One of the first and most valuable NFT projects on the Solana blockchain, Solana Monkey Business (SMB), has a new owner.
Today, Solana NFT marketplace Hadeswap announced that it had purchased the project’s IP rights.
The rights to Solana Monkey Business were acquired from the original creators by Hadeswap, a novel type of marketplace that uses an automated market maker (AMM) and trading pools rather than conventional item listings, and has plans to continue to support the well-known project.
Hadeswap stated its intentions to “respect the legacy” of Solana Monkey Business while “bridging the gaps on its shortcomings” and making the project more approachable to a larger audience on a webpage announcing the news. The platform also intends to incorporate the project into the ecosystem of its Hadeswap and HADES tokens.
Hadeswap acquires SolanaMonkeyBusiness🐒
→ @Hadeswap transfers ownership to HadesDAO to lead the initiative
→ Dedicated team of contributors, ops, devs and culture leaders to reinforce the SMB brand
→ Involvement in @Hadeswap‘s DAO funding & proposals
Full Press Release ↓
— SolanaMonkeyBusiness 🐒 (@SolanaMBS) February 13, 2023
One of the first initiatives in the emerging Solana NFT market, Solana Monkey Business, debuted in June 2021 with the release of 205 initial pixel collectibles featuring a monkey in space. Over 5,000 NFT profile pictures (PFPs), which have grown in popularity among Solana collectors over the past year or so, made up the larger Gen2 collection.
On popular marketplace Magic Eden, the Gen2 assets currently have a floor price (or price of the cheapest listed NFT) of about 283 SOL, or almost $5,800. For any significant Solana NFT project involving at least 1,000 pieces, that is the second-highest starting price, right behind DeGods.
However, data from CryptoSlam shows that SMB has produced more trading volume (in USD) than any other Solana project, amounting to about $159 million. That’s mainly because, as opposed to its current price of around $20, it was well-liked when SOL was close to its peak price of $260 in late 2021.
Despite the project’s continued popularity, the NFT owners have been very critical of the original SMB creators. To advance the project and develop its ecosystem, many NFT owners established an unofficial online collective or DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) called MonkeDAO.
Around this time last year, MonkeDAO and the project’s designers were in a public argument over how to recognize and support DAO ventures. Some members mentioned that they were thinking about “wrapping” their NFTs to make them into new assets. By doing this, they would be able to remove the secondary sale royalty—which is how the original authors make money—and instead channel that money into the DAO.
In the end, Solana Monkey Business agreed to contribute funds to DAO initiatives, and the two sides reached a truce and put the conflict to rest without resorting to drastic measures. But now that Hadeswap is in charge of the project, it’s not clear if MonkeDAO will be a partner.
Hadeswap stated on its announcement website that it is in contact with MonkeDAO participants and desires to “[operate] closely with one of the most powerful and efficient DAOs Web3 has ever seen.”
Anonymous Hadeswap spokesperson rawr stated, “We want to ensure that we can support the MonkeDAO in accomplishing their own vision and we’re hoping to be able to retain a very good relationship with them!
MonkeDAO said in a tweet today that no alliance has yet been formed and that it only spoke with Hadeswap about the acquisition for the first time on Sunday. Nom, the CEO and co-founder of pseudonymous MonkeDAO, claimed to have learned of the news on Friday and received more information on Saturday.
Although a collaboration deal has not yet been established, MonkeDAO tweeted that it would willing to talk with the HadesDAO team about the best course of action for all parties involved. “Neither does the SMB holder’s access to MonkeDAO change as a result of HadesDAO’s acquisition of SMB, nor does HadesDAO get access to MonkeDAO’s governance.”
We have been informed that HadesDAO has purchased the Solana Monkey Business (SMB) NFT project and its IP.
HadesDAO reached out to the MonkeDAO Executive Team, and we had our first meeting to discuss their acquisition of SMB on February 12th. We have not formed a partnership… https://t.co/4I7spiOGGZ
— MonkeDAO🍌 (@MonkeDAO) February 13, 2023
The Solana Monkey Business concept seems to be expanded upon in MonkeDAO’s next NFT collection, which will feature an extended range of PFP designs and character traits.
Lawyer and MonkeDAO member Ariel Givner tweeted,
The MonkeDAO team is just as startled as you are by the Hadeswap SMB acquisition.
She continued, implying that the DAO had also tried to acquire the project,
After months of conversations with the SMB devs, regrettably it did not pan out.
Nom acknowledged that, at the time the Hadeswap transaction closed, MonkeDAO had been actively attempting to acquire the SMB IP from its founders. He said that both the SMB team and MonkeDAO members were informed that MonkeDAO was “in the process of putting up [a special purpose vehicle] for the purchase” of the IP.
We stand with @MonkeDAO.
— MonkeDAO🍌 (@MonkeDAO) February 13, 2023
He said, “I don’t think we were completely startled. We knew there were other bidders prior that hadn’t worked out. It was definitely unexpected.
The recently opened Hadeswap website stated that the HadesDAO community would lead further project development. The anonymous NFT investor HGE, who previously founded the well-known Solana NFT project ABC and the Ethereum-based OpenDAO and its associated SOS coin, developed the Hadeswap platform.
The lack of a requirement for traders to pay creator royalties on sales on Hadeswap may prevent MonkeDAO from receiving additional funding. The Hadeswap representative, Rawr, denied to provide more information about the agreement’s specifics.
The transaction is similar to one that took place in the Ethereum sector just over a year ago, when Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, bought the rights to the original inventor Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks and Meebits IP. Since then, Yuga has expanded ownership rights for NFTs held by owners of the influential project, CryptoPunks, and created campaigns in its honor.
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