- Brothers and Nifty Gateway Co-Foudners Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster announced they would be stepping down from their leadership roles at the company.
- The news comes after (but not in response to) Gemini, Nifty Gateway’s parent company, announcing it will cut 10 percent of its workforce.
- The Cock Foster brothers have no concrete plans for the future but have expressed a desire to start another company.
- In an exclusive conversation with nft now, Duncan Cock Foster spoke about his and his brother’s decision to leave the company.
Why it matters
Big changes are on the horizon for the prominent NFT platform Nifty Gateway (NG). After years of helming the beloved marketplace and driving innovation at the forefront of the NFT space, Co-Founders Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster announced they would be stepping down from their leadership positions at the company.
Ownership now rests with parent company Gemini’s Co-Founders, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The torch of leadership has been passed to Eddie Ma (technical leader) and Tara Harris (leader for non-tech).
Many were surprised at the announcement, speculating whether the move had to do with the state of the crypto and tech industries or even Gemini itself, which has been experiencing difficulties in response to a situation with its lending partner, Genesis Global Capital. However, Duncan says this is not the case and that he and his brother’s decision was not a sleight to Gemini in any form.
“There is no denying that crypto and NFT markets are going through a tumultuous time right now, and Gemini is no exception. But betting against the Winklevoss twins is a terrible idea,” Duncan said in an interview with nft now. “They are in the top 0.01 percent of the world’s most determined people, and I am confident that Gemini will emerge from this crypto winter stronger than ever before. Our decision to leave was due to the fact that we are entrepreneurs at heart, and we want to get back to entrepreneur-ing.”
As previously mentioned, the primary factor behind the Cock Foster’s decision to leave was simply that their time had come. In his Twitter thread, Duncan said that when Nifty Gateway was originally acquired, he and his brother gave themselves a threshold of four years before they would inevitably leave to start another company — regardless of how good or bad things were going by that time.
“Being founders, we knew that we always wanted to found another company at some point,” Duncan said. “I love the team at Gemini and the Gemini mission, but being the founder of a company is a very different thing than running a division of a larger company, even if said larger company is one that you love and respect. Ultimately that is what guided our decision more than anything else.”
According to Duncan’s thread, this transition has been in the works for months. And to assuage the potential concerns of those within the NG community, he stated that he and his brother would publicly outline a roadmap and a plan for its future in the coming weeks. Personally, though, the Cock Foster brothers don’t know where they’re headed next.
“When we said that we don’t have any specific plans for the future, we meant it. We have worked in the crypto sector for a long time, and it is the industry that we know best, so it is likely that the next company we start will also be in the crypto sector,” Duncan said. “We really don’t know for sure, and our only immediate plan is to get back to tinkering and exploring. The Winklevoss twins have told us they are going to write a check for whatever [our future company] is, so that part we are sure of.”
While Duncan added that the only thing he currently has his sights set on is learning to surf, he also pointed out that he and his brother will eventually be back. They both remain very optimistic about the long-term viability of the NFT ecosystem.
“When Griffin and I reflect on the ecosystem now compared to the ecosystem in 2018 when we first got involved, it’s incredible how much progress has been made. Back then, only a handful of creators were able to earn meaningful money selling NFTs — now, thousands (and maybe even tens of thousands) of creators are able to do so,” he said. “I certainly think the road to NFTs being a mainstream technology that most people use every day is longer and more winding than we originally thought, but we believe, and always have, that that is where the industry is headed.”