Winklevoss twins launch a marketplace for blockchain digital art

The Toronto Star | Olga Kharif | March 17, 2020

Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss - Winklevoss twins launch a marketplace for blockchain digital artCrypto entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are launching a marketplace for nifties, the tradable digital art that can sell for thousands of dollars.

Nifty Gateway, a startup that the Winklevoss’s Gemini Trust Co. bought last year, is debuting a website Tuesday where consumers will be able to buy and sell digital collectibles from artists including Michael Kagan and Lyle Owerko. Kagan, known for his space exploration-themed work, has collaborated with singer Pharrell Williams on t-shirt designs and recently sold a work through Christie’s for $40,000. Works of photographer Owerko have graced the cover of Time magazine and been collected by the likes of Beyonce. Niftygateway.com will also sell a collection of digital art from MMA fighter Cris Cyborg.

“I haven’t done anything like this before, which is all the more reason to do this now,” Owerko said in a phone interview.

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For the Winklevoss twins, who have been two of the earliest supporters of cryptocurrency, the marketplace is a way to tap into an emerging and potentially lucrative market for digital art. Unlike other digital renderings, these pieces are kept track of via digital-ledger technology called blockchain that’s similar to that underpinning cryptocurrency Bitcoin. That means artists can issue limited-edition pieces. The twins predict that the market will eventually be as big as the ones for art, collectibles and gaming digital items combined.

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