Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
Joining the fund’s second wave is metaverse platform 9LEVEL9, which will sell tickets to virtual events as NFTs, fan-focused Japanese NFT marketplace Anifie, NFT sports platform Capital Block, XRP NFT marketplace NFT Master, NFT IP company SYFR Projects, NFT membership project ThinkingCrypto, and Cross-Metaverse Avatars.
Ripple’s Head of DeFi Markets Boris Alergant told Decrypt in an interview that the fund, whose first wave of participants was revealed in April, was created to accelerate XRP’s NFT economy.
NFTs are unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership—and can be connected to a wide range of different assets, from event tickets to digital art to physical merchandise. Ethereum remains the most popular blockchain for NFTs today and saw just under $350 million in total volume traded in September on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, according to Dune Analytics.
The XRP Ledger (XRPL) is a decentralized, public blockchain led by a global developer community, designed to be fast, energy efficient, and reliable.
“The Ripple Creator Fund and XRP Ledger are leveling the playing field for artists. It is up to teams like SYFR Projects who are in the thick of the music industry to innovate leveraging the capabilities of the XRPL,” said Sean O'Leary, founder of SYFR Projects, in a statement.
Alergant said Ripple’s Creator Fund applications were judged and voted upon by a group that includes representatives from the XRP Ledger Foundation and Ripple as well as unspecified community members.
“We’re definitely committed to that $250 million and to seeing that innovation on the ledger,” Alergant said, but did not specify how much each creator would receive.
“We tried not to blow it all in one place,” he said.
It might come as a surprise to some that Ripple is still allocating all of the $250 million despite the ongoing bear market, where NFT volume has plummeted to just a fraction of what it was in Q1 and Q2 of this year. But Alergant doesn’t think anyone should be scared of the ongoing crypto downturn.
“I’ve seen bear markets. Ripple has seen, you know, a ton of bear markets,” Alergant said.
“The innovation that comes out during these bear markets—it’s really when people sit down and build and these interesting new use cases and awesome things come out,” he recalled.
Alergant is especially excited about XRPL-based NFTs. Developers have created an NFT standard for XRPL called XLS-20, which Alergant believes will make the experience “more accessible” for Web2 developers dabbling in NFTs.
“Web2 developers can really use the NFT standard and interact with it simply with API calls as opposed to coding on smart contracts,” he said.
At time of writing, XLS-20 has not yet been implemented on the XRPL Mainnet.
Ripple has received roughly 4,000 applications for its Creator Fund in total. It plans to announce its third and final wave of Creator Fund recipients sometime in Q4 of this year.