These NFT platforms dream of being a digital art gallery

After reaching highs in 2021, the NFT market is beginning to show signs of weakness. You don’t have to worry about platforms that specialize in selling non-replaceable tokens…

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

This second category is not the easiest to find on specialized sales platforms such as 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 the start-up Verse hopes to solve.

The latter relies on artists, curators and art specialists to offer museum-quality non-perishable tokens to crypto art collectors. “We want to provide safety to our users. All artworks featured on Verse are by credible and established artists,” the Verse website reads.

From June 16, a first crypto art exhibition titled “This is Tomorrow” will be organized. It was curated by 12 artists and 12 curators, including Simon Denny, Tyler Hobbs, Noah Davis and Elena Soboleva, according to The Art Newspaper. For Jaime Gourlay, CEO of Verse, this initiative allows potential buyers to take the plunge with confidence. “A big part of the current problem is that anonymous people can get away with something in the NFT market without losing reputation,” he told the trade publication. “What we want to do is create a platform where these curators can have something that is almost like an Amazon store. Collectors there can buy NFTs directly from people with a good reputation in the art world.”

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Curate to convince better

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

The Pace gallery has also launched its own platform that specializes in selling NFT. Her name ? Pace Verso. Crypto collectors can try and get their hands on digital creations from John Gerrard, Zhang Huan, Lucas Samaras and even the NFTs associated with the sculptures Jeff Koons will soon send to the moon. So many projects that testify to the artists’ enthusiasm for this technology, which has been rocking the art world for over a year.

But does that also apply on the buyer’s side? Difficult to answer as the NFT market fluctuates. According to a report from monitoring platform Chainalysis, interest in these blockchain-enrolled digital property certificates waned in the first quarter of 2022. Spending volume dropped from $3.9 billion to $964 million between February and March 2022. However, this volatility is of no concern to NFT market participants. The proof: The SuperRare platform opened a short-lived gallery in New York on May 19 to convince the latest recalcitrants of the potential of non-replaceable tokens.

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