The Galactic Marketplace is dead! Long live the Galactic Marketplace!
– <said by no one, which is a missed opportunity really!>
One year ago (August 5th, 2021), the team behind Star Atlas published the world’s first SFT Marketplace on Solana. Though most people might not realize this, that was actually quite an impressive feat at the time!
Back then, Serum DEX was the sole solution for trading (S)FTs, and as Serum was a partner of ATMTA (the studio behind Star Atlas), it made sense to build the marketplace on top of their solution (which save a ton of time).
Fast forward a year, and a few things became quite obvious:
Claiming was Confusing
Having to claim (aka settle) your trade to complete said trade, has been wildly confusing to people. Subsequently, it led to many support questions on Star Atlas’ social channels.
This was further compounded by the fact that Solana’s intermittent instability plus some occasional issues on the side of the team sometimes led to the claim not being visible right away. This obviously led to people fearing their money/asset had been lost, leading to more (emotional) support questions.
The Order Book was Confusing
As Serum DEX was built to be a so-called Central Limit Order Book (CLOB), this meant the team had to implement their marketplace using this as well. The concept of an order book — particularly the difference between the buy-, and sell orders — proved quite confusing to many people. On more than one occasion, people were trying to buy a “buy-order”, as that price looked good to them (understandably).
No NFT Support
This might be surprising to some of you, but the Star Atlas ships and almost all other assets are not true Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Instead, they are so-called Semi-Fungible Tokens (SFTs), which are closer to Fungible Tokens (FTs) in reality, than they are to NFTs.
Unfortunately, Serum DEX was not made with NFTs in mind. Additionally, when the team built the Marketplace there was no standard solution for NFTs on Solana yet either. This is fine, as your Pearce X5 is — at this moment — not in any way different from mine. Neither has any underlying unique characteristic and thus they are indeed fungible.
However, in the future when ship configuration becomes available, my Pearce X5 might not be 1:1 exchangeable with your Pearce X5 anymore. If I put in some upgraded components then my Pearce X5 has become unique. This means these ships are no longer fungible and they would have to be represented by non-fungible tokens instead.
So, it was clear that the team would have to come up with a solution at some point. Currently, a few official Star Atlas NFTs have already been minted in partnership with other platforms (e.g. FTX). Most of these were not displayed in the old marketplace at all. Those that were, were only linking to an external platform (FTX) where you could trade them.
Fixing the Shortcomings
The new marketplace solves all of the above problems. That means that right now you will no longer need to:
- claim your assets after purchase; the asset will show up in your wallet right away!
- mess with an order book, it’s much clearer what is going on
The new marketplace has been built from the ground up, both visually but also including the blockchain technology behind it. This allowed the team to say goodbye to Serum DEX, and create a new program that would be prepared for their future plans.
An important part of those plans is the future expansion to less crypto-savvy gamers, so this marks an important step forward!
NFT Support Pending
In line with the release policy at ATMTA, this version of the new marketplace is not the final version. More updates are planned, and support for NFTs is one of those future updates.
So, right now, you won’t be able to see any of the NFTs yet, and even the previously listed FTX skins are not currently showing in this incarnation (for now, it’s a known issue).
New & Improved
The team did not just focus on fixing the shortcomings of the previous marketplace, they drastically overhauled and improved the whole experience as well!
The new experience feels a lot like an Auction House, which many people know from other MMOs and games. If you list an item for sale, then that will be shown as a single item to everyone. If you sell a bundle of items, then that bundle is shown as a single item to everyone.
No longer are orders grouped, based on price. Instead, every offer listed was made by a single user, proven by the fact that their wallet address is mentioned as well. Unless the team put it up, in which case it will state “Star Atlas”.
A few of the other new features:
New mobile-friendly interface — The interface is overall much more intuitive. But it is also built with mobile in mind! From now on it will be much easier to peruse the marketplace on the go!
Search with Autocomplete — You can start typing part of the name of an asset/ship or manufacturer into the new search bar, and the matches will right away pop up in the explorer pane!
Filter — You can enter a min-, and max amount, and only assets between these two will be shown. This might come in handy for those looking to see what’s possible with their budget.
Bookmarking — You can bookmark any asset, to then be able to show a listing of only the items you are actually interested in.
Good to Know
Especially for people who are intimately familiar with the old marketplace, it might come as a surprise that when you add a buy-order whose price matches, or is above any of the assets for sale, you do not automatically buy the cheapest item.
You will have to specifically buy that one item. For anybody who is more experienced with Auction Houses in games, this will feel natural.
The new Marketplace launched within hours of the conclusion of the 426Live event. The very first new ship listed was be the Fimbul BYOS Tankship, a Commander class Fighter.
Repricing of assets
The team is using the launch of the new marketplace as an opportunity to reprice their GAO Wave 2 offerings. This means that, for the ships they offer, the team will update all ATLAS prices, using the current conversion rate of USDC to ATLAS.
For most of these ships, this means their price in ATLAS will increase. For the last ones added to the market (Mamba, Solos), it will actually lower their prices.
The exact consequences of this action remain to be seen, but many traders will no doubt be following this very closely!