Hi Coldie! Can you tell us how did the whole project start?
I have been donating physical art to the Kitty Bungalow art show for the last few years. Last year, I brought in CryptoKitties and Crypto Kaiju who donated artworks. Following the success of these pieces in last year’s show, I was approached by KB about the virtual worlds I was creating. We decided to do an experiment and see how the charity would translate to a digital setting. From there we did an open call for entries, I curated a show including 40+ art pieces and VOX sculptures that took place in 4 parcels in CryptoVoxels.
In addition to the NFT digital art, we also had a physical art gallery. What blew us away was that we sold more than $2,000 in physical art as well! It was also the first introduction to several famous artists of the crypto art scene. I can tell you that a few of them are looking at getting into NFTs!
What was the scale of the event in terms of artists and other actors involved?
We had over 75 artists and builders contribute to the show. This includes Async who had 33 contributors in their 3 pieces they created specially for the event. I also had many builders contribute piece to the show include megavox sculptures that were auctioned as well. I tried to sell everything I could in the build. Might as well make as much as possible!
Any favorite contributions on the artistic side?
One of my favorite pieces was Matt Kane’s Excessive Force - Cat Devouring Bird after Picasso. This piece is not the usual for Matt in terms of subject matter, and seeing a different side to his art was really thrilling. Others agreed and there was a pretty good bid war going and it ended up selling for for 8.5 ETH (over $2,000) to Tennessee Jed. Take a look and get lost in the animation layers. Subtle, but SO TASTY!
I was blown away by the Async collaboration pieces. 3 distinct pieces that were very well thought out and all very successful turnouts! Big thanks to their whole time for all they did. You could tell there was a lot of love coming from them to help cats and it showed in the end result.
CryptoKitties contributed 3 very rare kitties, as well as kitties for a scavenger hunt. They also contributed to one of the Async pieces. Their team was so generous and always willing to help promote and do whatever they could to be sure our event went off as well as possible. I their kindness and professionalism, mixed with creativity and care was amazing to collaborate with!
So, how did the event go in terms of support, are you satisfied with how it all went, was it challenging?
Overall, there were no issues, somehow! So many people stepped up and dontated their time and skills to make this event really shine and be as successful as it was.
It was a challenge to get in the ear of crypto collectors and other who might be interested in the show. I was blown away at how many people showed up and also the diversity of collectors.
I know that Nala cat was involved too, did this help stir the interest of more people beyond the crypto art scene?
Yes, Nala is a literal cat celebrity and with her she brings a very passionate fanbase. We had Nala do her first Twitch Livestream which went well and many of her fans joined in, which is probably the first time many of them experienced a crypto art show or virtual live event. We really appreciate the support of Nala’s team to allow us to have her be so much of a piece of the show. We had a beautiful sculpture of Nala created by Ogar which was auctioned.
Looking back on the whole event, I am so proud of how it turned out. To date, Kitty Bungalow has received over $15,000 in donations from this event. It far exceeds what any of us were dreaming of. The best part about it is that they always need more money to help feral cats in need in the Los Angeles area, so the extra money will always go to a good use.
Having a second event at the Citadel Art Center is also really fun and rewarding. It is interesting taking down an exhibition and putting up a new one. It keeps the vibes fresh, the art new, and I look forward to putting on the next show there. To everyone who collaborated, created, donated, and enjoyed the show, THANK YOU. It was only possible because of everyone! I love this community and we now have a wider network including Kitty Bungalow who love crypto events and will continue to be friends with us as this whole space continues to grow and evolve.
Hi Duncan and Griffin, congratulations on launching the first NFT collections on Nifty Gateway! So, how did it go?
Thanks! It has been really awesome so far. Drop 2 sold out in approximately 24 hours. Nifties have also been trading well on the secondary market, for example we saw Wings: Regular #1 resell for $250, 12.5x its original purchase price of $20. We also saw Everything's Fine by Josie trade 3 times for an average of $660. It is awesome to see drops selling out and nifties trading up on the secondary market.
We are incredibly excited by our third drop. We're releasing artworks by Cey Adams, Coldie and Raul Cordero. Cey Adams is a legendary graffiti artist who designed the original Beastie Boys logo, Coldie is legendary crypto artist, and Raul is a renown contemporary artist whose work is held in the permanent collection of the LA MOCA.
