NFT platform Nifty Gateway, purchased by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in November 2019, could now be worth as much as $1.2 billion, according to a new report from the crypto analytics firm Messari.
The report is part of a broad overview of the NFT market, which has been heating up in recent weeks thanks to blockbuster sales from the likes of Grimes, Kings of Leon, Beeple, and more.
NFTs are non-fungible tokens—digital collectibles on a blockchain (usually Ethereum). They’re a handy mechanism for assigning ownership to digital images and animations; the NBA just launched a dedicated NFT platform called Top Shots, and Taco Bell put out a collection of taco-themed crypto art.
NFTs have been around for years, but have exploded in popularity over the past few months. Sales volume increased 29X in February, and the Winklevoss-owned Nifty Gateway remains the ecosystem’s largest platform; Messari says it’s worth somewhere between $774 million to $1.2 billion. The runner-up, Open Sea, is estimated to be worth between $321 and $498 million, depending on how the market performs over the course of the year.
This is according to the more conservative of two models for predicting NFT revenue in 2021. A second model, which calculates expected revenue based on the performance of the NFT marketplace Rarible and its RARI token, puts the Nifty Gateway valuation between $5.5 and $8.6 billion.
Digital art is the most popular use case for NFTs so far, but music, documents, and other online intangibles are all finding their place in the world of NFTs. “We expect to see new NFTs emerge as product-market fit will extend outside just art, into a broad identification layer for all digital assets,” says Messari.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is putting that idea to the test by auctioning the first-ever tweet as an NFT. The high bid is now $2.5 million.