A better marketplace for Crypto Unicorns

Open Sea currently functions as the main market for Crypto Unicorns NFTs and items. There are many problems with Open Sea:

Problem 1: Open Sea is unreliable

Crypto Unicorns uses Moonstream’s platform to allow players to claim various on-chain rewards.

Over the past 3 weeks, the Crypto Unicorns team performed 3 large-scale airdrop operations.

During each drop, Open Sea experienced significant technical issues to the point that they became unusable. The Crypto Unicorns community calls them Broken Sea for good reason.

Problem 2: Players listing locked lands and unicorns at low rates, leading to failed purchase attempts and reduced floor price on unicorns.

Problem 3: Players accidentally purchasing unicorns with fewer breeding points than they expected because Open Sea was slow to update metadata.

Open Sea was built for people who want to buy and sell art NFTs, whose metadata updates rarely if at all.

Crypto Unicorns is a live game. This means that token metadata updates very frequently compared to an art NFT.

It also means that there is information about the state of Crypto Unicorn NFTs that can only be obtained on-chain and not even through the metadata.

Unfortunately, Open Sea has no way to query on-chain state of NFTs at the time of purchase. It can only rely on metadata. This is what leads to Problems 2 and 3 above, and will cause even more problems as the game becomes more and more sophisticated.

Problem 4: Open Sea’s 2.5% commission extracts value from the community

Open Sea takes a 2.5% commission of all sales made through their platform.

From our point of view, all this does is extract value out of our community. Every time one of us purchases a unicorn or land or lootboxes or shadowcorn eggs, 2.5% of that money is going to a company that can’t even keep their marketplace up through our drops.

None of that money is coming back into our community, to help with the development of our corner of the metaverse.

As of today, Open Sea has extracted over 400 ETH in value from the Crypto Unicorns economy, and they will go on doing so until the end of time… If we let them.

So what are we going to do about this?

Moonstream DAO proposes to build a new marketplace for unicorns, lands, lootboxes, shadowcorns, and all the items and characters that will eventually exist in the Crypto Unicorns metaverse.

Unlike Open Sea, we are intimately familiar with the Crypto Unicorns smart contracts. Our marketplace will allow players to create orders for unicorns based on their class, stats, parents, breeding points, and more.

It will allow players to transact in the currencies and commodities of the CU metaverse – RBW, UNIM, lootboxes, shadowcorn eggs, and more.

It will allow players to trade atomically with each other, on-chain.

These trades will not require players to keep on refreshing metadata so that they can be sure that they are getting what they pay for. They will set conditions for trades and if any of these conditions are not met on-chain, the transactions will fail and no one will have lost any money.

Locked unicorns and lands will not be actively listed on this marketplace.

How will we build this?

The marketplace we propose will consist of:

  1. A smart contract responsible for the atomic execution of trades. This smart contract will check that all the conditions of each trade are satisfied before successful completion of transactions.

  2. A web app which will allow users to query the listings currently available on the marketplace smart contract.

Moonstream DAO will be responsible for the development and maintenance of the smart contract and web app, and for the security of the system.

And the commission?

Moonstream would collect a 1.0% commission on all sales.

The Crypto Unicorns treasury would collect an x% commission on all sales. (Particular value of x to be determined by the Crypto Unicorns governance process.)

Proposed milestones?

  1. Players will be able to trade Unicorns for WETH, and Lands for WETH.
    Web app will allow players to query available unicorns and lands, and to list their own unicorns and lands for sale. (Target: End of June, 2022)

  2. Smart contract and security audit I. (Target: Mid-July, 2022)

  3. Players will be able to trade lootboxes for WETH, shadowcorn eggs for WETH, golden tickets for WETH, and shadowcorns for WETH. (Target: End of July, 2022)

  4. Players will be able to specify conditions for their trades. If conditions are not met on-chain, trades will not go through. (Target: End of August, 2022)

  5. Smart contract and security audit II. (Target: End of September, 2022)

Once we have completed these milestones, we will continue improving the marketplace based on community feedback.

Update: May 16, 2022

@darthschmitty13 and I discussed the Moonstream DAO proposal to build a Crypto Unicorns marketplace today.

Summary of our discussion:

  1. Moonstream DAO will develop and maintain the marketplace smart contract and API.
  2. Laguna Games will develop and maintain the marketplace frontend, integrated into app.cryptounicorns.fun.
  3. Moonstream DAO will be responsible for the infrastructure and security of the marketplace.
  4. Laguna Games will provide customer support for marketplace users.
  5. In exchange for continued maintenance of the marketplace contract and API, Moonstream DAO will take a 1% fee from all marketplace transactions. This commission will last only as long as Moonstream DAO continues maintaining and securing the marketplace smart contract and API.
  6. The Crypto Unicorns treasury will collect an additional x% commission on each marketplace transaction, where the particular value of x is to be determined by the Crypto Unicorns community.

