March 28, 2023
By Anjali Kochhar
SynFutures’ new NFT trading app, NFTures, has a similar interface to dating apps like Tinder and Hinge. Swipe left to short the CryptoPunk. Swipe right to go long — with up to three times leverage either way.
It’s a hilariously degenerate way to think about NFTs. But it moves to reinforce personal taste at a time when NFT marketplaces are catering to high-volume traders.
Just like how potential dates instantly determine date-ability with one glance at a profile picture, traders can immediately wager whether a blue-chip profile picture NFT is overvalued or undervalued, with all bets collateralized and settled in ether (ETH), all on-chain via browser wallet MetaMask, among others.
NFTures (a portmanteau of “NFT” and “futures”) is currently in alpha, and went live this morning for a portion of SynFutures’ waiting list. The list has so far garnered around 14,000 signups, chief marketing officer Mark Lee told Blockworks, with a few thousand now able to start swiping.
Similar to SynFutures’ primary protocol, which supports futures trading for certain cryptocurrencies, NFTures is bootstrapped by capital provided by some of SynFutures’ strategic partners. The two platforms are completely separate, with separate liquidity pools, but NFTures does use SynFutures’ trading infrastructure.
“It all comes down to demand, which is why we’re doing it in phases. If we opened it up for everyone and there wasn’t enough liquidity, that would be an issue,” Lee told Blockworks. “So we just want to make sure we monitor our liquidity, make sure it’s able to support the demand that comes in.”
Lee expressed that NFT trading isn’t meant to be like crypto derivatives trading, which at the top end is typically earmarked by high volume.
By creating a trading platform in the style of modern dating apps, SynFutures hopes to attract a wider audience than only seasoned NFT traders (SynFutures’ terms prohibit a number of jurisdictions, though, including the US and UK).
Other startups are building NFT derivatives products, too. NFTPerps is currently in private beta on Ethereum Layer-2 network Arbitrum, for one, but that’s pitched towards more crypto native speculators.
Lee sees NFTures serving a different purpose: introducing the broader NFT collector audience to the idea of DeFi. That means making them comfortable with the idea of speculating on NFTs in other ways than by simply buying and holding them.
“If you’re holding a piece and you don’t necessarily want to get rid of it, you could open a short position to cover some of your downside risk,” Lee said. “We call NFTs a gateway into crypto, we want this product to be a gateway into DeFi.”
Then again, some NFT collectors are in love with their JPEGs. Shorting them would just be rude.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.