As the year draws to a close, it's fitting to write about the outlook of next year. Specifically, growth triggers for Secret NFTs in 2022.
When writing about Stashh as a growth trigger (a dApp closely linked to Secret NFTs) - I raised a risk that needs to be addressed which could turn Stashh into a negative growth trigger.
To round it off, I wrote about an enabler of growth rather than a growth trigger: the performance of Secret Network.
We saw what happened earlier this year with Tarantino NFTs.
Secret NFTs are a new addition to Secret Network, the community is relatively small compared to Ethereum NFTs or Solana NFTs. Yes, size does matter. Users, volume and TLV is lower in Secret Network. But that's OK. It takes time to build. It takes time to get adoption and effectively grow these values.
Secret Network is on the verge of breaking into top 100 networks in terms of market capitalization. We are already there in terms of utility. Secret Network's programmable privacy is a game changer due to its flexibility and the blockchain's bridging capabilities. The native dApps being built are all of the highest quality, comparable to great dApps in the top 25 networks.
The reason why I mention this is that greater adoption of Secret Network will drive greater adoption of Secret NFTs. The opposite is true, of course, that Secret NFTs can drive adoption for Secret Network, but to a smaller degree. Because Secret NFTs are new, there is not too much infrastructure around it, the community is relatively small at this point - effectively the reach is limited and it is difficult to reach beyond Secret Network's ecosystem. That could easily change, though, we saw what happened earlier this year with Tarantino NFTs.
When Tarantino NFTs were announced in November 2021, media was all over it. Through various angles, Secret NFTs were covered in mainstream media creating exposure that no one could have expected:
And thousands of other websites of various quality and reach. Sure, a lot of outlets were covering the fuss around Quentin Tarantino's potential copyright infringement. But in this case, all publicity is good publicity. In the end, Quentin Tarantino seem to have his ass covered as his legal team is on their way to get the claim thrown out.
However, no final court decision was reached yet. Meaning that this could drag on, and potentially bring more free advertisements to Secret NFTs. Even if the majority of interest would be for the Tarantino NFTs specifically, a percentage of that will trickle down to Secret NFTs in general, and the overall Secret Network. From what I've read, Tarantino is in good shape legally, even if it goes to court. If he wins an actual court case, that would remove any factor of "bad" news, and it will all be good news, or rather, great news for Secret NFTs. Even more coverage will follow.
By all indicators, the actual Tarantino NFT collection will go live some time in Q1 2022. This is going to be a massive boon for both Secret NFTs and Secret Network.
If Miramax (the faltering American Entertainment Company) wins the case, there probably won't be a Tarantino NFT collection. This is highly unlikely to happen. And if it does, there will still be a lot of talk around Secret NFTs either way. The difference is that the net effect of the growth of Secret NFTs in relation to Tarantino NFTs will be very limited.
Maybe we could even collaborate!
The organic growth of Secret NFTs should be substantial in 2022. Remember that Secret NFTs are new. A handful of projects were minted prior to Stashh launch. The Stashh marketplace has been available for less than two weeks at the time of writing this article on growth triggers for Secret NFTs in 2022.
We are crazy early. I felt late to the party after missing Anons NFT. But I minted most projects pre-Stashh, including Secret Punks and Redacted Rabbits NFT. In retrospect, that was extremely early in the lifetime of Secret NFTs. As time passes, the threshold of what is early will extend. At the end of January 2022, minting Secret Dogs or Ample Agents from stashh in December 2021 will be considered crazy early. If you are reading this at the time of publishing or even three months from now, you are still early. Hell, if you are interested in NFT regardless of what network, you are early, even in 2022.
Naturally, early adopters are significant because they are early. These adopters are generally few, and they are significant because they are typically loyal and likely to contribute to the success of a product, service, or network. I am one of these early adopters, there are others like me. Chances are that you are as well. You might not write thousands of words about Secret Network and Secret NFTs, but you are reading this, which means you are an early adopter (or soon to be). You are contributing by just interacting with Secret NFT communities through Discord, Telegram, or Twitter. If you share or like the tweet below, you are contributing. The more you do it, the higher the value of the community around Secret NFTs.
If you want to contribute more than you already do, DM me, and I'll come up with some ideas. Maybe we could even collaborate! Another great way of helping the growth through engagement early on is by buying Secret NFTs from the projects with strong communities, that target engagement and growth of not just Secret NFTs, but the overall Secret Network and ecosystem. Good examples are Anons NFT and Redacted Club NFT.
Some time along the way, we will hopefully reach a critical mass in the community and benefit from powerful network effects which will put the organic growth in hyperdrive.
Seriously, some projects suck at social media and communication. You can do so much more!
The community engagement I mentioned early on is one part of the puzzle to drive growth. Another equally important, and related piece of the puzzle is marketing. Secret Network has one of the best marketing machines I've seen, largely powered by the community in Secret Network. What makes it powerful and effectively successful is because it is organized and centralized. Through the official Secret Network website you can apply to become a so-called Secret Agent. After successful onboarding, a new secret agent work together with the network to:
Secret Agents work together to build a more decentralized, democratic, and empowering internet with privacy- preserving technologies.
Secret Agents achieve this mission by becoming key contributors within Secret Network. They spread awareness about the issue of blockchain privacy and collaborate on projects that help drive network growth and adoption.
Funds from Secret Network are distributed amongst the Secret Agent contributors, which works really well. Secret Network could do a great deal of good by allocating funds to "promote" Secret NFTs.
