NFTs explode as collectors try to ‘own’ digital art

NFT technology, says Harrison, offers a way to put a price on digital art, tapping into that primitive, high-quality hoarding instinct – the quest for Veblen products offering status, coveted only to the extent that they are. dear – who is behind many collectors’ urge. Toss that with a foamy community keen to trade and memorize any new build adjacent to a brilliant blockchain at considerable prices and voila.

“In this digital world, we have accelerators: suddenly you might get three or four times what you paid for something – tomorrow there will be someone willing to buy it,” says Harrison. Best of all, blockchains are also able to securely and unchangeably track how a token originated and changed hands over time. “Provenance is obviously an important part of the art’s value,” says Harrison.

The crowd that buys NFT-related artwork is diverse. Some of its members are cryptocurrency tycoons looking for the last thing to dip their savings in. “People who were early in crypto and have a bunch of ether [Ethereum’s cryptocurrency], they’re looking for ways to use it, ”says James Beck, director of communications and content at ConsenSys, a blockchain company that has created an app to store and manage NFTs. They want to show, says Beck, that they are “patrons of art on the Internet.”

It helps that some NFT marketplaces allow people to showcase their purchases like in an online gallery or museum. Jamie Burke, founder and CEO of blockchain investment firm Outlier Ventures and NFT enthusiast, is one who holds on to their new role as an advocate for digital arts. Burke says he was initially disabled by the first “self-referential” cryptocurrency-focused artwork – dotted with Bitcoin signs and pixelated memes. But when he became more interested in space, in the summer of 2020, he was “blown away” by the new artists.

“It was art in itself that I would buy, and I loved the idea that I could have a unique digital edition of it,” he says. “I just started collecting, personally, and trying to attract new artists and professionals to come into space. I’m building a collection a bit. That doesn’t mean he refuses a lot when she shows up. On February 13, he sold an NFT for which he had paid $ 500, for $ 20,000 in ether. Announce the sale in a tweet, Burke said he would use the return to buy more art.

Harrison says that while the market is currently teeming with speculators who would buy and return any blockchain-based asset in the hope that it will rise in value, bona fide collectors are getting more involved. “It’s a combination of people who are just speculative and people who want to collect and have something cool,” he says. “My role is to balance an element of speculation with enough people who want to buy something because they like it, and they want a hot collectable habit. If everyone is buying to speculate it doesn’t work, then it just becomes another tradable token. “

Some digital artists are welcoming the trend. Most platforms are simple to use, allowing them to upload their works, automatically ‘create’ NFTs, and wait for offers to rain – and these are often more than what they would receive if they were trying to sell their digital works online as prints. Brendan Dawes, a British graphic designer and artist who creates digital images using machine learning and algorithms, says a print of one of his pieces would typically sell for $ 2,000, while his latest NFT fetched sold for $ 37,000.

The profits don’t stop there. NFTs can be designed to pay their creators a cryptocurrency fee every time they change hands. If a buyer of one of Dawes’ pieces resells it, Dawes automatically receives 10% of the price paid. “This is still one of the differences from the traditional world. You get this permanent royalty. “

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