People are buying and selling crypto collectibles in a $250 million market

Updated: Mar 12



NFTs account for a rapidly growing market that is valued at $250 million.

NFTs have sold for millions, while those who flip NFTs have made nearly 1,000% profit in some cases.

NFT marketplaces encompass anything from digital art to trading cards, virtual games or real estate.


Non-fungible tokens or NFTs — products that operate as digital assets — have grown to encompass a $250 million market, according to a 2020 report from tech-tracking company L'Atelier BNP Paribas and nonfungible.com.


Investments in NFTs rose 299% in 2020, gaining popularity as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin continued to boom, according to the report.


NFT creators and resellers have made millions. In February, an art collector sold a 10-second video artwork for $6.6 million after buying the Beeple project for $67,000 in October — nearly a 1,000% profit.


NFTs encompass anything from digital trading cards and art to virtual real estate and gaming.


Unlike popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, NFTs cannot be directly exchanged with one another and are spread out across numerous different types of platforms.


Most NFT platforms require buyers to have a digital wallet and use cryptocurrencies platforms like Ethereum or World Asset eXchange (WAX) or Flow.


Here's what you need to know about where to buy and sell NFTs.


Digital art has brought in millions for creators and sellers


Mike Winkelmann's "Crossroads" was resold for $6.6 million off Nifty Gateway Nifty Gateway

Most digital-art trading platforms allow creators to gather a royalty. Some art platforms are more exclusive, while others focus on letting anyone create and sell their art.


For professional digital artists, NFTs have opened creators to a windfall of profit. NFT artist Trevor Jones said last week that digital-art trading platforms could make more traditional art markets obsolete.


Some traditional auction houses have already started to get in on NFTs. In February, Christie's — an auction house that was founded in 1766 — made its first foray into digital tokens when it auctioned a Beeple piece. The piece is currently listed at $9.75 million, with two days left in the auction.


For multimillion-dollar digital artists like Mike Winkelmann — more commonly known as Beeple — platforms like Super Rare, Foundation, and Nifty Gateway allow buyers to pick from carefully curated work. Nifty Gateway co-founders Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster told Insider their company works one-on-one with artists.


"One of the coolest things about Nifty Gateway is that there are all these artists who basically only existed on Instagram or Twitter who were creating all this really special work, but never had a way to make money from it," Griffin Cock Foster said "They started selling crypto art and they're already starting to see some benefits and recognition."


Platforms like Nifty Gateway, Super Rare, and Foundation have been home to names like Grimes and digital comic artist Chris Torres. These platforms provide artists with around 10% royalties on any future sales of their work.


Other digital art platforms have less restrictions


Mark Cuban announced he was selling his own line of NFTs on Rarible in January. Rarible

While Nifty Gateway strives to be more accessible to buyers by allowing them to use a credit card to purchase items off the site, other platforms focus on having a lower barrier to entry for creators.


Platforms like Zora operate as invite-only, while Rarible and Mintable allow any user to upload and sell images and text as NFTs on the site.


These sites still allow artists to garner royalties, but are much less curated. Creators on Rarible can upload anything from blank images to their own interpretations of famous art pieces.


One NFT creator on Rarible, Robert Martin, said he thinks the sites need to develop more security, but says he has been pleased with how easy it was to upload content on Rarible.


"The site and their moderation of copyrighted and offensive uploads needs some improvement," Martin said


These sites sell NFTs from anywhere from $10 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.