These new NFT platforms are like digital art galleries

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After peaking in 2021, the NFT market is starting to show signs of running out of steam. But that doesn’t seem to worry the founders of Verse, a new platform specializing in the sale of non-fungible tokens. It offers collectors the opportunity to discover a selection of NFT curated by artists and art specialists.

When it comes to NFTs, there’s something for everyone. Whether marketed as crypto-art or as collectibles – generative model-based digital tokens like the famous (and highly coveted) Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks – these digital works are authenticated as unique objects through to blockchain technology.

But crypto-art is not particularly easy to find on specialized sales platforms like OpenSea, Rarible or Nifty Gateway. Collectors will need a lot of patience if they hope to find a famous artist’s digital work among all the NFTs for sale. But it’s a problem that a startup called Verse hopes to fix.

The platform relies on artists, curators, and art scholars to offer non-fungible, museum-quality tokens to crypto-art collectors. “We want to provide security to our users. All works listed on Verse are by credible and established artists,” reads the Verse website.

A first crypto art exhibition, titled “This is Tomorrow”, will be held from June 16. It was put together by 12 artists and 12 curators, including Simon Denny, Tyler Hobbs, Noah Davis and Elena Soboleva, reports The Art Newspaper.

For Verse CEO Jaime Gourlay, the move allows potential buyers to take the plunge with confidence. “A big part of the problem right now is that anonymous people with no reputation to lose can afford to do anything in the NFT market,” he told the trade publication. “What we want to do is create a platform where these curators can have something that’s almost like an Amazon store, and then collectors can buy directly from people who have a good reputation, basically a reputation at to lose.”

Organize the experience

Verse isn’t the only initiative aimed at helping collectors test the waters of the crypto art market. Gallery owner Vito Schnabel undertook a similar mission with Art Official. This platform aims to “broaden the experience of digital art and make its acquisition more accessible and transparent for the public”. It basically functions as an art gallery; where collectors can discover a selection of NFTs chosen by Vito Schnabel. It features creations by Francesco Clemente, Gus Van Sant and Jordan Kerwick, among others.

The Pace Gallery has also launched its own platform specializing in the sale of NFTs. This is called Pace Verso. Here, crypto collectors can attempt to acquire digital creations by John Gerrard, Zhang Huan, and Lucas Samaras, and even NFTs related to the sculptures that Jeff Koons will soon send to the Moon. All of these projects bear witness to the artists’ enthusiasm for this technology, which has been shaking up the art world for more than a year.

But can the same be said of buyers? It is more difficult to answer this question, because the NFT market is subject to fluctuations. Interest in these digital certificates of ownership recorded on the blockchain declined in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report by blockchain data platform, Chainalysis.

Spending rose from US$3.9 billion (RM17.16 billion) to US$964 million (RM4.2 billion) between February and March this year. However, this volatility does not seem to worry NFT market players. Indeed, on May 19, the SuperRare platform opened a pop-up gallery in New York to convince the last skeptics of the potential of non-fungible tokens. – AFP Relax news

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