We knew CNFT.io was planning to phase out their off-chain escrow system, but when we last talked with them, it sounded like it was still a few weeks out. This afternoon they abruptly announced that they have gotten rid of the escrow system altogether and will only be doing smart contract sales going forward.

As they stated in their Tweet, all current non-escrow listings will remain on the platform but no new escrow listings can be added. If you want to list an item for sale on the platform it needs to be listed within the smart contract.

This also got rid of the “Timed Auction” option which operated through the off-chain escrow system. No auctions can be listed on the platform but this will likely be temporary though as they are planning to introduce smart contract auctions.

This is a huge leap for CNFT.io since they have been using manual escrow sales since the Cardano NFT community first began and most trades happened through Discord Servers. These were operated through bots created by developers like Stale (another member of the CNFT.io Team) and actual humans acting as the middlemen for trades. It probably sounds crazy to people not in the community at that time, but the most responsible way to trade CNFTs back then was these systems. You would request escrow through a bot on a Discord Server, a private channel would open up with someone who worked for the server handling trades. They would ask both parties what the trade will be to assure everyone was on the same page, then both parties would send the asset(s) to that middleman, the middleman would verify the policy IDs then they would facilitate the trade (usually for a small fee). We’ve obviously have grown a lot since then with most off-chain escrow trades happening on the backend of platforms like CNFT.io. Competition for smart contract sales has been growing though with marketplaces like JPG.store taking a majority of CNFT trades in the past few weeks because of their smart contract and royalty system.

One slight downside to this is mobile-only users are now unable to list on most marketplaces since sm