The NFT Blue-Chip Index (JPG) is a market cap-weighted portfolio of blue-chip NFT collections. The index provides diversified, liquid exposure to the top NFTs through a single liquid token. According to Index Coop, an NFT Index token is its most frequently requested product and this token can address that demand.
JPG is a liquid, market cap-weighted index of NFT collections. The index is composed of NFT liquidity vault tokens such as NFTX, NFT20, and Fractional. The token is based on the NFTX Vault Index token (NFTVI) which fair-launched on August 28, 2021.
The JPG token can be implemented using the Simple SET Protocol provided that only the NFTX and NFT20 protocols are used. If the Fractional protocol is also used, the manager will need to be able to claim the ETH proceeds from auctions. Alternatively, the provision and redemption of NFTs to Fractional could be managed by a separate contract with the fractional shares then supplied to the index contract.
In order to reduce price impact, it would be desirable for the index contract to be able to selectively redeem vault token components for NFTs and conversely to mint NFTs from vault tokens. For example, the index contains PUNK tokens. One PUNK token could be redeemed for a Punk NFT on NFTX and then sold on OpenSea for ETH. Similarly, ETH could be used to purchase a Punk NFT which could then be used to mint PUNK tokens. If these mint/redeem functions are too difficult to implement then we would need to raise additional vault token liquidity.
It is envisioned that supplying vault inventory and creating new collections would be managed by a separate address from the index token address. The two addresses would not need to interface with the exception of providing the vault tokens to the index contract. We do not foresee using synthetic derivatives such as uPunks from YAM synths.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a revolutionary cultural, artistic, and financial phenomenon. However, despite the massive size and growth of the NFT market there is no NFT index token.
For institutional investors, benefits of an NFT index token include access to a highly illiquid and fragmented market, a single instrument for long/short positions, enhanced diversification, faster order fulfillment, reduced transaction fees, and automatic rebalancing. Advantages for retail investors, in addition to the above, include easier onboarding, mitigating unit bias, and lower capital entry requirements.
Creating an NFT index token is highly challenging however due to the illiquidity, volatility, fragmentation, and price opacity of the NFT market.
JPG will be a market cap-weighted index of NFT liquidity vault tokens. Additional functions may be needed to mint and redeem NFT vault tokens and buy and sell NFTs on the secondary market. It is an engineering decision whether this is done from the index contract address or a separate contract.
As the first NFT index token on the Ethereum blockchain, JPG is a highly differentiated product. The JPG token is unique in providing liquid access to the NFT market at scale. The product does not overlap with any existing Index Coop products and could be cross-sold with MVI.
Other nominal NFT index tokens such as NFTI and NFTP hold NFT protocol tokens (ie, AXS, ENJ, SAND, SUPER, etc) and not NFTs themselves. One potential, future overlapping token is the PFP (profile pic) index planned by PieDAO. However, this product will only cover PFP NFTs and the proposed holdings include many highly-illiquid microcaps. Zilliqa recently launched an NFT index token $NFTDEX; however its components are restricted to NFTs on the ZIlliqa blockchain. Strudel Finance has an NFT index consisting of a Balancer pool of 25% each of wBTC and the NFTX vaults PUNK, BAYC, and COOL. However, this pool is diluted by wBTC, is not diversified, and has a constant allocation.
JPG is based on the NFTX Vault Index (NFTVI) which fair-launched on August 28, 2021. As of September 18, the Net Asset Value (NAV) of NFTVI is up 69% since inception. See Zerion for NAV performance and index composition.
Article21 is the author of the current proposal and also the creator of NFTVI. If this Index Coop proposal is successful, Article21 will retire NFTVI and be fully dedicated to the success of JPG.
See the historical NAV performance of a similar index token NFTVI.
The market cap of the top 20 NFT collections is $9.4B and growing extremely rapidly. Assuming 5% of the top 20 market cap can be made liquid, accessing 25% of that market would represent a $117M opportunity for Index Coop. Additionally, Index Coop could charge a premium management fee given the uniqueness of and exceptionally high demand for an NFT index token.
