Recently, we shared how Christie's of London is finally getting around to sorta auctioning a crypto art NFT.
The platform that the NFT was both minted on and will be auctioned on is called Async Art. It is an Ethereum smart contract based platform for minting so-called programmable art. That is, art composed of multiple NFT "Layers" and programmed to dymamically change within a "Master" based on the artist's chosen parameters (when ETH transaction fees allow it to, anyway).
What is interesting about Async Art in the context of making art history is something that has nothing necessarily to do with making history, but more to do with properly running a business website. We'll get to their example in just a moment.
First though, let's visit the website footer for another popular crypto art gallery, MakersPlace.
As a new crypto artist or collector, one might visit the MakersPlace website and at some point in time wonder "who are the human beings behind this awesome company?"
Well, as in the case of most businesses conducted in part via transactions of currency facilitated through a website, MakersPlace has a couple choice footer links, one being About and the other being Mission and Team.
Let's check that mission and team!
There are people in this organization!
People willing to put their government names and photos ... indeed something linked to genuine reputation– on their website. The gods must be crazy!
Much love and props to MakersPlace though for real. They are running a nice business (and just celebrated $1MM in sales!) that inspires confidence in its legitimacy and seriousness throughout.
It is easy to omit contact and team details for the sake of taking it easy and dodging bullets, but to straight up put your humanity and reputation out there like this is how real businesses do anyway. Kudos!
In contrast, here is the home page footer for Async Art.
Async Art has many links in its website footer, and is proud to tell us that it is powered by Ethereum and Pinata, but also has no typical links associated with a normal business website. The Support link was visited, but leads only to a Notion support site.
The community effectively has no idea who runs Async Art. Not to worry however, they are not alone in this respect.
Here is the home page for Cryptograph.
This is an innovative art project that uses an new NFT standard, the ERC-2665, and featured Paris Hilton as one of their artists. You can learn more about the project and its technology, but only that it is run by Perpetual Altruism, Ltd., which sounds like a fine bunch of folks whom we unfortunately cannot immediately get to know from the website. There is a Press link, but that is for emailed inquiries.
Ah well– next...
Here is the home page footer for KnownOrigin.
The nice blokes who run KnownOrigin are generally well regarded in the communty and have always run a reasonable and fair gallery for the crypto art space. So why aren't they owning this 100% and taking their due credit by identifyting themselves on their website?
We are kind of sad to learn this about KO.
Here is the home page footer for Nifty Gateway.
Here is an exampel of what the About page can look like when you are running a proper business website.
You can simply visit that page and immediately be introduced to the Nifty Gateway founders and management team. It's really that simple to find such information for most websites we visit everyday.
Here is the home page footer for Rarible.
While there are links like FAQ and the most prominent Governance link present on the home page, there are no links to content describing the founders or team behind Rarible whatsoever.
Here is the home page footer for SuperRare.
Nothing here, either unfortunately.
What kind of issues can this cause? Here's a perfectly terrible example, where the artist Olive Allen is unsure of who "An", (who presumably archived her art from the SuperRare Instagram) even is.
An is the person who leads curation for SuperRare, and all of us could know this if they bothered at all to operate their website in a manner consistent with those of other legitimate businesses on the web, and actually listed their team on it.
Out of the crypto art gallery websites reviewed here (sorry we don't have time or resources to do every single one in the space), only 2 of 7 have any details about the founders or management team behind the business or any immediate ways to contact actual humans associated with the business.
It looks like some crypto art businesses have work to do when it comes to being real with your customers, artists, and the broader community.
To those that worry about Alpacawhal or who we are– we operate strictly as a non-profit public service to the emerging art community, so we are not beholden to the same expectations as profit making corporations. If you need more information, refer to our About page or contact us. A human will respond usually within 24 hours of your inquiry.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative; if so, make sure to share this with a friend and donate to Alpacawhal.
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