This week, Mirror launches v2 of Editions as part of its publishing tools.
Introduced last June, Editions were designed to address the limitations of the growing NFT marketplace. NFTs gained renown as 1/1 digital artworks, finally allowing digital artists to imbue their works with a rarity previously only associated with traditional art. But with that baked-in rarity came exclusivity. And with exclusivity, we felt the NFT marketplace was limiting itself from realizing its full potential. First and foremost, with a single collector, NFTs were not well-suited for building communities around an NFT collection.
Editions allow creators to mint a limited supply of identical NFTs at a fixed price, directly on Mirror. There’s an analogy we’ve probably overused by now: If a 1/1 NFT is a Picasso at Sotheby's, Editions are like the thousands of first-edition holographic Charizards released. Since their introduction, Editions minted on Mirror have been used to fund research, support public goods, raise money for social causes and gate access to IRL events.
So why v2?
Weren’t Editions a perfectly self-sustaining protocol at their inception? Well, let’s look at that. It comes down to ownership, one of web3’s core principles. Zoomed out, yes, creators have exclusive authorship over an NFT and buyers have exclusive ownership. But when you get into the fine details, it gets blurry. Until recently, NFT protocols used shared minting contracts, meaning creators didn’t retain exclusive ownership over the contract used to mint their NFTs. That, unfortunately, means:
Centralized admin privileges Shared minting contracts are usually controlled by the core team that developed the protocol, not the creator.
Bundled collection pages on secondary markets On secondary markets like OpenSea, all NFTs from a shared minting contract are displayed on one collection page which constrains the growth of secondary market activity.
Lack of provenance NFTs minted from a shared contract don’t point to the creator as the owner of the contract on-chain. This makes it difficult to tie an NFT back to a specific creator.
Lack of custom royalties Shared minting contracts usually have a standard royalty percentage for all NFTs and don’t support the latest royalty standard, EIP-2981.
Through this lens, revisiting Editions was a no-brainer. Based on community feedback and internal research, we’ve updated the Editions protocol to meet the highest web3 standards. The protocol now features:
Creator-owned contracts Every Edition is now its own contract represented by a standalone Ethereum address. Additionally, the creator is the only account with admin privileges on the contract.
Branded secondary market collection pages Editions now automatically get their own branded collection pages on secondary markets like OpenSea, which include a floor price scoped to that collection. The creator also has the ability to update metadata on those collection pages at any time.
Media files and metadata are completely decentralized All media and metadata associated with Editions are no longer reliant on centralized servers. They’re now stored on IPFS and uploaded using Estuary to guarantee data replication.
Gas efficiency It costs ~100,000 gas to mint an Edition, which is ~$13 at 43 base gwei and an ETH price of $2,500.
Custom on-chain royalties Editions now support EIP-2981, the latest on-chain royalty standard, and custom royalty percentages. Additionally, payouts are now automatically routed to the creator’s wallet.
And that’s that. Editions as usual. Minting like never before.
In an effort to double down on web3 principles, Editions v2 marks a first step towards refining our toolkit. Over the next few months [weeks? forever?], we’ll continue to take inventory of Mirror’s current protocols, ensuring everything is truly grounded in the ideology that prompted Mirror in the first place.
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