As the Crypto Economic Era bull market rages, with Bitcoin and Ethereum surpassing their all-time highs, we are seeing a range of blockchain-based businesses, applications, and projects entering the market. One of the most intriguing categories is Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which allow for digital items to be transferred by verifying ownership rather than duplicating a resource. In 2019, we have seen the price of NFTs soar, with a recent project being sold at Christie’s auction for more than $69M last month. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind collectible or a form of digital art for your digital devices, there are plenty of options out there.
When people think about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, they don’t often think about digital art. But, in fact, digital art is a large part of the growing NFT economy (which now has $3 billion in market capitalization). We are seeing the intersection of art and cryptocurrencies explode. With pieces like CryptoKitties (which recently sold for $110,000), a digital artwork’s popularity can skip across markets – from collectors on eBay or Amazon to players on decentralized exchanges.
As blockchain technology moves from the world of finance to other industry verticals, a range of new opportunities for innovation have been created. In recent months, the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFT) has enabled digital artists, collectors, and industry professionals to create unique forms of art that are peer-to-peer verified for authenticity. These works can be bought and sold among users on the Ethereum blockchain—providing a unique opportunity for digital entrepreneurs to showcase their talent and build a loyal fanbase.
Art has been a part of digital culture since the very beginning. Pieces like Ico’s Yorda or the Glitch were recognized as works of art and praised for their beauty long before they became interactive worlds. As NFT art becomes more popular, it is no surprise to see it being appraised by mainstream financial organizations. Even the Winklevoss twins own a billion-dollar NFT marketplace, Nifty Gateway. But the real collectors go to foundation or rarible, where exceptional artists like Tory Bryant and Jonathan Quintin are creating mesmerizing works for this new world.
Next-generation artwork is here to stay, and with valuations reaching the tens of millions of dollars, digital art collecting is now a global phenomenon that has rapidly transformed the art world in its wake. Even famed investor Mark Cuban is a fan, owing the buzz to the “joy of ownership.” The NBA has gotten into the NFT game, with Top Shot, an online marketplace to own the digital equivalent of trading cards. It has over 65,000 active traders, making it the hottest NFT marketplace right now.
As the collectibles market gains in popularity, it is inevitable that the most successful digital asset economies will be adopted by mainstream investors and hedge funds. A decentralized “in-game” assets economy is already transforming the gaming industry. As blockchain technology’s adoption rate increases, so too will video game asset transactions.
The most fascinating element is the ability for emerging artists to find an audience and monetize it. Keep a lookout for upcoming brand activity to bring even more attention to the space, like Pringles, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and even Charmin Toilet paper have recently done.
-James Rice, Digital Experience