For the past year, Kevin and I have been building the NiftyApes protocol. What it provides (liquidity for NFTs) belies its bigger mission (an evolution in lending).
NiftyApes started as a series of questions that at first had nothing to do with crypto, but with mortgages. Questions like: Why is refinancing so time consuming? Why isn’t it easier for borrowers to get better terms if their collateral grows in value? Why is the secondary debt market limited to institutions?
These may not be the most exciting questions. But when you realize the personal loan market in the US is $178 billion, a small innovation could bring meaningful change to millions of people.
Prior to working in crypto, I spent time working on secondary debt markets products in the mortgage industry. I have a passable understanding of how they work; namely, they don't. Not well anyway, and especially not for the borrower. It's shocking to see the same inefficiencies in the mortgage industry redeveloping in crypto, especially around NFT lending.
Kevin, my cofounder, is a blockchain engineer with a passion for novel economic models that can lead to greater equality, prosperity, and cooperation. When we met during my time at ConsenSys, starting a company together became inevitable. And the NFT market presented the perfect testing ground for our ideas.
Excited by early feedback, we reached out to people smarter than us for help. And they began to offer experience, expertise, and, to our small surprise, investment.
Today, we’re announcing our $4.2M seed round led by Variant and FinTech Collective. Other investors include Robot Ventures, Polygon, Coinbase Ventures, The LAO, FlamingoDAO, Ryan Sean Adams, David Hoffman, Eric Conner, Anthony Sassano, Cyrus Younessi, DC Investor, James Young, James Duncan, Nadav Hollander, Brendan Forster, and the founders of SuperRare and Rarible.
The future of lending is bananas
To date, the NiftyApes team has grown to seven people (we’re still hiring!), completed three security audits (read all about them), and successfully launched on both testnet and mainnet.
- Read our whitepaper to understand our thesis
- Scope our technical documents to understand the protocol
- Read the blog to understand our thinking
On the NiftyApes protocol, there’s an active lending auction for every theoretical asset or collection in existence. Utilizing aspects of Harberger taxes, the protocol provides positive-sum benefits to lenders, borrowers, and the commons.
- Lenders deposit capital to earn yield. They can then make offers on any asset or collection in existence. Successful offers receive interest and default rights for assets.
- Borrowers lock their NFTs into NiftyApes for instant liquidity. Loans are always on-auction for refinancing, guaranteeing terms only improve for borrowers.
- Commons and public good projects receive 1+% of NiftyApes revenue.
The 1% of revenue for public goods projects will never diminish, but it may expand in the future. An additional 20% of revenue funds perpetual security audits and support. Both are examples of how NiftyApes is codifying our values, showcasing how the social contract that dictates lending can be upgraded by the smart contract.
There is no NiftyApes Token
Before a bunch of bots on Twitter try to convince you otherwise: there is no NiftyApes token.
Help us build a better system
NiftyApes is creating an open, composable future for NFT financing.
The collaborators behind that investment are some of the smartest builders and thinkers on the internet. It’s their experience and insight that we’re most excited to have as a resource. But capital is pretty nice too—and it’s how we plan to invest in you.