Shrugging off crypto winter, Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz calls inaugural NFT launch ‘building for the future’

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Despite a pro­longed cryp­to win­ter, Galaxy Dig­i­tal and its CEO Mike Novo­gratz remain bullish—and they’re ready to tell the world about the company’s first NFTs.

The 3,210 dig­i­tal col­lectibles, announced Fri­day as part of Galaxy’s Explor­er Col­lec­tion, will be released Oct. 14. The NFTs will cel­e­brate not just the company’s new logo, a square and cir­cle that resem­ble a space hel­met, but also Novogratz’s con­fi­dence in the sector.

“Cryp­to is hav­ing a rough time, but we’re still here,” he told For­tune. “We’re build­ing for the future.”

NFT sales have been declin­ing for months. Trans­ac­tion vol­ume on the most pop­u­lar NFT mar­ket­place, OpenSea, has declined more than 12% over the past 30 days, accord­ing to cryp­to ana­lyt­ics plat­form Dap­pRadar, which also record­ed over that same time peri­od the most pop­u­lar col­lec­tion, Bored Ape Yacht Club, slip­ping about 11%.

Despite that, Novo­gratz point­ed to the technology’s adop­tion by big com­pa­nies like Nike and major sports leagues like the NBA as evi­dence that NFTs are here to stay.

“In a lot of ways [it] was eas­i­er to get peo­ple to under­stand blockchains through NFTs than it was through Bit­coin,” Novo­gratz said.

Galaxy’s NFT col­lec­tion, cre­at­ed in part­ner­ship with Time’s Web3 ini­tia­tive TIME­Pieces, will fea­ture designs from three gen­er­a­tive artists: Jake Andrews, Parin Hei­dari, and William Kwaku Amo. They cre­at­ed the pieces using com­put­er code to reflect their own dis­tinct styles, said Eva Casano­va, head of labs for Galaxy Inter­ac­tive, one of Galaxy Digital’s funds.

Each NFT is unique, Casano­va added, and using code, the artist gives each piece a num­ber of dif­fer­ent traits, sim­i­lar to col­lec­tions like Cryp­toP­unks. But unlike Cryp­toP­unks, which have trad­ed for hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars, the com­pa­ny is air­drop­ping the NFTs for free to employ­ees, port­fo­lio com­pa­ny founders, as well as indus­try part­ners. Although the pieces aren’t meant to be sold, if any are, pro­ceeds will go to the artists.

“We’re not doing this as a finan­cial endeav­or. We’re doing it to cre­ate spir­it in our com­mu­ni­ty,” Novo­gratz said. “We’re here for the long haul.”

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