Bridgesplit is Building a Liquidity Stack for Unique Assets — Serum Stories #17
“On the one hand, we want to give collectors and institutions an outlet for accessing capital using their NFTs…On the other hand, we want to give people opportunities to earn yield on NFTs…
We both believe that the idea of digital uniqueness goes far beyond what we’re seeing as NFTs today…The ability for these new assets to be integrated into the broader DeFi ecosystem is dependent on robust liquidity.”
NFTs. The word alone captivates, excites, and rouses both passionate debate and deep introspection on the financial system and its future. NFTs are a strange beast. The market structures for trading them are traditionally auction-based with pricing discovery surrounding the concept of the floor.
Few could have predicted the NFT craze that transformed the future of Solana, but many have put their bets in for the future of NFTs. The emergent new roadmaps include NFT derivatives and innovative liquidity solutions to allow for yield generation on such digital assets. Enter Bridgesplit, the financial infrastructure for cross-chain non-fungible tokens, providing the composability and liquidity needed for the next generation of digital asset solutions.
This week, we’re joined by Luke and Mary from Bridgesplit, who offer insight into their core product, their vision for Web3, and their founding story. Some of you may know Bridgesplit from their permissioned alpha released last month. Things are only kicking off for the Bridgesplit team. Stay tuned for their next releases, starting as early as this week…
What’s up next
1. — What is Bridgesplit?
2. — The solution
3. — Founding story
4. — Alpha mainnet! MonkeDAO! And more!
5. — Glimpse of a roadmap
6. — A Web3 World
7. — Bridgesplit and Serum
8. — What’s in a name?
9. — Who’s the next NFT?
10. — Plans for 2022
11. — Final words
1. For those who are not already in the know, what is your 30 second elevator pitch for Bridgesplit?
Bridgesplit is a liquidity and yield stack for NFTs. We’re building markets that enable those seeking liquidity on their NFTs to find it in the form of NFT indexes, curated NFT pools, fractionalized pools, NFT-backed perpetuals, and NFT-collateralized lending.
For the other side of the market, we’re developing high yield opportunities for capital providers to keep their NFT exposure and earn passive income.
2. It’s incredible that you’re working on building markets for NFT derivatives. What does this mean for the average Solana or DeFi user? What does a solution like Bridgesplit open up for the world?
On the one hand, we want to give collectors and institutions an outlet for accessing capital using their NFTs. Users with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in NFTs may not want to sell their portfolios, and even if they wanted to, it would take weeks and dramatic price reductions to sell it off. On the other hand, we want to give people opportunities to earn yield on NFTs.
We both believe that the idea of digital uniqueness goes far beyond what we’re seeing as NFTs today. Whether it’s in-game assets, memberships, identity, off-chain cash-flows, registered securities, or debt — the ability to represent an off-chain asset on chain will be a critical piece of the next wave of crypto adoption. The ability for these new assets to be integrated into the broader DeFi ecosystem is dependent on robust liquidity.
3. You’re a lean team of two with plans to rapidly expand. What brought you to where you are now? What’s the founding story of Bridgesplit?
We met in college and have worked at a few Web2 and finance companies including ML research at Google and Cruise, Product Management at Salesforce, and Quant Trading at Optiver. Afterwards, towards the end of college, we were running a consulting business together, building software and data products for the U.S. Department of Defense and about 30 private businesses. We ended up turning that into a recruiting business and spent two years matching early graduates to careers in tech and defense. It grew rapidly during the pandemic, leading us to sell the business during DeFi Summer (2020).
We jumped into crypto with the mindset of onboarding new capital and users into the ecosystem. We built a “Robinhood for DeFi” on Polygon, but ultimately realized that 1) not even L2s could support the next wave of users, and 2) we needed something stickier to attract non-traditional users. So, we got excited about 1) Solana and 2) NFTs!
We started in Solana by helping out some of our friends who were building other protocols while we developed our opinions on NFT infrastructure. We jumped headfirst into building Bridgesplit in September.
4. You launched your permissioned alpha on mainnet in late November. Trading is now live here!
Firstly, congratulations! The alpha has one big NFT (MONKEDAO) deposited and fractionalized and made ready for trading. Can you tell us more about your alpha, about MONKEDAO, and what we can expect next for Bridgesplit?
Thanks! Yeah, we were excited to have MonkeDAO on board for the alpha. We want to concentrate activity on the platform to in-demand assets while we experiment with different models. After a few more high-profile fractionalizations and partnership announcements, we’ll be open sourcing the protocol for anyone to use and build with!
