Community is the NFT Moat
On March 3rd, Pontem engaged in a panel discussion at MoveCon, alongside notable industry leaders from Bruh Bears, Aptomingos, and Aptos Monkeys.
The topic was the importance of the community in the success of an NFT collection and the strategies that builders can adopt to increase the value for their target audience.
You can listen to the full recording on Twitter or YouTube.
Meet the Speakers:
- Vitaly: Head of Community at Pontem, focused on cultivating and strengthening the community around the Pontem ecosystem. A seasoned community manager in the NFT space, committed to assisting others in comprehending and embracing this nascent technology.
- Smith: Founder of Aptos Monkeys, a popular NFT project on Aptos with a primary focus on community, innovation and resourcefulness.
- Fischer: Founder of Aptosmingos, an exclusive collection of 1212 flamingos on Aptos. Aptosmingos' mission is to mitigate risk for investors seeking to engage with Aptos, while simultaneously cultivating an exclusive community that is characterized by both inclusivity and support.
- Joe: Founder of Bruh Bears, a collection of 5,000 bears on Aptos. Joe and his team firmly believe in Aptos and are focused on establishing a thriving community with the objective of delivering value and practicality to its members.
Navigating the Ups and Downs: How Bull and Bear Markets Impact NFTs
NFTs have been exploding with activity and excitement over the past year. With skyrocketing prices and massive hype around the latest drops, it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the bull market. But what happens when the market takes a turn for the worse and enters a bear phase? How does this affect the NFT community, and what can project leaders do to weather the storm?
First and foremost, it's important to note that success in the NFT space is not solely determined by market conditions. While a booming market certainly makes it easier to gather an audience and generate hype, a bear market can still provide opportunities for growth and success. Recent launches have proven that even during a downturn, with the right strategy, a project can still gain traction and thrive.
However, there are significant differences in the behavior of the audience during a bull market versus a bear market. In a bull market, there is an atmosphere of euphoria and celebration, and audiences are more forgiving of mistakes and missteps. Projects can often succeed simply by being part of the party, without needing to do anything particularly remarkable or valuable.
In contrast, a bear market presents a greater challenge for project leaders. Audiences become more discerning and demanding, and projects must prove their worth and provide genuine value to holders. Those that can persevere and continue to engage with their community during these challenging times will be well-positioned to benefit when the market eventually rebounds.
Aesthetics or Utility: What Matters More in the NFT Industry?
As the NFT industry continues to evolve, the question of utility versus aesthetics has become a topic of discussion. Will people ever buy NFTs solely for their pleasing visuals, with no regard for the underlying utility? And if so, is this a trend that will persist, or merely a fad?
While opinions on this matter may differ, one thing is certain: market cycles are inevitable. In times of a bullish market, where the perceived risk is low and investors are willing to take on more risk, it is not uncommon to see a surge in demand for aesthetically pleasing assets, including digital art collections.
Just as the art world has its own set of collectors who appreciate the time, effort, and talent that goes into creating a piece of art, the NFT industry is not immune to this trend. Some of the biggest art collectors in the world have no utility attached to their prized collections, with prices that can soar into the tens of millions of dollars.
It is important to note, however, that the concept of utility is complex and multifaceted. While some investors may be drawn to the potential for passive income or other financial benefits, others may be more interested in the social profile and community aspects that certain assets can offer.
Furthermore, in a market that is constantly evolving and adapting, there is always room for innovation and creativity. For example, a project that may be focused on branding or aesthetics at its core can still incorporate utility in other ways, such as through partnerships, collaborations, or other forms of integration.
In the end, the answer to the question of whether or not aesthetics will ever trump utility in the NFT space is not a simple one. It will likely depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions, investor preferences, and the specific features and offerings of individual assets.
However, one thing is certain: as long as there are collectors who appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of digital art, there will always be a place for aesthetics.
Going Above and Beyond: The Best Ways for NFT Teams to Show Appreciation to their Communities
Community is King in the NFT industry. Without a dedicated and passionate community of holders, an NFT project is unlikely to succeed. This is why it is so important for NFT teams to show appreciation for their communities, and there are a variety of ways to do so including:
- Giving back in unexpected ways:
At Pontem, we adopted this approach by waiving royalties and covering all gas fees for our Pontem pirate holders. We went the extra mile by introducing a mechanism that enables holders to earn more rewards by minting pirates.
This unexpected generosity has been warmly received by our community, strengthening the bond of trust between our team and our valued holders.
