Co-founders of NFT Marketplace Nifty Gateway Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster announced their departure from Gemini Wednesday as the set of high-profile twins prepares to embark on a new venture.
The twins’ departure comes after launching the startup five years ago and selling Nifty Gateway to cryptocurrency exchange Gemini in June of 2019, long before NFTs had become a lucrative market. Duncan said the twins’ decision to leave the company is based on their desire to start a new business.
“This journey has been an incredible ride, but Griffin and I are founders at heart and we want to start another company,” he stated on Twitter. “We ended up staying the max amount of time we originally thought possible.”
The brothers don’t know exactly when their last day at the company will be, but Duncan said the twins had planned to eventually move on from the venture when it was acquired by Gemini years ago. Duncan said the duo has plans to stay on as advisors to ensure a smooth transition for the company.
The co-founder said he believes the marketplace will be in good hands under the ownership of Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. He lauded the Winklevoss twins as visionaries for spotting NFTs as an emerging trend early.
As the Cock Foster twins get ready to hand the company off, Duncan announced Eddie Ma will take over as the technical leader for Nifty Gateway, and Tara Harris will be in charge of matters that are non-tech. They also plan on releasing a roadmap for the marketplace in the coming weeks after planning the transition for months.
The twins’ departure comes as Gemini faces trouble with crypto lending firm Genesis, which filed for bankruptcy last week. The exchange seeks to reclaim $900 million in assets it’s owed by the lender. The two companies had partnered together on Genesis Earn, a program that offered customers as much as 7.4% interest on crypto holdings, but came to a halt when Genesis and Gemini froze redemptions last November.
Last week, the Winklevoss twins’ exchange threatened to sue Genesis’ parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), as well as CEO Barry Silbert unless a payment plan could be established.
And earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against both Genesis and Gemini a day after Gemini Earn was terminated, alleging that the Earn product is an unregistered security and that the two companies violated securities law.
Over time, Nifty Gateway has undergone changes to make itself more distinct from competitors like OpenSea and LooksRare. Nifty Gateway had originally started out as a marketplace of curated NFT collections but evolved beyond that as generative artwork, like PFPs, became more popular.
In October last year, Nifty Gateway pivoted from a standalone NFT marketplace to an aggregator of Ethereum NFTs. A change to the marketplace’s infrastructure was announced the following month that intended to reduce gas fees–the cost of making transactions on the Ethereum blockchain–by up to 70%.
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