ApeCoin DAO wants to build an NFT Launchpad

ApeCoin DAO is currently voting on a proposal to launch “Puffles,” a user-friendly NFT launchpad designed to empower creators and boost the ApeCoin ($APE) ecosystem. But a question lingers: is this the right time for an NFT marketplace when the market itself seems to be shrinking?

According to “AIP-397: NFT Launchpad powered by $Ape,” Puffles will be a one-stop shop for creators to launch their NFT collections. Notably, the platform will offer a no-code solution that allows creators to mint, showcase, and trade their NFTs without needing extensive technical knowledge.

One of the main selling points of the launchpad is increased Utility for $APE. Puffles will utilize $APE as the primary currency for minting NFTs, driving demand and potentially increasing the value of the token. The creators of the proposal also believe that by fostering NFT creation and trading, Puffles can attract new projects and users to the ApeCoin community.

As for the financials, the team behind Puffles is requesting $15,000 USD from the ApeCoin Ecosystem Fund to cover design, development, testing, and auditing costs. The project is expected to take five months to complete, with a breakdown of costs provided in the proposal.

Community Reacts

ApeCoin DAO members are currently voting on whether to approve the Puffles proposal. As of press time, the proposal had received around 180 votes, with approximately 90% of the voting power backing the idea. Although voting will end on Thursday, the probability of the proposal being passed is quite high judging by current Snapshot results.

Although one of the voters kicked against the idea, labeling it a “DAO-milking proposal,” several others lauded it for its low budget. Memebrains wrote: “This is just such a low-cost AIP that I’d like to see how it goes, hope it goes well.”

Let’s Talk Numbers: Crowded Marketplace, Tight Budget

While Puffles offers potential benefits like increased $APE utility and a thriving ApeCoin ecosystem, the proposal arrives amidst a significant decline in NFT sales. After a booming 2021, NFT sales volume has continued to drop since 2022.

According to data from NFT aggregator CryptoSlam, sales reached a low of $1 trillion this month, down from around $4.4 trillion in April 2022. This came after a plunge to a two-year low of $300 million in October 2023.

Despite the decline, some experts believe the NFT market is simply maturing and refocusing, with a potential rise in lower-cost, more accessible NFTs.

A second aspect to consider is the already saturated NFT marketplace niche. Even in a thriving market, Puffles would face an uphill battle. The NFT marketplace is already fiercely competitive, with established giants like OpenSea and Rarible dominating the scene. These platforms benefit from network effects, a large user base, and significant brand recognition.

Puffles’ proposed budget of $15,000 seems modest compared to the marketing muscle of these established players. Attracting creators and users away from these entrenched platforms will be a significant challenge for Puffles.