Winkelvoss brothers launch new blockchain art marketplace

The entrepreneurs acquired the online marketplace Nifty Gateway through their cryptocurrency company Gemini Trust Co. acquired back in 2019.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have now debuted a new website for the startup, in which collectors can buy, sell and track ownership of digital art.

New York-based artist Michael Kagan, who is best known for his collaboration with Pharrell Williams's Billionaire Boys Club clothing company, contributed to Nifty Gateway with a collection of space-themed paintings.

The artworks range in price between $3,000 and $5,000, although one of Kagan's space-themed canvases recently fetched $40,000 during Christie's Post-War to Present sale in New York.

Meanwhile, American photographer and filmmaker Lyle Owerko is selling different-colored graphics of boomboxes from his ongoing "The Boombox Project," with prices ranging between $20 and $2,500.

In addition, Nifty Gateway is offering a collection of digital art from MMA fighter Cris Cyborg, with "Cyborg Ready" on sale for $10 and "Cyborg Victorious" for $500.

New "exhibitions," or group of collectibles, will be released once every three weeks, with each drop being available for a limited time.

Nifty Gateway is not the only startup venturing into the market of digital art, which is increasingly attracting a new class of collectors.

Blockchain has become part of artists' practice in recent years, both as subject and medium.

The technology is inspiring a nascent crypto-themed art movement, emerging in the form of Sarah Meyohas's "Bitchcoin" (2015) and VESA's ongoing ArtForCrypto.com.

French artist Youl notably sold "The Last Bitcoin Supper" for nearly $3,000 on eBay in 2014.

In addition, blockchain presents indubitable value in terms of authentication, as the Fine Arts Expert Institute in Geneva stated in 2014 that over 50% of the artworks it had examined were either forged or not attributed to the correct artist.

"When it comes to selling artworks, two things are important. Is the artwork real, and do I have the authority to sell it to you? Blockchain's capacity to track and verify authenticity through timestamps on transactions and cryptographic signatures can solve that problem," Verisart CEO Robert Norton explained during 2018's Art Basel Conversations in Basel.