On 23 March, Europe’s first NFT advisory service and physical gallery – Quantus Gallery – will open its doors to the public. The gallery, which will display its collection for sale on Samsung TV screens, aims to guide collectors through the tricky process of identifying good investments in the NFT art world.
The founds of this pioneering new gallery are Josh Sandhu, a graphic designer who began investing in NFTs in December 2019; James Ryan, founder of the contemporary art gallery Grove Square Galleries; and Ryan Marsh, a former City Wealth Manager. Sandhu has been investing in crypto since 2012 and, due to his early purchase of NFTs back in 2019, was able to sell his collection in 2021 which had increased in value so considerably he managed to purchase his first home. Sandhu, speaking to City AM, said, “I was lucky enough to get in early […] You have to be in the scene. If you’re not, you lose out on a lot of opportunities.”
Another one of the founders, James Ryan, has also been successful in the last few years. He opened Grove Square Galleries just one month before the UK went into lockdown in February 2020. Ryan took advantage of the pandemic, hiring many talented art world employees who had lost their job: “There were a lot of people being made redundant, let go from competitive places, even auction houses.” Ryan focused his attention on building up an online gallery and attracted customers worldwide. His efforts were rewarded, and in 2021 the company netted $10 million in revenue. He has also focused on raising money for charities, such as Food for Life Global, and supporting artists struggling to find gallery representation.
The third of the founders, Ryan Marsh, has a background in investment. Marsh explained more about the aims of Quantus: “The right art, if guided correctly, can be a great investment, but there are also many pitfalls if investors don’t have the correct guidance and expertise in the art world. We have built a team at Quantus Gallery to educate those who are looking to tap into the digital art and digital currency markets – and to illustrate that you don’t need to have large amounts of capital to commence art investment and see fantastic returns.”
Of course this would seem the right moment to open such a gallery: by the beginning of this year, the NFT market had exploded, and was a $40 billion industry, nearly rivalling the traditional art market, which saw $50 billion of sales in 2020. But even Sandhu admits there are issues with the online marketplace. “It’s still kind of the Wild West,” Sandhu claims, continuing that, “The majority of projects out there are not going to do well”. There are also myriad legal issues surrounding NFTs, which means those involved in the industry must be careful with their investments. Perhaps NFT advisories such as Quantus Gallery will fill an important gap in the digital art world industry, and may help make the marketplace a safer space for investors.