Finance

NFTs may eclipse physical art market as ‘major institutions’ pile in, says London fund boss

The market for non-fungible tokens could outstrip the size of the physical markets for collectibles such as art, music, film and TV combined, the boss of London’s first listed NFT investment fund predicted.

“What’s going to happen in the art market? What’s going to happen in the other digital collectibles markets? What’s going to happen in music and film and TV? It’s explosive, I think that the answer is it could be as big as all those collectible markets combined, and that’s why we’re starting the fund,” NFT Investment’s executive chair Jonathan Bixby told Financial News.

NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital collectibles that are authenticated using blockchain technology and purchased using cryptocurrencies, with the most popular choice being ether.

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NFT Investments is set to list its shares on the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market in London at 8am GMT on 16 April.

The firm has raised £35m from investors, far in excess of the £10m it set out to raise when it announced its listing plans on 1 April.

“Institutional money was a big part of this raise, a lot of the major institutions participated and participated heavily, so that’s why that number kept going up,” Bixby said. He declined to elaborate or name investors.

Bixby was a co-founder of crypto miner Argo Blockchain which floated in London in 2018 at 16p a share. Its shares are now trading at 181p, boosted by the explosion in the bitcoin price over the last year.

He said the vision for Argo Blockchain was to create a listed, regulated company that would be a “proxy for bitcoin”, giving investors exposure to the digital currency without having to deal with the technical aspects of buying cryptos.

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Bixby said NFT Investments planned to replicate that approach for the NFT market.

“We want to democratise this process…and give investors access to NFTs,” Bixby said.

NFT Investments said it will use the money raised from its float to invest in NFTs directly and in funds or companies with exposure to NFTs or blockchain technology.

Novum Securities and Tennyson Securities are acting as joint brokers on the float.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth

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