Digital art NFTs have taken a critical significance in the current blockchain landscape. Their high-profile adoption from the jet-set community and incredible profit opportunities put them under the spotlight for the mainstream investor. They also enabled artists to reach a larger public and provided them with easy-to-use platforms to do so.
However, there are some very damning concerns that have arisen in this particular niche. First of all, the environmental impact of NFTs is very real, and many consider them a wasteful application of blockchain. Moreover, the countless number of scams and rug pulls that left both artists and collectors empty-handed have considerably damaged their image in the mainstream media. And finally, many artists have been disillusioned by NFTs as a quick cash grab and a get-rich vehicle for the already wealthy.
So, can NFTs improve their ethics and become a more sustainable investment vehicle in the future? The Orica NFT project firmly believes so. In this article, we give you a fair Orica review to help you assess whether this recent NFT marketplace addresses some of the issues of the current NFT environment. To this end, we will review the pros and cons of Orica, and have an in-depth look at the ethical improvements it hopes to bring to the NFT marketplace. We also analyze the ORI cryptocurrency native to the platform and its use cases. Finally, we try to investigate if early investors fell victims to a pump and dump scam in the early days of the token.
But first things first – an introduction to NFTs and their evolution as an art vehicle for those that are wondering what all the hype is about.
Short Introduction to NFTs
Blockchain technology has come a long way since Bitcoin entered the public eye. The implementation of smart contracts allowed developers to create more than just simple vehicles of value. Smart contracts allow automate blockchain’s behavior to act like a global supercomputer, increasing the tech’s use cases considerably. Moreover, these pieces of code allow us to mint both fungible and non-fungible assets.
Fungible tokens like ETH can have great utility in their native blockchain ecosystems, such as transfer of value, deploying dApps, or staking. NFTs, on the other hand, stand out with their uniqueness and capability to tokenize anything of value.
An NFT recorded on the blockchain can hold a wide array of characteristics that allow us to easily differentiate them from one another. Moreover, they benefit from the inherent features of the tech, including traceability, proof of ownership, security, and transferability.
How Can NFTs Empower Artists and Collectors?
As mentioned earlier, NFTs can be used to record any valuable asset from the real world. In our narrative, including an image file into the token’s metadata is particularly useful for minting digital art on the blockchain. The NFT, in this case, represents a unique work of art that artists can sell using peer-to-peer technology. Moreover, the smart contract allows them to include royalty features, which nets them additional income with each subsequent sale of the same NFT.
Collectors, on the other hand, get proof of ownership of the artwork. This allows them to sell them to others at a profit while providing proof of origin for the asset. Blockchain technology also ensures that each NFT is unique and cannot be duplicated, efficiently preventing fakes.
All in all, digital art NFTs provide a secure and highly liquid medium of exchange, while at the same time ensuring uniqueness and scarcity.
The Disillusion of Ethics with NFTs
However, NFTs have been catching some understandably bad rap since their adoption by the mainstream. NFTs require huge amounts of energy for minting, especially when artists use the ever-popular Ethereum blockchain. Given the incredible profit opportunity and general fad around them, the market has been flooded with low-quality NFT art. In a time when conserving every bit of energy toward fighting climate change is essential, creating countless low-quality NFTs might seem frivolous, at best.
Moreover, some artists have faced instances of art theft. Unscrupulous individuals steal digital art, mint it as an NFT and sell it as their own. Given the non-existent regulation in this niche, this is a serious issue. For artists, it’s a meandering nightmare to prove that their art has been stolen to get it delisted from NFT marketplaces.
And finally, just like with cryptocurrencies, the market is often dictated by the whales. These superwealthy market participants buy NFTs in bulk and can easily pump prices through wash trading. They artificially inflate value by listing NFTs at a high price and buying them with another address. This creates a false appearance of high demand, drawing in unsuspecting investors to buy essentially worthless artwork.
So, even though NFTs have a wide array of advantages, some significant ethical drawbacks have challenged their adoption. That’s where our Orica review comes into play.
What Is Orica?
Orica advertises itself as an ethical funding platform for digital creatives and social impact projects. The platform aims to use NFTs for the better good, mainly by providing fundraising instruments for social impact initiatives (SOI). Additionally, it has a goal to empower artists by providing them with an affordable and eco-friendly platform for minting and selling NFTs. And finally, it allows collectors to invest in global development initiatives by purchasing unique and verified art.
Created in August 2018, the project launched an NFT marketplace that curates work from artists all around the world. At the same time, these works of art are powered by a funding mechanism that allows artists to share royalties with various SOI. This co-royalty solution allows collectors to back artists preemptively and allows them to gain freedom from art galleries or publishers.
Meanwhile, artists can collaborate with SOI, which simultaneously allows three entities to profit from the sale of the art. The collector collects co-royalties for backing the artists, while the artists and the social improvement project receive a predetermined share of the NFT sale. It’s an effective method for both artists and collectors to contribute to various charities.
Case in point. In November 2021, Orica’s collaboration with artist Mellowmann resulted in a sold-out NFT auction. The funds from the sale of the unique collection were used to finance the building of a new school in Uganda.
What Solutions Does Orica Bring?
