If you watched The Social Network and wondered whatever happened to the feud between those two linebacker types, the Winklevoss twins, and Mark Zuckerberg—look no further. Surprise. They’re billionaires.
The Winklevoss twins were awarded $65 million cash for the Facebook (FB.Q) legal dispute, and rather than blow it all on lambos and blow, they put it into bitcoin. In April 2013, the twins held USD$11 million in bitcoin when it was $120 a coin. Four years later, in December 2017 when the price climbed past $11,700 a coin, it was worth more than a $1 billion.
They didn’t buy a new lambo for every day of the week like you might expect. Instead, the invented the Gemini Trust Company, the parent company of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, so they could get richer.
They haven’t been idle, either. They’ve been movers and shakers in the cryptocurrency community, experiencing some successes and failures along the way to prosperity. Now they’ve got their finger on the pulse of the emerging craze around tokenization.
Gemini Trust Company acquired Nifty Gateway, a platform for non-fungible tokens or Nifties, which are used in the emerging economy of digital collectibles and virtual goods.
The Nifty Gateway will benefit from the secure, institutional-grade infrastructure offered by Gemini while helping propel the latter company’s cryptocurrency reach into new use cases.
“Non-fungible tokens and the digital goods (and collectibles) they enable will play a major role in the next era of the digital economy. They are the perfect form factor for crypto-collectibles, crypto-art, and much more – laying the foundation for entirely new multi-billion dollar industries to emerge,” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini.
- Tokens are not cryptocurrency.
- Nifty’s are non-fungible tokens.
- Nifties, by extension, therefore are also not cryptocurrency.
Call it a syllogism.
The reason this needs to be pointed out is because the line is nomenclature line is being drawn and redrawn conflating tokens and coins, and it’s mostly because of the emergence of the ITO—or Initial Token Offering—which includes an offer of non-fungible tokens instead of coins. Cryptographic tokens represent a unique asset or good altogether on the blockchain. For example, blockchains have the power to allow gamers to buy and trade interoperable digital collectibles like skins, dancers, guns, and other items, and this digital market is huge, at $50 billion-plus annual market for virtual goods.
“As Gemini continues to build the future of money, we will partner with or acquire companies led by entrepreneurs that share our mission and core values. We’re excited to be working with Nifty Gateway to extend the reach of crypto across other concepts and build a bridge between NFT creators and the growing ranks of everyday consumers looking to purchase them,” Winklevoss said.
Nifty Gateway was founded in 2018 by brothers Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster as a platform for some of today’s most crypto-games and applications, including OpenSea, Gods Unchained and CryptoKitties. Nifty can be used to purchase NFTs directly with fiat currency via a credit card like a normal online purchase, which makes these tokens available to anyone.
“Nifties are a fundamentally new type of digital good and are an important tool for ownership as our lives move more and more online. Gemini’s mission and focus on security and regulation are aligned with our approach to NFTs and digital assets. Working with the market leader in digital asset security is a critical step toward our goal of getting a billion people collecting NFTs,” said Duncan Cock Foster, co-founder of Nifty Gateway.
Nifty Gateway offers decentralized application (dApp) users and developers a intuitive suite of tools that simplifies the process of selling nifties. NFTs are priced in USD for gateway users, which lowers the barrier to entry for prospective users because they don’t need to own cryptocurrency to acquire and use NFTs and their associated digital assets.