We believe that NFT technology is nascent and there is a need to educate creators and protect buyers while we uncover the ways in which the technology can be used for safe, long-term investments.
The Blue Marble allows organisations to launch NFT campaigns with ease and split sales revenues with social and environmental causes. The platform has been designed to attract audiences outside of the traditional crypto space through the development of easy to use interfaces for creators and credit and debit card purchase facility for buyers.
Stellar is an ideal choice for the blockchain infrastructure, given the alignment of core values and the fact that the energy consumption by the Stellar network provides an important market differentiator against the incumbents such as Ethereum.
Services offered by The Blue Marble:
1. Curated NFT drops
2. Legal tooling
3. NFT communities
4. Education courses and onboarding
The technology behind the platform has already been developed thanks to investment by Stellar into Task.io. As a previous SCF winner, Task has channeled some of this funding to create an NFT marketplace that compliments and works in conjunction with the Task brand.
“The Blue Marble” is also now a recently registered trademark (UK00003743142). This is a major milestone given the significance of the “Blue Marble” image taken by the Apollo 13 Astronauts, the connection of this image with the fragility of our planet, and how it relates to the core brand mission we have to align NFTs with social and environmental investments.
The NFTs currently use the Stellar Turret Layer 2 smart contracts to control the Stellar assets including payment of royalties which are tracked using Stellar asset Managed Data entries.
The first NFTs have been minted
The first NFTs minted on The Blue Marble were part of the Biochar Life program, a significant customer of the Task brand and a key success factor resulting from our previous grant award.
Biochar Life train smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa to change how they deal with crop waste, specifically by replacing open field burning with the production of Biochar, and by doing so they remove carbon from the air. Using Task the data is gathered to measure how much carbon is removed. This is used to mint NFTs for purchase as carbon offsets on The Blue Marble.
We have also seen success with the first NFTs supporting royalty payments to multiple parties, in particular where an Artist can choose to split some or all of the sales revenues with a cause they wish to support.
One example is the Mina NFT by Kate Iverson which provides support to ArtTable, the foremost professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts.
Increasing the value in NFTs
We firmly believe that our success will be driven by the utility and legal safeguards we bake into the NFTs created.
As such we have begun to create our own Utility focussed NFTs (see https://thebluemarble.io/tbm) which enable purchasers to access our support, book onboarding sessions and create NFTs on our marketplace amongst other utilities. We are also in discussion with UK and US lawyers around the development of contracts for fractionalised ownership of land and other physical assets.
Our goals by the end of December 2022 are:
These figures prove business traction that not only see The Blue Marble on track to becoming cash positive, but set the stage for larger institutional investments to support increased scale.
We are executing a tactical plan that sees 1 curated NFT drop every two weeks, with the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) ranging from $17k to $850k per drop.
The Blue Marble takes a 15-30% share of GMV for curated drops which allows significant investment into the marketing surrounding these drops, ensuring sales targets are met for customers.
We approach each drop with an economic analysis that ensures we can sell the higher priced NFTs through revenue share that allows us to invest properly in the marketing required to create financial success.
To provide concrete examples, the first curated drop is by Stellar artist, Sir Cheesley, who will be creating a range of female inspired digital art pieces in conjunction with StellarWomen, to help raise funds for telehealth charity, OvaryIt. Sales revenue targets are $25K.
The second drop is National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager, who will be launching a campaign as part of his One Cubic Foot project, splitting proceeds with Seneca Park Zoo. Sales revenue targets are $150K.
We will increase the size of these drops throughout 2022 in order to hit our goals at the end of December.
We have developed a drop economics modeling approach that considers:
An example of our drop modeling (for StellarWomen) can be viewed here.
Incentives and marketing
All NFTs will have built in incentives and utility to help secure initial sales and encourage ongoing trading of the asset. Curated drops will partner with organizations that have established communities or/and branding, to help reduce marketing costs and ensure sales success.
We see utility plus marketing as the critical areas for us to address as a business, given we have already developed the technology and given the skillsets of the leadership team - and so a significant percentage of the funds we’re asking for will be used to build a marketing team that builds community, revenue and brand awareness.
NFT technology has been surrounded by a mixture of hype and controversy since coming to market. People outside the crypto space struggle to understand what it is and the value it provides, and they are venting legitimate concerns around environmental impact.
This has been compounded by the limited application of NFTs in Digital Art which, while valuable, represent just one use case amongst the plethora of innovative ways we could be leveraging this decentralized digital certification technology.
The Blue Marble provides access to NFT investments that are anchored to the “real-world” by social and environmental problems. It uses Stellar’s blockchain which operates within acceptable environmental impact levels.
