As we’ve noted before, NFTs are hot. Red hot.

Coindesk reports that markets for NFTs hit record highs in trading volume and average prices in the past week. NFTs are even outperforming Bitcoin — check this out, courtesy ARTnews:

The price of Bitcoin is down but, contrary to conventional wisdom, the market for NFTs has not faded. The NFT phenomenon dominated the first quarter of 2021, culminating on March 11th with Beeple’s record price of $69 million at Christie’s. A month later, in mid-April, the price of Bitcoin reached its apex around $63,500. Since then Bitcoin’s dollar price has dropped by more than half. Nevertheless, NFT sales have not just remained on par with the pace of the first quarter of 2021, according to a Dapp Industry Report, but exceeded them in the second quarter. 

DappRadar, which tracks blockchain sales, saw that in the second quarter of 2021 NFTs brought in $2.4 billion, slightly above the first quarter’s $2.3 billion. These numbers don’t even account for off-chain sales, transfers that take place through auction houses, as with the Beeple sale. The same report found that sales spiked 111.46% compared to Q1, with the number of active wallets also jumping 151.89% in the same time period.”

There’s a reason the Korean media frequently calls NFTs “the second Bitcoin.”

Stepping into this exciting space is the Craft Network.

Scheduled to officially launch today (Aug. 3), the community-owned, ICON-based NFT marketplace lets you trade and mint NFTs, including artwork, domains and more. You can even earn tokens as you buy and sell tokenized collectibles.

As ICON product manager TJ Hunt (i.e., this guy) noted, the Craft Network opens an ocean of opportunities:

Craft launch will create countless opportunities on ICON. Having a protocol where you can mint/trade NFTs takes away a bottleneck for current (and future) NFT projects on ICON, allowing them to focus specifically on building successful communities and creating utility.”

Mint, sell and buy

Built by ICX Station and, Craft Network is, broadly speaking, a two-pronged service.

On one hand, artists and other creators can “craft” — i.e., mint — their NFTs. This is a pretty simple process. Log in by connecting ReliantNode’s Hana wallet, hit “craft,” fill in the required information, upload the file, mint the NFT token on the ICON blockchain (requires a small transaction fee), and add your collectible to the Craft database.

That’s it.

The simple, intuitive process is not without flexibility. For instance, you can choose to receive royalty fees from secondary sales, and you can create collections of items rather than individual, stand-alone items.

Collection options allow for standard, semi-customizable and fully customizable collections — the last option allows you full ownership and control over your collection, but requires technical knowledge of smart contracts.

Naturally enough, the marketplace is where users buy and sell collectibles. Just hover over and click the card of a collectable to get information on the item, including its collection, creator, current owners, total copies, owners and transaction history. If you decide to buy, you can pay the full asking price or offer to negotiate with the seller.

The platform adds a service fee of 2% on the sales price.

Sellers, meanwhile, can list or delist their minted creations at will. Royalties to the creator are deducted from the sales price.

The $CFT: tokenized governance

The Craft Network is owned and operated by the community, allowing stakeholders to decide things such as “which NFTs deserve more spotlight, which artists are underrated and should be famous, what features to be added next, platform fee adjustments and much more.”

The marketplace’s $CFT governance token makes all this possible. $CFT tokens can be mined in two ways: buying and selling on the network (called “Marketplace Liquidity Mining”) and staking $CFT/$sICX liquidity pairs via the Balanced Network, ICON’s decentralized bank.

Marketplace Liquidity Mining accounts for 40% of the total $CFT supply, while LP Staking Rewards will account for 10%.

Another 20% will be allocated to a DAO fund to pay for network developments in a way similar to ICON’s CPS program. The Craft Network team has a number of ideas for improvements, including loyalty programs and membership tier benefits.

However, the team notes:

While we have many other good ideas in the pipeline, our team strongly believes that this should be a collaborative effort so we will not proceed to implementation before speaking with our community.”

We here at The Iconist love NFTs. And we love digital art. So we can’t wait to see what the Craft Network brings us.