Build a Custom Marketplace

Hi :raised_hand:,

Thanks for taking a minute to look over our proposal.

“We” in this document refers to MerkleRoot Inc, We are a decentralized team of developers working on fun decentralized projects. We currently contribute to the frontend web3 development of many Unicorn tools and contributed to the initial smart contract design and architecture.


We would like to request the funds to build, secure, and maintain a marketplace for all the assets you use in the game: unicorns, lands, RBW, UNIM, shadowcorns, drops, etc. We want this all to be traded in a central location with low fees and high confidence in the security and accuracy of the marketplace and listings.

This document uses these documents as reference:


Currently, the primary platform for buying and selling Crypto Unicorns (CU) and CU Land is OpenSea. This platform presents a number of problems and challenges that this proposal seeks to address:

  1. OpenSea allows the listing of Crypto Unicorns and Lands that are currently locked into the game.
  2. OpenSea updates meta-data infrequently, leading to the possibility of purchasing a Unicorn or Land that has material different from how it is described in the listing. An example of this would be buying a Unicorn thinking that it has 3 breeding points left, but it only has 2 and the meta-data has not been updated to reflect this.
  3. OpenSea currently requires that the Unicorns market and Land market be separate “marketplaces”.
  4. OpenSea takes 2.5% of all purchases, taking the value out of the CU meta-verse.

We believe that it is fair to say that Open Sea was designed for collectable NFTs but falls short on many of the needs of gaming NFTs. This proposal seeks to remedy all of the above factors and introduce useful new NFT marketplace features to enhance the Crypto Unicorns experience.

Proposal Details

We intend to deliver an all-inclusive Unicorns marketplace on a very aggressive timeline. To accomplish this, we have broken the project up into several deliverable phases.

Phase One Deliverables

During this phase, we will ship the most basic version of a marketplace. The following user stories will be fully functional:

  • As a Crypto Unicorns player, I would like
    • a dedicated marketplace for all Crypto Unicorns digital goods or an NFTs that looks and feels like the rest of the official apps,
    • to be able to list my Unicorn or Land for sale for a wETH price.
    • I would like to be able to unlist my Unicorn or Land at any time,
    • to be able to purchase a Unicorn or Land that is for sale with wETH,
    • to be able to browse all the Unicorns or Lands currently not locked into the game,
    • to be able to make an offer on any Unicorns or Lands currently not locked into the game.
    • I would like my offer to be automatically cancelled if the metadata of the asset changes,
    • to be able to view all the NFT metadata specified in the PRD,
    • to be able to search all the listings (basic frontend driven search),
    • to be able to view a security audit of the marketplace
    • to be able to see all the CU assets associated with my wallet.
    • to be able to do all the above with Shadowcorns & Keystones (as they’re implemented in-game)
  • As a Security Auditor, I would like
    • access to all Solidity code and other assets needed to complete a security audit.
  • As a Merkle Root Engineer, I would like
    • to be able to deploy the contracts and app via CI/CD to staging and production
    • to be notified of any failed test cases on any build,
    • to have the private keys injected at build time so I am not exposed to said private keys.

Phase one deliverable includes a full security audit of the contracts and code from a 3rd party auditing firm.

Phase One Architecture

We will use a joint-custodial model. In this model to list an item you we will collect permission to transfer your assets from your wallet when listing or placing on auction. We will then automatically de-list your asset if the meta changes or it is locked into the game. To place a bid on a listed on non-listed item we will also collect permission to transfer the funds from your wallet. Neither of these will move any assets from your wallet until a purchase is made. It will cost MATIC to list an item or place a bid on an item and we hope this will deture offer spam.
(end update)

We will have a metadata server. This server will monitor all transactions on the CU suite of contracts for transactions. We will store all the metadata in an Elastic search cluster that is synced to the state of the blockchain down to the second. We will make use of this database in phase one to give fast and accurate results for complex queries like: “I would like to see all unicorns of type candy with only one breeding point remaining.” We have deep experience in building these types of real-time data ingestion > processing > storing > queering pipelines. Our tools have served projects that have scaled up to hundreds of thousands of transactions per minute.

