Is Paras.id the highest-quality NFT market on the web?
Just looking at the Paras marketplace, you can immediately see that it doesn’t look like other NFT markets. Most markets, especially the large Ethereum-based ones, allow users to upload just about anything into a constantly-churning flow of media. A broad array of art styles and categories is desirable, but these markets often have a clutter of low-effort work. There’s little community and discoverability of high value art pieces becomes a real issue.
A curated experience
Paras takes a curated approach to creating an NFT experience and community. Just as a successful art gallery or trading card publisher directs their limited space to meet the needs of their users, Paras selects artists and formats to ensure consistent quality. Artists on Paras must apply and be approved to create new cards, and the number of new artists approved is limited, with only 30 new artists approved per week. The platform also requires all art pieces to conform to the same 64:89 aspect ratio and contain a set of standardized information.
Artists release their pieces in collections of related pieces. This gives buyers an overview of what the artist can do and several related pieces to choose from. Maybe even more importantly, the collection-based approach gives the artist a chance to tell a story with their pieces, or give multiple views on a subject. Artists have shown fantasy and mythological figures, surrealist scenes, manuscript illustrations, and nature scenes. Each piece gains context and meaning when you see the other pieces around it, and the collection becomes more than the sum of its parts. Even if you are only browsing, it’s fun to read about each card and feel the story emerge.
Part of a collection by fictionspawn.near
Curation breeds creativity and community
These requirements are more restrictive compared to other NFT platforms. But instead of inhibiting artists, these restrictions have the effect of unleashing their creativity. Cards explore a wide variety of subjects and styles. Still images and gif-type motion are both supported. But these formats are able to accomplish something most NFT sites struggle with: creating dedicated spaces for artists to tell their stories and connect with their communities. Art is about more than just an image – it’s about the story behind the image, its place in the artist’s body of work, and the community that comes together to discuss and appreciate the meaning. It’s clear that Paras understands this.
A place for world-builders
The standardization and collection formats allow artists to create collections that go deeper in certain categories. In particular, Paras is focused on cards that incorporate narrative, characters, and worldbuilding. Background text and tidbits of world exposition are found on the information panels of each card. Since cards are grouped by collections, it’s possible to see how characters relate to each other in their worlds. Some collections are tied to other media such as novels or music.
Consistent quality and features
The curated content approach also makes it easier to organize and enjoy the cards. Modeled on a physical trading card experience, clicking the artwork flips the card to the other side, where its name, creation date, collection, and other information is found, just like traditional trading cards. This consistent form also makes it easier to enjoy the art pieces in your collection since they all work the same way and are easy to organize. If you remember having a binder of trading cards in your childhood, you’ll appreciate the Paras collecting experience.
The Knight, by kmarpa.near
If typical permissionless NFT markets are like the jostling busy street vendors on a downtown street, Paras is like the clean, well-organized shop that’s known for quality by its regular customers. There’s a place for each to coexist.
Interest in NFTs is growing incredibly fast
Interest in NFTs exploded in early 2021 and demand has been overwhelming. For Ethereum-based NFT markets, this also means demand for network space is overwhelming, driving up costs. Many new NFT creators and traders, especially those who aren’t crypto-natives, have been anxious to see solutions to these issues.
NEAR’s technology is fast, simple, and low-cost: perfect for NFTs
Happily, NEAR has been working closely with Ethereum to provide an interoperable solution. Most importantly, transactions on NEAR are just a few cents or less. The NEAR wallet is highly performant and transactions are nearly instant to confirm. Of course the much-anticipated Rainbow bridge means the NEAR chain will be interoperable with assets on Ethereum. That means it will be possible to transfer ETH to NEAR, use it to buy and sell NFTs on Paras, and then transfer the proceeds back to the Ethereum chain seamlessly. This opens up the NFT experience to everyone who may be struggling now.
NEAR is dedicated to creativity and builders
If you look underneath NEAR’s technology you’ll see another reason why NEAR is such a great fit for NFT markets like Paras. NEAR’s driving philosophy is focused on empowering those who want to create the future, whether through technology, ideas, or being part of a community of creators and supporters. Projects like Paras are a great example of how NEAR can help open up new ways of expressing ideas, connecting communities, and creating value on the web. You’re invited to check out NEAR’s vision and check out Paras if you’d like to learn more.
The NEAR Protocol makes building and deploying DApps and protocols easier, faster, and cheaper than any other blockchain.
Native usability is NEAR’s primary concern. Features such as its contract-based account model and NEAR Drops make NEAR significantly more usable for developers and end users. Additionally, NEAR has focused on bringing performance for applications. The dynamic sharding approach called Nightshade works on top of a proof-of-stake BFT consensus mechanism called Doomslug. This allows network throughput to scale as demand grows. It targets 1-second blocks so developers can build performant applications.