Digital art is still in its growth phases as it is growing in popularity but is still nowhere near the market size of traditional art forms. With the recent introduction of NFTs, digital art has seen a rapid growth of the buying and trading, although at times it raises more questions than it answers.
What Is An NFT?
A NFT is a none-fungible token, or simply put, a noninterchangeable or repeatable set of data stored on the blockchain. These sets or units of data are uniquely identifiable on the blockchain, making it different from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which can be directly replaced and is not easily identifiable. To any normal readers who have not been following the progress of crypto technology, this may seem like absolute gibberish.
In short, a NFT is a piece of digital art be it music, picture or video, which is individual, purchasable and sellable. Many people have argued against NFTs calling them a scam and many argue for them saying they are the future of art collection; the truth falls somewhere in the middle of both arguments. NFTs stand to be a game changer for the art world or a massive failure, only the future will tell. For now, there are a few benefits and potential downsides, depending on where in this process you lay.
For a digital artist, NFTs are a blessing. This brings a platform and ability to sell digital art for a good price and reap the rewards of their efforts. You still own the copyright to your work in most cases, think of it as selling an original painting. Traditional Digital artists stand to benefit greatly from increased traffic of potential buyers. Unfortunately, when it comes to artists selling their original artwork, they are in the minority right now.
Collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club are responsible for the biggest NFT market share and seem more to be about a show of wealth rather than an appreciation of art. These ape like avatars act as a ticket to join an exclusive online social club, which to the majority of critics, defeats the point of selling art. The avatars themselves are interesting but bland, seeming to be slightly tweaked variations of the same image. At the moment, the minimum cost for a Bored Apes NFT is 70 ether, or around $3000 at the time of writing.
NFTs are in themselves a fantastic way to support digital artists you enjoy. The traditional methods of buying a print of an artwork can be difficult from remote locations and is never truly as special as owning a unique item. This allows customers to own a unique artwork and support their favourite artists at the same time.
On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of customers who see the tie in to cryptocurrency and are trying to treat NFT as an investment opportunity. This may work for larger collections like the Bored Apes, but could be at the expense of the real smaller scale digital artists.