The size of the opportunity will be determined by how much resource and risk IC wants to invest in liquefying top NFT collections. Currently, vaulted collections typically only represent <0.2-1% of the collection and many top cap collections are not vaulted at all.
We predict AUM of $50M, $200M, and $500M at 6, 12, and 24 months respectively. The AUM will depend heavily on how much resource IC invests in liquefying top NFT collections. The market cap of the top 20 collections is $9.4B and growing rapidly.
Institutional investors seeking straightforward, liquid access to the NFT market at scale.
Retail investors seeking to enter the NFT market but lack the resource, time, or risk appetite to invest in individual NFTs.
Private equity shop Alpha has a long NFT thesis based on emerging cultural trends. They are crypto savvy and have crypto holdings, but they are not interested in purchasing individual NFTs. They purchase the NFT index token OTC for broad diversification, fast fulfillment, and liquidity.
Family Office Beta has a mandate to invest 25% of their client’s portfolio in art, 50% of which can be alternative assets. They have taken notice of high-profile NFT auctions and recognize the nascent asset class, but are uncertain how to access the market as they have no familiarity with crypto. They purchase the NFT index token because of the blue-chip collections they recognize from auction, the diversification and liquidity, and the trust and support provided by the IC institutional business team.
Retail investor John is excited about NFTs as a new cultural phenomenon and asset class but doesn’t have the wherewithal to invest in individual NFTs. In particular, he’s worried about the lack of diversification and exit liquidity. He has DPI and MVI and likes the idea of applying indexing to NFTs. He buys the index token because of the simplicity, diversification, automated rebalancing, lack of correlation with other crypto, easy tradability, and the strength of the other Index Coop products.
NFT enthusiast Jane is an avid NFT collector. She has several grails and also picks up emerging collections. She’s skeptical of the financialization of NFTs and the blue-chip designation. However, she’s interested in JPG because she recognizes that it’s a first-of-a-kind project, and the team is positively engaged with the community.
The JPG index token is composed of NFT collections represented by NFT liquidity vault tokens. The NFT collections are selected based on being top floor cap and available through a liquidity vault. The floor cap (defined as the OpenSea floor price times the total collection supply) is used instead of the market cap since floor cap data are more readily available, tend to be more reflective of the liquidity vault contents, and the two are highly correlated regardless.
The NFTX and NFT20 protocols were chosen for the liquidity vaults because they are well-loaded, fully-collateralized, mainly liquid, fractional, and DAO-governed. NFTX covers most of the largest cap NFT collections. Note that one can represent a collection with multiple vaults in order to increase diversification and mitigate risk, or to compose a vault group with specific properties.
Selection criteria for collection
- Floor cap > $50M
- Art only. No land, audio, or domain names. (We will use an on-chain oracle to determine what is art … just kidding)
Selection criteria for liquidity protocol
- Liquidity vaults representing the above collections. Current liquidity vaults include NFTX and NFT20
- Fractional NFTs and synthetics TBD
- No individual NFTs
Selection criteria for components
- NFTX or NFT20 vault token
- Market cap
- Complementarity needed to compose a net position for a collection
- Available from SetProtocol (i.e., ERC-20 standard, listed in the CoinGecko Token List, sufficient liquidity on Uniswap or Sushiswap).
The index components are weighted by the square-root of their collection floor caps. In the general case where a collection can be composed of multiple grouped components, the weighting for the ith component of the jth collection is:
where fj is the floor cap of the jth collection, ωij is an additional weighting of the ith component of the jth collection and n=½. The additional weightings ω can be used to combine components with, for example, different quality levels or attributes (Figure 1). Note that the market caps of the vaults themselves do not play a factor in the weights.
Square root-weighting is used as opposed to linear weighting due to the very heavy concentration of the floor caps. For example, linear weighting would result in >70% of the index being in the top 2 collections, ie, CryptoPunks and BAYC.
Figure 1. Illustration of how the index is composed of collections, eg, CryptoPunks, CyberKongz, and so forth. The collections are in turn composed of liquidity vault tokens (from NFTX and NFT20). The vault tokens are fractional claims to individual NFTs. The components are weighted wij by their collection floor caps fj and the component weightings ωij.
