Physical works for Bored Ape NFT at an exhibition on the cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong.

Paul Jung Bloomberg | Getty Images

The eToro trading platform has opened a $ 20 million fund to buy NFT and support the creators. The firm announced a launch at the Bass Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami on Thursday.

The trading platform fund is part of a new initiative called eToro.art, which aims to support the creators and brands of NFT.

Guy Hirsch, managing director of eToro in the US, said the new fund marked the beginning of a broader NFT strategy for the company, which will eventually offer a variety of services that allow investors to participate in an emerging economy.

NFTs, or incompatible tokens, are digital assets that represent real objects — such as art, music, real estate, and others — and cannot be reproduced.

“Previously, with bitcoins and ether, you only had people like Goldman Sachs or similar traditional financial players who participated in or watched the crypto expansion,” Hirsch told CNBC. “NFTs essentially make any potential brand a participant in this market.”

As part of a new initiative, eToro has showcased a collection of digital art that includes well-known projects including Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and World of Women. In addition, eToro plans to allocate $ 10 million to support new creators and brands in bringing their new NFT projects to market this year.

Digital art is just one way to use NFT. Hirsch said eToro plans to add features that will allow customers to use options outside of digital art.

In the last few months alone, major brands from all industries – including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, Gucci, the National Football League and others – have included NFT in their marketing initiatives.

“Any brand can leverage this and create some kind of NFT that represents a share of ownership in part of the brand,” Hirsch added.

Evaluation of digital art

Investors have a hard time seeing the value of digital art and are embarrassed by big sales, such as Beep’s work, which was sold at Christie’s for $ 69 million.

Discovering prices in the digital art and knowing what to buy are still big questions, but the industry is working on it, Hirsch said. Today, investors typically use a minimum price or a minimum amount of money you can spend to buy an item from a collection.

“It has to be harder than that,” Hirsch said. “We see that there are new services that will be similar to the process of evaluating traditional art. In a year or two we will have third-party services that will evaluate individual works and give you an approximate price of what you are going to buy or what you own in a way that would be agreed by market participants ”.

Art has been a strong asset class for decades, but only for the super-rich, Hirsch noted. eToro is committed to bringing together both new artists and new investors to help both build their wealth in this new way.

NFT of some of the “blue chip” projects in the eToro collection already cost at least hundreds of thousands of dollars on OpenSea, NFT’s largest market. It’s hardly available to small investors, but the company expects that many of the lesser-known digital artists whose work it will help bring to market won’t be rated as Bored Ape – a popular collection that attracts celebrity buyers.

“If these artists create a collection or drop NFT, the price for them will be pretty low,” Hirsch said. “People could get involved, and if the community is strong and if the art is promising, it will be valued, but the entry point will still be available to the average investor.”

“Some of them, I hope, have achieved the status of a sad monkey,” he added. “Eventually, like Bored Apes, it will create a lot of new millionaires, a lot of new wealth for people who haven’t had it before.”

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