- >The Emerging World of Blockchain-based NFT Artwork
The Emerging World of Blockchain-based NFT Artwork
Cryptocurrency may be the firstborn of blockchain, but going by current trends, the tech’s younger siblings will soon be hogging nearly all the spotlight. Take DeFi, for instance – two years ago, if you’d asked the average crypto user what DeFi is, you’d have likely gotten a blank stare. Try that in 2021 – when DeFi applications like yield farming are all the rage now.
Yet another niche industry within the larger crypto space is increasingly commanding attention – and big money. That niche is non-fungible tokens (NFTs). One of NFTs’ multitude of applications is art, which is blockchain-based art. NFT-based art is digital art. This brings attractive attributes like better safety, no forgeries, and both creators and collectors’ ability to make their fair share.
As artists flock to NFT art marketplaces to showcase their craft, there are plenty of buyers looking for amazing, genuine art, and willing to fork out big money. Or in industry-speak, both these parties are converging in these places to “connect and collect”.
Hope Mutie | Feb 5, 2021
What are NFTs?
First of all, let’s define NFTs. ‘NFTs’ stand for non-fungible tokens. Sounds complicated – but that’s before we break down the concept. When talking about non-fungible tokens, it’s inevitable that fungible tokens will come up. Fungible means a unit of the asset can be exchanged or substituted for another of the same value.
Currency is fungible in that a 10 dollar bill can be replaced with another 10 dollar bill and be used for the same purpose. One bitcoin is also the same as the next one. If I send you a bitcoin, it’s equal to the other bitcoins in your wallet, and it has the same value as any other bitcoin. It follows then that non-fungible assets are not interchangeable with other assets – each one is distinct and unique and represents a different value from any other.
Non-fungible tokens are the digital, blockchain-based version of digital assets. The Ethereum blockchain, with its smart contract technology, was the first to support, and still supports the vast majority of NFT applications. However, emerging blockchains such as EOS, NEO, and TRON are looking to give Ethereum a run for its money in this field.
The Qualities of a Non-Fungible Token
A NFT token can be summed up as having these qualities: unique, rare, and indivisible. It’s unique in that it has been ascribed metadata that distinguishes it from any other, making it desirable. That data is permanently recorded on the blockchain and is proof of the token’s authenticity.
It’s rare – or scarce – since the creator has the power to release a limited number of items or, indeed, just a single item. And lastly, an NFT is indivisible – unlike, for instance, a currency that is divisible into smaller units of value. NFT’s can usually only be bought and sold as a whole.
NFTs are being deployed to represent all manner of things. Here are a few to get your brain thinking about what can be turned into a NFT.
- Sports Memorabilia
- Digital Art
- Event Tickets
- Virtual cats
- In-Game Items
- Virtual Real Estate
- Physical Real Estate
Now the question turns to, why have NFTs caught on like that? It’s because when you think of NFT tech and its potential, especially in a world that’s going digital – it completely changes the game for the art, collectibles, and entertainment industries. We’re talking borderless, auditable market places, eliminating fraud, more earning possibilities for asset owners, and so forth.
In this piece, we’ll look at NFT artwork – an application of the technology that promises to quite turn the art industry on its head. But don’t take our word for it.
The NFT Artwork Industry
Otherwise known as crypto art, NFT art is one application of NFTs that’s captured the cryptoverse by storm. Why? There are boatloads of cash to be made, and talented artists are taking their tools to the blockchain.
The reason for this development is two-pronged: the inevitability of crypto art taking off and the effects of the corona pandemic. As lights went off in art galleries and exhibitions, many artists took the crypto art leap. While digital art has existed for years now, artists are waking up to the array of rewards they could reap if they went blockchain.
First, you’ve got the ability to earn royalties off of your art – something that’s pretty much wishful-thinking in traditional art marketplaces. Second, once a buyer acquires a piece of art, their ownership is permanently assured thanks to the immutability of blockchain, with zero chances of fraud.
NFT in Numbers
The NTF artwork industry seems unstoppable: more than 52,000 crypto art pieces have been sold to date – according to CryptoArt.io, with millions of dollars exchanging hands.
A single hit piece can notch up thousands of dollars. Some sales that sent shockwaves in the space include a “portrait” of Satoshi Nakamoto by Robert Alice that went for $131,250 and a collabo between Trevor Jones and Alotta Money – EthBoy, which went for $310,978.
Better yet is the, uh, unusual collection by Beeple depicting Trump and Biden in utero and which would mutate according to who actually won the US general election. This collection sold for $777,777 after a superheated auction that totaled an astonishing $3.5million.
The Supporting NFT Marketplaces
The NFT artwork industry is supported by emerging market places that are as eclectic in type of art as they are in the nature of their operations.
Marketplaces such as Christie’s that have been in the game even before blockchain are supporting crypto art. SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, Async Art, Known Origin, Makers Place, and Mintbase are some of the leading platforms where creatives and art lovers can meet and connect. Others like OpenSea allow you to buy all manner of NFTs, including art from all the above NFT artwork platforms.
The NFT Artwork Industry in 2021 and By 2025
The NFT artwork scene is rising – and fast. More and more talented artists are migrating to blockchain-based art. Art enthusiasts and speculators are flocking to these sites in the search for genuine work.
NFT-based art sales hit a record high of $8.2 million in sales in December of 2020 – a massive jump from the previous month’s $2.6 million, according to CryptoArt.io. This jump is attributable to ETH’s own bullish run in December, but it also signifies the surge in interest in NFT art.
The Corona pandemic partly pushed us to this point – but don’t expect business to go back to usual even after things are back to normal Instead, you can fully expect an even bigger swell in interest going into 2021. It’s reasonable to forecast that by 2025, the crypto art scene will be neck and neck with the traditional scene or even way ahead. Going by the entire crypto space’s bullish run, it’s safe to project a billion-dollar NFT-based art industry by 2025.
NFT art is not only here – it certainly looks to have a bright future ahead. The burgeoning industry is testament to the power and ingenuity of blockchain to transform entire industries in the best way.
Makers of art get to have safer places to showcase their talent and the ability to earn royalties, which is a first in the trade. Buyers and collectors are assured of ownership and can resell pieces at whatever price they fancy. It’s a win-win for everyone and a push of blockchain tech closer to the forefront.