Important Updates to the Metaplex Protocol

We have a few important updates related to the future of the Metaplex protocol, the on-chain infrastructure underpinning the Solana NFT ecosystem, intended to benefit all creators, developers, and collectors in the community.

The Metaplex Program Library (MPL) and Developer Platform make up the Metaplex protocol, which nearly all Solana applications use to create, sell, buy and use digital assets. To illustrate the scope of the Metaplex protocol, there have been more than 200k combined downloads across Metaplex programs and SDKs just in the last week.

Given the significance of the Metaplex protocol to the Solana ecosystem of developers, creators, and collectors, the Metaplex Foundation and the Solana Foundation have spent the last several months working closely together to align on a framework for its continued development and completion of Token Metadata - the bedrock MPL program for attaching additional metadata to Fungible or Non-Fungible Tokens.

This framework will ensure the reliability, fairness and completion of Token Metadata for the benefit of the Solana NFT ecosystem.

Accordingly, the Metaplex Foundation has three important updates to announce related to the Metaplex protocol.

First, the Metaplex Foundation will bring Token Metadata to a terminal state of immutability, which means no entity can upgrade or modify the program or the assets it manages.

Second, the Metaplex Foundation and the Solana Foundation have aligned on a plan to preserve certain key characteristics of Token Metadata, which include:

• Access to Token Metadata remaining permission-less.

• Continuing to treat equally all programs that call Token Metadata to create, update, transfer, burn, list, buy or sell NFTs. In other words, Token Metadata will not provide preferential treatment to any such programs over others with respect to these functions.

• No gating of Token Metadata’s functionality with $MPLX before or after the program is made immutable.

Third, the Metaplex Foundation and the Solana Foundation have aligned that, to support the above efforts and to continue other open source protocol development on compressed NFTs, pNFTs, Candy Machine and other ecosystem-wide upgrades, modest network fees will be introduced to the Token Metadata program:

• These fees will be introduced in the coming days and range from 0.01 to 0.001 SOL depending on the instructions called to the Token Metadata program.

• For example, with a 2 SOL PFP mint using Token Metadata, it will cost minters an additional 0.01 SOL to mint an NFT (a 0.5% increase in cost, or $0.25 USD). In contrast, Compressed NFTs, which drastically reduce minting costs at scale (it costs 5 SOL to mint 1M NFTs or 0.000005 SOL per NFT), operate through a separate program called Bubblegum and are not impacted by the Token Metadata fees.

We have published important resources that detail these changes:

• A Metaplex Improvement Proposal that outlines more of the requirements to bring Token Metadata to its terminal state of immutability (link).

• Updated developer documentation which outlines where protocol fees are applied (link).

By establishing a path for fully decentralizing Token Metadata, this framework ensures a fair, reliable, and permission-less ecosystem along with continued investment in the protocol to grow Solana NFTs long term.

Continued investment in the Metaplex protocol

• Candy Machine (v1, v2, v3)

• Auction House

• Verified Collections

• Token Owned Escrow (Fusion)

• Royalties Enforcement (programmable NFTs or pNFTs)

• Compression (Bubblegum)

• FungibleAsset, FungibleEdition

• Sugar

Ongoing maintenance and ecosystem wide support

Development of new community-requested features and fixes

• Development, maintenance and support of SDKs in all relevant languages

• Documentation, examples and reference implementations

• Supporting major ecosystem integrations with wallets, marketplaces and other dApps

• Security audits for code contributions and feature changes

• Support on Discord, Stack Overflow, Telegram, Slack and more

• 24/7 on-call engineering support for critical security issues

Today marks an important step for the benefit of the entire community and we’re excited about what this will unlock for the next generation of creators, developers and collectors on Solana.