SpaceBudz: Pioneering Cardano NFT ecosystem

Collections 12.12.2023

From today's perspective, at the beginning of 2021, the Cardano ecosystem was still in its inception, and the NFT ecosystem, in particular, was non-existent. NFTs were already popular on Ethereum but hadn't launched on Cardano.

This changed with the Mary era on 1st March 2021. Alessandro used the new possibility of native tokens on Cardano and airdropped 100 Berry NFTs to delegators to his Berry stake pool. This is officially the first NFT collection on Cardano. Since then Alessandro became very well-known in the space as the founder behind the popular Nami wallet and many useful CIPs for the whole ecosystem (Cardano Improvement Proposals).

This marks the inception of Cardano NFT collections. Berries are more of a commemorative collection. The first “PFP” like NFT collection as we know them now had to wait 3 more weeks and was again delivered by Zieg and Alessandro - SpaceBudz.


SpaceBudz is officially the first 10,000 NFT collection on Cardano. The collection started minting on 23rd March and sold out over one month later at the end of April.

The mint price was tiered: from 0001-1000 SpaceBudz, the cost was 10 ADA, from 1001-2000 it was 20 ADA, and continuing until 9001-10000, which will reach a cost of 100 ADA.

Even though SpaceBudz is not the very first collection, it's valued by the community as it's the first project that brought the aspect of different traits and random generation to Cardano. The body base of SpaceBudz includes different animals such as frogs, parrots, fish, and robots or aliens. The rarest body base is Dino, as there are only 6 of them.

Each SpaceBud then has a bunch of traits and properties such as tools, eyewear - it has exactly the aspects people expected from a generative collection.

SpaceBudz collection got popular in the community and to this day has the largest all-time volume with a total of 43.1m ADA traded (as of 12/12/2023).

Original SpaceBudz art
Contributions of Alessandro and SpaceBudz

SpaceBudz never had any kind of roadmap - Alessandro and Zieg wanted to keep the value of the project in being the first 10k projects on Cardano. Alessandro developed many things under the brand of SpaceBudz for other Cardano developers to use.

Alessandro and the SpaceBudz team always wanted to push Cardano forward and utilize its technology to the fullest. This commitment led to the creation of the first smart contract marketplace on Cardano—SpaceBudz Market. The marketplace, dedicated to the SpaceBudz collection, set a new standard for Cardano marketplaces, pushing development forward. While this achievement is commendable, Alessandro took it a step further. Recognizing the limitations of existing Cardano wallets in providing functionality for interacting with smart contracts, he decided to build Nami wallet, which has since become one of the most widely used wallets to this day.

To mention a few other accomplishments - Alessandro contributed to the CIP-25 metadata standard which was a blueprint how NFT metadata on Cardano should be structured, the upgradable CIP-68 was authored by Alessandro.

Alessandro not only contributed to the NFT metadata standard CIPs but also created the Lucid library, which is, in his words is: "a platform designed to simplify the development process on Cardano by eliminating the challenges associated with building transactions and interacting with smart contracts." Lucid was built using JavaScript/TypeScript, which makes it easy and accessible for developers.

Another thing brought to Cardano by Alessandro is the Nebula smart contract, which is an open-sourced NFT smart contract allowing anyone to easily deploy a dedicated NFT smart contract to for a dedicated project marketplace.

Migration of SpaceBudz

Later on, the community found out that some traits on the original SpaceBudz collection were traced from other artists' work so the SpaceBudz team decided to upgrade the art of all the NFTs. To make this possible, the SpaceBudz team decided to migrate to a more modern metadata standard CIP-68, that allows changing metadata even after the policy ID locks thanks to a reference token, which was not possible before. SpaceBudz owners had to send the original SpaceBudz through a wormhole to get a new one with the upgraded art and metadata standard

Some community members were unhappy with this decision as it meant a new policy ID for the collection, essentially losing the proof of being the first 10k collection on Cardano and thus decided to rather keep the original SpaceBud to maintain their commemorative and historic value. The team came up with a clever way to ensure the v1 and v2 SpaceBudz version always remain connected - meaning there can always be only v1 or v2 of a particular SpaceBud NFT in the existence. Essentially meaning it remains one collection utilizing 2 policy ID. Community wanted to expand the possibilities further and built 3rd party tools to reverse the migration from v2 back to v1. On top of that some blockchain explorers added the original mint date when displaying the NFT to show both the original mint date as well as migration date. One got to love all the possibilities on Cardano!

Over half of the SpaceBudz is now migrated to the updated art and metadata standard.

Updated SpaceBudz art
Future of SpaceBudz

SpaceBudz have no roadmap, don't give any promises. The project was always meant to be decentralized, community-driven - with the etos of Cardano. People have access to the intellectual property of their SpaceBudz (the v2 version, as it's the one officially supported by the project) which truly let's them use their NFTs in any way the like. Any official development from the team shouldn't be expected.

Let's enjoy the collection as the one that helped grow the Cardano ecosystem forward with all the developments that were created and co-created by Alessandro under the SpaceBudz brand.


In summary, the Cardano NFT landscape saw its inception in early 2021 with Alessandro's Berry collection, followed by the iconic SpaceBudz—the first 10,000 NFTs on Cardano. SpaceBudz spurred the development of vital tools and contracts. Alessandro's contributions, such as the Nami wallet and Lucid library, have significantly influenced Cardano's ecosystem. Although the future of SpaceBudz remains without a roadmap, its impact on Cardano's growth is undeniable, making it a noteworthy chapter in the ever-evolving NFT space.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and summary of projects and protocols on Cardano. This is for educational purposes only. By no means should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Collecting and investing in tokens should be approached with careful consideration and research.