Monnfts — decentralized marketplace for all sorts of digital items
MonNFTs Founder Henry shared his thoughts on what it takes to build a decentralized market place, and intersection of art, gaming and DeFi.
What’s your background, and what are you working on?
My name’s Henry Tran. Before MonNFTs, I worked at NQI, Vina Design as a software engineer and started a company Monster Design. My co-founder, Dung Le, worked at FPT Soft.
Both Dung Le and I started getting excited about the blockchain space in the middle of 2015 and were particularly excited by CryptoKitties. CryptoKitties was the first decentralized app oriented towards a more mainstream audience, and the team did a lot of great work making Ethereum more accessible to regular users. Additionally, CryptoKitties gave birth to the idea of “layer two” games — games which were built on top of the original assets in a game.
Dung Le and I founded MonNFTs as an open, decentralized marketplace for all sorts of digital items — from game items to digital collectibles to digital art. We allow users to buy and sell any non-fungible asset on MON Token (BSC) that complies with open standards (BEP-20 for now). For game developers, we currently provide an open storefront creation process, where developers can immediately get a customizable marketplace for their items without having to worry about building any of the auctioning infrastructure themselves.
What went into building the MonNFTs?
We shipped the first version of MonNFTs within a couple of months, in order to get a product out there in the wild and start testing with early adopters. Luckily, users in the blockchain space tended to be somewhat lenient — they understand that the technology is early and rough around the edges.
The cryptocurrency landscape has evolved significantly since the founding of MonNFTs. The rapid pace of innovation here is exciting for MonNFTs, as more rich, varied applications can be built on more scalable blockchains. It’s also a challenge, as it requires us to abstract our user experience over a constantly-shifting underlying tech stack.
What’s your business model?
The business model for MonNFTs is straightforward and fair. The platform takes a 2.5% fee of each transaction that happens on App.monnfts.com, helping the platform grow along with the NFT economy. This business model helps in bringing together blockchain NFT creators, gaming enthusiasts and crypto investors on one platform.
This business model is really just a starting place for MonNFTs and allows us to generate some revenue in the early ecosystem. We think there is an incredibly wide design space for business models in the decentralized application world, especially for a digital asset marketplace. As space matures, we plan to explore these.
What are your goals for the future?
The core focus of MonNFTs is building the best marketplace for blockchain-based digital assets. The MonNFTs roadmap includes core upgrades to the marketplace functionality (for example, allowing users to swap mixed bundles of digital assets), expanding the set of partners that leverage MonNFTs as their primary marketplace, and exploring other chains beyond binance smart chain. At a high level, we’re excited about forming the building blocks to make the non-fungible token native to the internet.
What are your future thoughts for the DeFi market?
What excites me about DeFi and decentralized apps is that the design space is very wide, and we’re only at the very beginning of exploring it. At its core, blockchain is a coordination layer for applications to interact with each other in a trusted fashion. The first killer use cases for this coordination layer are financial primitives: exchange, lending, stable coins, etc.
Soon, however, I think we’ll see DeFi interact with the small but growing blockchain gaming ecosystem. Gaming often operates on the bleeding edge of new technologies. Many blockchain games blur the lines between games and real economies: one could imagine take a loan out using virtual Decentraland land as collateral or earning a living curating digital art for virtual museums.
I think we’ll see a new breed of entrepreneurs that leverage the DeFi ecosystem and build value in these new game economies. If you closely observe the blockchain gaming ecosystem today, you’ll find a vibrant primordial soup of ideas, and I think some of these will start to blossom over the next 5 years.