Known Origin Review
Known Origin has been active since 2018 and is owned by the crypto exchange Gemini and thus from the USA.
If you're looking for cheap NFTs from unknown artists, you might find them here as well, but most of the NFTs minted and sold here are produced by more well-known NFT-creators. The long list of creators with NFTs sold on this marketplace includes names like Trevor Jones, Spaced Painter and CryptoSpectr.
On the date of first writing this review (29 March 2021), Known Origin stated on their website that they had sold 19,729 NFTs to an aggregate value of 4,624 Ethereum (at this date corresponding to approx. USD 8.5 million), and that they had sold NFTs from more than 1,500 artists. This makes it an NFT Marketplace of a decent size, but far from the biggest.
What is an NFT Marketplace?
An NFT Marketplace is a marketplace for NFTs. So far so good. But what is an NFT?
NFT is an acronym for “Non-Fungible Tokens”. Something which is fungible is replaceable. For instance, one kilo of 24 karat gold is – at least in theory – replaceable with any other kilo of 24 karat gold. When something is non-fungible, it means that it is unique, and not replaceable with any other item out there.
Although NFTs are conceptually similar to cryptocurrencies, these digital assets might represent antiques & artworks, collectables like trading cards, and other items with unique features. These tokens are stored cryptographically in a blockchain network for authentication and validation. Even when transacting, each token is sold as a whole, unlike cryptocurrencies which are divisible into smaller units. NFTs lose their value when split into smaller portions, however, they can be duplicated by the artist and each additional copy can be sold separately (but the total number of duplicates will then always be known).
Known Origin Focus
The key focus of Known Origin is exclusive digital art, but there are also less exclusive art here as well. The NFTs are based on the ETH-blockchain.
The platform itself describes its offering as "rare artworks by world class artists". The following picture shows the top 10 artists based on aggregate sales on the Known Origin platform (as of 29 March 2021):
Layout of Known Origin
Different NFT Marketplaces present their NFTs, the latest bid and the remaining time of an auction etc. in different ways. What you are most comfortable with viewing and using is up to you and no one else. The following picture is a print screen from Known Origin's browse section. You can use their search field to search for an NFT and thereafter sort based on price, how recently the NFT was created or how rare it is.
If you zone in to one of the specific NFTs, in this case the NFT called Butterfly Effect created by the artist Lanadenina, the page layout is as follows. As can be seen from the picture below, the layout includes information on when the NFT was created, which artist that created it, how any editions there are and how many that are available and what the latest offer is etc.
Known Origin Fees
When you buy an NFT somewhere, it is customary for the relevant NFT Marketplace to charge a fee for enabling the sale. This fee is typically a percentage of the NFT's sale price and is normally paid by the buyer. This can be compared with how regular art galleries normally take a share of the sale of any paintings etc. hanging in the gallery when a sale is executed.
At Known Origin, you will have to pay 15.00% in service fees. We do not know of any other NFT Marketplace charging higher fees than this. There are also 2.50% in fees for any secondary sales on the Known Origin Marketplace. These fees are excluding the Ethereum gas fees that the Ethereum network requires in order to process transactions.
While 15.00% is on the highest end among NFT Marketplaces, it would be considered a very competitive fee compared to an ordinary physical art gallery (where 30-50% in gallery fees is not entirely uncommon).
Accordingly, if you purchase an NFT at Known Origin and you have to pay USD 1,000 for it, be advised that USD 150 of this is not paid for the actual NFT but to cover fees in addition to the actual value of the NFT.
Known Origin Payment Methods
A few of the NFT Marketplaces out there accept deposits and payments via credit or debit card, and some even accept PayPal-deposits.
Known Origin doesn’t allow withdrawals or deposits through credit/debit cards or PayPal. Accordingly, you need to have a previous holding of the cryptos supported by Known Origin in order to be able to interact on this particular marketplace.