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Nifty Gateway wants to make it easy for anyone to buy or sell NFTs by offering credit and debit card payment options. The platform uses scheduled drops to auction limited-edition works, as well as a broader marketplace for unscheduled sales. Read our full Nifty Gateway review to learn more about how this platform stands out.
Nifty Gateway NFT Marketplace
Types of NFTs
2.5% listing fee
Supported Wallets
Payment Methods
Accessible, exclusive art-focused NFTs at reasonable prices
This NFT marketplace is a good fit for: Serious NFT collectors who want to access exclusive big-name items.
Nifty Gateway is a well-established art NFT (or non-fungible token to give its full name) marketplace. It sells well-known items — called "nifties" — from popular artists, often through auctions. It's easy to pay and create an account, but the site uses a lot of site-specific jargon that can be confusing for beginners. The platform was bought by Gemini, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, in 2019, which enhances Nifty Gateway's security credentials.
This is an exclusive NFT platform aimed at fairly serious collectors. You can buy limited-edition NFTs from big names directly from the creator through Nifty Gateway's curated drops. The site provides detailed information about each artist and piece of work, and it also organizes other events, such as talks with artists.
READ MORE: Best NFT Marketplaces
Nifty Gateway's custodial wallet won't appeal to everyone. But it will appeal to art lovers who want to buy NFTs without having to own cryptocurrency or worry about setting up a wallet. Plus, its custodial platform means collectors can buy, sell, or gift NFTs without expensive gas fees. For those NFT enthusiasts who prefer to keep their assets off platform in a crypto wallet they control, Nifty Gateway's wallet-to-wallet feature will appeal.
Gas fees are an issue for many NFT collectors, especially on the Ethereum network. In many cases, Nifty Gateway users who keep their assets on its custodial platform can avoid gas fees altogether. Customers using its marketplace feature and wallet-to-wallet function have to pay fees. But Nifty says it's found a way to reduce those fees by up to 70% by minimizing the number of steps involved in each transaction.
Some would-be NFT buyers are put off by the need to set up a crypto wallet and buy cryptocurrency before they can start. The Nifty Gateway marketplace takes credit and debit cards, as well as other payment methods. In fact, it's almost easier to buy using traditional money than it is with crypto.
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Nifty Gateway says it has a mission to make NFTs accessible to everyone, and offering crypto-free payments is one way to achieve this. But in general, the site is not easy to use. For a first-time user, it can be difficult to navigate the various types of auctions, drops, and collections. Plus, there's not a lot of educational material for new investors.
In addition, the fee information on Nifty's site is buried at the bottom of other information. Nifty Gateway promotes the things you can do without having to pay gas fees. But since there's no clear fee page, it's hard to know what you're paying for the art and what you're spending in fees — gas or otherwise.
Ethereum is a well-established blockchain where many NFTs are minted and stored. However, it struggles with high gas fees, network congestion, and high energy costs. Several NFT marketplaces offer alternatives to Ethereum so users can reduce costs and access NFTs built on other chains. Nifty instead offers a way to lower Ethereum gas fees, but that only goes so far.
Nifty is a digital art-focused NFT marketplace that's aimed at relatively serious buyers. It doesn't sell domain names, gaming and metaverse NFTs, or low-cost variations on Bored Apes. If you're looking to buy these types of products, you'll need to look elsewhere.
If you want multiple blockchain options: Rarible offers four blockchains as well as a wide range of NFTs. If you want to buy or sell NFTs on Ethereum, Tezos, Flow, or Polygon, check out its site.
If you want a more accessible platform: OpenSea is the biggest NFT platform on the market. It has various types of NFT, an intuitive interface, and useful resources for NFT newbies.
Nifty Gateway doesn't work in the same way as other major NFT marketplaces. For starters, it's mainly a custodial platform — which means assets are stored on the platform rather than in an external wallet. This is how it offers significantly lower gas fees (or no gas fees at all).
Some of Nifty Gateway's competitors seem to have a pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap mentality. Instead, Nifty focuses more on exclusive items. It offers content drops most days — often from big name artists — you can see a schedule of upcoming drops on the site. (NFT drops are set times when a new NFT will be put on sale or minted.) Many of Nifty's products are sold on auction rather than at a fixed price, so you'll need to be ready to bid.
First-time users may find Nifty Gateway difficult to understand and use. There's a lot of assumed knowledge and terms that can have implications on the price, fees, and payment method. For example, the payments on its so-called "primary" and "secondary" marketplaces work differently.
Users can buy and sell NFTs on Nifty Gateway, but only verified creators can mint NFTs. In addition, to sell an NFT, you'll need to validate your account with a third-party provider called Stripe. This is only available in certain countries, so it's worth checking if you qualify before you get too involved. It would be frustrating to buy an NFT on the platform only to find you couldn't then list it for resale.
