By Ryan Potts
Over the past few months, the cryptocurrency market has been booming, and for a multitude of reasons. As the stock market has been a trending topic, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (₿ BTC), Dogecoin (Ð DOGE), and Ethereum (?? ETH) are gaining more popularity with the masses than ever before. Another form of tokenization is constantly increasing. Yet this new crypto-boom is shaking up the world of digital art just as much as the world of finance.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a special form of crypto tokens that are used to represent specific digital assets and are the latest addition to the cryptocurrency world. These tokens are used to transform digital assets into their own unique elements, separating them from any other existing version. With that in mind, cryptocurrency wallet holders, investors, art collectors, and digital artists have found a way to create a new market for art. This allows digital works, such as 3D animations, gifs, digital paintings, and even memes, to be as valuable as a physical work of art. In turn, this rather mind-boggling new phenomenon has sparked a new kind of gold rush, if not a new renaissance in art.
To put that in more perspective, the current top-selling work on the NFT market recently sold for $ 69.3 million, or around 39,000 ETH. What was the work in question? A collection of works by the prolific and provocative digital artist of memes, Mike Winkelmann, more commonly known as the Beeple. Winkelmann’s digital art has grossed at least $ 100 million in the market, and all of this can be viewed for free both on his website and on social media platforms. Winkelmann is currently the best-selling artist on the market and breaks records with every piece. Winkelmann is now one of the three most valuable living artists in history after the sale of his “Everyday – The First 5000 Days” collection.
However, he is not the only one to benefit from it with his digital works. Do you remember the Bad Luck Brian meme? It was sold on the NFT market for $ 40,000 (20 ETH). How about the classic Nyan Cat meme from 2011? Sold for almost $ 540,000 (300 ETH).
How it works? It’s relatively straightforward. Artists must first own a cryptocurrency wallet (the most common cryptocurrency used to buy and sell NFT works is Ethereum), upload their work to an NFT platform, and get the job. Coinage is the process of tokenizing (giving a monetary value in a market) a digital asset and storing it in a blockchain, giving the work a unique identity so that it can be owned. Once the artwork is created, the artist has the option to include locked assets and specific metadata into the artwork, so that when purchased, the new owner has something special with the artwork – something that only he can have.
This new growing market introduces a new way for digital artists to make money from their work. And it’s not just about change, these artists are now able to sell works for as much as the artists who create giant, physical paintings. Works are bought and sold on a day-to-day basis through multiple platforms and markets, including Foundation App, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, and even Christie’s signed on to the action.
Now that this new gold rush is here, where will it go next? Are you going to immerse yourself in this brand new phenomenon? If you do, make sure you do enough research to fully understand what you are getting yourself into, because even experts are learning new things about it every day.