Singapore-based NIFTEX, the platform that allows for the fractional trading of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), announced a $500,000 funding round led by 1kx and joined by CoinFund, MetaCartel Ventures, Sparq and Digital Currency Group (CoinDesk’s parent company).
The company launched its alpha version five months ago and has generated more than $2 million in total volume, co-founder and CEO Joel Hubert told CoinDesk in an interview. He said the early uptake “proves we’re doing something people find interesting.”
NIFTEX has been seen as a factor in the resurgent popularity of digital collectibles, inspired in part by this summer’s decentralized finance (DeFi) craze. “Perhaps spurred by the DeFi Summer, NFTs are undergoing a second discovery cycle,” Hubert said.
With the funding, Hubert and co-founder Mark Le have ambitions to turn NIFTEX into a more solidified platform for anyone with an NFT to walk in and leave with something to trade (without sacrificing ownership of the original work).
“I see from crypto people regarding NFTs [with] the same type of skepticism I see from people outside of crypto looking at bitcoin,” Hubert said. “Trading NFTs is hard, especially compared to a cryptocurrency that is fungible.”
That’s where the innovation to fractionalize expensive NFTs into ERC-20 tokens really kicked off, Hubert added. After all, collectibles are cool, but so is making money.
“With NFTs, digital scarcity is here, and it’s here to stay,” Larry Sukernik, investment chief at Digital Currency Group, said in a press statement. “Just like we buy and sell fractions of companies and real-estate, so can we buy and sell fractions of digital assets. It’s a wonky idea at first, but the longer you think about it, the more it makes sense.”
In an interview, Hubert also hinted at a “master plan” to design and build a second version of the platform, moving toward a fully decentralized NIFTEX – presumably with a governance token – in early 2021.
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