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What is SuperRare?

New to the SuperRare ecosystem? Find your footing with this article.

SuperRare Labs,
Jun 24, 2023
1 min read

What is SuperRare?

SuperRare Labs,
Jun 24, 2023
1 min read

SuperRare is the premiere curated marketplace for unique 1/1 pieces of digital artwork, founded in 2018 by John Crain, Jonathan Perkins, and Charles Crain. But it takes time and hard work to build a celebrated reputation like the one SuperRare has earned today. Let’s take a look at how SuperRare became what it is.

QmQnek3m4UtBQxqsqJAi4AtMpd6tNbeDVr4NGJuDQnKq87"Echos of a Dead Earth" by XCOPY on SuperRare, the artist’s genesis work on the marketplace

The History of SuperRare

From the beginning, SuperRare has been operated by a small and dedicated team. If the traditional art world wanted to dismiss digital artists, SuperRare provided a place for them to thrive. The marketplace was initially an experiment–a proof of concept for NFT marketplaces of any sort–but as artists continued to send applications, it became clear that the platform would grow into a digital art marketplace of greater significance than anyone ever anticipated. 

In 2018, the value of ETH was much lower then than it is now, and some of the first artists who minted on SuperRare, artists now considered cryptoart legends (or “OGs,” to use the community vernacular) like Coldie, XCOPY, Upheaver, Hackatao, and Killer Acid, bought and sold artwork among each other inexpensively. In those early days, SuperRare was not exclusively a 1/1 marketplace; artists could mint multiple editions of artworks, and many of them did. In that sense, editions of these artworks, even though they are not 1/1s, possess similar scarcity, as they have historical value alongside artistic value. Many of these editions are among the first 100 tokens minted on SuperRare.

QmRpfseMgmNrCbeeNCnv45GeLpTmwFRQtBPg9QNDXFNxa8Girl Next Door by Hackatao on SuperRare, the artist’s genesis work on the marketplace.

As SuperRare grew and gained momentum in the cryptoart space, its founders chose to hire keen-eyed curators and, in turn, the platform developed a reputation as a marketplace for the highest quality artworks. Being whitelisted to mint on SuperRare became a badge of honor for artists, a sign of blue chip legitimacy in the cryptoart space. 

SuperRare’s Art Market Royalties Innovation

QmX4ECCmA4HZSPxzsgq8CxwL9abFu7jTBCCersuiC9Pw6dAI Generated Nude Portrait #1 by Robbie Barrat, the first token minted on SuperRare

Although the online art social platform Dada was officially the first to offer on-chain artist royalties when artists who used it sold their work in its “Creeps and Weirdos” collection, SuperRare was the first NFT art marketplace to offer artist royalties in perpetuity with each secondary market sale. SuperRare also pioneered collector royalties, incentivising both artists and collectors to engage with one another and participate in the NFT art community – a revolutionary concept in visual art markets of any kind – and it remains a staunch supporter of the rights of artists to earn from their work. SuperRare has consistently innovated in other ways, like embracing the “Coldie Method” of auctions and introducing independent galleries within the SuperRare ecosystem, called Spaces.

To learn more about the SuperRare ecosystem, including SuperRare Spaces, check out this article.

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