Blockframe using sealed bid auctions for NFT price discovery

Blockframe will launch ‘Bulk Semaphore’, a program that enables anonymous bidding to establish fair NFT prices


Bushko Oleksandr/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


A new NFT marketplace that enables users to anonymously bid on NFTs has landed on zkSync Era, Polygon PoS and Ethereum. 

Blockframe is designing an NFT platform that innovates proprietary features and wants to ensure that creators are being prioritized. 

In an interview with Blockworks, Mohamed El Tahawy, the president and CEO of Blockframe, said that existing barriers to entry to crypto are insurmountable.

“It’s very difficult for people to figure out how to get a MetaMask wallet, then once you have a MetaMask wallet, what are all these currencies and how do I make swaps,” El Tahawy said.

To resolve this, El Tahawy explains that Blockframe, backed by Matter Labs, will simplify this process for its users. 

“At Blockframe, we’ve implemented a single sign-on, which means users can sign in with Google, Discord, Twitter, and we would automatically create a wallet for them,” he said.

Once a wallet is created, users can use the same interface to on-ramp, send and swap cryptocurrencies. User private keys will not be stored or accessible by Blockframe, El Tahawy notes.

Honest price discovery

To ensure NFT prices on Blockframe remain reliable, the team is introducing sealed bid auctions.

Rather than relying on oracles to determine NFT pricing, multiple bidders will be able to place collateralized bids anonymously to establish the value of a given digital collectible. It’s made possible by zero knowledge (ZK) technology. 

Using zkTrees designed by Polymer Labs, the team has created “Bulk Semaphore,” a protocol designed to form market consensus for the price of an NFT through mass unidentified membership and signaling. 

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Using this protocol, an unlimited number of participants will be able to bid on auctions at a consistent cost. El Tahawy said the tool can also be used for anonymous voting in DAOs

“Our partnership with Matter Labs was very strategic for their mission of scale and their contributions in creating the Block Semaphore protocol,” El Tahawy said.

Simplifying NFTs for creators

Creators looking to launch their own NFT collections can do so directly on the Blockframe user interface (UI).

“The idea is that creators can come here and claim royalties for their collection, thereby tokenizing it,” El Tahawy said. 

Creators can create royalty contracts for their own NFT collections, which will later represent all future cash flows. Once a royalty token is created, they can set parameters for royalty revenue. 

Source: Blockframe

At launch, NFTs without claimed royalties will have a 0% royalty rate. The exception: the top 200 collections, which impose automatic royalty contracts. 

Once pricing for NFTs is standardized, Blockframe plans to ensure royalties on new collections created are applied across different marketplaces —  a problem that has yet to be resolved.

Updated Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:13 am ET: Clarified context throughout.

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