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Intermediaries in the Art Industry: Traditional vs. NFT approach

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With its rich history, the art world has always been a realm where tradition and innovation intersect. Intermediaries in the art industry, including galleries, dealers, auction houses, and curators, have long played a pivotal role in shaping the artistic landscape. However, with the digital revolution upon us, these intermediaries must now decide whether to stick with time-honored traditions or embrace the power of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Come with us as we explore the intricate relationship between tradition and innovation within the art industry. We will explore how intermediaries operate in the evolving art landscape, and examine the new entities that are beginning to play a crucial role in connecting artists with collectors and the global community. If you seek even more valuable insights, you can always follow this link to find a variety of articles on the topic.

Traditional Intermediaries

Traditional intermediaries in the art industry play essential roles in facilitating artwork creation, distribution, promotion, and sale. These intermediaries have been central to the art world for centuries, and their roles have evolved over time.


Galleries function as both curators and sales agents for artists and, as such, have a wide range of responsibilities. They meticulously select and curate artworks to build exhibitions that often follow a specific theme or artistic vision. Additionally, galleries play a pivotal role in managing artists’ careers by providing them with exhibition opportunities, promotion, and exposure. 

To carry out these duties, galleries typically maintain physical exhibition spaces where they showcase their shows and may also have virtual galleries online. They handle all logistics, including shipping, insurance, and installation. Furthermore, galleries engage in marketing efforts, such as promotion through social media, press releases, and art publications. To attract collectors and art enthusiasts, galleries often host openings and events.

Auction Houses

Auction houses are esteemed institutions that specialize in the sale of artworks through public auctions. They possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in appraising and assessing the value and historical significance of artworks. They are proficient in attracting sellers who wish to sell their pieces and connecting them with potential buyers during auction events.

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To accomplish their objectives, auction houses enlist the services of specialists trained to conduct meticulous appraisals and verify the authenticity of artworks. They curate and create comprehensive catalogs of auction items, organize previews for prospective buyers, and conduct auctions either in person or online. In addition, they utilize advanced bidding platforms and skilled auctioneers to facilitate the sales process and ensure smooth financial transactions, including the payment of buyer’s premiums and seller’s fees.

Sotheby’s is one of the most famous action houses that has the power to set new trends in the art industry. Credit: ajay_suresh (CC BY 2.0).

Art Dealers

Art dealers are responsible for possessing extensive knowledge of the artworks they handle. They establish strong connections with artists and collectors to facilitate sales and provide opportunities for artists. To achieve this, art dealers cultivate a network of contacts within the art industry by attending art fairs, exhibitions, and auctions. This enables them to discover emerging talent and new artworks. 

As part of their responsibilities, art dealers negotiate with potential buyers and oversee the logistics of sales and transactions. Additionally, they may offer guidance to clients on art investments and market trends. By doing so, art dealers ensure that their clients make informed decisions when purchasing artworks.

Intermediaries of the NFT Industry

In recent years, non-fungible tokens have gained significant attention. These digital assets that utilize blockchain to record ownership, associated rights, and provenance have become especially popular among art enthusiasts, laying the foundation for a new industry. 

While many have tried to enter a new market, traditional intermediaries have stayed distant and let new entities emerge on the digital landscape. These intermediaries have now begun to facilitate the creation, sale, promotion, and management of NFTs. Some have even taken on the roles of their traditional counterparts, filling the existing void. Here, we selected some of the main intermediaries in the NFT industry, along with their duties.

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NFT Marketplaces:

NFT marketplaces are the preeminent online platforms for purchasing, selling, and trading NFTs. They offer creators the opportunity to mint (create) NFTs while providing buyers with a platform to discover and purchase them. A number of NFT marketplaces are available, including OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable. Artists and creators can utilize these platforms to mint their digital assets into NFTs, and the platforms offer tools for various transaction methods, such as auctions, fixed-price listings, and direct sales.

NFT Curators and Aggregators

NFT curators and aggregators are entities that curate collections of NFTs with the aim of helping users discover noteworthy and valuable digital assets. By exercising selectivity in the NFT realm, they function as connoisseurs and compile lists of NFTs based on factors such as popularity, rarity, or thematic collections. Notable examples of curators and aggregators include Nifty Gateway and CryptoSlam. By providing users with a tailored browsing experience, they enable individuals to explore NFTs beyond what the marketplace’s search functionality offers.

Compared to other marketplaces, such aggregators combine various offers and provide a more in-depth perspective on the state of the market. Source: The screenshot of Nifty.

NFT Authentication Services

Authenticators in the NFT industry offer services to verify the authenticity, rarity, and provenance of NFTs, which is particularly important for high-value digital assets. Companies like NonFungible provide verification services using blockchain data and historical transaction records to ensure that the NFT being sold is genuine and has not been tampered with.

NFT Consultants and Advisors

Expert NFT consultants and advisors provide valuable guidance to artists, creators, collectors, and investors in navigating the NFT space. They offer expertise on NFT creation, purchases, investments, and strategies, leveraging their knowledge of the market to assist clients. These consultants also offer insightful information on pricing, market trends, legal considerations, and the overall NFT ecosystem.

The Role of Digitised.Art

Compared to other intermediaries in the NFT market, Digitised.Art takes a step forward. While others offer just spaces for showcasing art, tools to tokenize their assets, or channels to connect with like-minded audiences, Digitised.Art creates a one-stop destination for all collectors and galleries interested in non-fungible tokens. 

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First and foremost, on its platform, collectors will find a meticulously curated collection of tokenized artworks licensed by both niche and famous galleries. This ensures there is no oversaturation with low-quality and low-value pictures that may be considered worthless today or in a few years. Consequently, collectors can rest assured that the risk of fraud is minimal.

Moreover, whether their clients are galleries interested in artwork tokenization or collectors seeking to build their NFT portfolio, they can expect tailored guidance. From the moment of request to the end of the deal and even beyond that, Digitised.Art will provide its specialists to assist clients in creating their NFTs, requesting digital twins, and negotiating the terms of the deal. Thus, anyone will be able to navigate not only the legal intricacies of the NFT space but also smooth out the whole agreement and topics related to copyright, intellectual property rights, and compliance with regulations. 

Ultimately, galleries and collectors can partner with Digitised.Art to ensure their projects get the recognition they deserve. By leveraging its marketing channels, Digitised.Art will be able to craft compelling promotional campaigns and engage with the vibrant NFT community. 

While the traditional art industry continues to thrive with its time-honored practices and enduring appeal, the NFT space opens up new horizons of digital expression, accessibility, and investment potential. The key to a successful journey lies in understanding both paradigms, their strengths, and their synergies. That’s why we encourage you to explore, adapt, and thrive with the support of professionals dedicated to shaping the future of art in the digital age. The world of NFTs awaits, and with the right guidance, your journey can be both inspiring and rewarding.

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