. Then they're logging their rewards and voting which collections are getting rewards next. When they earn at least 100 RARI, they become RARI prime members and enjoy the Rarible order book for free. The goal is to move liquidity to the Rarible order book. Then we use that infrastructure to power branded experiences and marketplaces. And they can create custom designs and custom UX that are tailored for their needs. And utilize an infrastructure that has supply and all the metadata. It’s like a fractionalized user experience tailored to specific needs, but at the same time working on this powerful infrastructure.”

The Last Word

This is a bold move from Rarible, as they continue to lean into a decentralized Web3 approach. Rather than competing for the top spot or relegating their business to serve a series of niches, Rarible continues the momentum they have had since they opened their API in 2021 – not by becoming a lone destination, but by helping everyone else build their custom marketplaces and sell their NFTs. It will be interesting to see if the new RARI incentive tokens with its voting and cost benefits attract greater participation. 

It’s tempting sometimes to call the NFT market space overcrowded – but Rarible is seeking to make harmony of the chaos by meeting the needs of everyone. 

Join Benzinga's first Future of Crypto live summit on Dec. 7 in New York City at Pier Sixty.

Some of the best minds and most important projects in Web3 will be in attendance, including Rarible, Cosmos, Yuga Labs, Solana, Laguna Labs and Algorand. Keynote speakers include Jordan Belfort, Kevin O’Leary and Anthony Scaramucci.

Cover uses images by LIMAT MD ARIF and Garrett from Pixabay. 

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