Colborn Bell: "Cryptos allow unlimited creation and exchange of art"
Founder of the Museum of Crypto Art (MoCA), the 34-year-old American showcases hundreds of artists in the metaverse. We caught up with him at NFT Paris.
The Big Whale: You're well known in NFT circles, but not on a mainstream level. Where do you come from? What's your background?
Colborn Bell: I actually started quite far from the world of art and NFTs. I studied finance and psychology in New York before moving into finance. I worked in investment banks and family offices, and discovered cryptos in 2016. I remember buying my first ether in February 2017. I was super excited about smart contracts.
The first project that really appealed to me was Augur (a platform for betting on whether an event will happen). To buy their crypto, I had to have ether, so I bought my first ether. I still remember registering on the Poloniex exchange platform and that's when I discovered the extent of the crypto field. There were so many of them!
Working in finance pushed me pretty quickly to build up my own portfolio, and at the same time I did a lot of project work. I also took part in a number of ICOs (initial coin offerings).
When did you fall into the world of NFTs?
I vividly remember going to the Satoshi conference in January 2020. There, I discovered the scale of the NFTs community. I was already familiar with it via Cryptokitties, MoonCats, and other collections, but I took it a step further. It was also around this time that a friend asked me to do a compliance study of the specialist SuperRare marketplace. He was wondering what this kind of gallery was worth.