2021 was an incredible year for our platform—and we couldn’t have done it with you, our loyal community! From the exciting Kusama parachain win for Quartz to fundraising milestones, partnerships, community growth, press and media, and a constant stream of content across our channels, we’re well-positioned to make 2022 even bigger. Along with a recap of last year's key moments, we’re taking an opportunity to share our vision for the next quarter and beyond. To our entire force of followers, investors, partners, and community members, we thank you!

Our Vision in 2022

Unique Network has a lot in store for 2022 and while we can’t share everything quite yet, see below for some words from our key executive team to get a sense of what's ahead.  

Alex Mitrovich (CEO & Founder) 

I’m really looking forward to how Unique Network will continue building out support of the ecosystem, developers, and special projects. Keep on the lookout for the continuation of our work with RMRK on QTZ and UNQ—this will be the basis of a strong infrastructure and the next step in Nested NFTs, which we first announced in our original tech paper. I’m personally very excited about how Nested NFTs will fuel the future of the Metaverse on Kusama and Polkadot. This is about taking static NFTs and making them serially dynamic. Two essential components of a truly Open Metaverse. 

Our job in the next year-plus will be to make sure everyone who wants to can be interoperable. On that front, look out for more from Unique NFT palette and Statemine regarding how NFTs will be able to move around multiple chains. 

Regarding our efforts across blockchain gaming, we’re working towards multi-chain Metaverses where gaming developers can pick and choose components from ten (or more) ecosystems to make a game out of it. Stay tuned. 

Greg Zaitsev (CTO)

We aim to build a network that will allow us to build NFT applications that are for everyone – we want to bring NFTs to the masses. With Polkadot, we have greater flexibility and the ability to remove unnecessary friction so that someone who knows nothing about crypto or wallets can use this application just like any web application. That is what we are trying to achieve.

Charu Sethi (CMO) 

2021 has been a spectacular year for us. We are grateful for a very engaged and gracious community. Over 70% of our community participated in the Kusama crowdloan. We will be focused on community growth in 2022 while maintaining the high engagement levels across our channels. The other focus will be on enterprise-level messaging and adoption of the advanced NFT use cases we are supporting. That will help us get closer to the long term vision we have for Unique Network

Developer Updates

Our development team has been fast at work deploying some exciting updates to our platform and technology in the new year. We have a lot in store for our community and the broader ecosystem, from next-generation NFT technology to a rollout of our testnet and a new way to search for and compile blockchain data. Read up on what’s coming below! 

Collection Administrator 

This new tool allows users to create (or mint) their collections and NFTs on our test network, Opal. It’s one of the essential products in our ecosystem that we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. 

After testing products on Opal and collecting feedback from our users, we will release a collection administrator on Quartz. 

You can customize your collection with several easy-to-follow options:

  • Name 

    • You mint it; you name it! Give your NFT a custom name so it can stand out! 

  •  Description 

    • Tell a short “story” about your NFT and list a few important details.

  • Symbol 

    • Give your NFT an eye-grabbing icon to help it stand out!

  • Cover

    • Stop users in their tracks with an enticing cover image. 

  • Attributes

    • What makes your NFT unique? 

You can set attributes (or traits) of your collections. This functionality allows you to customize the token. You can select any features that will help you create a unique NFT: name, accessory, gender, background, face, body, tier, and more. After creating a collection, you can create NFTs with their respective image and traits. 

Block Explorer

A block explorer acts as a search engine for blockchain and allows users to search for key information.

We want to release a beta version of our product that allows users to search for information about transfers, extrinsics, and account balances. You can track all transfers you have made or check the history of any Quartz account address.

In the next version of this product, users can search for even more info about blocks, events, collections, tokens, holders, and lots more. 

2021: A Year of Key Partnerships 

2021 was a year where we invited numerous emerging platforms to help build their technology on our platform, utilizing the expertise and team’s experience to take their products and platform into the future of blockchain. From reimagining storytelling and gaming through NFTs to disrupting art discovery and social media—recap our partnership announcements below. 