Transaction(s) Cost (assuming sub 30 second gas price):

  • List a Unicorn
    • Authorization Transaction
      • No fee
    • List Transaction
      • 0.00312148 MATIC (0.0022 USDC) - As of Jul 14, 22
  • Un-list a Unicorn
    • Un-list transaction
      • 0.00312148 MATIC (0.0022 USDC) - As of Jul 14, 22
  • Buy a Unicorn
    • Purchase Transaction
      • 0.00312148 MATIC (0.0022 USDC) - As of Jul 14, 22
  • Place Offer on a Unicorn
    • Bidding transaction
      • 0.00312148 MATIC (0.0022 USDC) - As of Jul 14, 22
  • Withdraw an Offer on a Unicorn
    • Withdraw Transaction
      • 0.00312148 MATIC (0.0022 USDC) - As of Jul 14, 22

Example 1: A Unicorn seller lists and sells 100 Unicorns per month, the transaction fees would be 0.312148 MATIC ($0.22 USDC)

Example 2: A new player buys 5 Lands and 5 Unicorns to get started, the transaction fees would be 0.021214 MATIC ($0.02 USDC)

External Requirements

  • We will need the Laguna Games team to list the marketplace on the main site:
  • We will need Laguna Games to contract directly with Certik for the security audits.

Phase One Timeline

  • Closed Beta -Mid to late September 2022
  • Open Beta - October 2022

Phase Two Deliverables

  • As a Crypto Unicorns player, I would like to be able to
    • search for any asset, regardless of if it is stored on the blockchain or in game,
    • view land or unicorns listed on other trading platforms,
    • auction my land or unicorns.

Phase Three Deliverables

  • As a Crypto Unicorns player, I would like to be able to
    • buy/sell all CU assets,
    • highlight my land or unicorn that is for sale,
    • see the sell and price history of land and unicorns.
  • All functionality outlined in PRD would be finished

Payment Proposal

Initial Development: $500,000 USDC + 500,000 RBW

  • Phase One Delivered and Approved: $150,000 USDC
  • Phase Two Delivered and Approved: $150,000 USDC
  • Phase Three Delivered and Approved: $200,000 USDC + 500,000 RBW

We will stake the RBW grant in sRBW for at least a year, maybe longer. We really believe in the future of Crypto Unicorns and we are planning to hold our RBW long term.

This pays for a team of five experienced developers to build out the initial product to be delivered through phase three.

Maintenance + Hosting: Fee structure in table below

This pays for the cost of hosting the platform: including storing all the data about the assets in Elasticsearch for super fast loading and searching the catalog. This also pays for a devops engineer and updates from a development engineer to keep the market running and secure long term.

Monthly Gross Volume USDC Percentage Fee
$0.00 → $5,000,000.00 0.5%
$5,000,000.01 → $25,000,000.00 0.25%
$25,000,000.01+ 0.125%

A minimum maintenance fee of $25,000 USDC/mo would apply if the fees collected are less than $25,000 USDC/mo.


This mockup is just a first draft. We plan to work closely with the UI/UX team at Laguna Games to make the marketplace look and feel the same as the game and the tools you already use. The design we are aiming for will be simple to use and fun to look at while having all the tools you need to buy and sell unicorns, lands, and tokens in one place.


Thanks for reading our proposal! In summary: we are requesting the funding and integration to build for the community, what we hope to be, a really useful marketplace. Voting yes on this proposal will provide us with the resources we need to complete this project and to keep it secure and updated as this game we all love continues to evolve. :unicorn:!


looks like a fair compensation model to me, I support this :slight_smile:
appreciate the details on deliverables. September timeline sounds pretty good too

What would be ETA for phase 2-3 , as main functionality are unlocked only then ?

Impressive proposal! I support this!

What about filtering? It’s critical functionality when you are looking for unicorn with certain set of stats.

This proposal is agreeable. I have a question on how improvements and site upgrades are handled? Are the cost of upgrades and improvements of the product included in the monthly fee? Or will this entail a separate allocation of funds later down the road?

What would be ETA for phase 2-3 , as main functionality are unlocked only then ?

We are looking at around six calendar months of development to get through all the functionality of the PRD plus the advanced searching we added. We left a timetable off the second and third deliverables mainly because we still need to sit work out all the technical designs then put firm estimates together. So, I would ask for a little flexibility on that six month estimate–but we will do our best to deliver on time and we are incentivized to do so with this being a fixed price.

What about filtering? It’s critical functionality when you are looking for unicorn with certain set of stats.

Search and filtering are a huge part of this proposal. We are planning to index all the traits and stats in Elastic. This gives us not just the ability to quickly search and filter, but also to – possibly – provide cool features like being able to subscribe to a search.

We are planning to work closely with Laguna and the community on the best way to intuitively expose these features in the designs.

This proposal is agreeable. I have a question on how improvements and site upgrades are handled? Are the cost of upgrades and improvements of the product included in the monthly fee? Or will this entail a separate allocation of funds later down the road?

