Tensor Surges in Solana NFT Trading Volume Amid Successful Season 1 Airdrop
Tensor, a Solana NFT marketplace, is quickly gaining market share after adopting the playbook of the Ethereum platform Blur. The strategy involves targeting "pro" traders and providing "loyalty" rewards for using its marketplace.
On Monday, the platform began its "Season 1 airdrop," allowing Solana NFT collectors to get free reward boxes in accordance with their blockchain trading activity. Everyone who bought or sold a Solana NFT during the last six months on any marketplace is eligible, and Tensor users will get "25x-50x more rewards," according to a tweet.
The design, execution, and aesthetic of Tensor's approach are extremely similar to that of Blur, an upstart Ethereum NFT marketplace that debuted last October. In February, Blur became the leading Ethereum NFT marketplace in terms of trading volume, as users flipped NFTs in masses to maximize their BLUR airdrop rewards.
According to publicly available blockchain data gathered by analytics platform Dune Analytics, Tensor's Solana NFT trade volume spiked on Monday, hitting 23,351 SOL, or nearly $486,000 by the end of the day based on the value of Solana. During that time, there were about 2,800 NFT trades on the platform.
Tensor has handled about 19% of all Solana NFT trade activity over the last 24 hours, compared to market leader Magic Eden's 60%, according to market-wide figures provided by Tiexo. Given that Tensor has only contributed around 6% of Total NFT trade activity over the previous 30 days, that is a significant increase.
Tensor announced today that it has raised a $3 million seed round, led by VC firm Placeholder, with participation from Solana co-founders Anatoly Yakovenko and Raj Gokal as well as Solana Ventures, Big Brain Holdings, and MonkeVentures. This follows the airdrop's spike in trading activity and media attention. Famous pseudonymous trader HGE, who founded the competing trading site Hadeswap, also joined.
The Tensor team said on Twitter that it started raising startup capital in November when cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which was tightly connected to the Solana ecosystem, started to fall apart. The business claimed that while some potential investors were difficult to win over, it eventually found enthusiastic sponsors in the industry.
“Every VC started the conversation by asking us when we're leaving Solana,” Tensor said in a statement. “We told them we're not, and they proceeded to promptly hang up on us.”
Blur and Tensor adopt market models that aim to enhance liquidity for traders, simplifying the process of purchasing and selling NFTs. Tensor utilizes automated market maker (AMM) trading pools which resemble Sudoswap on the Ethereum blockchain, while Blur's bidding pools enable traders to engage in large-scale transactions and fast sales. They both provide a comprehensive "pro" interface, along with supplementary tools for traders.