Metaplex launches and airdrops its governance MPLX tokens as a reward for non-U.S.-based Solana NFT creators and will be used to establish a DAO to facilitate community governance.
On Tuesday, Metaplex launched its governance token MPLX and conducted an airdrop for Solana NFT creators not based in the United States. Incidentally, Metaplex is the creator of the Solana NFT protocol of the same name. Metaplex made it clear that MPLX tokens are only available and intended for non-U.S. creators.
According to Metaplex, the MPLX token will govern the Metaplex protocol and allow users to manage the platform. It is likewise launching a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which will decentralize the governance of the MPLX token.
Why Was the MPLX Token Launched?
As Solana network’s NFT protocol creator, Metaplex is practically striking while the iron is hot. That’s because Solana NFTs have been gaining traction lately, thanks to projects that have generated tremendous interest from NFT enthusiasts—y00ts and ABC.
Metaplex is leveraging Solana NFTs’ rise with the launch of the MPLX token and decentralizing its governance via a DAO. The MPLX token was announced over the weekend through a series of tweets on Metaplex’s official Twitter account.
The MPLX tokens were airdropped on Tuesday and made available to NFT creators using the Solana protocol. Metaplex did not disclose how many MPLX tokens the creators would receive. Nevertheless, they attached a caveat to the token rewards. Solana NFT creators who live in the United States are not eligible for the airdrop, most likely due to regulatory concerns.
Purpose of the MPLX Token
As mentioned earlier, Metaplex will use the MPLX token to launch a DAO—an online community wherein membership is represented by tokens. That means MPLX token holders will be granted members’ privileges; in this case, token holders can vote on governance proposals concerning the NFT protocol. Metaplex has also opened a claims website where eligible wallets can receive the token.
“MPLX holders will steer the direction of the protocol through the Metaplex DAO, delivering on the promise of a decentralized and community-owned creator platform,” Metaplex tweeted.
Per the Metaplex Foundation, the protocol has been instrumental in minting 20 million Solana NFTs to date. These yielded over $3.5 billion worth of initial and secondary sales. Metaplex also shared that more than 2.4 million creators and collectors have interacted with those NFTs. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how many eligible creators there actually are in the mix.
Metaplex did take a snapshot of eligible creators on August 24. Based on the snapshot, only users who created NFTs via Metaplex during the time it was taken were eligible for the airdropped MPLX token reward.
The protocol also intimated that project creators flagged as “rug pullers,” that is, creators who received money from users and then vanished or closed the project without delivering on their promises—were not included in the airdrop. Per the company, it had to enlist the assistance of TRM Labs, a digital asset compliance form, to remove rug pull projects from the token airdrop.
“There’s no room for rug pulls in the Metaplex DAO,” Metaplex tweeted.
What may or may not have sat well with “assumed” recipients of the airdropped MPLX tokens was that the criteria for the airdrop exclusion were unclear. Rug pulling can mean many different things to different collectors, and Metaplex was ambiguous on this aspect.
In fact, a Metaplex representative contacted for comment did not elaborate on the criteria when asked. All it said was that Metaplex has “removed hundreds of wallets believed to belong to bad actors.”
In January, the Metaplex Foundation raised $46 million in a funding round co-led by Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto. Participants in the funding were Animoca Brands, Solana Ventures, and Alameda Research. Over 90 individual investors, including NBA legends Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan, likewise participated.
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