Gemini, the Winklevoss-backed crypto venture, has taken its first steps into the blockchain collectibles world by snapping up Nifty Gateway, a platform that enables the purchase and management of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The move suggests that Gemini see a bright future for blockchain collectibles, two years after Cryptokitties crashed the Ethereum network.
We’re excited to announce our acquisition of @niftygateway, a platform where you can buy and manage non-fungible tokens (NFTs)!
— Gemini (@Gemini) November 19, 2019
Refined NFT Concept Tempts Bitcoin Billionaire Brothers
Gemini co-founder and CEO Tyler Winklevoss announced the deal in a Medium post, emphasizing that cryptocurrency represents not just the future of money but also the future of digital goods and collectibles. Their purchase of Nifty Gateway, which takes its name from the pronunciation of NFT, is an example of the perceived potential of the market, which first gained notoriety in late 2017 when the Ethereum-based Cryptokitties caused a bottleneck in the Ethereum blockchain. The intervening two years has seen refinement of the NFT concept and the ERC-721 token standard on which all Ethereum-based NFTs will be based. Winklevoss describes NFTs, which he calls “nifties” as “cryptographic tokens that represent a unique asset or good on the blockchain” making them “the perfect digital, form factor for crypto-collectibles, crypto-art, and much more.”
Revolution Already Underway
NFTs are different from regular tokens in that they all represent something different from each other, rather than each being the same as the next in line. For example, one XRP token is the same as the next, meaning that they both have the same value. NFTs however will each have a different value based on factors such as scarcity and market desirability. The concept already exists in real life through the likes of baseball cards, Tamagochi pets, and stamps, and an NFT is simply an online version of these. The benefit of blockchain-based collectibles is that storage, transfer, protection, and proof of ownership is much easier and cheaper than with physical collectibles. A number of top soccer teams have already signed up to schemes that put player cards on the blockchain, suggesting that the movement is already well underway and targeting the right market to help it grow.