Soon, we’ll be rolling out a series of new protocols! Curated multi-asset pools will allow collectors to build portfolios and issue shares. Fractional pools and automated Multi-Asset pools will offer high liquidity, dynamic products with concentrated trading and higher yields for LPs to contribute to. Finally, this liquidity will power a dynamic liquidation engine for scalable, NFT-collateralized lending markets.
5. Very interesting roadmap. We’d love to get more color on curated and automated pools. When can we expect these features to hit the market? Who are they for?
We’ll be announcing release dates for these products shortly, but they are all currently being tested internally. We’re building these features with both DeFi and NFT users in mind.
For the DeFi user, we see this as a new avenue for earning higher LP rates while also getting exposure to a new asset class. For NFT users, this is a way to 1) buy and sell assets much more quickly and 2) take more complex positions (e.g. 0.2 super rare monke, 0.4 floor dragon, etc.).
6. No one could have predicted the NFT craze. That market is cooling off now, but people are still proud of their digital art collections, and perhaps rightly so. What do you see in the future of NFTs — a Web3 world?
I think the collectibles market will remain an important piece of the ecosystem for some time, but the real potential in NFTs that we’ll start seeing as early Q1 2022 is the application of NFTs in bringing off-chain assets on chain. We’ve talked to a number of companies that are using NFTs as digital certificates of ownership for locked physical assets to bring things like jewelry, baseball cards, video game assets, and more into the crypto economy.
7. Let’s talk Serum. How does Serum, as it currently stands, fit into what you’re building? How about the new, upcoming Serum Core by Bonfida?
Serum has been critical in our product. Markets for NFT derivatives have many different levels of liquidity and the ability for us to integrate with many AMMs all settling ultimately on Serum allows us to focus our development time on the new parts of our product.
We’ve also benefited from the open source nature of Serum and will be releasing a modified version of the Serum DEX program that can take smaller state sizes and costs between 0.05–0.1 SOL to establish as opposed to 4–5 SOL with the current program. We’re calling it Serum Lite and using it to enable NFT holders to set up smaller markets at a lower cost. We’re super excited for Serum Core, as many of our soon to be announced derivatives products don’t work with traditional AMM or Orderbook’s.
8. What’s in a name? Admittedly, “Bridgesplit” is a cool sounding name (‘bridging yet splitting’, I get it!), but what does it mean in this context?
We’re building on Solana due to the economic and design flexibility you’re allowed with the performance relative to other L1s, but view the protocol as chain-agnostic. We’re accomplishing this agnosticism rebuilding Bridgesplit by bridging assets from other chains onto Solana for liquidity and yield. Longer-term, bridge comes from our goal of bridging assets from off-chain to on-chain. Split refers to the development of derivatives on NFTs and other bridged assets.
9. Anyone logging on to app.bridgesplit.com will see a big mysterious list of NFT collections to be supported. Naturally, these are important partnerships in order for your team to get fractionalization and derivatives exposure going for the most popular collections. Who’s next on the roster? Can you give us a sneak peek?
We are likely changing the site after a lot of good feedback from our community. But the goal of that page was to highlight key milestones for us. We don’t want to announce anything too early but we’ll be seeing some pretty Legendary assets :) We also want to hear from our community on the projects they’re excited about because we can only cover so many, so if any of you have opinions would love to hear them!
10. What should your supporters look out for in the remainder of 2021? What are your ambitions for 2022?
The rest of 2021 will be filled with partnership announcements, major fractionalizations, a full release of the fractionalization product, and some teases of exciting new features we have coming up!
The first few months of 2022 will be filled with releases of most of our core liquidity products. Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be focused on developing relationships with protocol power users. We’ll also be diving into broadening the applications of NFTs through partnerships and new pieces to the protocol. We’ll also be releasing our token next year and starting to decentralize governance.
11. Any final words to our readers?
We’re currently hiring for a ton of different positions and are looking for some smart DeFi, software, and NFT people to contribute to the next wave of Web3. To stay updated on the latest, follow us on Twitter and hop in our Discord! To learn about our roles, visit us here. To work with us in a different way (i.e. collection/protocol partnerships), visit us here.
We hope you enjoyed the interview!
We would love to continue having these kinds of conversations with all the incredible teams building on Serum and sharing them with you. Just let us know who you want to read about next!