The development of cryptocurrencies has changed the way we think about money and finance as a whole.
But that’s not only that, blockchain technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in the world of art.
With Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The first 5000 days’ being sold for a cool $69 million, interest in NFTs have grown rapidly with collectors and investors alike flooding the market.
So how is it that digital artwork has become one of the most desired commodities in the world today?
To see how, we first need to look at the tokens themselves.
What are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are works of digital art that have been uploaded directly onto the Ethereum blockchain. These are usually limited-run tokens with their own unique code identifier.
This in turn makes it possible to access and verify information related to said artwork’s ownership and authenticity.
How do NFTs work?
Just like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are powered by blockchain technology and in this case, the Ethereum blockchain to be precise.
NFTs are created through a process known as “minting”. Once your digital asset is uploaded to the blockchain, it becomes tokenised in the form of an NFT.
After that, it can be traded and exchanged on the market or held as an asset.
Okay, this all sounds great, but…
Why are NFTs valuable?
Before we had NFTs, it was impossible to value digital artwork because it could be endlessly replicated, and proof of original ownership was impossible to determine.
The value of an NFT is generated from the collectability that they give an asset as they are akin to a “certificate of originality”.
To put this into context, let’s take a look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece the ‘Mona Lisa’.
Now ask yourself this, why is it that a print of the ‘Mona Lisa’ costs only a fraction of the original painting?
You guess it right – a print is a duplicate while the original painting is the real deal. And this is where it gets interesting…
NFTs make it possible for an artist to truly “own” his/her work because each token has a unique identifying code.
This means that while others are free to make their own copies of an artist’s work, the owner of the NFT holds the “true original”.
While this practice seems rather odd, a growing number of art collectors would gladly disagree. However, just like the cryptocurrency market, speculation on NFTs is rampant and the market is highly-volatile.
While some may argue that the bubble for NFTs has burst since the sale of Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The first 5000 days’, there is still an active market available.
Investing in NFTs
Before you get started, do keep in mind that NFTs are bought and sold in Ethereum (ETH, which is why you should invest in a decent digital wallet.
But don’t worry, most digital wallets are free-to-use – so shop around for the best choices.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at where you can buy NFTs:
Crypto.com started as a Hong Kong-based exchange but has since diversified and begun offering NFTs.
On an interesting note, the site has collaborated on projects with the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team and UFC to produce a unique set of collectibles.
Described as being the ‘world’s largest marketplace for NFTs’, OpenSea is the go-to platform for digital collectibles of all kinds.
From photographs and GIFs to sports collectibles and even virtual domains, OpenSea has it all. With a user-friendly interface and active community, you can’t go wrong with OpenSea.
SuperRare carries a selection of fresh NFTs from their community of curated content creators. Besides that, SuperRare’s gallery features weekly or even daily projects from the hottest artists on the scene.
Foundation is a community driven NFT auction site that caters to both creators and collectors. Creators are brought in on an invite-only basis hence ensuring that Foundation only displays the best works of digital art available.
An auction site owned by Gemini, Nifty Gateway features works of art from artists like Beeple and facilitated the sale of his $6 million piece ‘Crossroad’. With a unique set of NFT collections on sale, Nifty Gateway is a great place to start collecting art.
Still confused on what is crypto art and how can you buy it? Check this article from Tezro and find other marketplaces that can interest you.
NFTs allow collectors to develop a connection with their favored artists and may likely be the future of artwork. Still, all of that still remains to be seen.