On August 30, Alexander Mitrovich joined PolkaWarriors AMA to introduce the Unique Network - NFT chain for Kusama & Polkadot. During the AMA, their team has received a lot of interesting questions from the community.
Unique Network is an infrastructure for the next generation of NFTs and the first NFT chain for Kusama and Polkadot, it offers developers independence from network-wide transaction fees and upgrades.
Unique aims to solve the gas dilemma, lower the education barrier, and expand the interoperability of NFTs.
Below is a summary of the outstanding questions and answers from the AMA session.
1. Your project is fantastic and a good idea and each project has interesting stories before it is created. So can you tell people about the story, problems, difficulties, that gave you the motivation to build and develop a great project like Unique Network?
First, thank you for your kind words!
My background extends over 20 years as an IT professional, so I’ve always been heavily interested in technology and innovation. One of my most proud career experiences was building Luxoft.com from a little under 30 employees to over 2000 employees. Needless to say I enjoy bringing things to their full potential. With that said, I’m nothing without the dedicated team around me. Our Chief Architect and CTO Greg Zaitsev has over a decade of experience as an Enterprise Architect and an equally deep background in blockchain. With him, we have built up a team of over 15 developers (and counting) with deep backgrounds in web3 development. It doesn’t stop there! We are a development focused team, but we’ve built a team of advisors, marketing, bizdev, tokenomics, financial, and the legal fields to round out what we believe is one of the strongest teams in the space.
Now the story:
In 2019 we worked on a few NFT projects on Ethereum. Also we did a few infrastructure projects on Polkadot that year. Last one was the NFT palette. We were thinking at the time that Substrate can be a good chain for NFTs, but only after we made the palette we realized how good - while working on it Greg came up with some of the key innovations and strategy that we now have in Unique - natively doing all major NFT transactions - minting collections or NFTs, Re-fungible tokens, etc. But most importantly - we realized Substrate can support native sponsoring of transaction fees, allowing freemium gaming on Blockchain for the first time. That’s when we decided - “this is it, we’re building this all in''.
2. What important milestones does Unique aim to achieve by the end of this year and in the future?
We have already built our chain and a lot of functionality for it. But the road ahead is most critical - becoming a Parachain on Kusama, and then on Polkadot - we are focused on those milestones as the most important in the coming months. We also have dozens of features and partnership projects we are working on. Those will be released as the parachain launches allow.
For example, we have partnered up with UN-Habitat and GloCha in the DigitalArt4Climate initiative in August. Unique Network is working as the blockchain platform partner to take action against climate change. You can read more about the partnership here: https://cointelegraph.com/news/un-chooses-nft-marketplace-host-in-efforts-to-fight-climate-change. Now there is an Art Competition (https://digitalart4climate.space/art_competition) going on, calling for global artists to join this crypto art creation and NFT charity event.
Also, we will begin to decentralize our marketplace https://unqnft.io/, watch out for an announcement on that tomorrow.
3. I see you are a Substrate-based NFT chain, why do you decide to build on Substrate? And what’s your plan on Kusama and Polkadot deployment and parachain auctions?
Our team is among the earliest adopters and developers of Substrate and Web3 technologies. We chose Substrate because it’s one of the most powerful blockchain development tools--Substrate makes building a blockchain far faster, easier, and safer than ever before.
Together with Polkadot and Kusama’s Parachain design, we believe it will enable true interoperability and scalability that will revolutionize not just the blockchain industry in general, but also the NFT sector. Our favorite quality of Substrate is its flexibility. Lots of things we can do for NFTs with that. Native NFT transactions will grow over time as we have forkless upgrade capability and can add them.
During the past web3 development experiences, our team has delivered 5 Web3 Grants, won 2 Hackusama awards, created the first NFT collectibles on Substrate--Substrapunks, as a tribute to the legendary Cryptopunks. We were also the lead development force of Kusama’s Chiba Gallery and are a core member of the Kusama NFT Strategy Team.
And definitely we will participate in the Kusama Parachain Bidding, we’re getting ready for them. Stay tuned for our announcement!