Another way is the sponsoring of content creators outside of the Secret Agents programme. Where the network allocates funds to support people that create content (such as myself, and the content you are reading right now). If they put more weight on Secret NFTs through this sponsorship programme it would likely produce great yields. Disclaimer, I am not sponsored.
I would also encourage any active Secret NFT projects to allocate % of royalties from mint and secondary into marketing of their project which would benefit the overall Secret NFT space. Seriously, some projects suck at social media and communication. You can do so much more! DM me if you want help.
And as Uncle Ben once said: "With great power comes great responsibility".
Secret NFTs are by nature decentralized, but Stashh as a dApp in the marketplace has a great deal of centralization to it. In effect, they yield power. And as Uncle Ben once said: "With great power comes great responsibility".
Stashh has done a good job in developing and launching a great marketplace. It has given the Secret NFT space greater legitimacy. Most of the friction around minting was removed through Stashh. It became easier to buy and sell Secret NFTs through Stashh. The main problems around adoption were solved. They also created a centralized hub where it is easy to interact with the majority of the Secret NFT ecosystem. Awesome stuff. As they continue to build, and improve, so will the Secret NFT space.
They will be in a great position to trigger growth by driving community engagement and marketing.
This way the supply side is managed through a democratized process which provides a level of decentralization through a centralized entity which probably want to avoid centralized governing.
What I wanted to touch upon relates to strategy and execution. Share some experiences as I've been building a real-estate marketplace since 2019. By building and managing this marketplace, I solved some problems along the way (with the help of great podcasts and numerous articles).
A marketplace connects buyers and sellers. The aggregated amount of users is what provides value. However, a marketplace is worthless if there is a great imbalance between buyers and sellers. It relates to the ancient old law of supply and demand. In the case of marketplace, the supply and demand need to be balanced.
In the case of Stashh: so far, so good. They do not have chicken and egg problem. The supply and demand has been well-balanced thanks to the existing community inside Secret Network. Supply have been met by demand. Some NFT projects are doing better than others in terms of minting out and volumes in secondary markets. That's natural, some projects will fail simply because they weren't good enough. This is true today, and it will be true one year from now.
However, there is a risk that Stashh create saturation by allowing new projects to mint too freely while the demand is still low. Remember, it is early days. There is limited demand in terms of buyers. If the supply grows too high, it will compromise the quality of the marketplace. Since Stashh has power to regulate the influx of supply, they should exercise that power.
The easy minting process and free marketing through the marketplace is a double-edged sword. Demand from inside the network is limited based on existing user/community-base. A number which can only meet so much supply. If the team don't manage the supply, it could be detrimental to the space.
This could be managed by putting a max cap on how many projects can mint each month during January, February, and March. What projects get minted could be governed by the community through polling tools. Each new project makes a proposal that is collected by Stashh. Stashh collects all project proposals for a certain time period, the community then vote on what projects can be minted during the month of February for example. This way the supply side is managed through a democratized process which provides a level of decentralization through a centralized entity which probably want to avoid centralized governing.
Controlling supply at this point is critical. Failure to do so have a risk of compromising integrity and quality of the marketplace, and the overall Secret NFT ecosystem.
Effectively, the success and strategy/execution of Stashh is a major growth trigger for Secret NFTs in 2022. Paradoxically, the growth of Stashh is also the biggest risk I see in the space. At this stage, the growth need to be managed to solve the chicken and egg problem, even growth on both the supply side and the demand side. Too much growth on the supply side could prove to be detrimental to the ecosystem. There are other aspects to consider besides capping and voting. But that is the main red flag I've identified.
I could very well be wrong about the above, but I would urge the team behind Stashh to at least dedicate some time into analysis and brainstorming around solutions to proactively prohibit this to happen.
A positive side effect of capping and voting would be that projects that don't get voted in, but still are serious and determinted to built and execute can mint outside of Stashh. A process which in itself can be improved as the current templates for contracts can be optimized. It would also continue to stress test the network so overall infrastructure can be improved.
We are early so we have to deal with some of the growing pains.
We have already seen high levels of network congestion in relation to Secret NFTs. More than one mint brought down parts of the network, or caused heavy congestion during October, November, and December. And some basic actions on Stashh have long loading times. This is normal. This is new technology, a huge network with various applications being built in public. We are early so we have to deal with some of the growing pains. A small price to pay in my opinion, considering the huge potential of Secret Network and Secret NFTs. However, early issues and growing pains needs to be solved, sooner rather than later.
In due time, the success of Secret NFTs and Stashh could create further network congestion, which can be dealt with by having better infrastructure and processes in place. So far, in terms of Secret NFTs, the approach to improving infrastructure has been reactionary rather than proactive. Improving the infrastructure gradually by stress testing from different angles will set up Secret Network for the growth we should see in Secret NFTs (and Secret Network) in 2022.
Improving infrastructure is not so much a growth trigger, but an enabler for growth. After all, the UX of Secret NFTs needs to be good to enable growth. Long loading times, failed processes, and network failure does not make for good UX. No matter how shiny and beautiful the UI is, if the performance is poor, the UX is poor. Like the lead designer at my workplace often says, "It's putting lipstick on a pig". Secret Network is by no means a pig, but I think everyone can agree that the performance of the network can be improved. Like I mentioned, having these issues now is to be exepected. It is as small price to pay for being an early adopter. However, at some point, the performance issues needs to improve.