Making Unstoppable Auctions a Web3 Public Good

Written by
Conlan Rios

Making Unstoppable Auctions a Web3 Public Good

Written by
Conlan Rios

Making Unstoppable Auctions a Web3 Public Good

Written by
Conlan Rios

2021 has been an exciting year.

Over the recent months we’ve asked our community (particularly our collectors) about what they'd like to see on the Async Art platform. One shared challenge that arose was around acquiring Async works. Because collectors operate on a global time schedule, they often experience confusion about how or when a piece would go up for auction. Each artist handles sales differently, so collectors didn't know if they were using the “Coldie” method, if they would immediately accept a first bid, or whether they would even respond to a bid at all.

This makes it hard to be certain of how to acquire a piece, whether on the primary or secondary market.

We’re so excited to announce our latest development, because in order to solve this, Async Art has sponsored the development of an “Unstoppable Auction” contract. This will allow ERC721 token owners to put their pieces up for auction with a minimum reserve and/or BuyNow price in a permissionless manner. Once a minimum reserve has been met, the auction will automatically proceed to countdown until a new high bid comes in or the auction timer reaches the end. Both the NFT and bid funds will be escrowed until the end of the auction.

This means that when collectors see a piece with a reserve price on Async, they’ll know with certainty that by bidding the reserve price the NFT will be going to a new home once the timer is up, guaranteed. Now whether it goes to the original bidder, that is really up to the collector ;)

The contract is flexible and includes features such as:

  • Single and batch NFT auctions.
  • Custom auction durations.
  • Minimum required bid increase percentage.
  • ETH and ERC20 currency compatibility.
  • Optional BuyNow prices to end an auction early.
  • Multiple fee recipients with custom percentages.
  • Private Sales to whitelisted buyer addresses.
  • Zero auction contract fees.
  • Open source and compatible with any ERC721 token contract.

That last aspect is particularly important to us. While SuperRare is popularizing Coldie's method for their NFT community and Zora is compatible with all (albeit with a simpler feature set), we felt it crucial for all the above features be accessible for all NFT projects.

Yes we said it. All. For everybody.

During a recent conversation with Andrew Steinwold on his podcast, Zima Red, I highlighted the importance of embracing the ethos of Web3, lest we repeat the mistakes of Web2. Simply put, the only way this community can overcome centralized ownership of our time, creativity, and attention is to share as much as we possibly can with each other.

I’m a believer in the saying, “a rising tide raises all boats.” While it may seem counter-intuitive, offering an auction contract up as a public good will boost overall collector confidence and enable new marketplace platforms to enter the space more easily (marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible are also free to take what they like from this as well). When we first launched Async, the community was open and inclusive. Plus, we wanted to make this accessible to all artists, regardless of platform. We’re here for the community — the bigger picture. And this is our way of giving back.

Because we’re encouraging community participation, we’re also asking for help in the final contract audit. Async Art is sponsoring a bug bounty of $3,000 per proven exploit that permanently locks funds or tokens (applicable to the first three exploits verified). Exploits must be reported via instructions at and verified by Avo Labs before payment will be sent. Deadline for reporting is August 31, 2021.

Async Art will begin using the auction contract in September and we’re beyond excited for what it means for artists, collectors, and all other NFT projects in our community.

- Conlan Rios

Clarification (8/18/2021): In the first draft I mislabeled Zora as also only compatible within their community. I've corrected the post to note that Zora is compatible with all projects too (we just required more auction features than what they're currently offering)