Moogz, FAD’s digital editor managed to catch some time with Jonathan Perkins SuperRare Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer to find out more about the new improved SuperRare that has just been announced.
Can you share the story of how SuperRare has scaled over the last 3years, and make predictions for the next 3?
SuperRare was quite early to market in the NFT space, launching in early 2018. In the beginning, we quickly started building a passionate community and knew that we were onto something special. We remained a small, scrappy team for the first couple of years, driven by our mission to make a better world for artists. 2020 was the year that the marketplace volume really took off, which allowed us to start scaling the team. We’ve grown from 4 people in the beginning of 2020 to more than 35 people today. Volume-wise, in early 2020 we were doing about $100k per month in volume, and in 2021 that has grown to be $25-30M per month in volume.
I think we are going to continue to see eye-watering growth in the NFT sector as adoption continues to break into the mainstream. While the growth to date has been exciting, collector numbers are still in the thousands– expect to see this number grow to the millions, and then tens of millions, in the next three years. I also expect the overall digital art market to match, and then eventually exceed, the $65B annual contemporary art market.
What “IRL” Institutional or gallery collabs are on the horizon for SuperRare?
We recently partnered with Vellum LA and sponsored the LA Art Show.
$RARE bridges the traditional art world and crypto-art. for readers who know what they like in art, but are outside crypto-art and potentially sceptical, what route in would you recommend they take to discover art?
Similar to traditional art, it’s all about the story and the context around the art and artist. The SuperRare Editorial and YouTube are a great place to read about events, trends, art, and artists in the space. I also recommend that curious people join the SuperRare Discord chat group and talk to others in the community.
Spaces offer a potential to scale for collectors and curators; can you describe the toll gates to entry (such as the DAO voting system) and what are Spaces properties likely to encourage entry?
SuperRare Spaces are independently curated and independently operated storefronts on SuperRare. Each Space is run by an individual or team of curators who work with artists to help them make sales. Two spaces will be brought online per month, each being elected by the community in a public vote called the Space Race. We hope to cultivate thoughtful consideration and voting in each Space Race, focusing on building a network of Spaces run by diverse and high-quality curation teams. That said, we’re trying to be non-prescriptive when it comes to the types of Spaces that could arise. For example, we expect to see some run by traditional galleries, some run by artist collectives, DAOs, etc.
Are there any predictions for when NFT sales will begin to be measured “on-chain” in Eth quantities, as opposed to USD?
Actually, ETH is the primary measurement in NFT sales today, and then it’s translated to USD in many cases because it’s easier for people to understand. If you look at an artwork’s history on SuperRare you’ll see the activity first denominated in ETH, then translated to USD.
Who are SuperRare’s top whale collectors?
You can see all the top collectors by week/month/all time etc. on this stats page
On average right now, how many collectors are there per purchased work?
To date, there have been 3,600 collectors and about 15,000 works collected
At what rate are new collectors arriving per month?
About 1,000 per month
Who & how is the cybersecurity of artists and collectors encouraged?
The SuperRare Labs team puts a lot of effort into education around best practices for key management and awareness of scams in the space. We’re constantly putting out materials in all our channels, including our help center.
How does security assurance work for the SuperRare infrastructure and crypto protocols?
SuperRare is built directly on Ethereum, which is an incredibly secure layer 1 blockchain. SuperRare is a non-custodial platform, meaning all transactions are peer-to-peer, and nobody has access to any funds or NFTs except the people transacting.
How were the governing committee selected and what transparency processes are employed to share governance decisions with the wider community?
The initial Governance Council was chosen to represent a diverse group of proven leaders in the NFT and SuperRare ecosystem who could serve as a genesis body to get the fledgling DAO governance off the ground. In the future, changes to the governance council will be transparently made with oversight from the community. Governance decisions and debate will take place in public in the forthcoming SuperRare governance forum.
Judging by comments on Reddit etc, the anti-NFT climate change PR effort seems to have worked and people outside of the crypto-art scene suggest artists selling NFTs is “selling out” to make money. What’s your take?
Great question – we published an expanded version of our thoughts in this blog post.
What’s your perspective specifically on the non crypto-art community’s attitude toward “right-click save as” culture?
I think scepticism is a valid and completely natural initial response. There are a lot of new concepts at play here, and newcomers to the space are justified in raising this question. We try to provide as many educational materials as possible and keep the dialogue positive, and people most often come around. In fact, we have many reformed “right click and save as” people who have seen the light and joined the SuperRare Labs team 🙂
Can you share a story about SuperRare’s vision to level the art world playing fields in contrast to the traditional art world’s systems of control and gatekeeping?
The best story that comes to mind is that of the Lost Robbies – three years ago Christie’s held an event to discuss blockchain technology, which mostly consisted of art world experts on stage poo-pooing the movement. As the story outlines, we had distributed 300 NFT artworks of a little known 19-year-old generative artist named Robbie Barratt to each attendee. Most people at the time ignored the gift cards, but those that held onto them are holding an artwork that is valued at around $750,000 today.
What’s been the single most exciting thing about SuperRare’s rapid growth?
The most exciting and rewarding aspect has been seeing the massive positive impact on artists’ lives. For example, artist Carlos Marcial has been able to not only move his family out of Mexico City to a safer area near the beach due to his art sales but recently posted that he helped pay off his mother’s house as well. Stories like this are increasingly common, but never cease to put a smile on my face 🙂