Thanks! To you question: the minimum fee is to “keep the lights on”. This includes a full time devops engineer and all the hosting costs of the platform. We fully believe that the marketplace’s transaction volume will go well over the minimum fee and we fully plan to reinvest as it does so. With that said, if there is a big feature that the community wants in the future– for example a bridge to Eth mainnet –we would be open to placing a separate proposal for just said feature.

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I’m super excited about this! Just two questions:

  1. Can we still hide our assets same with what we can do in OS?
  2. Is the auction same in Ronin marketplace where you set the starting price, end price, and duration?
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Lot of good things here in proposal. So dont misread my first comment.

One concern I have and I understand things take time and you are trying to produce a secure marketplace asap. My concern is one of the main reasons we are looking for a alternative to OS is the floor price manipulation of unicorns and lands as they are currently locked into the game. My concern is that shadowcorns and all other assets will soon be locked into the game as well as soon as possibly the next update from team. Once these are locked into the game I fear the same issues we have had with unicorns and lands will be presented with shadowcorns and keystones and loot boxes etc. Which means we may still be living with these issues well into the future of 6 months until phase 3 is here. I understand this will take time and the marketplace should take time and be done right. Besides a new marketplace I would really like to see the CU team decide on a measure to remove the ability for the bad actors to operate. On another note I am not sure how I feel about the costs to build. At RBW ATH of 3 if we return to that number the costs to build a marketplace could exceed 2 million. Are there any other marketplaces like the one you propose building so we could see what kind of quality you are proposing on building. Thanks for working with the team and having interest in building a marketplace for us all here at CU. :heart:


Guys, I certainly understand that your marketplace with live nft is an important and valuable thing. And yet 500k dollars + 500k rainbow for a few months of work alert. And considering the fact that literally this hour is ready beta version, we can assume that the engine is taken from another product and improved "unicorn skins. If I understand correctly, then this work is to write the “frontend” plus a contract, and the “backend” is not developed.

And also alarming that such substantial money offered to “Split the money” the firm that not only works closely with Laguna Gems, and employees of both companies work there and there…

The feeling is that the same Moonstreem can do the same work qualitatively and much cheaper. Especially since they have long started it.

I asked around the programmers I know on the blockchain playing this game and found that the price should be in the region of 100k dollars, but no more.

I apologize if I am too harsh this hour, but understand me correctly. I, and I’m not the only one, get tired of seeing both assets and active players of the game go down. And it really upsets me that such a huge amount of money can be spent on a piece of product that no one might even need, if the same money is not spent on marketing and attracting new players. And first and foremost, of course, to improve the economy.

Peace, everyone.


very expensive, totally agree

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  1. I would love to change the main currency from wETH to USDC as it is easier for me to do taxes and see the value of an asset.

  2. We need to be able to see what is on the specific land (buildings, their lvl, farm bonuses etc…)

otherwise cant wait for it , OS is bad for the game

More than $500k for this miracle, are you guys serious? For an offer of this amount, you could prepare decent mock-ups, not this. This is not serious


Sharing a link to better facilitate the discussion!

This marketplace proposal is based off the Crypto Unicorns Marketplace Product Requirement Document that we published in June.

It might be good to review it to get a better idea of what Merkle Root means to include in Phase 3.

  1. It’s good that there is a proposal on a painful topic.
  2. It’s bad that the market is custodial. All actions will be through the blockchain, this is not good
  3. The picture of the market, in the presentation looks sad, and not serious
  4. It’s very expensive for what you offered at all

As we are told, it is winter. And you want 500k usdc and 500k rainbows


Thank you @sonolumin and the MerkleRoot team. Cool company name by the way.

I have a few questions, and a perspective on the communities needs.

Who will have ownership of the work proposed here? Will Laguna Games have legal rights and ownership of the website, data, tools, and resources created by MerkleRoot inc. under the direction and compensation agreement laid out before us? I ask because I evaluate the value and cost of things like this differently if the LG and the community are able to change course over time compared to ‘Vendor Lock In’.

Can you elaborate on the maintenance fee part of the proposal? I’d much rather see operations / hosting costs broken out separately from staff. I also have concerns about the rather open ended nature of whom would be doing what for how many hours each month as part of this fee, especially with the commitment to cover a short fall of % fees. To be rather honest and unabashedly direct, as an ‘IT Guy’ I’ve helped enough clients paying high fees for minimal website ‘maintenance’ over the years to be very concerned about this. I can write a lot more on this subject but hope enough people understand the concern without digging into the mud.

