Meet the Orcanauts!

This post was originally published on Orca

Our new NFT project combines art, DeFi, financial literacy, and fun! 🐳

As the Orca ecosystem has grown, new creatures have been sighted emerging from deep within. 10,000 unique Orcanauts are now roaming free!

Just like our podmates, each one of these little explorers is unique… and it’s looking for a forever friend with whom to navigate the deep sea of DeFi.

Today, we’re proud to introduce the most lovable NFT project in Solana: Orcanauts!

We’ve been secretly working on this project for some time. Inspired by the incredible communities that have formed around NFT projects like Cryptopunks, Degen Ape Academy, and Solana Monkey Business, Orcanauts are our way of inviting you to deepen your engagement with Orca and build the foundations of what could grow into a thriving Orcaverse.

Orcanauts is not only an opportunity to join an exclusive DeFi community, but an opportunity you can take with a full heart. Why? Orca will take exactly zero of the mint revenue: 75% will go to charity, and the remaining 25% will go to the artist.

Intrigued? Let’s take a tour of this watery galaxy!

The Adventure Ahead

We see Orcanauts as a multi-phase project.


Phase 1: Adoption

This month, our existing Orca community will have the first chance to adopt an Orcanaut. If you’re lucky enough to bring home an Orcanaut, we encourage you to show off your new pet, like that one friend who never stops sending pics of their new dog(coin). Make it your profile picture on Twitter, Telegram, or Discord, frame it on your wall, print t-shirts of it… you know the drill!

Phase 2: The Orcanautical Community

By adopting an Orcanaut, you’ll become part of the Orcanautical Community, a special club just for our most loyal podmates. From day one, you’ll get access to the #orcanautical channel in our Discord. We hope this channel will be a gathering place for dedicated DeFi users to mingle and share ideas. Who knows… there might even be an alpha leak!

And finally — Orcanaut owners will have the chance to build a deeper relationship with the Orca team. Members of the Orca core pod, including co-founders Grace (@oritheorca) and Yutaro (@rawfalafel), will drop into the channel on a regular basis to chat live with the Orcanauts community, answer your questions, and gather feedback. This way, you’ll get the chance to give feedback directly to the team, which has a high chance of making its way into the product!

Phase 3: An Orcanautical Gallery

We’re grateful to the many artists who have played a key role in bringing the Orca brand to life. Though we think the Orcanauts themselves are a work of art, our commitment to supporting digital creators does not end there.

Once per season, the Orca team will sponsor an artist to create a piece of work featuring the Orcanauts, which will be designed based on input from the Orcanautical Community. In the future, we could explore a wide range of mediums, from interactive digital art to auditory elements. In this way, we’ll not only expand the Orcanauts lore, but continue exploring how DeFi and NFTs can support a new generation of digital creators.

Phase X: The Orcaverse

Further down the line, we’d like this project to be the first step toward an expanded Orcaverse in which we explore the intersection of NFTs and DeFi. Here are a few of our favorite ideas that have bubbled out of our brainstorming sessions:

  • Level up your Orcanaut by farming Coral Candy, a fungible token that can be farmed by trading on Orca and providing liquidity
  • A customizable ship for each Orcanaut that serves as a showcase for your Orca achievements and wider NFT collection
  • Disassembly of Orcanauts into constituent trait NFTs, so you can equip your ‘naut with new looks earnable by using Orca

As you can imagine, building the Orcaverse is a full-time job for a full-time team. We have a lot on our plate when it comes to building the best AMM in Solana, so for the near future, our core team will stay focused on our core roadmap. Once Orca is more mature, however, we’d love to support the right external team to take the lead on building the Orcaverse! If the idea of spinning up a team to push the boundaries of NFTs and DeFi excites you, give us a shout in the future #orcanautical channel. 😉

(For those of you wondering whether Orcanauts interacts with our existing Collectibles—we see them as separate projects, each of which could evolve in different ways!)

Meet the Artist

The Orcanauts are the creation of artist, designer, and imaginary-world-expert Cori Huang (her brand-new Twitter is @corcorarium). We mean that quite literally — she geeked out enough on creating fictional worlds that she got an undergraduate degree in it. Cori is not only a multi-talented creator, but also an active volunteer in her local community, making her the perfect fit for this project from both a skills and values standpoint. We feel lucky that she decided to come on board to bring this project to life!

Though she has ample experience designing for the digital world, Orcanauts is Cori’s first foray into the world of DeFi. We’ll soon be sharing a few short interviews with Cori (both via Medium and on our podcast, OrcaPod!), so you can learn more about her and the creative process behind Orcanauts.

A Meaningful Donation

Seventy-five percent of the mint revenue for Orcanauts will go to a nonprofit that promotes financial literacy education for children around the world. (As a reminder, the remaining 25% goes directly to the artist!)

The theme of financial literacy education is one that is near and dear to our hearts. The focus on education is nothing new for Ori — her interest in education led her to begin her career as a software engineer at ed-tech company Coursera. There, she met friend and mentor Jon Wong, who would later become the lead developer of Orcanauts.

The focus on financial literacy was inspired by a momentous meeting with Placeholder, one of the co-leads for Orca’s Series A, in which we discussed our moral responsibilities as a DeFi project.

In the weeks to come, we’ll share more details about the specific nonprofit we’ll be working with. We’re extremely excited about the impact we can make through this donation, and we can’t wait to bring you along for the ride. Stay tuned!

We’re extremely proud of this project, which we believe represents the best of Orca’s brand: professional, principled, and playful. We have much more to share about these little guys in the weeks to come, so follow us on Twitter for the latest on everything Orca, and keep an eye out for dedicated Orcanauts-related channels in our Discord!

Disclaimer: The content of this communication is not financial advice and should not be relied on by any persons as financial advice. This communication has not been provided in consideration of any recipient’s financial needs. We have not conducted any financial assessment based on the personal circumstances of any recipients. All persons are encouraged to seek their own independent financial advice prior to taking any further action.

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