Solana Gets New NFT Standard, Metaplex Will Give Fees to DAO for Potential MPLX Rewards



The Metaplex Foundation revealed Monday that it is launching a new non-fungible token (NFT) standard for Solana that is cheaper to mint and easier for developers to work with—and crucially, given recent congestion, it requires substantially less Solana network compute too.

The Metaplex Core standard, the Foundation exclusively shared with Decrypt, is billed as a next-generation NFT standard for the Solana network, cutting mint costs and network demand by more than 80% compared to the existing Token Metadata standard on Solana.

“Core is a culmination of our learnings since we introduced the first Solana NFT standard back in early 2021,” Metaplex Foundation Director Stephen Hess told Decrypt. “It rethinks the concept of digital assets on Solana from the ground-up, optimizing for cost, extensibility, and performance.”

Minting an NFT with the Core standard could cost as low as 0.0037 SOL (about $0.70), the Foundation said as an example, compared to 0.0220 SOL ($4.25) with the Token Metadata standard. While Solana’s Bubblegum standard for compressed NFTs (or cNFTs) remains cheaper, it also has certain trade-offs and is still only intended for mass-scale mints.

Metaplex Core is entirely focused on NFTs, not fungible tokens, and as a result has been streamlined substantially for developer use. While the Token Metadata standard must interact with multiple Solana accounts, Core reduces that total to just one—something that Metaplex says can “improve network performance for Solana more broadly.”

But streamlined doesn’t also mean limited, the Foundation suggests. That’s because Metaplex Core comes with substantial plugin support, letting developers bake in various additional features such as “built-in staking” and “asset-based point systems,” according to a release.

Further documentation shared with Decrypt shows that Core could unlock advanced collecting mechanics on Solana, such as burn-to-mint functionality that encompasses many more assets—up to potentially 70 NFTs burned in a single transaction. That’s up from just 3-4 NFTs at once using the Token Metadata standard.

The Foundation said that collection-level changes will also be easier with Core, and that the standard will also enable improved compatibility between NFT standards on other chains via potential plug-ins from cross-chain projects like LayerZero or Wormhole.

Metaplex is deploying the Core standard to devnet Monday along with releasing the open-source code, with plans to have the standard ready on Solana mainnet by NFT NYC in early April. Claynosaurz says it will use Core for its NFT NYC “Booster Packs,” as well as for its Dactyl Raffle, while NFT marketplace Tensor has already committed to supporting the standard.

“We named the program Core because we see it sitting at the center of the next wave of innovation in digital assets, supporting thousands of artists, communities, Web3 games, real-world assets, and decentralized applications,” Hess added. “With Core activated on devnet, we’re excited to work with a battle-hardened builder community and the next generation of entrepreneurs that are proving out what’s only possible on Solana in real time.”

In addition to launching the new standard, the Metaplex Foundation has committed to putting 50% of the all-time fees from the Metaplex protocol into the Metaplex DAO treasury via the MPLX token. That means the community can vote on how the funds are ultimately used for further adoption.

The MPLX token was launched on Solana in September 2022 and airdropped to creators who used the protocol in the past, but the token itself hasn’t had significant utility to date. The Metaplex Foundation will take 50% of all earlier protocol fees and use it to buy MPLX to give to the DAO treasury, with 50% of future fees used for the same purpose.

The community of MPLX token holders can then collectively decide what to do with those funds, whether it’s burning them to cut the supply, developing staking rewards, or other potential moves ahead.



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