The Solana blockchain’s performance has continued to wane throughout the second half of 2022, prompting some of its most influential players to seek opportunities elsewhere. At first, only platforms like Magic Eden announced intentions to go cross-chain to broaden their horizons. Now, two of the most prominent PFP projects on Solana, DeGods and y00ts, have announced their imminent departure from the blockchain.
The news came from the DeGods and y00ts Twitter pages on December 25, with each releasing a simple statement of intention to bridge off of Solana in 2023. Although both projects exist under the same umbrella, they will be (technically) parting ways, as DeGods bridges to Ethereum and y00ts to Polygon.
The reasoning behind the move
While this latest news might surprise some, within the overarching DeGods and y00ts community, it solidifies months of tension and speculation. Although details surrounding the timing and method of the forthcoming transitions have yet to be revealed, the NFT space has turned attention toward the projects’ creator Rohun Vora, known in Web3 as Frank III.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, Vora addressed the Solana NFT community, thanking devout SOL collectors for their support and stating that he and his team realized that to grow, they would need to explore new opportunities. “We believe now is the time to take a calculated risk and embark on a new journey,” said Vora. He closed the video by noting that while the bridging of DeGods and y00ts is set to happen in late Q1, more details and roadmaps will be available in early January.
The details of the bridge will be released when it’s ready & tested. This has never been done before at this scale.— DeGods III (@DeGodsNFT) December 25, 2022
We want to make sure that it’s airtight.
In the meantime, we will be releasing the Season III roadmap in January (for real this time).
The details of the bridge will be released when it’s ready & tested. This has never been done before at this scale.— y00ts (@y00tsNFT) December 25, 2022
We want to make sure that it’s airtight.
In the meantime, we will be releasing a more formal roadmap for y00ts: Season 2 in January.
Following his video, Vora also participated in a Twitter space where he answered questions and provided more context to the announcement. In the space, he made parallels between streaming services (like Netflix and HBO Max) contending for intellectual property and blockchains racing to create the most robust NFT platforms. He also noted that an argument could be made that DeGods had capped out on Solana, saying, “It’s hard to accept, but it’s been tough to grow at the rate we want to grow. If Ethereum is where we have to go to keep growing, it’s what we have to do.”
Where do DeGods and y00ts go from here?
While the DeGods and y00ts migrations may sound simple in practice, such a high-profile and high-volume data transference from one blockchain to another will undoubtedly come with roadblocks. Similarly, each will have its own unique difficulties. While y00ts’ move to Polygon will be handled via the Polygon partnership fund — as reported by CoinDesk via a DeGods representative — the Ethereum bridge is somewhat unprecedented.
When projects do opt to bridge outward from their blockchain of origin (often Ethereum), akin to what Doodles is planning with Doodles 2, they often do so by way of a layer two blockchain (i.e., Polygon for Doodles 2) while still maintaining the original collection on said blockchain of origin. But the DeGods move will seek not to bridge over to a layer two but to cross chains completely from Solana to Ethereum, surely bringing with it a host of hurdles.
Yet, as DeGods is considered by many to be one of the most inspiring comeback stories in the NFT space, the community support for this latest move is likely to persist. Having remained toward the top of the Solana NFT price charts, while some are understandably disheartened by the news, the growing PFP empire helmed by Vora has only continued to grow in its wake.