TokenSmart Humpday Report #6: Beeple Brings the Boom to Nifty Gateway 💥

Welcome to the 6th issue of the NFT Humpday Report, a weekly column providing embedded analysis on the NFT economy’s biggest topics du jour. Brought to you by WIP meetup collaborators and nft42 community hub TokenSmart.

On Friday, Oct. 30th, the legendary artist Beeple held their first NFT drop on Nifty Gateway. The event generated explosive interest from collectors, as Beeple’s $1 1/100 editioned piece “POLITICS IS BULLSHIT” sold out in one second flat. Beeple’s two other 1/1 works, “CROSSROAD” and “CRYPTO IS BULLSHIT,” both sold at auction one day later to the Museum of Crypto Art’s Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile for an impressive $66,000, respectively. 

Source: Art by Beeple, screenshot from u/Oxygenjacket on Reddit

Behold Beeple: Mike Winklemann, 39, an acclaimed self-taught artist and graphic designer from Charleston, South Carolina. Beeple’s digital artworks run the gamut, from short films to VR / AR pieces and beyond. The creator is among the pioneers of the “everydays” movement, where 3D artists commit to creating an artwork from scratch and releasing it once per day. Beeple’s been doing so for more than 10 years now. 

Mainstream clout: Beeple currently has 1.7 million followers on Instagram. Along the way, he’s created art for some of the biggest brands, like Apple, Louis Vuitton, and SpaceX, and for some of the world’s biggest entertainers, like Eminem, Skrillex, and Nicki Minaj. 

The arrival: Beeple first learned about NFTs in October 2020. At this point, he began posting crypto-centric artwork for the first time, like the “INTO THE ETHER” post depicted above and “CRYPTO.WORM.” These pieces led to speculation that Beeple was diving into the NFT space, which was confirmed when Nifty Gateway announced Beeple’s drop later in October.

What’s Nifty Gateway: Having launched in March 2020, Nifty Gateway is an NFT auction house and marketplace where both ETH and USD purchases are enabled, a dynamic that’s friendly to crypto and mainstream collectors alike. The platform was acquired by the Winklevoss-owned Gemini cryptocurrency exchange last fall. 

Why the Buzz: Beeple’s explosive entrance on Nifty Gateway can be attributed to 1) the artist’s signature style and massive following, 2) Nifty Gateway catching fire with collectors in recent weeks, and 3) the political and protest-themed nature of his first NFTs at a time when the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election was coming to a head. 

The pieces sold

Whopping secondary sales: Those who were lucky enough to pick up an edition of “POLITICS IS BULLSHIT” for $1 are certainly happy they did now. The excitement around the drop has seen editions of the piece sell for as high as $6,666 on the secondary market!

What the artist’s saying:

  • In his Nifty Gateway artist statement, Beeple wrote: “bruh, I just learned wtf an NFT is like two week ago, not gonna act like i have a ton of intelligence shit to say here. this crypto space seems super interesting though and i see a ton of potential to do some weird shit nobody has done yet… ALSO, i’m not going anywhere and i’m gonna keep working my fucking ass off to make anyone who didn’t buy these now look like a god damn moron.”

  • In a note published after his first NFT auctions completed, Beeple said: “[...] I cannot even begin to express how much I appreciate the warm welcome to this space. being new here I really had no idea what to expect and was beyond blown away with how amazingly supportive everyone has been. I truly feel honored to now be a tiny part of this community [...] Tldr; beeple’s popping a boner over cryptoart.”

Be smart: Always best to keep on your toes when it comes to crypto and NFTs, and this new Beeple drop is yet another reminder. 

  • Expect Nifty Gateway to keep tinkering with its systems to optimize UX for both artists and collectors alike. 

The big picture: Beeple is an amazing creator to onboard into the NFT ecosystem, so Nifty Gateway has done a great job helping here. Look for Beeple’s entrance to lead to 1) an influx of interest in the NFT ecosystem, and 2) Nifty Gateway targeting more mainstream artists to onboard going forward. 

Thanks for reading the 6th NFT Humpday Report! Check back this time next week for more excellent NFT ecosystem coverage! Cheers🌠