4. Currently, most investors are only interested in profit at this time and ignore long-term benefits. So can you give them some advice why they should buy and hold your project’s token in the long run?
Every investor has to make those decisions by themselves. Profit can be short term or long term.
We are focused on making the blockchain for the next NFT boom. What we have seen this year is just one use case - Collectibles. We allow NFTs to be used for many other use cases - freemium gaming, real estate, certificates, etc. Those are much bigger use cases that we will see in a few years.
Also, our chain is very diverse and has use cases for a very mass market audience. Millions of people will be using our platform and won’t even know it, so we expect transaction fees to be very important in a few years. We have a few ways of making these transactions more manageable depending on the need of each project. Most of it will go through our application sponsoring program first, and then dApps will sponsor their users, or can get token holders to do it for them.
5. Can you list killer features of Unique that makes it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your platform has that you feel most confident about?
Advanced economic models, flexible NFT ownership structures and true NFT interoperability are three key features that will truly bring the NFT ecosystem to the next level. Working with partners we understand what features they want and need to help unleash their full creativity. We are helping to bring democracy to art, take NFT games to the next level and remove transaction feeds for end users.
Then we also have a Freemium Gaming Program, which will provide dapp game developers first with token sponsorship, tech assistance, marketing and resource assistance; second, various developer tools and libraries, including APIs/SDKs - Unity, Ethereum migration tool, fiat on-ramp, Blockexplorer, etc.; third, an Enterprise program that gives easy access to account management, custom design programs and investments in selected solutions.
6. How does "Unique" evaluate the importance of the user community? In the near future, does "Unique " have any special plans to attract and expand the community?
NFTs are appealing to a very large audience, and they are emotionally attractive. This is why our community is very active and passionate. Our early Substrapunk community has basically built out interest and awareness about the project themselves. RMRK team recognized this and did the first “Punkdrop” - holders of Substrapunks received Kanaria eggs for free!. We will be doing a number of things to support the community and show their value. Tune in our channel tomorrow for just the first step on that.
Therse are our Punks!
7. Can you give us an overview of "Unique " token economics? Is the token designed to rise and fall with the success of the platform, and does it include any scarcity paths such as stake, store, or burn?
Token price is not our focus, markets handle that. Our focus is on creating value. We are doing that by creating the most powerful and most innovative NFT blockchain out there. And now we are starting to work with creative developers to create a new generation of NFT apps. Working with emerging artists, interesting partners, future driven leaders and creatives across a wide range of topics allows us to expand and gives our token a unique position.
8. "Unique" looks good but it confuses me that there are so many other Blockchain projects. What should I pay attention to in "Unique" to give it the importance it deserves? What are your plans to achieve with your project?
We’ve invested time in thinking about what the creator needs to bring their vision of NFTs to life. Our features are designed to drive innovation forward. We enjoy working on collaborations with artists, gamers and programs that will encourage creators to join us. It’s a multi-stakeholder partnership initiative that uses blockchain technology to turn artwork into digital assets which can be collected and traded, thus opening up a socio-technological innovation space which helps to unlock the potential for resource mobilization in support of sustainable development goals. The way we see it, if we continue to promote the development of a healthy design and creative community alongside pushing initiatives that represent impactful change, we will attract all of the top creators and innovators over time. Sustainability and a strong community are two of our strongest pillars.
9. How is #Unique development going? Can you describe in detail the current development efforts, the market expansion plans, the expected applications and when they will be commercially available?
We launched the first testnet a year ago! We made a marketplace for Unique NFTs in November 2020 with a bridge to Kusama - this was the first commercial application in the ecosystem, had a few thousand KSM traded so far. So if you have Chelobricks or Substrapunks or would like to buy them, you can head over to https://unqnft.io/ .
Core development has over 25 palettes! You can see it in our Testnet2, and in the coming weeks in Rococo, and hopefully as a Parachain very soon as well.
Besides this, we’re continuously building tools for others to use Unique and build on top - we have a Whitelabel suite of tools - Minting, Wallet, Gallery and Marketplace that others can use to jumpstart their development. All open source.
