Solana-based NFT platform Metaplex Studios names new CEO and advisory board

Quick Take

  • Adam Jeffries has been appointed to run the entity that will promote the Metaplex protocol.
  • A number of strategic advisors, including CoinShares’ chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors, have also joined the studio.

A body formed to drive the growth of Metaplex, an open-source platform for building NFT storefronts, has named former Citadel and Google engineer Adam Jeffries as CEO, according to a press release.

Jeffries is joined by a new board of strategic advisors that includes music streaming service Audius; CoinShares chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors; Cultur3 Capital co-founders Alex Yamashita, Mark Streeter and Rolf Hoefer; Dylan Macalinao, co-founder of Saber Labs; and Steve ‘Sweatpants’ Irby, co-founder at Street Dreams Magazine.

Built on Solana, Metaplex is an open-source protocol that aims to help creatives mint and auction NFTs. The project aims to cut out the fees charged by centralized platforms in the NFT space. 

“Someone like OpenSea, they’re going to take a cut, and that’s because they provide additional services on top of that decentralization,” said Jeffries. “We control nothing. We set up the ecosystem to empower others.”

Since June this year, Metaplex has supported more than $385 million in NFT sales. There are 1,800 developer teams building tools on the protocol, according to the press release.

The studio aims to boost the Metaplex protocol’s community, steer the development of new tools and making them available on an open-source basis.

“The structure right now is there are two arms to it – the foundation and studios. The foundation’s job is essentially the goal of growing the ecosystem, handling grants, setting up advisors and dealing with fundraising,” said Jeffries. Metaplex Studios, on the other hand, will act as “evangelists” for the protocol, he added.

Solana power

One of the studio’s main selling points is the fact that Metaplex runs on Solana, a proof-of-stake blockchain that has experienced tremendous growth in recent months.

Most NFT projects run on Ethereum, but heavy congestion and spiralling transaction costs on the network have proven difficult for smaller, lower-priced collections to navigate. “Running on Solana has the benefit of very, very low transaction costs as well as high speeds,” said Jeffries.  

But he added that different blockchains have different purposes and that porting assets between them, in the future, will boost the entire ecosystem.

“Maybe you have a super, super high value NFT and your client just feels more comfortable being on Ethereum, you bridge and you send it over,” he explained.

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