Historically, the most popular non-fungible token (NFT) collections have been launched on Ethereum. However, many projects decided to launch on Solana during 2021’s NFT boom, including DeGods, a profile picture (PFP) type NFT collection featuring unique combinations of attributes created using an algorithm. In other words, much like CryptoPunks (the original PFP NFT collection), DeGods is an example of generative art.
Each DeGod has between 4-7 traits from the eight possible attributes: background, skin, clothes, neck, head, eyes, mouth, and specialty (such as wings, black eye, etc.). The rarity of each individual DeGod from the collection depends on the combination of its traits.
In addition to these NFTs being collectibles, they allow holders to generate a token called DUST (through staking their DeGods), and grant access to the DeDAO—a decentralized autonomous organization that governs the ecosystem. Owning a DeGod also allows holders to “transcend” their NFT into a second version of the NFT, called a DeadGod.
By including features beyond the traditional “collectible” phenotype of many NFT collections, the developers and community of DeGods have attempted to establish a foundation for future growth.
How was the DeGods NFT collection developed?
DeGods was created by a developer under the pseudonym Frank (under the social media handle @frankdegods) and launched in October 2021. It was later revealed that Frank’s real identity is Rohun Vora. Vora studied at UCLA before accepting a fellowship at the Y Combinator startup accelerator.
Frank is also the co-founder of DeLabs, the company that handles the DeGods and Y00ts (DeGod’s sister collection) brands, and Dust Labs, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that aims to build products for other NFT projects. The other co-founder and CEO of Dust Labs is serial entrepreneur Kevin Henrikson, known as “Kevin DeGod” to the community.
DeGods launched on October 8, 2021 for a mint price of 3 SOL, or around $450 at the time. DeGods NFTs sold out in 7 seconds because of a technical issue, and there was controversy around the project’s intentions because a larger community was unable to access the mint.
One of the original goal of DeGods was to solve the Paper Hands issue, defined as NFT holders who sell their project under the floor price (or the lowest price that an NFT is listed for in that collection). The team introduced a mechanism known as the “PHBT” which applied a 33.3% tax on users who listed their DeGods on NFT marketplaces at a value lower than the floor price to discourage users from undercutting the floor.
The team would use the tax funds to sweep the floor (that is, purchase 10-50 of the lowest priced DeGods) and burn (or destroy) some of them. The team burned a total of 535 DeGods using this mechanism, bringing the total supply of DeGods to 9,465.
Realizing that the PHBT experiment failed and did not result in raising the floor price as expected, the team decided to remove the mechanism. They turned their attention to multiple changes and modifications throughout 2022, prompting Frank to tweet: “We tried some shit. We learned some shit. Now we’re trying some new shit.”
In January, the team introduced the DUST token and a 2nd generation NFT collection, DeadGods. In April, the DeadGods were officially revealed and, with these updates, DeGods gained more popularity and publicity, prompting it to become one of the most popular Solana-based NFTs.
In December 2022, developers announced that DeGods would migrate to Ethereum, with Vora claiming that the project had “capped out on Solana.”
DeGods on Bitcoin
In February 2023, the Ordinals protocol was introduced which allows users to represent digital assets (such as art) on the Bitcoin blockchain. That same month, Frank minted the 535 burned DeGods onto a single Bitcoin block.
What are DeadGods?
DeadGods are the second version of Degods, were created when developers realized that some of the original DeGods were not very popular because the art was “ugly.” The art of the original collection was reimagined, and holders of DeGod NFTs were eligible to claim (or transcend) a DeadGod using DUST.
While the DeadGods collection introduced new art to the metadata (data that defines the NFT), it is not a new NFT. This means that each NFT holds two different pieces of art that holders can switch between (DeGod vs. DeadGod) as they wish.
What is the DeDAO?
The DeDAO is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) made up of three groups: DAO Leads (project founders), the Alpha Team (market experts), and the Divine Council (contributing members who are voted in by DeDAO). The DAO governs the decisions that guide the project, which includes directing the money in its treasury. Funding of the DAO has historically relied on the DeGods marketplace royalty fee, which was 9.99% until it was announced this would be eliminated in October 2022.
The most public action taken by the DeDAO was acquiring the BIG3 3-on-3 professional basketball team named “Killer 3s.” This was accomplished by buying 25 NFTs issued by Killer 3s for $625,000 in April 2022. Notably, BIG3’s co-founder and hip-hop artist Ice Cube is a DeGods NFT holder.
How does the DUST token work?
DUST originated as an SPL token on the Solana blockchain, which has similar functionality to ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. These are fungible (i.e. interchangeable) tokens on the blockchain that can be used as a currency.
Initially, staking DeGods generated 10 DUST per day in rewards, and staking DeadGods returned three times more (30 DUST per day). However, these rates have since decreased based on the tokenomics of the ecosystem described below.
DUST can be used to transcend a DeGod into a DeadGod, and it can also be used in the DeGods store to purchase merchandise such as clothing and artwork.
At genesis, the total supply of DUST was zero, meaning all tokens have been created through staking NFTs. It also means that, unlike many cryptocurrencies, there was no initial distribution to investors or other stakeholders.
There is a maximum supply of 33.3 million DUST. Like Bitcoin, the supply of DUST is subject to halvings, which are events when the supply schedule is reduced by 50%. In this case, it means that staking rewards are halved three times in total over the lifetime of the project.
- DeGods is a collection of 10,000 profile picture type non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that were originally built on the Solana blockchain
- Owners of DeGods can stake their NFTs to generate rewards, claim alternate versions of their NFTs called DeadGods, and participate in the DeGod decentralized autonomous organization to guide the direction of the project
- The DUST token is the DeGods ecosystem’s utility token; it is used to reward those who stake their NFTs and can be used as a currency to buy certain digital and real-world assets