Series of launches
Unlike many NFT projects, where holders are left wondering “What’s next?” after the launch, the Expressions roadmap is robust and forward-looking. Over the next two years, the project team — with major input and direction from community participants – plans the following:
- The launch of the Expressions open marketplace in September 2023, beginning with the “Origins & Ancestries” drop followed by works from creatives around the world.
- The second “Origins & Ancestries” drop will take place later in 2023 after a vote from the community.
- The remaining eight “Origins” drops in 2024-25 will be voted on by the community.
- The $AMBR token will be initially released as token units, with a Rewards system set up to incentivize creators and collectors to participate in the marketplace.
- The community will vote on recommending the date for $AMBR’s token generation event by the Foundation’s governing council, and the council will abide by the community recommendation unless market conditions dictate otherwise.
- The MVP Expressions marketplace will continue to be built out with revenue generated by the “Origins” drop and transaction fees. All revenue will go back into development and operation of Expressions or for buybacks of the $AMBR token after the token’s formal launch.
- The community will have major input into the Expressions project’s development roadmap. Which new features and capabilities should we build for creators and collectors? We’ll be guided by the community.
- Expressions’ partner Amberfi will strive to onboard major brands into Web3, build on-chain marketplaces for them, and use those revenues to further build out the underlying technology platform that powers the Expressions marketplace.
As mentioned above, we are chiefly building out community tools and initiatives that focus on our central two value propositions: security and accessibility.
At launch, Expressions will support auctions, utility, free and C0 art as well as curated, community-driven collections. The platform will give creators the choice to:
- Upload images (including art and photography), videos, 3D holograms, books and other kinds of media
- Include encryption (or not)
- Choose from a number of smart contracts with ERC-721 or ERC-1155 supported
- Set creator royalties
- Set your price in ETH or USD, accept payment in crypto or with credit cards
- Mint for free on Polygon or choose lazy minting on Ethereum
- Filter and discover as a collector based on price, utility, bonus content, media type, collections, causes, tags and auction vs. buy now.
Development items on the roadmap include:
- Roll-your-own creator drops (in progress)
- Gamification elements (because Web3 needs more fun)
- Support for additional blockchains: Tezos, AVAX, BASE, Binance.
- Unlockable content
- Blind mints
- Social elements, including comments
- Incorporating innovations like XMTP that enable creators and NFT collectors to message each other.
Democratic input into the roadmap
We’re just beginning at Expressions, and the Project Roadmap will be guided by direction from the community. We are looking for suggestions and ideas for new platform features and capabilities as well as how to prioritize roadmap items such as fraud detection using AI. We will prioritize development items supported by a plurality of community members. Add your ideas below—this is a living document:
Keep in mind, this is a minimal viable product in the tradition of Web3 projects, so you will certainly come across occasional glitches, bugs and inconveniences. We hope you’ll be forgiving and report these so we can improve the platform for the community.
This is an ambitious international effort, with collaborative input from experienced developers, including Kazune Takeda of Tokyo, Chai Somsri of Thailand, Vishal Vasu of Bangalore, India, Ashvin Nair of Singapore, and other programmers leading these efforts. In addition, we are working with a number of marketplace curators, including Nkem Odeh-ifeyinwa of Nigeria and Rodell Warner of Austin, Texas.
Our approach with Expressions is to create an open marketplace that’s open to all rather than forcing creators to go through an approval process run by gatekeepers. Such an open and democratic system necessitates a strong curatorial component designed not to moderate or censor content but to elevate and surface quality works in key sections of the site. We welcome additional volunteers interested in curating galleries or sections of the site that have special resonance for you. Curators will be compensated with $AMBR tokens (see below).
Too many NFT projects launch on Web2 servers, leaving them vulnerable to the whims of the server operators. As a result, the NFTs amount to little more than tiny pieces of data that link to off-chain data, while the accompanying smart contracts rarely address royalty or contract access. Complex NFT content such as videos, photos, custom data, and episodic or dynamic data are almost uniformly not blockchain based and thus is not resilient or Web3 in nature. This is not a viable long-term solution for the Web3 ecosystem.
We believe on-chain storage is the future and so we are integrating native Web3 IFPS storage solutions into the create flow of Expressions beginning with NFT Storage and extending to Infura, Pinata, Arweave, and other providers.
