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Despite being all the rage for the last few years, NFTs have rarely been synonymous with Bitcoin or featured in the same sentence, given that the majority of NFT activity is happening on competing networks like Ethereum and Solana.
Yet, NFTs have finally found their way onto the Bitcoin blockchain. Thanks to the smart contract feature implemented during the recent Taproot upgrade, the Bitcoin network is now equipped to facilitate NFTs, DeFi, and other smart contract-powered products and services.
Although NFTs “on Bitcoin” do not exist purely on the Bitcoin blockchain (as ERC721 tokens do on Ethereum), they are secured by the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin-based projects like Counterparty, Stacks, and Liquid Network support the additional technical stacks that enable NFTs to be issued and secured using Bitcoin.
Since Bitcoin is the most liquid of crypto assets and known for its unmatched security, NFTs secured by the Bitcoin network leverage the legacy chain’s inherent features to verify the authenticity and supply of NFTs.
Unlocking Bitcoin’s True Potential
To that extent, several projects have started tapping into Bitcoin’s native liquidity by enhancing the overall UX (user experience) to implement solutions that enable Bitcoin wallets to directly own (and transfer) NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. For example, Stacks, the layer-1 scaling solution for Bitcoin, now allows users to purchase and transfer NFTs directly through purely Bitcoin-based transactions and enables them to mint these NFTs on Bitcoin’s blocks through its diverse range of smart contracts.
Due to Ethereum’s increasing problems related to gas fees and slow transaction throughput, many new NFT ecosystems have emerged across other blockchain networks. In this context, the Bitcoin NFT ecosystem, albeit young, is showing promising signs of growth and popularity. To date, more than seven NFT marketplaces have been launched on the Stacks blockchain, driving over 14,000 mints and pushing the overall Bitcoin NFT market capitalization past USD 20 million.
Unlike layer-2 solutions and sidechains, Stacks uses a consensus algorithm between two independent blockchains, ensuring decentralized apps (dApps) and smart contracts have access to Bitcoin’s liquidity and security. In this manner, Stacks can provide demonstrably higher transaction throughput while also relying on the Bitcoin network’s established capabilities for consensus and security to efficiently deliver new functionality for Bitcoin-powered dApps, DeFi, NFTs, and much more.
Accelerating The Growth Of Bitcoin-Secured NFTs
STXNFT, one of the fastest-growing Bitcoin NFT marketplaces built on the Stacks chain, is spearheading the expansion of the Bitcoin network into the NFT scene. Featuring the security of Bitcoin and the compatibility of Ethereum, STXNFT has emerged as a popular destination to mint and trade Bitcoin-secured NFTs.
Launched less than a year ago, STXNFT is driving the adoption of Bitcoin NFTs to new highs, with more than five of its listed projects raising over USD 100,000 through mints. According to the most recent report published by StacksOnChain, more than 200 unique NFT collections are currently listed on the STXNFT platform. At the same time, multiple other NFT projects listed on STXNFT have cumulatively crossed USD 2 million in secondary sales.
Furthering its growth, the STXNFT team recently launched its new brand Gamma.io – the Web3 social identity hub powered by NFTs. The Gamma.io platform consists of three core components: a user-first community marketplace, a creator-first launchpad, and a social platform.
Gamma aims to serve as the new home for collectors, creators, and investors looking to trade, discover, and showcase remarkable NFTs within the Bitcoin ecosystem. To mark the launch of its creator-first platform, the Gamma team is listing its “Together with Gamma” NFT collection, featuring original artworks from artists and makers. A dozen digital collectibles in various designs representing people coming together around Bitcoin and Web3 make up the collection, with 100% of the revenues and royalties going to the artists.
Gamma currently supports hundreds of NFT collections, of which nearly 500 were deployed through its no-code portal. In less than six months, the marketplace has processed millions of dollars of transactions and offers the highest number of NFT contracts compared to all other Bitcoin-based platforms.
Per the latest report, trading volume on the Gamma platform crossed past USD 3.5 million over the past six months, with USD 219,000 recorded during the last week of March 2022. The platform currently boasts over 4,000 unique buyers, with an average of 6.3 purchases per buyer, implying that there are many returning users on the platform. Additionally, Gamma.io has registered a surge in daily visitors, counting more than 128,400 unique visitors.
Powered by an ever-growing global community, the future looks promising for Bitcoin-secured NFTs. Meanwhile, projects like Stacks are continuously adding new functionalities to expand Bitcoin’s core features further. This, paired with the emergence of low-gas, no-code NFT platforms and marketplaces, will drive the mass adoption of Bitcoin-secured NFTs over the near future.
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