Working with Coldie is obviously fantastic, and we really love it when we are able to introduce a well known artists like Raul and Cey to the NFT world. It is so awesome to see what an artist can do when they are working in the digital medium for the first time, and it is particularly cool when an artist is famous for their physical artwork. We love bringing new artists and collectors into the space.
Can you briefly tell those unfamiliar with your platform how it works? What is it that makes it unique? Anything to improve about it, still?
The biggest difference between our platform and others is that you don't have to go through the crypto currency onboarding to use Nifty Gateway. Our goal is to reach the mainstream with this platform, and letting people interact with the system without having to onboard onto crypto reduces the amount of user friction significantly.
What drew you to crypto collectibles were CryptoKitties becoming mainstream in 2017. I take it you make it your goal to get NFTs to the masses. Can you tell us more about your vision?
We have always been somewhat into collectibles and into new technology. It was the combination of those two things that attracted us to NFTs. Once we got into NFTs, we were hooked. Since then the vision has been to make them easier to access, and to help people create compelling NFTs, so that a larger number of people will grow passionate about NFTs the same way we are.
You are twin brothers. Does this change how you work, is it a plus or can it be challenging? Is there something you can't help but argue about? What about the rest of the team?
Co-founding a company with your twin brother can definitely be a challenge. I think it has its advantages and disadvantages. We are definitely more honest and blunt with each other than other founders might be. I think the rest of the team has learned to put up with it.
Last year your company was acquired by Gemini, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ company. Did this influence the development and promotion of Nifty Gateway?
When we started talking about an acquisition, we thought it made a lot of sense, because we would be able to get access to the Gemini custody technology, which is the best crypto custody technology in the world. Because Nifty Gateway is a platform that doesn't require users to go through crypto currency onboarding, we need a way to ensure users Nifties are safe. Without Gemini it would be hard for us to do that.
Are there other companies or projects that you find inspiring?
Many! Async, OpenSea, SuperRare, Blockcities, Known Origin, Axie Infinity, Avastars, just to name a few. This space is filled with incredible people. It is remarkable how dedicated everyone is. A lot of people we talk to say that Nifties now feel like Bitcoin in 2012. We think a lot of the reason that people say that is because the participants in the Nifty ecosystem are so dedicated and passionate.
Does the current global situation affect your work?
Absolutely. We think it would be impossible for it not to affect our work. For one things, we've all had to work from home which is a bit of an adjustment. But we actually believe on balance it has been a good thing for Nifties. A lot of the artists that we have talked to have told us they are more interested in doing digitally native work, because a lot of their physical art projects have been paused.
What about the future, instead? Any new ideas you wish to develop?
Sure! For one thing, we're going to continue to introduce well known physical artists to the concept of creating Nifties, and launch more collections from artists who have never created Nifties before. We're really excited about that path because it helps the space gain legitimacy and grow. We're also going to keep launching collections by talented artists who have created Nifties before but can benefit from the Nifty Gateway drop model.
There is a bunch of other cool features we're adding to the platform. We're going to show a lot more secondary market trading data, for instance, so you know how much a nifty you own is trading for.
AsyncArt, launched online in February 2020, innovates the NFT realm allowing creative people to showcase and trade programmable art. The first piece of such art ever tokenized on the platform is First Supper, a digital homage to Leonardo Da Vinci's Cenacolo.
First Supper, with 22 Layers, is the result of a collaboration between 13 major artists: Alotta Money, Blackboxdotart, Coldie, Connie Digital, Hackatao, Josie Bellini, Matt Kane, Mlibty, Rutger van der Tas, Shortcut, TwistedVacancy, VansDesign, and XCOPY. Auctioned on February 28th, the Master image was sold to MetaKovan for 103.4 ETH (14.037,58 USD). Among its Layers, purchased by different collectors shortly afterward, very successful were Coldie's Decentral Eyes, sold for 77.0 ETH (10.490,48 USD), and Visionary Spirit of Creation by Matt Kane, sold for 35.0 ETH (4.763,50 USD). A total of 263 ETH was made from the auction of 20 Layers.
The second programmable NFT auctioned on AsyncArt was XCOPY's Banksta. It was sold to the collector TokenAngels for 66.0 ETH (8.958,84 USD), becoming the most expensive work by a single artist to date. Its Master image sold for more than all its Layers combined, testifying how this particular art piece works better as a whole than others.