Metaplex Saves Solana
Offensive against bots
A rising Solana NFT market and hype for new collections is on the rise. With the success of projects such as DeGods and Okay Bears there is an increased interest in the growth of the NFT marketplace. NFTs and their uniqueness have driven interest to all platforms and Solana has been a rising area to join due to the low gas fees and speed of the blockchain.The interest in NFT has yielded billions of dollars and created new opportunities for many. The problem with the marketplace at the moment is the increase in malicious platforms and programs that take advantage of new NFT launches on the Solana blockchain. There was even a crash on April 30,2022
On that day bots sent a barrage of transactions that overwhelmed the blockchain. The transactions were clocked at 6 million per second and that was too much for the blockchain to handle. The entire reasoning for this attack was for minting on a high profile project. The bots were created to beat out those that were trying to mint fairly. The candy machine was overwhelmed and then the entire network was shut down. This made Solana itself completely unusuable. A mad scramble was had amongst the validators and contributors, many were trying to diagonose the issue and bring the network back online. The network was down for hours, so was the price of the Solana token and the belief in the blockchain. One attribute of the Solana blockchain that makes it easy for bots to attack is the speed of the platform. The speed of the transactions make it easier for bots to exploit and continue to cause issues. Solana seems to have a real issue when the blockchain is put under strain.
In April alone NFTs yielded more than $295 Million in sales, this was documented as a month-over-month jump of 91%. bringing the to-date valuation of Solana NFTs to $2.2 Billion. With this type of revenue it would be beneficial to have a way to support sustainability and allow for better efficient use.
Metaplex has decided to implement what is called a “bot tax” or penalty for using bots.
This fee will be for groups of failed transactions that are obviously blindly trying to mint. This is a new system as before there was no penalty for bots sending out transmissions to mint. A bot could sent out 100,000 requests per second, have 99,999 not be successful and still not be punished.
Currently the tax equates to about .01 Sol which is a bit more than $.50 USD. This may seem like a small amount but once the tax was in place over 1620 SOl has already been collected on bots. Those funds are then given to the creators of the project. Since the beginning of the tax botters have slowed down but there are still some that use bots in an attempt to game the system.
At the time of restarting the protocol many were asked not to use the Candy Machine while the restart was taking place. There were calls for blocking NFT smart contracts by validators as well. This led to the CEO of Magic Eden urging for that not to happen.
Mr. Lu the CEO of Magic Eden stated that the validators wanted to end the NFT smart contracts for ME only and that was against the values of web3.
With all things restarted and things going back to normal s of May 1,2022 it would seem the NFT market is poised for continued growth. As Solana continues to recover from the losses of last week projects are still on the rise with many new projects in the pipeline and on the launchpad of Magic Eden.