The current liquidity on most NFTX vaults is extremely low to the point of being effectively zero for our purposes. NFTX will be remedying this by allocating 25% of all future revenue to liquidity. The timeline for rolling this out has not been set. One factor in the low liquidity is that a lot of the trading volume is done by minting and redeeming NFTs out of the vaults as opposed to swapping the vault tokens, eg, see the PUNK Dune Analytics.
It’s also worth noting that the price impact on selling component tokens would effectively be capped at ~5% since this is the fee to mint NFTs from the vault tokens. The effective price impact is not 5% exactly because of the margin between the token value and the NFT floor price on the secondary market. Similarly, the effective cap on buying component tokens would be the margin between the vault token price and the secondary market price.
Here are the current empirical trade sizes that would give 1% price impact per component:
Based on the allocations above, a 1.3 ETH trade (!) on the index is enough to induce a 1% price impact in $TOADZ, followed by a 1.5 ETH trade for WOW.
The index will be rebalanced monthly to reflect the target allocation and to consider new collections and liquidity protocols. Urgent rotations will also be conducted if the inventory is depleted in a liquidity vault or a fractional holding is successfully auctioned.
The non-linear weighting increases the tracking error so we propose a relatively high Maximum Absolute Percentage Error of <5%. Advantages of the higher threshold for rebalancing also include reduced price impact and transaction fees.
To be determined after DG1.
We anticipate JPG having a 3-5% management fee given the high demand and uniqueness of the project, as well as the effort, capital, curation, and risk required to manage the vault liquidity and inventory.
It is worthwhile considering whether we can pass on the 5% vault token minting fee to minters of the index token. Also, we can consider allowing users to redeem the index tokens down to the underlying NFTs for an additional fee. This will help communicate that users own a claim on the actual underlying NFTs.
We anticipate trading 3-4 positions at each monthly rebalance.
To be determined after DG1.
The trading pair for JPG will be JPG:ETH on UniSwap V2. The liquidity for the vault tokens will be automated, concentrated liquidity such as G-UNI (ie, Gelato Uniswap v3) or Visor-Sushiswap-Trident. The advantages of the improved performance of the concentrated liquidity and the trading fees will be offset by the much greater impermanent loss. The tradeoff will depend on the effect of price impact drag on TVL uptake, trading volume and the details of the G-UNI automation. Consequently, it may be useful to conduct experiments before launch or do a supply-capped launch.
It is not necessary for our vault LP platform to match that of the existing vault tokens since the 0x exchange used by SetProtocol will split transactions across multiple exchanges to get the lowest overall price impact. Gelato-Uniswap v3 LPs are ERC-20 and so can be pooled.
Concentrated liquidity is needed because the amount of non-concentrated liquidity needed would be exorbitant. Consider an existing liquidity pool consisting of trading pairs x and y. From the Uniswap constant product formula (x+Δx)(y-Δy)=k, one can derive that the liquidity x needed to achieve a price impact P for a trade-size of Δx is x=Δx (P+1)/P.
We consider a scenario of JPG having 3,000 ETH TVL and needing to completely exit a 3% (=90 ETH) holding. In order to achieve a 1% price impact, from the above formula, the liquidity needed would be 9,090 ETH plus 9,090 ETH equivalent of the other trading pair (minus the existing liquidity which we take to be negligible) which is clearly excessive. For 5% price impact, we would still need 1,890 ETH + 1,890 ETH equivalent in liquidity which is still excessive. These liquidity requirements are exorbitant and so we anticipate needing automated, concentrated liquidity for the vault tokens.
For very large orders or mints, buy-side liquidity is anticipated to be available through floor-sweeping tools such as genie.xyz and NFTX. For NFTX, the effective price impact will be capped at ~5% for the minting fee.
@JosephKnecht is a methodologist at Index Coop and Founder of Article21
The methodologist will promote the token through the NFTVI Twitter account, which can be rebranded and repurposed to promote JPG. The methodologist will also be available for AMAs and interviews.
Helpful NFT floor/market cap leaderboards:
- nansen.ai (requires subscription)
29 Sep 2021 - Expanded based on new product IIP Template in preparation for DG1 vote.
Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.