Nifty Gateway has always been an intriguing option when it comes to the crowded field of NFT marketplaces. With high-end collections from artists like Beeple , XCOPY , and Daniel Arsham , Nifty Gateway has something of a “classier” persona. With their recent announcement of their Nifty Gateway Publishers feature, they’re now opening up the doors to allow anyone to curate their own NFT drop on Nifty Gateway. We agree that Publishers sounds like a great idea on the surface, but will this new approach alienate their luxury collectors? And will they be able to lure regular collectors away from popular competitors like OpenSea and LooksRare ? Let’s take a closer look at the details and find out!
Explaining Nifty Gateway Publishers
The recently announced Publishers program by Nifty Gateway will allow anyone to curate their own NFT Drop on the popular NFT marketplace. While other marketplaces already allow the minting and listing of NFTs, the Publisher program at Nifty Gateway sets itself apart by giving curators a large toolset developed by the Nifty Gateway team for their own highly-successful and curated drops.
Since being acquired by popular crypto exchange Gemini in 2019, Nifty Gateway has become widely known for their high-profile drops from some of the best artists in the industry. The Publisher program opens up the same set of tools they used for drops from Eminem and The Weeknd to everyday users, and the list of perks are pretty impressive.
Just take a look at some of the basic features they’re touting as an example:
- High Security Custodial Accounts
- No Gas Fees
- Fiat Payment Options (including debit/credit cards)
- Full Contract Ownership
- Easy Payouts, Tax Forms, and Split Disbursements
- Gated Drops & Multiple Drop Types
That’s a pretty awesome list that will only grow over time. That last point in particular is worth a closer look. With the new Nifty Gateway Publisher drops, creators can choose to launch their collections with specific criteria to only allow certain collectors to mint. This includes requiring ownership of a pass or previous collection as a form of token gating for your drops. On top of that, artists can release their drops as a first-come, first-served edition, a 1/1 auction, ranked auctions, or even as open-ended editions. The wide range of options are a big selling point and should serve to entice a lot of creators away from other platforms like OpenSea.
Customizing your drop, having built-in gating mechanisms, and being able to easily accept fiat makes launching your collection easier than ever, and Gemini has done a great job putting it all together into a pretty package. And yet the question remains, is this what their primary clientele actually want?
High-End Curation or Free-For-All?
For any company, it’s always important to understand your clientele. In the case of Nifty Gateway, they came on to the scene with a bang by offering a more secure custody service and high-profile, one-of-a-kind drops from celebrities and artists at the top of their game. This approach worked and created a unique feel around the Nifty Gateway drops and the type of marketplace they would become. While many believe they may have dropped the ball by allowing Christie’s to become the de facto place for high-end luxury NFTs, there’s still a lot of opportunity for solid curated drops.
That’s why this new strategy seems somewhat at odds with the motivations of their primary clientele. The unique benefits of using a marketplace owned by Gemini is the access to fiat, the custody service, and getting access to exclusive luxury drops. This kind of service is appealing to the wealthier collectors and celebrities as well as those who are OK using a centralized custody service like institutional investors. Suffice to say, it’s not necessarily the type of crowd that wants to buy psychedelic animals or pixelated Dickbutts . Those types of collectors won’t want the types of KYC and regulatory oversight that are required for someone like Gemini and their fiat systems.
So then who is Nifty Gateway actually targeting? The Publisher service itself is great, but it opens the door for all forms of riffraff to join the marketplace. This kind of degen art will only serve to scare away any remaining higher-end collectors they may still be courting. On the flip side, most degens aren’t going to move away from marketplaces like OpenSea and LooksRare, so Nifty Gateway is late to the ballgame on that front. Looking at all the data, it really feels like a Hail Mary to try and pivot their product in a prolonged bear market, but the lack of understanding of their collectors doesn’t exude confidence in the move…
So, Is It a Bad Move?
Only time will tell if this move serves to help Nifty Gateway steal any kind of market share from competitors like OpenSea. My suspicion is that it won’t and will alienate their core collectors who want a more tailored and personal approach to NFT collecting. Luxury collectors want to feel luxurious, and the Publisher program takes a step in the opposite direction.
If it were up to me, I would double down on the curation efforts and try to lure more celebrities and high-profile artists away from other platforms with exclusive deals and even private, invite-only launches for VIP collectors. That feels more like the kind of service that the Winklevoss twins can uniquely provide to the market with their wide range of connections and monetary assets. Instead, this move puts them squarely at odds with more popular marketplaces with greater adoption, better UIs, and less oversight.
But what do you think? Is this the wrong move for Nifty Gateway? Are they even relevant anymore? Let us know your thoughts!