After peaking in 2021, the NFT market is starting to show signs of faltering. But this doesn’t seem to worry the founders of Verse, a new platform specialising in the sale of non-fungible tokens. It offers collectors the opportunity to discover a selection of NFTs curated by artists and art specialists.
When it comes to NFTs, there’s something for everyone. Whether marketed as crypto-art or collectibles —digital tokens based on a generative model like the famous (and highly coveted) Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks — these digital works are authenticated as unique objects thanks to blockchain technology.
But crypto-art isn’t especially easy to find on specialist sales platforms like OpenSea, Rarible or Nifty Gateway. Collectors will need plenty of patience if they hope to find a digital work by a famous artist among all the NFTs for sale. But this is a problem that a start-up called Verse hopes to remedy.
The platform relies on artists, curators and art specialists to offer museum-quality, non-fungible tokens to crypto-art collectors. “We want to offer our users security. All works listed on Verse are by credible, established artists,” reads the Verse website.
Adding credibility to NFT art
A first crypto-art exhibition, titled “This is Tomorrow,” will be held starting June 16. It has been assembled by 12 artists and 12 curators, including Simon Denny, Tyler Hobbs, Noah Davis and Elena Soboleva, reports The Art Newspaper.
For Verse chief executive Jaime Gourlay, this initiative allows potential buyers to take the plunge with confidence. “So much of the problem at the moment is that anonymous people with no reputation to lose can get away with doing anything in the NFT market,” he told the specialist publication. “What we want to do is create a platform where these curators can have something almost like an Amazon store, then collectors can buy directly from people who have a good reputation, basically a reputation to lose.”
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Curating the NFT art experience
Verse is not the only initiative aiming to help collectors test the waters of the crypto-art market. Gallerist Vito Schnabel has taken on a similar mission with Art Official. This platform seeks to “broaden the experience of digital art and make its acquisition more accessible and transparent for the public.”
It basically works like an art gallery; where collectors can discover a selection of NFTs chosen by Vito Schnabel. It features creations by Francesco Clemente, Gus Van Sant and Jordan Kerwick, among others.
The Pace gallery has also launched its own platform specialising in the sale of NFTs. This goes by the name of Pace Verso. Here, crypto-collectors can try to acquire digital creations by John Gerrard, Zhang Huan and Lucas Samaras, and even NFTs linked to the sculptures that Jeff Koons will soon send to the Moon. All these projects reflect a certain enthusiasm among artists for this technology, which has been shaking up the art world for over a year.
But can the same be said of buyers? That question is harder to answer, as the NFT market is prone to fluctuation. Interest in these digital property certificates registered on the blockchain tapered off in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report from the blockchain data platform, Chainalysis.
Spending dropped from US$3.9 billion to US$964 million between February and March this year. This volatility, however, does not seem to worry those involved in the NFT market. Indeed, on May 19, the SuperRare platform opened a pop-up gallery in New York to convince any remaining doubters of the potential of non-fungible tokens.
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