To date, Open Sea has extracted over 400 ETH of value from the Crypto Unicorns community. Valuing the extracted ETH at the time of transaction, this means that Open Sea has extracted over $1,000,000 in value from our community in the last 6 months.

The standard alternatives to Open Sea - for example, white labeled Rarible marketplaces - all charge a 1% commission on marketplaces transactions without bringing any additional value to project economies.

Moonstream DAO has been involved in the Crypto Unicorns from Day 1. Our efforts have generated tens of millions of dollars in value to the Crypto Unicorns economy.

We are long-term holders of CU-based assets. Aside from the RBW distributed to DAO members, Moonstream DAO has not liquidated any RBW that we received from our ecosystem grant. When we say that we believe in Crypto Unicorns, we put our money where our mouths are.

We believe in blockchain gaming because of its promise of decentralized, collaborative creation. We believe in Crypto Unicorns because Aron and the Laguna Games team also see this same potential.

We look forward to using the revenue generated from our marketplace to continue building novel and innovative gameplay experiences for the community.

Update: May 20, 2022

As a few people in the forum (@mat , @404 , @TheGenji , and others) have pointed out, this is web3. Anybody can build a marketplace if they want to and if they have the technical chops.

The matter on the table is the integration of the marketplace we are proposing into the Crypto Unicorns applications.

After listening to your thoughts as well as your concerns, we think it is best to have the conversation about integration once we have a functional marketplace.

We (Moonstream DAO) will bear the full cost of development of the marketplace.

Given this new approach, and the rest of our roadmap for participation in Crypto Unicorns, we are updating our timeline as follows:

  1. We plan to plan and prototype our marketplace implementation during the month of June.
  2. We will begin developing the production version of the marketplace in July.
  3. We will aim for the marketplace to go live in September.

Simultaneously, Laguna Games has agreed to make a PRD (Product Requirements Document) describing what the Crypto Unicorns community needs from a marketplace - especially the criteria by which such a marketplace would be selected to integrate into https://app.cryptounicorns.fun.

Once our marketplace is live and the PRD is ready, and assuming the marketplace satisfies the requirements in the PRD, we will submit an official proposal to the Crypto Unicorns DAO that our marketplace be integrated into https://app.cryptounicorns.fun.

This will provide something concrete to vote on.

Thank you.


I had to travel back in time and mention that this milestone is very important.
Full support!
:rainbow: :unicorn:


This is what we’ve been waiting for! :heart_eyes:
In addition, please include a filter for the level of buildings and their boosts especially in the farm plot. This will raise the value of each lands.
Thank you, CU fam!! :blush:


Yes please! Desperately needed ASAP!


Definitely. :+1:

The level of development on each land NFT should definitely factor into its price on the marketplace.


I think it is a good idea!


This is what we need, BIG YES!

Right now the listings on opensea are really hurting and damaging the project badly, this need to be countered asap.

But external compagny taking for ever fees from the marketplace sales shouldn’t be a thing sorry, they should be paid for the development and maintenance and that’s it.

We need other options than a % taken away from treasury as we were talking about on discord :slight_smile:


Those predatory locked listings on Open Sea make me so angry.


Can you add descending auctions? I liked to be able to list hundreds of axies before bed and wake up to them all sold


Of course it’s a tempting idea. And what about the limitation of new participants who could have come precisely from the open sea?

I mean reaching out to new members


It would be better for the community if players start to use this marketplace instead of Open Sea because it will give them more control and protection in their trading.

The people who are listing their locked lands - they wouldn’t be able to do that on our marketplace because we will not show listings of locked NFTs as active listings.


Anything to get away from the archaic Opensea Platform for most of the game’s trading would be to die for.

1.5% is also a decent pay cut from OS’s fees. I wonder though depending on how the game performs long term, is this something that is negotiable in the future?

In full support of this regardless.


I think auction functionality will have to come after the more basic stuff.

We did analyze Open Sea transactions and did not find anyone using auction functionality for Crypto Unicorns.


We could negotiate DAO to DAO in the future.

The reason percentages make sense in the first place is because the value of transactions determines the size of the target painted on our backs, and the amount that we have to spend on security and operations.


Fed up with the high tax rate of the OS, support its own market, and have unsatisfied functions, come on moonstream


Would be nice to put a redirect link from opensea collections to the new marketplace


If possible, maybe we can add a functionality wherein we can easily see the genes, or the breed points, or stats of each assets by just hovering the mouse so we can decide which one to buy faster.

Super excited! :blush:


Do it babe, do it…Uwu :blush:


Love it, let’s get it approved and rolling ASAP


Taking a 1.5% fee into perpetuity, that could be constantly adding to the CU treasury is extremely short sighted. Do we believe that CU will be a project that will be around for many years, and experience tremendous success? If the answer is yes, giving away a fee cut that would otherwise be accruing to the treasury is making a big mistake. There is plenty of incentive for a marketplace to be made with a payment upon completion, and then a budget for maintenance to be agreed upon. A general 1.5% is unacceptable. We should also be looking to take competitive bids, and weigh who has best chance of delivering.