The platform onboards non-technical buyers into this new space, with an aim to open up access to secure, long-term investments into people and the planet.
The Blue Marble is in production. A breakdown of the technology is as follows:
The Total Addressable Market (TAM) has been calculated by assessing the total sales of NFT’s in 2021 which is a $17 BILLION market.
The Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) has been assessed by estimating the number of buyers in the market who are motivated to support good causes. Assuming this to be 20% of the TAM the SAM is estimated to be $3.5 BILLION.
The Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) is estimated at $17.5m which assumes capturing 10% of the SAM at an average 5% transaction fee on NFT sales ($3.5B x 10% x 5%).
We will be recruiting a team of sales and marketing employees to execute the strategy. Positions will include:
As we build the business, many of these part-time roles will grow to full-time.
The sales and marketing team will use a combination of owned, earned and paid channels.
The Blue Marble has a number of customer segments that make up the creator/buyer persona community.
The Blue Marble has a number of sales channels allowing us to scale effectively without needing to continue hiring beyond the initial core team. These channels bring a combination of sales and technology resources.
There are now around 200 NFT marketplaces with the majority of those launching within the last 12 months. Many of them are focused on digital art resulting in a crowded competitive market with everyone targeting the same prospects. Most of them are also focused on the crypto community with technology that alienates a large part of the addressable markets.
The marketplaces that survive will likely be those that have clear differentiation with their service offering and are focused on assets that have long term value.
The Blue Marble has some key differentiators putting it ahead of the competition.
The Blue Marble provides 2 ways in which Creators of NFTs can bring their assets to market.
The key revenue in our business plan focuses on executing a Curated Drop every 2 weeks. The team structure aligns with building a high quality pipeline of drops, with the Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) of each drop starting at $17k and building to $850k.
The Blue Marble takes 15-30% of the GMV in order to invest in marketing that will support the success of the drop and generate adequate revenues for a successful business.
We believe that the vast majority of NFTs issued without adequate marketing support will struggle. Our market research via the existing Curated Drops we have in place tells us that our customers are happy to share significant revenue in return for well marketed drops that result in high sales volume.
The Curated Drops will help us generate community around the brand, and we plan to release educational material that demystifies and opens up the use of NFTs to support community projects.
Our community will be able to run their own drops with a 2.5-5% sale transaction fee provided to support our platform.
We have a created a detailed 2 year financial plan which you can view at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1waxfLD8Cc50jczwmB4NHJNygU-94S5V0jllstXiAk-M/edit?usp=sharing
The Blue Marble represents the next generation of NFT technology. A marketplace that can be used to solve real world problems, moving NFTs way beyond that initial use case of digital art.
Our aim is to protect buyers and support sellers through a marketplace of assets that represent real value. By breaking down the technical barriers inherent in so many other marketplaces, we will provide access to billions of people who can now be an integral part of social and environmental movements.
We have a leadership team who have built and exited startups successfully, and have taken previous SCF funds to develop Stellar interests commercially in a number of areas including this focus on NFTs as long-term impact investment assets.
Building on Stellar is important to our success given the alignment of core values and the fact that the minimal energy consumption by the network provides an important market differentiator against the incumbents such as Ethereum.
It’s been the support of Stellar through Task.io that has enabled us to build the technology behind The Blue Marble, and we hope to be able to accelerate our go to market business plan with further support from the SCF.
Our 2 year business shows minimum cash requirements of at least $140k around month 8. It is important to maintain a cash buffer for the security of the business, and therefore we are requesting a total of $180k.
Chat on the Discord server: https://discord.com/invite/J8BPXbYdRx
Steve has been in the startup space since 2003 with a successful exit of his previous business idibu.com to Compono Pty in 2021, of which he now acts as an advisor. He has been working in blockchain for the last 5 years, and has spent decades in the technology space. His mission is to see blockchain deployed in ways that protect natural assets and promote social causes while creating accessible long-term investments.
Matt is the Co-founder and CMO of Task.io and TheBlueMarble.io. He brings with him 20+ years experience working in sales and marketing for technology businesses in the Asia Pacific region. He’s worked for software companies in the environmental and social space and designed and executed a number of his own social impact programs.
The USD valuation of the budget request in XLM will be calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 5, 2022 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR). Learn more in the SCF Handbook.
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on July 5th as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
**The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 16, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on September 27, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
* The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the date of transfer as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*This budget request has not been fully awarded to the project. The USD valuation of the budget request in XLM will be calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on day of payment as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR). Learn more in the SCF Handbook.