Just a few years ago, NFT was an abbreviation that made sense to the select few. However, over the last couple of years, NFTs non-fungible tokens have risen to prominence among digital art collectors and investors. The pandemic also did a great service to the propagation of the new class of digital assets. Being a unique product of the Ethereum blockchain, each NFT is similar to a digital certificate of authenticity of a digital artwork and has a unique underlying asset, a digital file representing art or any other creative form. They can be bought and sold or auctioned at special marketplaces similar to Amazon but dealing solely in NFTs. NFT buyers are akin to art collectors as owning an NFT is as good as owning an artwork; it is as unique and holds value and appreciates with time because it is limited and non-fungible and is governed by the economics law of scarcity. In other words, NFTs are a new digital reality on the way to becoming a mainstream phenomenon.
One question, however, remains open: whether NFT is art or not. The best way to test it is to put an NFT on an auction block. Once an NFT is up for sale, there need to be competing buyers to determine its value. There are indeed groups of people prepared to pay a lot for the new digital art form. They mostly represent the new breed of young people with recently accumulated crypto wealth, the so-called crypto elite, a demographic that grew up with little exposure to traditional museum forms of art, and whose tastes while growing up were shaped by video games and other digital forms of entertainment. These are the potential NFT buyers, the digital nouveaux riches, who can appreciate the digital art form and drive its price up with their newly acquired wealth. Since the first NFT, Quantum, was minted in 2014, the NFT market has grown to a massive $40 Million in 2021 and is expected to double by 2025.
Tommy Kimmelman, a Creative Lead at Nifty Gateway, a top-ranking NFT marketplace, has worked with such record-breaking digital artists as Beeple, Pak, and XCOPY. Amazing price records have been set at NFT auctions, including Nifty Gateway's. In 2021, digital artist Beeple's Everyday: the First 5000 Days NFT was auctioned by Nifty Gateway for a stunning all-time record amount of $69.3 Million after the marketplace struck a partnership with Sotheby's. The record, however, did not survive long; later in 2021, Pak sold an NFT for an all-time record of $91 million.
Tommy has worked closely with all these artists and has had a hand in structuring their digital drops. All in all, Tommy has had a role to play in helping artists make north of $300 Million since he joined Nifty Getaway three years ago. Staying aside from the recent hype surrounding such collectible projects as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and other celebrity-sponsored collectibles, Nifty Getaway team and Tommy primarily focus on digital artists as they view them as the foundation and the main driving force of the new artform and the rapidly evolving NFT market ecosystem.
Given Tommy's strong belief in the NFT's growth potential and his experience in dealing with prominent digital artists his next project is sure to make headlines in the NFT space.
We look forward to following the next project Kimmelman works on.