- Not giving up on the holders, even during challenging times:
Building a community is a long-term commitment, and it is important to stay true to the project's original vision, even when things get tough.
This shows the community that the NFT team is committed to the long-term success of the project, and is not simply looking to make a quick profit.
- Acknowledging holders who contribute to the project
By showcasing the work of artists and other holders who are contributing to the project, NFT teams can show that they value and appreciate their community's contributions.
This can help to build a sense of belonging and pride among the community members.
Showing appreciation for things like engagement on social media can be just as important. Retweeting and sharing the work of holders can go a long way in building a strong and active community.
Decentralized Governance: An Innovative Solution for Community Building?
Effective governance is a critical element in the success of any community. Recently, the idea of decentralized governance has ignited significant debate among industry experts. While some proponents emphasize its importance in cultivating a strong and durable community around NFT projects, others are cautious about its potential advantages.
One point of view is that having a decentralized governance system can weaken trust in a project, as investors may be more concerned with the reputation of the team behind it rather than the governance structure. However, proponents of decentralized governance argue that it can be a powerful tool for engaging and empowering community members.
While having a strong leader or passionate focal point can be beneficial for a project, decentralized governance systems can provide a more democratic and inclusive way for the community to be involved in the project's direction. However,
implementing a decentralized governance system requires a lot of work and standard operating procedures to be put in place.
Ultimately, the success of a project with decentralized governance depends on the core team's ability to lead and set the tone, as well as the community's willingness to participate and engage in the governance process. Decentralized governance is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it can provide opportunities for community members to contribute and shape the project's future.
The Power of Social Capital: How Fans Can Contribute to Strengthening NFT Communities
Building a strong and vibrant community around a project is crucial for its success. But how can fans of a project help strengthen their favorite NFT community and bring about positive change?
One key aspect is social capital, a term that refers to the value of social networks in achieving goals. For most NFT projects, social networks such as Discord and Twitter are crucial for communication and spreading messages to the wider community.
Community members can play a vital role in helping to promote the project by:
- Sharing news and updates
By consistently engaging with and promoting the project, fans can help to build a larger and more engaged community.
- Actively participating in the community.
Being active in Discord or other community channels, providing feedback, and contributing ideas can help to build a sense of community and make new members feel like they are part of something bigger.
Of course, building a strong community is a two-way street. Project managers need to be open to feedback from fans and should actively seek out their ideas and suggestions. When fans feel that their input is valued, they are more likely to become ambassadors for the project and help to attract new members to the community.
A Glimpse into the Future: Teasers and Plans from Pontem, Bruh Bears, Aptos Monkeys, and Aptomingos
One of the primary areas of focus for the Pontem team is cultivating strategic partnerships. We consistently seek out novel and dynamic collaborations that will deliver significant value to our community. In addition, we are actively engaged in developing innovative NFT collections that aim to gamify the user experience, elevating it to new levels of engagement and enjoyment.
Here is what our partners told us about their current strategy:
- Burh Bears:
The Burh Bears team is currently operating in a state of "survival mode"; nevertheless, this has not deterred them from pursuing their mission of expanding and enhancing their ecosystem. They have ambitious plans to position themselves strategically for the eventual market rebound and are determined to persevere in their efforts.
- Aptos Monkeys:
The Aptos Monkeys team is dedicated to creating essential infrastructure for NFT projects, streamlining the setup process for swift execution. While they have already launched some tools, their upcoming no-code white-label staking platform is generating significant anticipation as it will allow projects to effortlessly establish staking functionality, freeing them to focus on community building and other crucial aspects of their initiatives.
The Aptomingos team is ramping up for the next phase of their project with Gen2. With almost all the artwork complete and a fun and engaging marketing campaign in the works, Gen2 promises to be a wild ride. The team is determined to make the whole experience, from whitelisting to minting, a unique and memorable one. But they're not forgetting about Mingos either - they want to ensure the community stays happy while they work on Gen2.
Pontem is a product development platform that enables global financial inclusion through blockchain technology. Pontem is developing infrastructure and decentralized tools for the fastest and most scalable Layer 1 blockchain – Aptos.
The Pontem Wallet is the gateway to the Aptos ecosystem available for Chrome, Firefox, and iOS. Pontem Wallet users can send and receive tokens, connect to decentralized applications, and explore the Aptos ecosystem.
As a result of its partnership with Aptos, Pontem has developed foundational dApps like the Move Playground IDE, Liquidswap AMM, and ByteBabel code translator.