Hello JP. Start by telling us a bit about yourself.
I’m Franco-English, and I’ve spent over 20 years in Asia and have been working in tech since I arrived, so I get around quite a bit IRL. I invest in real estate and meta estate, as well as software-related technologies. I build Web3 companies in arts, sports, and legaltech. Overall? I love blockchain and the promise it holds. When it comes to NFTs, I love their utility but hate the post-purchase experience — that’s why I co-founded VERTIKAL.
Why did you create VERTIKAL?
The co-founders of VERTIKAL met when we discussed making an NFT museum for the 500k NFT collection, the largest collection of human-drawn digital art in the world: 500,000 unique pieces of art (www.500k.art). Today private NFT collections are viewed in tiny crypto wallets, basic online marketplaces or complicated-to-set-up 3D spaces with disappointing community elements. We really don’t like that experience and we wanted something better for 500k — so we decided to build the kind of Metaverse that would be a fitting home for a world-leading artwork.
We wanted to include other artists and collectors in the project, and realized we had to increase the size of the project to accommodate many other members. We want to make an all-encompassing and inclusive artistic space for all.
VERTIKAL was born!
How is VERTIKAL different from other Metaverse projects?
The current experience of the Metaverse often means trudging past empty plots, getting trapped in badly-designed and poorly-rendered buildings, and drifting into endless spaces that have no real purpose. It’s frustrating and doesn’t do justice to great digital art and NFTs.
VERTIKAL is different because it puts the immersive visual experience and user enjoyment first. We bring people together by organizing the experience vertically (hence the name) and making it coherent and distinctive on each Level, so everyone can become part of the community they prefer while being part of a larger whole.
We also wanted to place VERTIKAL in the real world. It becomes more intimate and increases the connection to the space. Looking and debating on where to put it, we decided to build it in New York, which is probably the center of digital art in the Western world. We chose Central Park as it’s an iconic location for both New Yorkers and visitors.
Of course when we applied for a permit to build a 1.6 mile high (nearly 3km) tower in Central Park, City Hall had reservations — so we just decided to make it float over the park!
Is VERTIKAL all about Western audiences then?
VERTIKAL is all about communities. We have Levels taking on themes such as fashion, AI art, manga, medieval fantasy and sci-fi, creating spaces for fans to build communities around their shared passions. We also have whole Levels devoted to national cultures such as Switzerland, other European countries and Asian countries including Thailand, Korea, India and Japan.
We have an extremely high number of interested artists and collectors from Asia. Our vision is to create inclusive spaces where global cultural exchange and art can be experienced, also offering spaces where people more comfortable in their local language are welcome. VERTIKAL is located in New York, but we want our artists, collectors and visitors to come from everywhere, to create the richest possible community experience.
What kind of people are on board?
We have interested parties from around the world — many of them are keen to get a space in VERTIKAL right now. They include local and internationally-famous artists, influencers, collectors, and whales who are fans of NFTs and have already bought into blue chip projects like BAYC, Cryptopunk, Azuki or WOW.
Artists and collectors in particular can instantly see the attraction of a unit in VERTIKAL — our Hives, Lofts, T-Pads, Penthouses and Sky Mansions are exciting, customizable spaces you can personalise to showcase NFTs and digital art like never before. Artists have complete control over access, using their galleries as private display spaces for invited clients or throwing open their doors to share their unique vision and their art with the virtual world. Collectors can share their collections in the perfect surroundings to match their artworks, setting up their space to exactly how they want it and inviting guests to experience it with them.
We also have significant interest from museums, luxury brands, NGOs and even government bodies! They can all see clear opportunities to connect with their audiences and customers. VERTIKAL is about community and inclusiveness, so spaces are specifically reserved for charities and social impact causes.
We’ll be making announcements about all these partnerships soon, so follow our Twitter account for the latest information.
What NFT features does VERTIKAL offer?
VERTIKAL is a Metaverse with a very cool set of associated NFTs, and at a later stage it will also have its own token.
Ownership in VERTIKAL is represented by ownership of a space NFT (Hive, Loft, Penthouse, T-Pad or Sky Mansion). These NFTs also act as governance tokens, so each space comes with a corresponding number of votes in local (Level) and whole project governance. To keep things organised — we are a Swiss company after all — the DAO will be organised as an association under Swiss law.
VERTIKAL also has a unique token, which will be the central in Metaverse currency used for activities within VERTIKAL. The token will be dropped to eligible owners who have a space, to artists and collectors who display NFTs , to everyone who visits VERTIKAL, to people interested in staking their assets and to participants in the exciting Moonshot artist accelerator programme.
There’s a lot of more to this of course, so check out the White Paper we’ve already published.
Who can buy a space in VERTIKAL?
We welcome interested parties from all over the world, from the list of permitted countries — sadly residents of some countries can’t purchase units in VERTIKAL, though absolutely everyone is welcome to visit and enjoy the experience.
We have extremely high interest in the project in Europe, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, so we have allocated several thousand Hives and Lofts for sale in Western countries, and the same number for countries in Asia.
What types of units are there? What are the differences between them?
Although it’s the world’s biggest building, VERTIKAL is actually a small Metaverse compared to others, with strictly limited supply. All the private spaces in VERTIKAL are called V-Pads. VERTIKAL has 5 types of space (Hive, Loft, Penthouse, T-Pad and Sky Mansion) which have contract-limited maximum supply of 25,000, 2,500, 250, 25 and 5 units respectively. So the larger ones are pretty rare!
In the first phase we are planning to release 5,000 Hives, 5,000 Lofts and a handful of the larger V-Pads. The remainder will be kept in reserve for sale as we grow in the years to come.
Hives and Lofts will be sold at a fixed price. The cost of the other V-Pads will depend on bids from interested parties. The Sky Mansions are rare — there are only 5 in the whole project, and we’ll never make any more — so we’re keeping them for special partners.
All spaces in VERTIKAL come with many different rarities built in. These are revealed after the drop. They include subtypes (7 for the Hives and 6 for the Lofts) and many other attributes that will have a big impact on functionality and owner experience.
Tell us about first subscription and the sale schedule for Vertical
With the market as it is we have been working hard to make the project perfect for launch. We’re aiming to open the first mint at the end of 2022. I encourage everyone to follow our Discord and Twitter spaces, where news about the exact minting date will be posted.
We want to be very inclusive and help to onboard many new users to the Metaverse, so we are offering Early Bird Credit Card Sales. These are now live, and you can check them on our sales website.
It sounds great. Is there anything else we should look forward to?
VERTIKAL is above all about community, so I just want to highlight two more points.
The first is the SkyG Club (the Original Gangster Club in the Sky!), an exclusive, invitation-only 955 member Club that occupies a special space at the very top of VERTIKAL. The best way to get invited is to check activities in the Discord community server. 255 places are reserved for famous art patrons, and quite a few celebrities are interested too.
The other important aspect is that VERTIKAL is a Metaverse, a place to hang out and meet up in a virtual world, but we really want to make this about real life too. We’re planning a very active series of IRL meet-ups and events in countries around the world. I hope to see you at one of these events, as well as in the Metaverse!
Unit Reservation Enquiries
Europe, Middle East & Africa: firstname.lastname@example.org
North & South America: email@example.com
Asia Pacific: firstname.lastname@example.org
VERTIKAL is a purpose-built, community-driven Metaverse. Its 115 floors celebrating digital art culture float 555 feet above Umpire Rock in Central Park, New York. For more information visit vertikal.art and join the community on Discord.