Solana Monkey Business Has a New Owner: NFT Exchange Hadeswap – Decrypt

Solana Monkey Business Has a New Owner: NFT Exchange Hadeswap.

One of Solana’s most popular NFT projects just changed hands, but will the DAO of NFT holders be receptive to the new owners?

Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023.

Solana Monkey Business is a popular NFT collection on the Solana network. Image: Solana Monkey Business.

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Solana Monkey Business (SMB), one of the earliest and most valuable NFT projects on the Solana blockchain, has a new owner. Hadeswap —a Solana NFT marketplace—today announced that it has acquired the IP rights to the project.

Hadeswap, a unique type of marketplace that uses an automated market maker (AMM) and trading pools instead of traditional item listings, purchased the rights to Solana Monkey Business from the original creators and plans to further support the prominent project.

On a webpage announcing the news , Hadeswap said that it intends to «respect the legacy» of Solana Monkey Business while «bridging the gaps on its shortcomings» and making the project more accessible to a broader audience. The platform also plans to integrate the project within its Hadeswap and HADES token ecosystem.

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.

Solana Monkey Business launched in June 2021 as one of the first projects in the nascent Solana NFT space, launching 205 initial pixel collectibles showing a monkey in space. The larger Gen2 collection spanned 5,000 NFT profile pictures (PFPs) , which have become popular amongst Solana collectors over the last year-plus.

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The Gen2 assets have a current floor price (or NFT price of the cheapest listed NFT) of about 283 SOL on leading marketplace Magic Eden , or nearly $5,800. That’s the second highest starting price for any large-scale Solana NFT project with at least 1,000 pieces, following DeGods .

But according to data from CryptoSlam , SMB has generated more trading volume (in USD) than any other Solana project—about $159 million worth. In large part, NFT that’s because it was popular when SOL was near its peak price of $260 in late 2021, as opposed to its current price level of around $20.

Despite the project’s continued prominence, the original SMB creators have faced considerable pushback from NFT owners. Many of the NFT owners formed an unofficial online collective or DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) called MonkeDAO to further the project and interest NFT projects expand its ecosystem.

This time last year, MonkeDAO was engaged in a public battle with the creators of the project over recognition and funding for DAO projects. Some members said they were considering «wrapping» their NFTs to turn them into new assets, thus allowing them to remove the creators’ secondary sale royalty (which is how the original creators generate revenue)—and redirect those funds into the DAO instead.

Ultimately, the two sides came to a truce and buried the fight without any rash measures, with Solana Monkey Business agreeing to help fund DAO efforts. But now with Hadeswap taking over the project, it’s unclear whether MonkeDAO will be an ally.

On its announcement website, Hadeswap said that it’s talking to MonkeDAO members and hopes to «[work] closely with one of the most powerful and efficient DAOs Web3 has ever seen.»

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«We want to make sure that we can support the MonkeDAO in achieving their own vision,» pseudonymous Hadeswap representative rawr told Decrypt , «and we’re hoping to be able to maintain a very strong relationship with them!»

MonkeDAO’s move.

In a tweet today , MonkeDAO said that it only first spoke with Hadeswap about the acquisition on Sunday and that there’s no alliance in place yet. Pseudonymous MonkeDAO CEO and co-founder Nom told Decrypt that he learned about the news on Friday, and got specifics on Saturday.

«We have not formed a partnership agreement at this time, but MonkeDAO is open to dialogue with the HadesDAO team to determine the best path forward for all interested parties,» MonkeDAO tweeted. «The acquisition of SMB by HadesDAO does not change SMB holder’s access to MonkeDAO, nor does it grant HadesDAO 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… — MonkeDAO🍌 (@MonkeDAO) February 13, 2023.

MonkeDAO still plans to release its own NFT collection «in the upcoming months,» which appears to build upon the original Solana Monkey Business vibe with an expanded set of PFP designs and character attributes.

«The MonkeDAO team is just as surprised as you are with the Hadeswap SMB acquisition,» tweeted attorney and MonkeDAO member Ariel Givner. «After months of discussions with the SMB devs, unfortunately it did not pan out,» she added, invest in nft suggesting that the DAO itself had also tried to acquire the project.

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Nom confirmed to Decrypt that MonkeDAO had indeed been in the process of trying to buy the SMB IP from the creators when the Hadeswap deal went through. He said that MonkeDAO was «in the process of setting up [a special purpose vehicle] for the purchase» of the IP and that both the SMB team and MonkeDAO members were aware of that step in the process.

«We had known there were other buyers previously that hadn’t worked out, so I don’t think we were completely blindsided,» he explained to Decrypt . «It was unexpected for sure.»

Hadeswap, which just launched last fall, said that its own HadesDAO community will spearhead future development around the project. The Hadeswap platform was created by the pseudonymous NFT investor HGE, who is also behind popular Solana NFT project ABC and the Ethereum-based OpenDAO and its associated SOS token.

Hadeswap does not require traders to pay creator royalties on sales, potentially cutting off further funding for MonkeDAO. Rawr, the Hadeswap representative, declined to share further details on terms of the deal.

The move recalls one that happened in the Ethereum space just less than a year ago, when Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs purchased the rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP from original creator Larva Labs. Yuga has since given CryptoPunks owners more rights around their NFTs and developed initiatives around the influential project.

Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to include comments from Hadeswap and MonkeDAO representatives.

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