Everything we’re building is done with a single intentionality: to support the needs of the creator and collector communities. Below are the major areas that our project developers and curator volunteers are focused on in the short term.
Here are some of the major initiatives and tools that our team of builders are currently working on and continuing to refine:
Encryption: While we believe there’s a great continuing use case for NFTs 1.0, we believe our NFT 2.0 solution can help to markedly mitigate fraud in the space. With NFT 2.0, creators are given the option to add encryption to both the transaction and the underlying digital asset so that while everyone gets to see the marketplace preview, only the buyer can access the original high-fidelity asset. We have an open door and hope to work with other marketplaces (including OpenSea) to support this new feature, and we propose to put this forward for adoption as a new Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) standard.
Vetted sellers: Anonymity and pseudonymity are important elements of Web3 and certainly have their place. But we all have seen countless examples of anonymous sellers who pirate someone else’s creation and then take the ether and run, leaving the collector with a worthless asset. A vetting process that gives creators the option to sell their works behind transparent, authenticated seller identities will increase trust in market transactions and reduce scams and fraud.
Phishing protection: Registered users on Expressions will have anti-phishing safeguards added to their non-custodial Amberfi wallets so that when an authentic-looking asset transfer confirmation notice crosses their screen, their valuable NFTs or crypto assets cannot be removed from their wallet without their mindful assent.
Removing barriers to entry: We believe millions of users have been thwarted from participating in Web3 marketplaces because of the requirement to connect a wallet before you can begin. That is a certain recipe for preventing mass adoption of NFTs and blockchain technologies. By integrating the non-custodial auth tool Web3Auth into our infrastructure, Expressions users can register with their favorite social log-in—including Discord, Reddit, Twitter, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Github, Twitch, and Wechat—and have their own non-custodial wallet created for them on the fly.
Credit card support: Sites like NBA Top Shot pioneered the use of credit cards to help popularize digital assets. We are working to integrate a number of credit cards and other payment mechanisms to make buying a digital collectible as friction-free as possible.
Pegged pricing: We have spoken with hundreds of artists who feel locked out of the digital economy because they don’t understand cryptocurrency and don’t want the price of their works to fluctuate with the daily gyrations of the crypto markets. So we are implementing an industry first: pegged pricing. Creatives can set the price of their works in USD and accept payment in multiple crypto denominations while the Amberfi platform converts their fixed price or auction pricing to crypto valuations in real time.
Free minting: We believe in the mantra “leave no creator behind.” For the indefinite future, Expressions will pick up the costs of minting on Polygon and similar low-cost eco-friendly blockchains (as our roadmap prioritizes them) for all creators who agree to undergo KYC/AML – know your customer/anti-money laundering – and become verified.
Curator support: Our curators surface amazing works to spotlight. They also answer questions and point newcomers to solutions in our community forums. If you have a question or an issue, a curator or community member will help you out.
Creators and collectors alike have been flummoxed by NFT marketplaces that are silent on the question of what you’re allowed to do with the NFT after you’ve bought it. As a result, we worked with Amberfi to create a new set of NFT licenses for the community by engaging the Web3-savvy New York law firm Klaris.
The licenses and use cases are spelled out at nftlicenses.org. They include:
- A general license that allows NFT holders to use the work for personal use, social media, personal sites and galleries, presentation and editorial uses.
- A limited commercial license that lets NFT holders use the work for commercial uses and merchandise up to $10,000 in sales.
- An unlimited commercial license that allows NFT holders to use the work for commercial purposes with few restrictions.
- A specialty license uploaded by the creator.
- Any Creative Commons license, including a public domain CC0 license for your NFTs or project.
We are releasing our licenses under a Creative Commons BY license, and we encourage other projects to make use of them or to modify them and build on top of this new legal framework, which fills a major gap in the NFT landscape.
One exciting aspect of physical art is the opportunity to capture the texture and physicality of non-digital works through 3D modeling technologies. We have partnered with the largest 3D modeling house in Puerto Rico to begin prototyping a holographic solution for physical art objects and hope to extend this solution to other regions as users begin to move into virtual worlds and the metaverse. (If you have some expertise in this area, we would love to collaborate with you.)