Historically, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been meant to reside on one blockchain forever, and people are now used to this status quo. But what if we thought about this in a different light? For example: “Picasso’s paintings can only be bought, sold, or displayed in France. Nowhere else.”
Ridiculous, right? We agree. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to introduce the Metis NFT Hub.
Starting today, NFT enthusiasts will be able to bridge NFTs back and forth between Ethereum Layer 1 and the Metis Andromeda network. This bridge will enable NFTs to be bought, sold, and even displayed outside of Ethereum, and will serve as the focal point for a larger NFT Hub. Users can now use the Metis NFT Bridge at https://nftbridge.metis.io.
The inspiration for the new Metis NFT Bridge comes from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. In a September 2021 post on the ETHResearch forum, Buterin introduced the idea of “Wrapped NFTs”. Wrapped NFTs allow users to mint NFTs on a chain, then move them to another chain to take advantage of more attractive prices/fees, arbitrage opportunities, or even collateral in some cases, without losing any single attribute.
Buterin’s initial post inspired further exploration by Metis Integration Manager Pavel Sinelnikov, who expanded on the idea of NFT Bridge functionality in a follow-up ETHResearch post (with further expansion in this Metis Medium post). Add both their contributions, plus months of hard work by the Metis development team, and we get the new Metis NFT Bridge.
A very common NFT arbitrage opportunity that people don’t think about would be simply taking advantage of the lower transaction fees in Andromeda. Whenever a user buys an NFT on Ethereum, they’re going to spend a ton in fees — sometimes hundreds of dollars. Meanwhile on the Metis Andromeda network, minting an NFT currently costs about a buck; at the end of March, it will cost just cents. Thus both NFT buyers and NFT sellers end up benefiting by doing business on Andromeda.
A more severe problem that Ethereum users may face when trying to mint a particularly popular collection is a case of NFT gas wars, which go like this: If you want to mint a $1,000 NFT from a hyped collection, be ready to spend $2,000: $1,000 for the NFT and another $1,000 to make your gas fee “proposal” attractive enough to stand out from the rest in the eyes of network validators. Meanwhile, Andromeda’s much lower minting costs eliminate the possibility of these types of intense gas wars.
None of these benefits factor in some of the other advantages that come with many of the NFT collections available on Andromeda. For instance, BinaryDAO NFT holders gain the benefit of boosted APY for staking BYTE tokens. Starting in April, holders of StarLedger NFTs automatically benefit from a profit-sharing plan. Several other NFT collections also airdrop bonus NFTs directly to your wallet simply for holding.
How to use the NFT Bridge: Ethereum to Andromeda
How to use the NFT Bridge: Andromeda to Ethereum
Today’s NFT Bridge launch is just the beginning for the larger Metis NFT Hub.
First, keep in mind that this is the very first live version of a brand new product. As such, the user experience won’t be quite as seamless now as it will be in the future. Smoother UX will be a major focus of our future upgrades, which will made continuously in the weeks to come.
In the future, batch transfers of large numbers of NFTs at once will also become possible. That adds even more benefits for users who want to take advantage of the lower fees on Andromeda, or others who hope to profit by bridging native and rare Andromeda NFTs to Ethereum marketplaces such as OpenSea or LooksRare.
In addition, Metis plans to implement the same bridge partner strategy already in place for fungible token deposits and withdrawals connecting Andromeda to other blockchain networks. Just as you can avoid the usual seven-day withdrawal period to Ethereum associated with Layer 2 Rollups by using one of our third-party bridge partners instead, you’ll soon be able to do the same via third-party NFT bridge partners (details to be announced in the coming weeks).
And that’s just for Ethereum. In the future, Metis hopes to establish links from Andromeda to numerous other blockchain networks for NFT bridging, via some of the same partners who currently work with us to enable fungible token bridging.
Finally, stay tuned for the launch of the Metis NFT storage layer. Thanks to our partnerships with Memo Labs and Myel Network, as well as months of innovative building by our dev team, Metis will soon enable cheap and secure native storage of NFTs (and other large blocks of data), solving one of the biggest pain points for high-level NFT users. That storage layer will double as an extra scalability layer, enabling gas fees on Andromeda to drop to about 30 cents at the end of March, with the possibility for further fee reduction as both Metis and Ethereum continue to evolve.
Add all of these features — along with some exciting new NFT marketplace partners and new collections coming soon to Andromeda — and you have an all-encompassing NFT Hub. One that will establish Metis as a leading network for both NFT artists and collectors.
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