NFT technology, Harrison says, provides a way to attach a price tag to digital art, taking advantage of that primary high-quality storage instinct – the demand for Veblen goods with the status desired only insofar as they are expensive, which is behind many collectors’ drive. Mix this with a frothy community eager to trade and remember each new sleek construction adjacent to the blockchain at significant prices and the trick is done.
“In this digital world, we have accelerators: suddenly you can get three or four times more than you paid for something – tomorrow there is someone ready to buy it,” says Harrison. Even better, blockchains can also track in a safe, unchanging way how it arises and changes hands over time. “Provenance is obviously an important part of the value of art,”
The crowd buying NFT-related art is diverse. Some of its members are cryptocurrency tycoons who are looking for the latest thing to dip their savings into. “People who were in crypto early and have a lot of ether [Ethereum’s cryptocurrency]”They’re looking for ways to use it,” said James Beck, director of communications and content at ConsenSys, a blockchain company that created the NFT storage and management application. They want to show, Beck says, that they are “patrons of art on the Internet.”
It helps that some NFT markets allow people to showcase their purchases like in an online gallery or museum. Jamie Burke, founder and CEO of blockchain investment company Outlier Ventures and an NFT enthusiast, is one of those looking to find his new role as a supporter of the digital arts. Burke says he was initially excluded from early, “self-referential” works of art focused on cryptocurrency – strewn with bitcoin characters 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 an art in and of itself that I would buy, and I liked the idea that I could have a unique digital edition of it,” he says. “I just started to personally collect and try to find new artists and professionals who come into space. I’m building a little collection. “That doesn’t mean he refuses a good deal when he introduces himself. On February 13, he sold NFT, for which he paid $ 500, for $ 20,000 on the air. Announcing the sale on Twitter, Burke said he would use the return to buy more art.
Harrison says that while the market is currently crawling with speculators who would buy and turn over any blockchain-based asset in the hope that it will increase in value, bona fide collectors are increasingly getting involved. “It’s a combination of people who are just speculative and people who want to collect and have something great,” 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 habit of hot collecting. If everyone buys to speculate, it doesn’t work, then it just becomes another marketable sign. “
Some digital artists welcome the trend. Most platforms are easy to use, allowing them to upload their works, automatically forge NFT and wait for offers to rain – and they are often higher than the amount they would receive if they tried to sell their digital works to art online or as prints. Brendan Dawes, a British graphic designer and artist who creates digital images using machine learning and algorithms, says the imprint of one of his works usually sells for $ 2,000, while his latest NFT sells for $ 37,000.
Profits don’t stop there. NFTs can be designed to pay their creators a cryptocurrency fee each time they change owners. If a buyer resells one of Dawes’ pieces, Dawes automatically receives 10 percent of the price paid. “This is again one of the differences compared to the traditional world. You get this constant royalty.