What blockchain do we choose for our Diamond Handbag drop– Ethereum or Solana? Our debate and our pick.
We are the group behind Diamond Handbag– a women-led team of tech execs in luxury space, from Pinterest, Louis Vuitton, Breitling, ex-FB, ex-Cartier, ex-Amazon and Bighead Club. Since Ethereum is whales’ playground, many female newcomers have asked for help. We decided to reinvent how NFT drop and rarity ratio can be done.
Our goal first and foremost was to learn fast and optimize for time-to-market. We aren’t doing a standard profile picture (PFP) thousand unit NFT drop, but rather something more involved and bespoke. Our project will involve a custom smart contract and a Web 2 front end — all this to say, our engineering team is busy.
We are very fortunate to have two senior developers with a background in C++ and Python, so picking between Solidity (for Ethereum) vs Rust or C++ (for Solana) wasn’t the major concern. New language syntax isn’t the hurdle. The biggest deciding factors here were that Ethereum has more scaffolding, documentation and is most importantly open source. The Solana Candy Machine and Metaplex documentation, while good, just doesn’t have as many developers kicking the tires on it. And many of the past projects on Solana that we were looking to didn’t have open source projects available that we could learn from. Could we have dug into the Discord channels and gotten what we needed? Probably (eventually). But we are optimizing for speed and having a robust, larger developer ecosystem with an “open source” mentality won out.
When launching an NFT you have two options (and you can do both): you have your own website, and/or you list your NFT on a marketplace platform. The largest Ethereum NFT marketplace right now is OpenSea. The largest Solana NFT marketplace is MagicEden. There are a handful of other players on both chains, and many more on other chains that we aren’t considering, but for the sake of simplicity, we focused on evaluating OpenSea and MagicEden.
Getting ‘featured’ on either marketplace would be a huge marketing win and undoubtedly help our drop. OpenSea has a few slots on it’s homepage dedicated to “Notable Drops”, but overall it’s a very crowded marketplace where it’s hard for a newcomer to get noticed (or helped) by the OpenSea crew in particular. You’re pretty much on your own. However, they have a self-list capability so you can just upload your NFT and there isn’t a secret backroom process for getting listed, which is a big positive.
MagicEden is much more welcoming, but they don’t have a self-list option and you have to go through their team. They have links/forms on their site for how to contact them to list or to go through their new “launchpad” program, but in either case, you have to submit your project to them and be approved or selected. It’s much easier to get noticed on MagicEden overall since the number of Solana NFT projects is still much smaller than Ethereum. But the flip side of that is there are also far fewer Solana NFT buyers. The Solana NFT market is smaller, and the marketplaces are slightly less developed, but easier to stand out in.
Winner: Tie between Ethereum and Solana
Audience of Luxury Buyers
The audience we are targeting with ‘diamond hand bags’ likely appreciates luxury goods and as well as good puns. Since our drop is tongue-in-cheek referencing both diamonds AND luxury handbags with exotic materials, we figured the Ethereum NFT crowd was likely a better initial fit because they seem to be comfortable paying higher prices for NFTs (oh hey Justin Bieber!). While we do hope to launch something on Solana in the future that may be more game specific or digital-to-physical, this first drop will utilize aspects of Ethereum that we know are strong (like the audience). As many of our Solana frens have pointed out, Solana is much better (and cheaper) when you need to change metadata. So when the time comes for us to do a transaction heavy or meta-data-flexible drop we’ll definitely be looking to Solana first.