Todd Morley, co-founder of Guggenheim Partners, has announced the world’s largest NFT museum will open in New York. The non-fungible cultural space will be housed inside a blockchain network tower at 111 West 57th Street. Once completed, the city’s thinnest building (and world’s slimmest) is designed to improve decentralised communication across the Big Apple.
More than just an NFT museum for New York
The project is a collaboration between blockchain inter-operator Overline Network, which Morley is director of, and property developer JSD Group. Once live, the tower will open access to wireless trading for anyone in New Yor, with an emphasis on crypto. The site will also be used to showcase new technological advances, and exhibit large NFT collections.
“Blockchain, DeFi, decentralised currencies, all these things are a part of financial services already and so communicating is obviously a big part of that,” Morley told Bloomberg TV. “Overline Network has developed a new way to decentralise wireless communication that can be used at speed that would allow even crypto mining.”
Morley went on to explain the project would be scalable to other cities across the world. He also suggested crypto technology and currencies were “good for humanity”, citing democratisation of investment as a major advantage.
“You better have a technology strategy or suddenly something shows up and your Walkman looks like abacus,” said Morley. “The technologies that began as described as bitcoin are moving rapidly into other parts of the world… It’s just that the large-scale deployment of that utility function and access to assets hasn’t quite happened. And so we’re hoping to be leaders in that sense.”
Morley’s overall interest in crypto is both personal and professional having invested his own money in ethereum, preferring this to bitcoin as a result of smart contracts.
NFTs as works of art
The idea of a brick and mortar NFT museum seems at odds with the digitised nature of non-fungible tokens. However, Morley pointed to his experience working with Guggenheim Partners, and the role cultural destinations can play in the development of wider neighbourhoods, as a reason for the real world opening. He suggested museums and galleries act “as a real estate tool, using culture to develop assets and convene people.”
Once opened, the NFT museum at 111 West 57th Street won’t be the world’s only space of this kind, but it will be the most significant physical site, and the announcement highlights a growing relationship between the arts world and NFTs. Earlier this month, Sotheby’s announced a new NFT art auction in June from its New York location.