10. In your opinion, what is the toughest challenge for the NFT market? and what is your solution to solve these challenges? And why do you prefer to focus on the NFT Market?
There are no challenges, only opportunities. We want to help bring NFTs to life and eliminate any infrastructure challenges for the NFT community. Main features that will truly revolutionize and upgrade the NFT possibilities include: advanced economic models that will remove transaction fees for end users, advance NFT formats that helps artists unleash their full creativity, NFT Ownership Structures that brings democracy to art creators and consumers, NFT Relationships Models that will totally upgrade the NFT games to the next level, and last but not least, bridge to other chains to bring true interoperability.
We are forming an amazing community partnership that will drive innovation in the NFT space forward. Just last week we announced a strategic partnership with Seedify that will provide freedom and creativity for talented blockchain game developers, skilled gamers, and watchful investors. All incubator projects listed in Seedify can extract the benefits of the Unique Network: create scalable tokenized games, eliminate freemium ad models strategies, build NFT interactivity, mint their NFTs on Unique and create custom NFT marketplaces.
11. Safety and Security are two things to be considered for investors before making an investment decision. Which technology is used by Unique_NFTchain for its great privacy? How much private and secure Unique platform is? Are all assets on Unique insured?
We are as safe as Substrate is - and it is written by Parity, audited and checked by hundreds of developers working on it. We are one of the early adopters, and have contributed many things to its core development.
The information stored on Unique Network chain can be made private or public depending on the application requirements. Applications that require great privacy may encrypt user data with PGP, AES, or other symmetric encryption. There are parachains in the Polkadot ecosystem that are focused on privacy, we intend to work with them on that topic.
Insurance is something no one asked me about before. The security of blockchains is the biggest insurance policy people use. Then you can have custodian wallets or companies, some of them have insurance. I sincerely hope and we will work on having some of those available on Unique and for Unique assets. But your biggest insurance is yourself - don’t lose the Private Key!
In the live questions section, Alex did answer several short questions from the PolkaWarriors community.
1. What are plans in for global expansion? Are you focusing on market at this time or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships?
We have representatives/ambassadors/supporters in many countries. This project will be global. We are focused right now on the Parachain auctions, because that is the way for us to go live. Then we will focus on the Developer ecosystem, and driving applications to be built on top.
2. Do you have Whitepaper if yes please share it with us and secondly do you have plans for pre-sale? Where can we join it?
No whitepaper. We have code (lots of it), and techpaper to describe it, and lots of deliverables done. We prefer to build first, dream later. As for presale, it’s on now, just ask in our main channel (but it’s for big investors). We will have community participating events very soon, too.
3. Do you have tutorial videos so we can get to know your project more clearly or do you have a YouTube channel or something? can you share it with us?
Not yet. There’s actually plenty of videos we can put there, so we will do it, thanks! @Charu_Sethi
4. How important is the community to you? and how can we collaborate or help you for the development of the project?
Stop by our main channel tomorrow and find out for yourself. We all say “community is most important”, we try to do it.
5. One of the most important reasons for the slow adoption of such projects is the lack of the right partnerships. Does Unique cooperate with major industry partners? Tell us more about your partner, backer?
We beleive in the power of ecosystems and we have struck interesting partnerships in the last few months. The one for DigitalArt4Climate with United Nations , is important as it helps leverage the power of NFTs for Climate change.
With the RMRK app we deomstrate composable and nested NFTs . And our partership with Seedify is aimed at supporting and growing freemium gaming on Blockchain
6. Many projects are just projects that make deceptive promises created by cloning existing ones and are similar to existing ones. Do you have features that are unique to you, that you have developed and that make you special?
I encourage you to dive into our live Testnet (has been live for a year now), try it out, and decide for your self. If you’re not technical, check out the marketplace (https://unqnft.io/), it’s history and ask in our channel. We are developing Unique for almost 2 years now!
7. Do you guys feel satisfied by seeing your progresses and achievements till now, when you look back to the day when you have started this project?
Never satisfied! We are amazed by the amount of traction we got, but satisfied - no. There’s so much more to do!