Solana NFTs are on the rise again lately thanks to buzzy projects like y00ts and ABC, and now the creator of the network’s NFT protocol is striking while the iron’s hot: Metaplex has announced plans to launch a token and decentralize its governance via a DAO.
Metaplex’s MPLX token was announced over the weekend and will drop today, and NFT creators who used the Solana protocol are eligible to receive a yet-undisclosed allotment of tokens. There’s one big caveat, however: United States residents are not eligible for the airdrop, presumably due to regulatory concerns.
Metaplex plans to open its claims website later today, enabling eligible wallets to receive the MPLX token. The utility token will be used to launch a DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization—an online community in which membership is represented via tokens. MPLX token holders will be able to vote on governance proposals regarding the NFT protocol.
“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.
According to the Metaplex Foundation, the protocol has been used to mint 20 million Solana NFTs to date, yielding more than $3.5 billion worth of sales between initial and secondary sales. All told, Metaplex says that more than 2.4 million creators and collectors have interacted with such NFTs, although it’s not clear how many eligible creators there are in the mix.
Metaplex took a snapshot of eligible creators on August 24, according to a tweet reply, which means that only users who created NFTs via Metaplex by the time of the snapshot will be eligible.
Additionally, Metaplex wrote that creators of projects that were deemed “rug pulls”—that is, creators that took money from users and then disappeared and/or did not deliver on promises—will be filtered out of the airdrop. The company said that it enlisted digital asset compliance firm TRM Labs to help it remove such projects from the token airdrop.
“There’s no room for rug pulls in the Metaplex DAO,” Metaplex tweeted.
However, the term “rug pull” can mean different things to different collectors, and the criteria for the airdrop exclusion is currently unclear. A Metaplex representative did not elaborate on the criteria when asked, but told Decrypt that it has “removed hundreds of wallets believed to belong to bad actors.”
The Metaplex Foundation raised $46 million in a round co-led by Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto in January, with Animoca Brands, Solana Ventures, and Alameda Research also onboard. More than 90 individual investors also took part, including basketball legends Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.