Glass, a venture-backed crypto startup that sought to monetize NFT videos, is falling prey to the bear market; its founders are walking away.
Co-founders Sam Sends and Varun Iyer posted on X (formerly Twitter) Friday that they will “end active development” of Glass Protocol after determining the demand for digital, tradeable video NFTs was too low to continue.
“The market for video NFTs can no longer sustain Glass’ development,” Iyer said. Sends struck a similar tone: “Unfortunately, we have come to the conclusion that there is not sustainable demand for video NFTs.”
The two-and-a-half-year-old startup is the latest victim to a sustained downturn in crypto trading that has struck the NFT space particularly hard. Trading volumes are down bad for all forms of on-chain collectibles, be they the well-known “blue chip” Bored Apes but especially for smaller projects like Glass, which never really caught fire.
The idea of Glass was to give online content creators a platform for minting and selling their videos directly to their fans, where they might make more money than, say, on YouTube. Its founders saw the blockchain as bringing more transparency to this process, and also permanence, by storing them in a decentralized manner.
“We really want to find a way to help everyone profit,” Sends said in a November 2021 podcast hosted by Arweave, the protocol’s decentralized file storage system of choice. “It’s a new way to express and own and share what you care about.”
Indeed, the NFTs created through Glass will continue to exist alongside the website and protocol, the founders said. But they won’t continue working on the protocol, all but dooming its future growth.
Glass raised $5 million last September from investors including TCG Crypto and 1kx. It’s unclear if the protocol ran out of runway or has any of its venture capital remaining. Sends and Iyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In recent months, the founders pivoted Glass from the Solana blockchain to Ethereum, the protocol’s original home.