Substrate-Based Decentralized Social Network SubSocial Integrates with Unique's Marketplace

NFT Discovery Platform Artpool Integrates Unique Network’s Marketplace Technology 

Forever Has Fallen to Release the World's First Interactive & Story-Driven NFT Collection

Unique Partners with SupraOracles — a Web3 Developer Platform — to Improve Data in NFTs

Unique Network Partners with Community-Focused Marketplace, Vernissage

Unique Network & Sovereign Nature Initiative to Power Radical Ecological Sustainability on Blockchain

Quartz & the Unique Token

2021 saw the birth of UNQ and Quartz—two tokens that will deploy our next-generation NFT chain and technology on Polkadot and Kusama. In November of 2021, we won the 14th parachain auction on Kusama. Over 9000 network stakeholders participated in the Quartz crowdloan, committing over 54 thousand KSM, the equivalent of over USD 21 million. This set the stage for the eventual distribution of QTZ rewards later in December, which you can read about here

Diamond in the Rough, our official token sale event, also kicked off in December through a Whitelisted round, setting the stage for our long-awaited public sale round, which will commence 11-12th January. Following that, Unique will go through another crowdloan to become an official parachain on Polkadot. Stay tuned for more details. 

Ambassador Program 

2021 also saw the birth of the Unique Network Ambassador program, where 49 candidates were promoted to the role of Ambassador in December. We also help support Polkadot’s Ambassador Program through the unveiling of something very special: NFT badges. These special commemorative NFTs were the first official mints on Quartz and were surprise announced during the PolkaOscar Ceremony. 

Community Events, AMAs, Press, and Media

The Unique team got out there in the field in 2021, making waves across the NFTs, blockchain, and crypto community across key events and activations. We ended the year with a very productive and informative AMA session on Twitter Spaces. Moderated by our CMO Charu Sethi and featuring our CEO, Alex Mitrovich, this action-packed AMA took listeners and supporters through Unique’s journey to the now, recapping the most exciting milestones and 2021 before sharing our vision for 2022, which we covered earlier in this article. Check out the full AMA recording on YouTube and read a recap thread on our Twitter.

2021 also included the rollout of our Chelobricks and Substrapunks rewards program, which pertains to quarterly KSM drops to holders of both a Chelobricks and Substrapunk NFT. To date, we’ve airdropped over 310 KSM to Unique wallet addresses. 

One of our proudest moments was watching DigitalArt4Climate, an NFT climate initiative in collaboration with UN-Habitat and IAAI Glocha, unfold through an incredible designathon and NFT art competition. In total, we had over 208 entries from over 58 countries, resulting in 30 finalists and three winners who got the chance to exhibit their work at COP26 in Glasgow. Read about DigitalArt4Climate on the Unique blog and check out a recap on Cointelegraph

On the press front, our CEO & Founder Alexander Mitrovich recently was in the pages of Cointelegraph sharing some year-end predictions for their expert roundup on crypto’s mainstream adoption. Check that out here. Earlier in the year, Alex was also in Nasdaq, where he penned a story on the multi-chain future of NFTs!

Be sure also to check out Alex’s stellar panel at NFT.NYC, where Unique Network was awarded second place for the best NFT white-label marketplace platform. 

Alex also participated in some additional AMAs and podcasts last year for PromoTeam, Outlier Ventures, Cryptowriter, and CHG, where he joined a panel on creator economies and blockchain gaming economic models.

Our CTO, Gregory Zaitsev, was featured in City AM for an interview conducted by Jillian Godsil about his journey into blockchain, how he first became connected with Alex Mitrovich, and their collective journey towards founding Unique Network. Read it here

In other news, our Head of Metaverse Growth, Irina Karagyaur, made waves in CoinDesk for their year-end Culture Week with a predictive piece on how multi-chain NFTs on Polkadot and Kusama will fuel a new type of “gold rush in the metaverse.” Check the story out here, plus a video recap from CoinDesk TV. Great work, Irina! 

Educational Blogs & Explainers 

We kicked off the Unique blog in 2021 with a steady stream of educational resources, deep dives, and explainers into our platform and technology. If you missed it the first time around, make sure to revisit some of these pieces as we head into 2022. We have lots more on the way! 

Unique Network — A Foundation for the Sustainable Next Generation of NFTs on Polkadot

Unique Network’s Deep Polkadot Experience

Get to Know Quartz: Unique’s Versatile, Untamed Cousin

CheloBricks: Making Waves with 10,000 Substrate-Based NFTs

Substrapunks. The Origins!

The Power of Ownership. Unique Network NFT Parachain on Polkadot Case Study

Thanks for reading! Let’s do this, 2022!

— The Unique Network Team