That said, Orica does more than just attempt at accelerating global wealth and contributing towards a better society. It aims to do these things while simultaneously bringing solutions to long-lasting gripes in the NFT ecosystem. To achieve this, the platform has taken some noteworthy steps.
- Eco-friendly NFT minting and transfers. Orica Launched its marketplace using the Binance Smart Chain. This highly scalable blockchain allows for better sustainability as well as reduced minting fees. So, unlike other marketplaces like OpenSea that value their NFTs in ETH, assets on Orica use BNB as the base currency.
- Audited smart contracts. To ensure transactions on its marketplace are safe, the Certik platform has successfully verified the safety of the smart contracts on Orica. This ensures there are no backdoors to the protocol that would allow developers to do a rug pull.
- Industry-leading NFT market that rivals the most popular NFT marketplaces currently available regarding security, accessibility, and performance.
- Proof-of-Art Verification. This feature ensures that the artists are the genuine creators of the art on the Orica platform.
All in all, quite an interesting offering when combined with the charity and co-royalty features of the platform. But what’s the marketplace really like?
Orica Review – Marketplace Overview, Pros, and Cons
When conducting this Orica review we noticed that, in reality, the marketplace is still a bit lacking. While the website proposes a decent beginner-friendly interface, the user experience could use a bit of work. Navigation can be a bit clunky, and NFT listings have very little information on what you are purchasing regarding resolution, quality, etc. There’s also no relevant data regarding the performance of the marketplace itself.
Worth noting is that there’s a good number of NFTs available, and some of them are quite original. However, the public hasn’t quite picked up on Orica just yet. Most collections we explored have no bids whatsoever, including those from more renowned artists. This shows that interest is low, and you might have difficulties finding a buyer for your NFTs, regardless of whether you are an artist or collector.
That said, the platform seems to hold its promises regarding its goal to leverage the tech to provide funding for various SOI. We encountered at least one auction that claims 90% of the sales will be used towards funding training for the survivors of human trafficking.
To sum up, Orica looks decent for a new marketplace but has still a long way to go to catch up to the competition. We can credit the lack of users and volume to the relative newness of Orica. One of the factors that could possibly contribute to the steady growth of the userbase is the ORI token, native to the platform.
The ORI Token – Use Cases and Tokenomics
The ORI cryptocurrency aims to power the Orica ecosystem and provide various perks and utilities to its holders. Mainly, it has four distinct use cases:
- Participate in Initial NFT Offerings (INOs) on Orica. These presales of NFTs will allow artists to get funding for projects requiring extensive capital for their creation. At the same time, collectors that back INO artists will have exclusive access to these NFTs before the rest of the market participants. Worth noting is that the team is yet to release this feature.
- Vote and take part in community competitions.
- Purchase NFTs or pay for the minting fees of the platform.
While the use cases are nothing to write home about, its tokenomics are quite decent.
The maximum supply of ORI is capped at 100 million tokens, which is on the lower end of the current cryptocurrency landscape.
Moreover, ORI will follow a deflationary mechanism. The protocol will carry out buybacks and token burns that aim to reduce the total supply of tokens over time. To be more precise, 25% of the 1% transaction fees will be used towards buying back ORI tokens from the open market. Consequently, each transaction should result in a direct reduction of the supply by 0.025%.
To avoid the team dumping their tokens on the market, these funds are subject to a vesting period of 1 year. The protocol will begin releasing ORI to the team beginning September 2022, 15% each month.
Orica Review – Is ORI a Scam?
That said, the ORI token hasn’t had the best of times since it entered the crypto market. Initially sold at a price of $0.1 during the ICO, ORI quickly skyrocketed to $3. However, the price action reassembled nothing more than a pump and dump scheme. ORI’s price plummeted to $0.05 just a few months after release, losing almost 99% of its all-time high value.
Even if the team wasn’t involved in this dump, it gives ORI a bad look. Anyone that takes a look at the price chart would understandably think there was a rug pull involved. So, although ORI wasn’t a premeditated scam, the team wasn’t vigilant enough with their initial token sales. They let whales manipulate the market and allowed them to dump the price into oblivion.
What Does This Mean for the Orica NFT Platform?
The initial market speculation on ORI doesn’t seem to have had a huge impact on the platform itself. The Orica team remains highly active on social media, particularly on Twitter. They are continuously adding new collections and working towards releasing updates for the marketplace. The upcoming INOs should contribute towards an increased interest from artists and collectors.
Moreover, the fact that the token has already been through so much volatility could mean that the worst is already over. Whether or not ORI has reached its bottom is anyone’s guess, but we can certainly hope so. Fundamentally speaking, the tokens are undervalued considering their multiple use cases within the ecosystem and their tokenomics.
To conclude this Orica review we can say that Orica is still suffering from some minor issues resulting from its recency on the markets. Its marketplace isn’t quite fleshed out as the competition and lacks really popular collections that would bring in the much-needed trading volume.
That said, we are always keen to see more projects that try to leverage blockchain tech for the greater good. We particularly liked Orica’s innovative method for artists and collectors to contribute to charitable causes. Moreover, it opts for a scalable, eco-friendly blockchain which is always a plus in our book.
Orica NFT Marketplace
Rating: 3.5 – Review by Ivan Djordjevic.