Yesterday, cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini Trust announced the launch of the blockchain-based Nifty Marketplace for buying, selling and storing digital art and collectibles. Gemini Trust is the brainchild of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, otherwise known as the Winklevoss Twins.
Founded in 2014, Gemini has a digital assets custodian service license from the New York State Department of Financial Services. With Nifty Marketplace, the company is expanding operations into non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, are homogenous fungible tokens that are interchangeable and hence have the same value. In contrast, NFTs represent a unique asset on the blockchain. They follow the ERC-721 standard, unlike most tokens that use the Ethereum ERC-20 standard.
The Nifty Marketplace will use NFTs or ‘nifties’ to represent digital art and other collectibles. In November last year, Gemini acquired the Nifty Gateway, a blockchain platform for trading NFTs. Gemini is launching the Nifty Marketplace with two artists, namely New York-based Michael Kagan and Los Angeles-based Lyle Owerko, and Bellator MMA (mixed martial arts) female star Cris Cyborg. NFTs of the artwork and collectibles of the MMA fighter will be available to trade on the platform.
Blockchain collectibles are being explored worldwide for fan engagement, especially by sports organizations. The Nifty Marketplace will allow brands and artists to connect directly with their customers and fans across the globe to provide them authentic content.
A few months ago, conventional collectibles company Panini America launched blockchain trading cards featuring Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and many others.
More recently, UFC partnered with Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties, to develop blockchain collectibles for mixed martial arts fans.