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One of Solana’s most valuable NFT collections was just acquired by a DAO of NFT holders

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The crypto industry has seen countless NFT collections launch since the NFT sector blew up in 2021. However, even so, a few of them in each network are the most popular. For Solana’s ecosystem, Solana Monkey Business (SMB) is easily one of the most valuable and prominent NFT collections, and the project has seen strong support by a group of holders calling themselves MonkeDAO.

However, the DAO has had disputes with the collection’s creators and its most recent owners. Yesterday, they announced that they managed to officially acquire the IP to the project in the aftermath of one of the disputes.

MonkeDAO celebrates SMB’s “independence day”

MonkeDAO purchased the SMB IP, as well as all related keys, assets, and even accounts from Hadeswap, Solana’s leading NFT exchange. The acquisition of the project and everything that comes with it cost around $2 million. The deal was authorized by a HadesDAO governance proposal, which was approved by a massive majority of 97% of token-based votes.

MonkeDAO CEO and co-founder, known only as Nom, commented on the new development stating, “I think it’s a great resolution for the community to be able to showcase ownership and responsibility for the leadership of a project.”

Following the acquisition, MonkeDAO members used social media platforms to mark the occasion, calling it the “independence day” for the project, which references the long road they had to travel to finally gain full ownership of the IP around which they built their collective.

The history of SMB and MonkeDAO

SMB was among the first notable NFT projects on Solana’s network, and it went live in June 2021, only a few months after the NFT craze originally started. It started with a small Gen1 collection, which was later followed by the 5,000 pixel profile photos, that eventually defined the project.

Recent data from CryptoSlam shows that the Gen2 collection managed to yield around $164 million in trading volume to date, while the secondary market prices start at around 200 SOL, which is approximately $4,375 per piece.

MonkeDAO itself was formed soon after the launch of Gen2, and its members came from the ranks of the NFT holders. They were pursuing collective measures, such as in-person events, investments in startups, and even a DAO-managed Solana network validator.

However, as mentioned, disputes started to emerge between the DAO and the creators of SMB, as the DAO requested a share of secondary market royalties, which would fund initiatives. The members said the creators promised a certain amount of funding but failed to deliver. The creators only offered a fraction of the promised amount, which left the DAO feeling cheated.

Initially, the DAO members were considering wrapping the SMB NFTs as new tokens to direct royalties away from creators, which would then go to the DAO treasury. However, they managed to get to an agreement. Then, in February 2023, Hadeswap purchased the SMB IP from the creators, and while MonkeDAO was willing to give the new owner a chance, they quickly discovered that the two parties’ interests were not aligned. Without other options, MonkeDAO decided to purchase the IP on its own, finally managing to do it now, in the second half of April.


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