Shrugging off crypto winter, Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz calls inaugural NFT launch ‘building for the future’

September 23, 2022, 11:00 AM UTC
Mike Novogratz
CEO of Galaxy Digital Mike Novogratz said he is bullish on NFTs as the company launches its inaugural collection.
Jeenah Moon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Despite a prolonged crypto winter, Galaxy Digital and its CEO Mike Novogratz remain bullish—and they’re ready to tell the world about the company’s first NFTs.

The 3,210 digital collectibles, announced Friday as part of Galaxy’s Explorer Collection, will be released Oct. 14. The NFTs will celebrate not just the company’s new logo, a square and circle that resemble a space helmet, but also Novogratz’s confidence in the sector.

“Crypto is having a rough time, but we’re still here,” he told Fortune. “We’re building for the future.”

NFT sales have been declining for months. Transaction volume on the most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has declined more than 12% over the past 30 days, according to crypto analytics platform DappRadar, which also recorded over that same time period the most popular collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club, slipping about 11%.

Despite that, Novogratz pointed to the technology’s adoption by big companies like Nike and major sports leagues like the NBA as evidence that NFTs are here to stay.

“In a lot of ways [it] was easier to get people to understand blockchains through NFTs than it was through Bitcoin,” Novogratz said.

Galaxy’s NFT collection, created in partnership with Time’s Web3 initiative TIMEPieces, will feature designs from three generative artists: Jake-Andrew, Parin Heidari, and William Kwaku Amo. They created the pieces using computer code to reflect their own distinct styles, said Eva Casanova, head of labs for Galaxy Interactive, one of Galaxy Digital’s funds.

Each NFT is unique, Casanova added, and using code, the artist gives each piece a number of different traits, similar to collections like CryptoPunks. But unlike CryptoPunks, which have traded for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the company is airdropping the NFTs for free to employees, portfolio company founders, as well as industry partners. Although the pieces aren’t meant to be sold, if any are, proceeds will go to the artists.

“We’re not doing this as a financial endeavor. We’re doing it to create spirit in our community,” Novogratz said. “We’re here for the long haul.”

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.