These NFT platforms dream of being a digital art gallery

When it comes to NFT, there is something for everyone. Collectibles, these digital tokens based on a generative model such as the famous (and highly coveted) Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks; and “crypto-art”, these digital works authenticated as unique objects thanks to blockchain technology.

This second category isn’t the easiest to find on specialized retail platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, or even Nifty Gateway. Collectors must be patient to find a digital work by a famous artist, among all the NFTs for sale. A problem that start-up Verse hopes to remedy.

The latter relies on artists, curators and art specialists to offer museum-quality non-fungible tokens to cryptocurrency collectors. “We want to provide security for our users. All the artwork listed on Verse is from credible and established artists,” reads the Verse website.

A first crypto-art exhibition, entitled “This is Tomorrow”, will be organized from June 16. It was put together by 12 artists and 12 curators including Simon Denny, Tyler Hobbs, Noah Davis and Elena Soboleva, according to The art newspaper. For Jaime Gourlay, general manager of Verse, this initiative allows potential buyers to take the plunge with confidence. “Much of the current problem is that anonymous people with no reputations to lose can get away with doing anything in the NFT market,” he told the commercial publication. “What we want to do is create a platform where these curators can have something like an Amazon store. Collectors can buy NFTs there directly from people with good reputations in the art world.”

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Healing to convince better

Verse isn’t the only initiative that wants to help collectors make the leap into crypto-art. Gallerist Vito Schnabel gave himself the same mission with Art Official. This platform seeks to “broaden the experience of digital art and make the mechanisms of its acquisition more accessible and transparent for the general public”. It works like an art gallery: collectors can discover a selection of NFTs chosen by Vito Schnabel. There are in particular the creations of Francesco Clemente, Gus Van Sant and Jordan Kerwick.

The Pace gallery has also launched its own platform specializing in the sale of NFTs. His name ? Peace Towards. Crypto-collectors can try to acquire digital creations by John Gerrard, Zhang Huan, Lucas Samaras, and even the NFTs attached to the sculptures that Jeff Koons will soon be sending to the moon. There are many projects that testify to the enthusiasm of the artists for this technology, which has been upsetting the art world for more than a year.

But is it the same on the buyer’s side? Difficult to answer as the NFT market is fluctuating. Interest in these blockchain-registered digital ownership certificates waned in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report by the monitoring platform Chainalysis. Spending volume fell from $ 3.9 billion to $ 964 million between February and March 2022. This volatility, however, does not worry NFT market participants. The proof: the SuperRare platform opened an ephemeral gallery in New York on May 19 to convince the last recalcitrant of the potential of non-fungible tokens.

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