In brief

  • The Winklevoss twins bought a crypto-collectible marketplace last year.
  • It went live yesterday, with key artists on board.
  • The marketplace is focused on high-value art.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of crypto exchange Gemini, yesterday announced they were launching their marketplace for crypto collectibles of artists and brands. 

The Winklevoss twins bought the marketplace, called Nifty Gateway—Nifties are another name for crypto collectibles, short-hand for NFT, or non-fungible tokens—in November 2019. It was founded in 2018 by Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster (who are also twin brothers). Its website went live yesterday.

The Winklevoss twins have invested heavily into Bitcoin and the wider crypto industry. Image: Shutterstock.

Crypto collectibles are tokenized artworks—each artwork is provably unique, and tokenized artworks can be traded like any other cryptocurrency. 

Upon launch of Nifty Gateway 2.0—the new, Gemini-backed version of the marketplace—are collections from two artists and one athlete: New York-based artist Michael Kagan; Los Angeles artist Lyle Owerko, whose collectors include Beyoncé and Jay Z; and Cris Cyborg, an MMA women’s featherweight world champion, who’s selling paintings of herself, “the must have for any Cris fan.” 

The platform rivals existing marketplaces for crypto collectibles, like CryptoKitties and OpenSea. 

Compared to OpenSea, a marketplace on which any artist can sell crypto collectibles (CryptoKitties only facilitates the sale of its eponymous crypto collectible, digital Tamagotchi-like cats), there are a few key differences.

First, Gemini is focusing on a few artists, rather a crypto collectibles free for all. New “exhibitions” will come out (roughly) every three weeks, on Thursdays. To have art exhibited is to be featured on the front page, or under “exhibitions.” 

Second, Gemini handles “all of the difficult technology pieces for you, meaning that selling a Nifty with us is as easy as selling something on Ebay,” according to its site, and the marketplace is backed by Gemini’s security technology. 

Third, NFTs are put up for sale in US dollars, rather than cryptocurrency. The art varies in price. Of those with price-tags, a picture of Cris Cyborg goes for $85,000 (it was last sold for $10), and a picture of a Boombox is going for $100 (it last sold for $20, bought by Tommy Kimmelman, a business development specialist at Nifty Gateway and self-described “King of the Nifties”). 

It is, of course, possible to save the image on your computer for free. But what would be the fun in that?