Despite what many would likely describe as a ‘dry’ NFT market lately, Blur (and marketplace competitors) aren’t pressing the brakes on building out new products and features.
Case and point this week comes courtesy of a new NFT lending protocol from the team at Blur, called Blend. The new platform has quickly garnered mixed reviews (no pun intended) from the NFT community – with outspoken advocates and equally as loud critics.
It Was All A Blur
The newest ‘kid on the block’ in the NFT space was brought to market in partnership with venture capital player Paradigm back in November 2022, and has quickly gained market share during a tumultuous market over the past ~6 months.
The arguable market leader, OpenSea, has faced increased product pressures, and other competitors have faced challenges as well. In fact, it was Blur’s move to aggressive market 0% trading fees that led OpenSea to do the same in recent months; meanwhile, competitors have had their own respective challenges: MagicEden has largely slowed in growth after expanding support beyond Solana, Rarible seems to be pivoting to more of a white-label approach (exhibited by the firm’s work with toymaker Mattel lately), and other NFT marketplaces have at the very least been experiencing a drying market throughout. It’s no easy road paved ahead for marketplace operators in this space.
Regardless, Blur’s new peer-to-peer lending protocol Blend was launched to start the month of May and while not providing a completely new product – it’s one that has quickly garnered mixed reviews, especially considering Blur’s quickly-gained influence in the space.
Blur's token looks to build a solid foundation as the NFT market has slowed in recent months. Can the platform's new lending tool, Blend, help reinvigorate the market? | Source: BLUR:USD on TradingView.com
Why Boast The Blend
Blend opens the already ajar door to NFT lending, allowing owners of big-dollar NFTs to utilize them as collateral. It’s that unique mix of NFTs and DeFi that many have spoke about, but that hasn’t hit the market at scale. Unlike many other smaller NFT lending platforms that we’ve seen hit the market to date, Blend actually offers no expiries, and to the same tune as Blur, no fees collected from borrowers or lenders.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Not everyone is a fan of Blur’s latest announcement, but critics’ reasoning varies. Some of have cited concerns of price manipulation, others have cited money laundering and some believe that the benefits will largely only be left to whales.
The end all at the time being is that no one really knows what the impacts of Blend will really be. For those interested in learning more, you can read the full Blend whitepaper here.