NFT art is all the hype these days. And as absurd as the idea of breeding digital cats and buying digital art for hundreds of thousands of dollars may have sounded a decade ago, it’s a reality today.
The advent of the blockchain-based non-fungible token (NFT) game CryptoKitties in 2017 attracted a swarm of cat lovers. CryptoKitties allowed users to buy and trade unique and rare species of digital cats as NFTs on the blockchain. The craze and traffic were such that it caused the Ethereum network to crash. At that time, one of the most expensive CryptoKitty sold for about 600 ETH (~$170,000 at the time of sale).
CryptoKitties brought the concept of NFTs to the limelight. Since then, the NFT fever has not just got to gamers but also to artists. In fact, some of the most famous modern-day artists are selling their artwork as NFTs.
If you are unaware of the concept of NFTs, you learn about them from our NFT guide for beginners.
Why is NFT Important for Art
The art industry as we know it fails artists in multiple ways. New artists have a hard time finding art agencies and galleries that are willing to support them and sell their art. If they luckily manage to find an agency to sell their work, the agencies usually take a considerable chunk of their total sale.
Furthermore, fraud and counterfeit artwork still are a major concern in the art market. Fraudsters cheat art collectors from hundreds of millions every year by selling counterfeit artwork. The only way to curb the sale of counterfeit art is to ensure buyers get to see proof-of-ownership. This will ensure that everyone can authenticate the original artwork from the counterfeit one.
NFTs enable artists to do exactly that. Every art piece that is pegged to an NFT gets a unique identifier that cannot be changed, stolen, or tampered with as it is stored on a blockchain. This identifier acts as a proof-of-ownership and the blockchain records each time the NFT is transferred to a new owner.
Beyond security and authenticity, NFTs offer artists a global platform to create and sell artwork with royalities from secondary sales predetermined during the minting process. On NFT marketplaces, artists can choose to take a percentage of the sales each time a new user buys their artwork from the current owner.
NFT Sales at All-Time High
The growth of NFTs is comparable to how DeFi shot from its dormant phase to a lively one in a short span. Around July 2020, the total sale of NFTs topped $100 million. But it is now that NFTs are entering the most exciting phase. The NFT marketplace OpenSea estimates that there are 18,000 NFT purchases every week, which is a record high number.
Here’s a quick overview of the craziest NFT art sales over the past few months:
1] Everydays: the First 5,000 Days by Beeple
Mike Winkelmann, a CGI artist famously known as Beeple in the art world, created a digital art piece that is a collage of all his art pieces since 2013. The NFT-pegged artwork sold for a whopping $69 million.
2] Picasso Bull by Trevor Jones
This digital art of a bull by NFT artists Trevor Jones sold for over $55,000 on the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
In addition, his open edition of “The Bitcoin Angel” sold 4152 pieces in 7 min, sold at $777 each. Totaling him a little over $3 Million is just a few minutes
3] The Best I Could Do by Justin Roiland
A collection of 16 pieces of artwork by the creator of Rick and Morty bagged a whopping 1,300 ETH worth $2.3 million at the time of sale.
4] Video Clip Artwork by Beeple
A 10-second clip by NFT artist Beeple was first bought for $67,000 and a few months later sold again for over $6.6 million.
5] The EthBoy by Trevor Jones and Alotta Money
NFT artists Trevor Jones and Alotta Money created a digital art of the Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The artwork sold for $141,000.
6] Punk 2890
Punks are characters of a crypto game called CryptoPunk. An anonymous user bought the character Punk 2890 for $762,000 worth of ETH.
Pranksy also tweeted that he made a 350 ETH profit within a week with an CryptoPunks Ape NFT.
7] Moment i Fell in Love by FEWoCIOUS
A high-school student going by the pseudonym FEWoCIOUS created a short video clip of 7 seconds that sold for $25,000 on Nifty Gateway.
8] Genesis by José Delbo and Trevor Jones
An 87-year-old comic book artist along with Trevor Jones created an NFT artwork called Genisis. It is a pencil sketch of Batman that was interpreted in oil by Jones. The NFT sold for almost $111,377 worth of ETH.
Where to Buy NFT
There are many NFT marketplaces that where you can buy NFT art and other types of NFTs. These are some of the most famous marketplaces:
Into the Future
Many are calling the NFT art hype a bubble, but this cannot be further from the truth. As everything around us is digitalizing, it’s obvious that so will art. Apart from that, NFT art ensures the authenticity and security of artwork. This is a major boon for both artists and art collectors. All in all, we can say that NFTs have quite a promising future in the art world.
Recently, Jack Dorsey (CEO Twitter & Square), put his first tweet into an NFT and put it up for auction. The latest bid is $2.5 Million. More on other shapes and forms of NFT’s in a later blog.