One of the reasons a custom market place is needed is because self custody of NFTs isn’t really compatible with the likes of OpenSea and projects that have some form of Locking requirement. LG / CU made a distinction in how in game NFTs are handled to ensure self custody of assets. This proposal is contrary to that concept / ideal. I can write may words on this subject as well, starting off with: Who is legally liable for loss of NFTs not in players custody?

Will a new custody contract be written from scratch or do you have an existing contract as a starting point that has had some real world testing behind it?

Shadowcorns, lootboxes, and badges are absent from the proposal. How experience is your team in creating expandable platforms? In the CU discord @sonolumin mentioned shadowcorns where left out due to time constraints. While I am far from a NFT expert my understanding is there are two broad feature sets. At a minimum it should be easy for such a market place to list and display the standard features of an ERC-721 token collection, much like OS currently does. Understandably decoding the ‘DNA’ of unicorns and lands is outside of that scope and would require enhanced functionally to be coded. I hope LG is able to offer code examples of how they mange this so your team is not revers engineering such things.

Will an API be available the access the data used for filtering and or general sales and listing data?

What is the reasoning behind using weth as the transaction token?

Is it possible to support Matic as well? It really is a lot easier to get Matic on an exchange and avoid the eth / weth / weth on polygon education requirements.

All digital goods was mentioned, will that include buying and selling of RBW and UNIM tokens?

I hope everyone involved in manifesting this concept into reality is keeping an eye on the big picture, on boarding new players to the CU universe. This proposal covers the blockchain NFT requirements rather well, but details on how this market place enhances the CU ecosystem beyond being a bit better than OS is lacking. Simple features like highlighting Single, Double, etc Mythic, how much a stat is above or below the average in general and that class, a ‘5 star rating’ for what to expect for different gaming loops. A random corn could have 3 stars for Jousting, 4 for racing, and so on for the RPG loop…

With the current world we inhabit, and the various ‘scandals’ inside and out of the web3 space I think it is prudent and reasonable for Laguna Games executives to review Merkleroot staff to confirm they actually exist and that they have the work history and experience to do such contract work vs our community paying them to copy / paste from stack exchange. I wish I had a nicer way of saying that, I have zero intent to be disrespectful. It is a bit concerning the website registration is just a bit over a year old and there is no cooperate mailing address or phone number.

Registered On: 2021-06-21
Owner details Private / TuCows

To the community, please keep in mind we are talking about giving the CEO of an unknown company half a Million real U.S. dollars and a guaranteed monthly income of $25,000 dollars with no parameters on Service Level guarantee in addition to the RBW discussed.


I am strongly in favor of this proposal. I think its important for the community to realize that $500k in USDC is a very small portion of our treasury and leaves over $20mil (im not looking at the exact number rn) for our overhead for LG… that’s at least a full year, not even including secondary sales revenue, so likely 2 years.

My only amendment, which I hope @sonolumin will consider, is delivering the USDC in 3 tranches: 150k of USDC once phase 1 is complete, 150k of USDC once phase 2 is complete, and 150k once phase 3 is complete, with 50k in escrow in case some features of the MP don’t meet the satisfaction of the community and are not properly reiterated on. I am in favor of giving them 500k in RBW immediately, assuming it is staked for 12 months (I want that guaranteed).

Thank you guys SO much for your commitment to our community. The mockups looks dope.


Thank you for the proposal,

Few things I need to ask.

  • In the future Crypto unicorns will have different game loops, such as RPG, Racing, Jousting, Raids. will the items in the future game loops be included in this marketplace? or that will require another proposal?

I am seeing this as an approach in this short term. it is aggressively good but I would like to know if these other future features will also be supported by this marketplace.

just to clarify for the public, 500,000 USDC will be a delivery until phase three.

  • The 25,000 USDC/mo stated [or percentage fee] : will this be on top of the 500,000 USDC when the marketplace is up?

  • What are your foreseen risk?

  • Could you explain more about the auction? people are looking forward to the similarities of the Ronin marketplace where you set the starting price, end price, and duration which is highly encouraged. what are your thoughts about this ?

  • While we are on the middle of the set of phases [since you will maintain them] are you open to discuss and make changes in the UX?, The community would love to provide suggestions on how to make improvements to the UX.

Personal suggestion to be added here:

  • Please make it Dark mode friendly.
  • CU background theme seems to be more of a Blue not white.
  • Unicorn Genes should also be added here. Not just the Major Genes. it should also include the normal Genes and the Minor Genes.
  • Search option and Filters should be on the top.

looking forward to your response.


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