NFTs and blockchain technology can be overwhelming, and if you’re new to our platform, you’ll likely have a few questions. Below, we hope you’ll find all the answers you need to help you navigate through the platform and start collecting with confidence.
What is Institut?
Institut is the premier art world NFT platform. Founded by an innovative team with over five decades of experience at every level of the contemporary art market – from curatorial programming and developing the careers of a diverse range of artists, to building esteemed collections for some of the world’s most prominent collectors. Institut’s core mission is to empower artists and broaden the contemporary art audience by harnessing the power of new technologies.
At Institut, we believe that we are at the frontier of a digital art renaissance. NFTs unlock untapped potential in how we perceive, interact with, and collect digital art. Driven by the growing digital economy and fuelled by a global generational shift, the art market is changing faster than ever before – and we believe that NFTs and blockchain technology hold the keys to the future of the art world.
Aiming to bridge the divide that currently exists between the “traditional” and “digital” art communities, Institut places a focus on quality over quantity, with a highly curated, invitation-only programme that seeks to engender true artistic quality in the NFT space, engaging traditional and crypto collectors alike.
How does it work?
Institut is an NFT platform and marketplace built on the Ethereum blockchain. Invited artists can create an artist profile and “mint” digital artwork files into traceable, immutable digital tokens, otherwise known as NFTs. Once minted, the NFTs are placed in the artists’ custodial Institut wallet, and can be offered for sale on the platform by fixed price, auction, or timed sale. For additional security, the original digital file is securely stored using IPFS – a decentralised peer-to-peer storage system.
Once you have created an account and completed the KYC process, you can use your Institut Wallet to purchase NFTs on the Marketplace, either by live auction, or fixed price sales. The Marketplace offers NFTs from the primary market (directly from the Drop), and the secondary market (from the existing owner), and owners can list NFTs from their collection for sale at any time. When a work re-sells on the Marketplace, the artist automatically receives a set royalty of up to 10%, in perpetuity.
Institut uses both centralised and decentralised functions to reduce the carbon emissions generated by Ethereum blockchain mining. This hybrid system reduces blockchain interactions to two critical events: minting the NFT, and withdrawing the NFT from the platform to a personal wallet. This means there are no gas fees (which can be up to $300) associated with bidding, buying, and selling NFTs on Institut – resulting in dramatically reduced cost both to our users, and to the environment.
What are the other benefits of a hybrid system?
Besides the environmental and cost-saving advantages, the hybrid system also allows collectors to start collecting NFTs with just an email address and credit card. Institut offers multiple payment methods including credit card, bank transfer, and deposits in multiple FIAT and cryptocurrencies – meaning you do not need a Metamask wallet or cryptocurrency in order to start collecting through our platform!
How does the minting work?
When a digital file is minted, it is tokenised and recorded permanently on the Ethereum blockchain. Institut is able to mint NFTs on behalf of artists, and in most cases, NFTs will be minted before sale, except in certain Drops when there are a particularly high number of editions. The Contract address and Token ID of all minted NFTs can be viewed on public blockchain domains such as Etherscan, to verify authenticity and provnenace.
How do I apply to the platform?
Institut’s artist drop programme operates on an invitation basis. However, we are open-minded and we encourage artists to submit their work for review by emailing us details at firstname.lastname@example.org. If successful, you will receive an invitation via email, and our team will reach out to establish next steps.
What do I need to get started?
In the first launch phase, the Institut team will create your Artist profile for you, and will send you your account login details. When your Wallet is activated, you will see your NFT stored there, ready to be published for auction as agreed with the Institut team.
How do I mint my artwork?
At Institut, we are able to mint NFTs on your behalf, so once your contract is agreed, all you need to do is submit your digital file to us via email. The NFT will then be minted under your name, and will be stored in your Institut Wallet, ready for your Drop. Unique editions and Limited Editions (in editions of up to 5) will be minted in advance of bidding; whereas larger editions and open editions will be ‘lazy’ minted – ie. minted after they are purchased. Institut fronts the minting fees on behalf of Artists, and recoups the fees after the artwork has sold.
How does Institut mint the NFTs?
Upon receipt of your digital file, we will create the NFTs for you by uploading the file to IPFS, a decentralised storage network and creating the smart contract attached to the token will contain a unique Token ID and description of the NFT, including your name, the title of the work, and the number of editions.
We mint NFTs using ERC-721 standards. More complex tokens are compatible with the platform, but will require special assistance to be minted either from the Institut team or a third-party smart contract builder.
What are the commission splits, fees and royalties for Artists?
Artists receive 85% of the primary sale proceeds, and Institut receives 15%. For secondary sales on the platform, artists can choose to earn up to 10% of the proceeds in perpetuity. The desired % will be agreed with the Institut team before minting.
What types of files can artists submit? And what is the file size limit?
Artists can submit JPG, GIF, PNG, and MP4 files up to 50MB (though exceptions can be made if / when other file types are preferred or necessary).
What types of sales does Institut offer?
In the first phase, Institut offers fixed price sales, timed open edition sales, and auctions.
What do I need to get started?
All you need to create an account on the platform is an email address. Once signed up, your account will be active, you can build your profile, and from the 20th September, you can access your Institut Wallet. You can use this Wallet to top-up your balance with FIAT currency by credit/debit card or wire transfers, or with cryptocurrency from an external wallet, to start purchasing NFTs on the platform.
Before you can start transacting, we’ll ask you for some basic information in the form of KYC documents, like a proof of ID and proof of address. Once you are approved, you can freely deposit funds into your Institut Wallet and start collecting. If you have cryptocurrency, you can transfer your crypto directly to your Institut Wallet to use on the platform.
When buying an NFT, what are the associated costs / fees?
Using your Institut Wallet is free – there are no gas fees charged for bidding, making offers, or buying NFTs on the platform.
Credit/Debit card and bank transfer deposits have typical processing fees (2.9% +30cents for US cards and 3.9% +30cents for international cards). For fixed price sales, you can use a Credit/Debit card to directly purchase the NFT. If you are using a card to deposit a FIAT currency into your wallet, there will be an additional 0.7% fee to process the deposit.
When I purchase an NFT, where is it stored?
Institut is a custodial platform. When you purchase an NFT, it will transfer to your Institut Wallet, and the NFT will be added to your Collection on your profile page. You can keep the NFT in your Wallet for safekeeping or re-sale, or you can elect to withdraw it to an external wallet, like Metamask.
If I re-sell my NFT, what fees are charged, and by whom?
When re-selling an NFT on the Institut marketplace, the sale is subject to a 2.5% processing fee. The remainder of the funds will be deposited into your Institut wallet after deducting the artists’ royalties (set by the artist between 5 – 10%).
Can I take my NFT to resell on another site? If so, are there any fees associated?
Yes, you can withdraw your NFTs to an external wallet and list them for sale on another marketplace if you wish. There is a gas fee associated with withdrawal to an external wallet, and the re-sale fees will be determined by the selling platform. If an NFT is withdrawn from Institut and traded on a different marketplace, the Artist does not receive the royalties on the re-sale of the work.