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Current Affairs

Blockchain art

Date: 01 March 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Digital art is gaining widespread popularity with increase in demand. Now, it is making its debut in the high-ranking auction circuit.

 

Background

American artist Mike Winkelmann’s work at a Christie’s online auction is taking place from February 25 to March 11. This is also the first time a major auction house will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

 

Details

Transactions

  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital tokens tied to an artwork using blockchain technology, including details regarding provenance and authenticity of artwork.

  • Blockchain introduces what is termed as “digital scarcity”, involving issuing a limited number of copies of an artwork with a unique token (a unique string of numbers that can be used as a digital representation of a physical asset). 

 

Rising popularity

  • The blockchain art movement includes a vast gambit, from bitcoin graffiti art to artworks such as The Last Bitcoin Supper by French artist Youl, which sold for nearly $3,000 on eBay in 2014.

  • Several digital marketplaces such as Zora, SuperRare, Foundation and Nifty Gateway have emerged in the last few years, where collectors can trade digital works.

  • The total value of the crypto art market today has reached $80 million, with over 60,000 artworks sold so far.

  • While Beeple is estimated to have sold artwork worth over $7 million, other popular digital artists include Pak, Trevor Jones and José Delbo.