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What's next for the NFT ecosystem? Alumnae Kiryushkina '21 and Tatievski '21, share their views on the NFT market and how they believe NFTs can be integrated into the global economy.

Margarita Kiryushkina graduated from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in Spring 2021 with an MA in Art Business after completing her first MA in International Business with a major in Finance from Hult International Business School. With a background in both tech and finance, Kiryushkina is currently an international art dealer and a Web 3.0. and NFT advisor. 

Jessica Tatievski graduated from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in Spring 2021 with a second MA in Contemporary Art – after obtaining a BA in Business Administration and her first MA at IE Business School in Madrid. Tatievski is currently an international art market advisor and dealer of Post-war and Contemporary Art who, similar to Kiryushkina, also provides consultancy within Web 3.0. And the NFT market.

Kiryushkina and Tatievski are co-founders of Neue Projects, a cultural brand that provides consultation, management, and curation services for artists, collectors, and other art-focused institutions within the NFT space by bridging traditional contemporary art with Web3. They also work alongside on a project known as The Digital Archive – an NFT-based project aiming to archive the work of analog photographer Lawrence Horn onto the Ethereum Blockchain. For The Digital Archive, Kiryushkina works as the Lead Strategist while Tatievski serves as the Chief Operating Lead.

Despite being close co-workers today, their initial interest in NFTs and blockchain were fueled by very different experiences. For Kiryushkina, she was first introduced to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in 2015 when she was studying Bitcoin mining. Eventually her interest in the art and tech space was sparked by the $69m sale of Beeple’s EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, which opened up the possibility to sell art through blockchain technologies. Kiryushkina’s initial understanding of blockchain created a strong foundation as she started to focus her attention on blockchain technologies. 

Tatievski, on the other hand, found exposure to NFTs through Clubhouse discussions in early 2021. The first artwork she came across was the Furry Lisa by artist Murat Yildirim, which led her to inquire about the nature of NFTs and their potential. With some skepticism, she attended the König gallery’s exhibition in March 2021 called The Artist is Online, a show curated in their Berlin gallery while simultaneously staged on Decentraland (3-D virtual world governed by blockchain). This experience led Tatievski to believe in the possibility of bridging the gap between traditional contemporary art and NFTs.

Both Kiryushkina and Tatievski have similar views on the evolution of NFTs within the last year. They believe that the NFT space is very new and all current stakeholders can almost be viewed as founding members, but they are confident that at some point the NFT ecosystem will grow much more mainstream and the majority of people will be engaged with the market somehow. They liken the NFT market to the “wild west”, being a place that “allows artists, builders, and collectors to experiment and let their creativity become the strongest asset towards problem-solving and establishing new standards within the space”. Their most important takeaway from all this is that art is defined as culture… “and culture right now is digital”. A key consideration that they would like to explore further is the positioning of key art stakeholders, such as advisors, dealers, and curators within the decentralized NFT space. Kiryushkina and Tatievski’s role as advisors in the NFT world has led them to see NFTs as an expansion within the traditional art market – and they are curious how NFTs can be further integrated into both the market and the global economy.

To learn more about the NFT space, Kiryushkina and Tatievski cite Twitter as their number one source of news on NFTs. Tatievski uses Twitter as a platform to see what the community thinks about new and existing projects and innovations within the market. In addition to Twitter, Tatievski recommends listening to featured entrepreneurs on the Bankless podcast and reading newsletters such as The Nifty Daily Digest, The Defiant, and Art Blocks. Kiryushkina also recommends Coinbase tutorials that were incredibly helpful in understanding the fundamentals of NFTs.

Learn more about the world of web3 and topics such as crypto, blockchain, the metaverse, and NFTs with the Foundations of Web3 starter course.