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Tim Kang started his career as a software engineer for Deutsche Bank and invested a year of savings in Ethereum in early 2016, and let’s just say it’s paying off. The North Carolina native, who is known online as “illestrater,” is now a digital art collector and purchased works by Murat Pak and Beeple before all the recent auction sales and press coverage propelled them into the spotlight. 

He’s founded other artist platforms, including CUE Music and Universe.XYZ, and his latest organization, Sevens Foundation, is offering “Sevens Genesis Grants” for emerging and underrepresented artists to mint their first NFT. Kang calls himself a “champion of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists” in the NFT space.

I spoke to him to learn more about his interest in NFTs and collecting digital assets and his thoughts on the future of the field. 

This is a continuation of a series of podcasts we’re publishing on the evolving terrain of NFTs and their impact on artists and the arts community.

The music for this episode is “Autowave” by Kelly Moran from the album Ultraviolet, which is available from Warp Records.

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Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.