NFT art is a highly searched term on Google Trends and NFT has actually replaced cryptocurrency as a more highly-searched term. Obviously, there are a lot of people interested in what NFTs are and more specifically, what NFT art is. In this post we’ll demystify NFT art.
What is NFT art?
When art and blockchain technology are combined we call it crypto art. Crypto art, a sub-ecosystem of cryptocurrencies, aims to preserve immutable digital art such as music, paintings, collectibles, and memorabilia.
Crypto art is stored on the blockchain as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that have a monetary value. Like traditional art forms, the value of crypto art or NFTs is heavily influenced by the creator’s credibility, the art’s rarity, and collector demand.
NFTs and other digital art collectibles can be publicly verified for authenticity and ownership change. This ensures that each work of art is unique and has a monetary value. Let’s explore the world of crypto art.
Artists who create/recreate pieces for blockchain storage are the main drivers of the crypto art landscape. Although NFTs can represent a variety of digital elements, the first step is to create digital artwork. It is possible to create digital art using free software and a computer in the form of GIFs, JPEGs and videos.
While digital art can be easily copied and distributed via the internet, crypto artists must certify and mint a non fungible token to link the art to its authenticity. Once certified, the art can be sold on online marketplaces like OpenSea and Nifty Gateway.
Artists are expected to create, mint, and sell unique NFTs while respecting the ownership of other artworks.
What makes NFT art possible?
Neal Stephenson, author of Snow Crash, coined the term metaverse in 1992. It was the first time a fully interactive virtual world with human avatars and 3D digital objects was imagined, or at least put down on paper.
For example, Metaverse uses digital art to represent objects in a fully-functional virtual world. Toys and shoes are among the virtual items that can be bought and sold in the Metaverse.
People from all over the world can participate in online meetups for conferences, meetings, and parties. An example of a metaverse event is group virtual reality concerts or even yoga classes.
Metaverses are being used in the gaming industry to create open-world games, like Axle Infinity, based on the emerging digital ecosystem. Gamification transforms metaverses into interactive virtual worlds explorable by user-created avatars.
For now, major social media and tech companies are still exploring various use cases aimed at improving customer engagement.
Facebook quickly renamed itself “Meta” to better align with the metaverse’s development. Numerous tech behemoths are also investigating metaverse capabilities to identify new revenue streams and customer engagement tools.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
Crypto art relies on nonfungible tokens to secure ownership rights. NFTs, like JPEG, GIF, and 3D images, contain metadata that proves value and ownership over a public blockchain.
NFTs are now used to represent real-world objects in metaverses and other virtual worlds. Online virtual stores allow consumers to buy digital clothing, shoes, property, and other goods.
Moreover, the true market value of NFTs is determined by their rarity and public demand. Popular applications of NFT include the release of music albums and the distribution of awards and fan tokens at sporting events.
Artists use this emerging landscape to create art and market it to potential buyers worldwide. This allows enthusiasts to recreate famous paintings and offer collectors a piece of history.
The price of hanging the crypto art on your wall
It is possible to copy and duplicate cryptographic art by simply downloading it or taking a screenshot, but this removes the art’s most important feature: its metadata.
Before it can be called NFT and have a monetary value, digital art must be given a unique ID. As a result, the NFTs’ unique ID confirms the legitimacy of the art’s value and ownership. Depending on the service provider and blockchain host, the cost of minting an NFT can range from $1 to $900. Unrealistic gas prices can drive up NFT minting costs.
An NFT artwork’s unique ID can be verified across a public blockchain network. When crypto art is sold or transferred, the metadata is time stamped on the blockchain. An NFT can be worth a few dollars or millions of dollars depending on its rarity and collector demand.
NFT marketplaces help artists create non fungible digital art. Typically, a native blockchain cryptocurrency wallet and cryptocurrency payment are used. The creator must pay transaction fees or gas fees to update the blockchain with the crypto art’s metadata, as determined by the blockchain network’s stress or current transactional capacity.
Pros and Cons
While rewarding, the NFT market has opened new doors for scammers and bad actors to prey on unsuspecting investors and collectors. Investors and enthusiasts are advised to thoroughly research NFTs before making any commitments or purchases.
Investors should also verify the NFTs’ metadata on their respective blockchains. In the case of NFTs, this includes information about minting, blockchain host, ownership, and creator details. The blockchain’s data is the only way to verify a crypto art offering’s legitimacy.
Because NFTs are resale items, their creators’ credibility and value are directly linked. Authenticity does not guarantee high (or any) resale value. The resale value of NFTs is determined solely by investor sentiment.
For better or worse a lot of the value of a piece of art depends mainly on social engagement. You can be the next Picasso or Van Gogh but if nobody follows your work and more importantly, sees that you have no social engagement, your art won’t be worth much on the open market.
Why not just right click and copy the art?
Contrary to popular belief, copying crypto art is not as simple as saving a copy locally on a computer. Besides, this is stealing.
To “save” an NFT avatar (Bored Ape for example), the user ends up saving an identical copy of the image but misses out on capturing the NFT component.
It’s the same as saving a picture of the Mona Lisa and using it as your Twitter profile pic. There’s no inherent value because everyone knows it’s not an original. In fact Twitter is now verifying NFTs used as profile pics.
In many cases, an artist retains ownership of an NFT, allowing them to create and sell multiple copies of the same work. But metadata distinguishes ownership of similar-looking NFTs and ensures the creator’s credibility.
People who believe in NFTs and the increasing mainstream adoption will determine the future of crypto art. Because popular artists, musicians, athletes, and celebrities are involved, crypto art has attracted a large number of people willing to buy, sell, and collect.
With increased adoption, NFTs are fast encroaching on virtual asset purchases such as limited edition clothing, property, etc. Major brands like Nike, Adidas and Coach are heavy into the metaverse, buying up both digital property and NFT design studios allowing them to sell virtual merchandise.
While the potential of cryptocurrencies, especially crypto art, has yet to be fully explored, the emerging technology has already altered our perception of valuable collectibles and art. In the future, crypto art may be used to create a virtual representation of every aspect of our lives.
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Jay Speakman is a technology writer based in San Francisco, California. He writes on the topics of blockchain, cryptocurrency, DeFi and other disruptive technologies. Clients include Avalanche, Be[in]Crypto, Trust Machines and several blogs devoted to blockchain gaming. He will not rest until fiat currency is defeated.