Nifty Gateway has a dizzying array of auction types. Before you buy anything on the platform, take the time to understand how each one works. That way you're less likely to buy what you think is a one-of-a-kind item only to find out hundreds will be minted.
Here are a few of the sales Nifty offers:
Nifty Gateway only supports the Ethereum blockchain. A large proportion of NFTs worldwide are created and stored on the Ethereum blockchain, but other networks are starting to take market share. It would be nice to see Nifty offer at least one alternative.
The main reasons people might want to avoid Ethereum are the high gas fees and high environmental cost. Nifty does have some innovative measures in place to reduce gas fees, but the energy consumption may still worry environmentally conscious investors.
Nifty is a custodial NFT marketplace, which means your assets are stored on its platform. You can connect a MetaMask wallet to the site. Nifty has also just launched a wallet-to-wallet product that lets people buy and sell NFTs directly. Previously, users needed to transfer assets to Nifty Gateway's custodial wallet to sell them on the platform.
READ MORE: Best NFT Wallets
Nifty is in the process of switching to a new fee and payment structure. It says that it plans to phase out its current system gradually, but until then both systems will co-exist.
Nifty accepts payments via credit or debit card, ETH, or direct from Gemini. It's unusual in that you don't need to own cryptocurrency to buy an NFT. You can also view prices in U.S. dollars or ETH. Here's how the payment options work:
Under the new system, the only listings payment method on Nifty will be ETH held in an ETH wallet. It isn't clear whether Nifty plans to allow credit and debit card payments, or let people pay via their Gemini account.
Nifty Gateway is transitioning to a new fee structure, following the launch of its wallet-to-wallet feature. The listings fee will be reduced from 5% to 2.5% on the new system.
Gas fees are a big consideration for NFT investors, as Ethereum transaction fees can add up. Nifty Gateway covers or avoids gas fees in several scenarios. It also says its gas fees are 70% lower than other marketplaces. According to its website, it's done this by reducing the number of steps in NFT listings. Since each step incurs gas fees, reducing the number of transactions can significantly reduce costs.
Here's a summary of what you will or won't have to pay gas fees for:
Nifty prides itself on its partnerships with top artists and brands. It's a relatively exclusive site focused on crypto art for serious buyers. There's work from big names like Beeple, Pak, Daniel Arsham, and Josie Bellini on the Nifty Gateway platform. You won't find NFTs that cost a few dollars on the site, and you won't find domain names, sports NFT collectibles, or music or video NFTs.
We touched on the types of sales categories above. Nifty also has a lot of ways of dividing up its art NFTs that don't have much to do with the type of art you're searching for.
It divides NFT drops into "curated" and "verified" drops:
Many of the drops have associated benefits. For example, at time of writing "The Big Dream" drop promised not only to exhibit the art in the International Space Station, but also to participate in decisions about what NGOs to donate money to.
Security is a big issue in NFT investing. Not only do you need to know your assets are stored in a secure location, it's also good to know you have some protection against NFT fraud and copyright infringement. Let's look at some of the issues one by one.
Most NFT platforms use non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets. This means you are responsible for the security of your NFTs as they're stored in a crypto wallet that you control. Nifty Gateway uses a custodial platform, secured by its partner Gemini. Gemini is a popular cryptocurrency exchange that prides itself on its high levels of security. Nonetheless, centralized platforms can provide a target for hackers. Make sure you understand the risks associated with these two types of digital asset storage.
The NFT market is developing at a rapid pace, and scammers have been quick to take advantage of the NFT boom. For example, some artists have complained that fraudsters have minted NFTs of their work without their permission. Nifty Gateway's focus on curated and verified artists minimizes the risk of buying fraudulent pieces. However, it isn't clear how it will tackle this issue on the broader marketplace now that users can sell NFTs from other sources.
Nifty Gateway encourages users to set up two-factor authentication to protect their accounts, which is a good step. It also has a clear privacy policy on its site. However, it could go further. It would be good to see Nifty introduce clear anti-phishing measures as phishing attacks are another issue for NFT buyers. Phishing is where criminals pose as legitimate players, even creating imitation websites, to trick users into sharing their account details.
Finally, given Nifty Gateway's connection to the Gemini exchange, which takes regulation very seriously, it's surprising the platform does not have any real know-your-customer (KYC) screening. In fairness it is not alone — none of the top NFT marketplaces have KYC. But this makes it difficult for investors who want to avoid handling laundered money to act with confidence.
One final note: Nifty Gateway is not the same as Nifty Drops, even though Nifty Gateway's NFT drops are a core part of its site.
Emma lives in Bogota, Colombia, where she owns the English-language newspaper The Bogota Post. She began her editorial career at a financial website in the U.K. over 20 years ago and has been contributing to The Ascent since the summer of 2019.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
Emma Newbery owns Ethereum, Tezos, Flow, and Polygon.
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