Our first year has truly been a memorable one and we are thankful to all of our community who helped make everything possible.
We are closing out the year on a very positive note with over 9,000 active creators (and counting) and over 15,000 collectors on the marketplace. This year, we paid out over $1.2M just in royalties to our talented creator community and sold over 110,000 NFTs. We think it’s safe to say that NFTs are here to stay!
As a creator-first marketplace focused on the fine-art NFT space, we are carving out a unique niche within the NFT ecosystem that we are very proud of. The team at Exchange.Art has worked vigorously to create a platform where artists can thrive in the digital art ecosystem. After a stressful and exhilarating year for the crypto industry all around, we wanted to share an overview of some of our key milestones this year, developments that have been made to the platform and celebrate how far we’ve come since our launch in October 2021.
Q1 - To The Highest Bidder…
Launching a company is a daunting task, especially when building out an entire market segment in an industry that is still in its early stages. As a fine-art marketplace, our approach to the types of NFTs we list differ greatly from other leaders in the space. In January, we began to ramp up our product offerings as a newly launched platform, including the launch of our 1/1 marketplace, along with our Auctions feature which allows creators to launch auctions and maximize the profit gained from their art. We have stats that showcase the importance of this feature to our creator community - today, Auction Sales constitute 36% of all the sales on Exchange Art.
Q2 - Artists 🤝 Collectors
With all the updates that took place between our launch and end of Q1, Q2 gave us some time to focus on our community, strategize and plan for how we could create a better experience for everyone involved in the Exchange.Art marketplace.
We added email notifications for both creators and collectors to notify them when their series have been approved (for creators), when collectors won an auction, when they’ve been outbid. To create a more engaging way for our users to interact, we integrated some additional features for Auctions including a live chat with GIFs. This has been a huge success!
In addition to this, we increased the minting limit to 100MB and added Artist pages, allowing artists the chance to showcase their work, along with their creator persona and share their stories.
Our first art exhibition took place in this quarter, thanks to the ongoing support and our partnership with the Solana Foundation. We took it to the race course during Miami’s F1 Week, hosting an event dedicated to supercars and fine art. A community of epicureans, they were able to enjoy a physical gallery for the first time.
To ensure that our community stays safe amidst the craziness of our space, we added tools to help with fraud detection and grew our distributed operations team to offer full support to our users.
Q3 - NFT Editions were all the rage! Hamptons Gallery, from Jackson Pollock and digital abstract art
In the third quarter, we got busy. Well… even busier.
One of our main focuses as an industry is mainstream adoption. And, to help achieve this adoption, we need to enable as many forms of payment as possible to onboard users into Web3. Even for the non-crypto savvy collectors. To support this, we implemented a credit card payment option.
For our creators, Editions are of course a huge percentage of sales and we wanted to ensure that creators offering Editions on our platform had access to all the tools possible to create and facilitate these sales. To this extent, we launched Exchange.Arts Editions whitelisting option, as well as Editions antibotting measures and overall, reengineered Editions on the platform. The launch of our Editions was a huge success for our team and was core to helping us grow our creator and collectors communities. Q3 we saw substantial growth.
This quarter, we moved outside of the digital world and into the physical world to further strengthen our community. We took part in Hacker Houses and also popped over to New York for NFT NYC and then to the Hamptons to launch our first Southampton gallery show in June titled The Evolution of Painting, a group exhibition that considered the lineage of abstraction from an attributed Jackson Pollock painting to the rise of digital abstract art.
Transitioning from traditional abstract art, to digital abstract art, we then moved to more modern mediums: photography, with a second show in August titled: Proof of Photo - a group exhibition of our talented creators that considers the breadth of photography within the Solana ecosystem. Each show lasted 4 weeks and was a huge summer success - again, a huge thanks to everyone involved with that massive effort!
Q4 - Closing the year in full force. Protecting artists’ royalties
Last but definitely not the least: Q4.
Very proud to say we are closing out the year with a BANG and we had some of our biggest updates yet in the last quarter.
In recent months, we’ve seen many NFT marketplaces battle with the options of supporting creator royalties, a topic we strongly support. In November, we proudly launched our Royalties Protection Standard, an opt-in tool that enables creators to enforce royalties on secondary sales of NFTs that originate on our platform.
The team then joined Solana at Breakpoint in Lisbon and we were proud to have two of our leaders partake in panel discussions. The event gave us a chance to mingle, celebrate and see the innovations taking place in the Solana ecosystem.
This bear market has had a deep impact on every aspect of the industry. November saw a sharp decrease in sales volume across NFT marketplaces, but against industry odds, November was our strongest month yet. We saw an increase of roughly 60% in trading volume from October and a 30% increase from September. Another testament to where we are and where we’re going!
Shortly after, we added in a new ETH payment option. Even though we are a Solana-based marketplace, we are doing everything possible to be as open and inclusive as possible in support of the overall blockchain ecosystem. We don’t want to leave any passionate collectors behind.
This was an exciting quarter as it was also our first year taking part in the one-and-only, Miami Art Week with our exhibition NFTs: Art or Bagatelle, where we showcased over 50 leading Solana artists, across 6,300 sq.ft on Miami Beach.
And finally, a feature we are truly excited about and happy to end the year on a high note. The launch of our Provenance Feature, allowing the history of NFTs minted on Solana and listed on our marketplace to be fully visible. This helps solve a critical issue that the art world has seen for centuries and thanks to blockchain technology, we’re able to provide such deep levels of transparency, previously not possible.
It has been a stellar year for us and we promise that in 2023, we’ll do a better job at keeping everyone in the loop of what’s going on at Exchange.Art.
🎉 Happy New Year and looking forward to continuing to strengthen our community and marketplace together! 🥂