What Is Crypto Art?

Crypto art is a hot topic that’s dominated investment news in recent months. But if you’re in the dark about what crypto art is, you’re certainly not alone. 

This is a topic that seemed to come out of nowhere then suddenly was everywhere. This article will explain what is crypto art, what is NFT, how to buy them, and where they’re sold.

 

So What Is Crypto Art? 

Crypto art is a digital art form. It is treated like physical artwork collections, and owners may have verified ownership of a piece of crypto art. The art world has long had established systems for collection paintings or sculptures

But until now, although it was produced, there was no clear way for people to collect digital artwork. Crypto art and NFTs allow you to do just that.

Crypto art can take many forms, from digital graphics to music, VR dreamscapes, or programmable art. These digital assets can have a collector’s value and can represent items, including still graphic images, photography, GIFs, videos, music, and much more.   

The crypto art concept revolves around the idea of digital scarcity. With this mindset, you treat digital art like physical goods and buy, sell, trade, and collect it. Like traditional art, Crypto Art exists in limited quantities, and in some cases, buyers can purchase the rights to partial royalties and reproduction of the artwork.

Crypto art is usually digital artwork, but it can also be physical art tracked in a blockchain or “crypto” system. Many of the works available in the crypto art niche are crypto-themed artworks, with subject matters that are focusing on digital culture and technology. 

These artworks often have themes tied to modern politics or blockchain and cryptocurrencies or their economics and philosophy. However, it is also possible to publicly register and authenticate physical artworks using crypto technology. Blockchain helps to differentiate the artwork from forgery and verify the ownership of an artwork.

 

 

 

What are you doing Homer - Angelo Accardi - Eden Gallery


Is Crypto Art Genuine? 

Yes, crypto art can be authenticated and is usually genuine. Just as paintings are signed and authenticated, crypto art can be verified. The verification is completed using a non-fungible token, commonly referred to as an NFT. 

Crypto art or “NFT-based artworks” have been selling for thousands or even millions of dollars through reputable auction houses such as Christie’s over the past year.

 

How Do You Buy Crypto Art?

The NFTs used to buy crypto art are built on blockchain technology. If you’re already familiar with cryptocurrency or blockchain, it will be easier to wrap your head around how NFTs work. 

Blockchain technology is also used for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Etherium, and yes, even DOGE coins. The blockchain offers a secure, digital record of transactions. 

The blockchain acts like a “digital ledger” and serves as incorruptible proof of ownership. Using this system, artworks and their ownership can always be tracked via the blockchain. When you add NFTs to the equation, you are also adding an incorruptible proof of authenticity to this “Digital Ledger.”

NFTs also offer something not available to currently available analog art formats. That something extra is royalties. With an NFT, a digital artist can define what percentage of future sales are due back to the artist and what percentage below to the buyer or collector.

Crypto art and its associated marketplaces use a given crypto network. In the case of NFTs, most, but not all, use the Ethereum network, meaning all transactions are carried out in Ethereum. However, you don’t always need to own Ethereum cryptocurrency to purchase the art on these sites. 

Policies vary, so in some cases, you may need to own cryptocurrency to purchase crypto art. It’s essential to have at least a fundamental knowledge of how blockchain and cryptocurrency work. Treat this as an investment and do some research before spending your hard-earned Etherium on a piece of Crypto Art.

 

Who Are the Crypto Artists? 

Many of the most famous crypto artists have been well known in the digital art space for some time. Some, like the DJ Deadmau5, Micah Johnson, or the artist Grimes are already well-known names. Others maintain their anonymity by using pseudonyms in the style of street artists. 

Some of the artists dominating the NFT scene were already well-established and successful commercial artists, working with brands such as Apple or Nike. Others are younger, newer artists finding their audience in a digital-first world. 

The beauty of crypto art is its democratization of the art scene. Technology has allowed a wider variety of artists and digital creators to get their work out to the world and find new fans and buyers. 

One of the biggest names in the digital art market right now is Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple. People burst onto the crypto art scene in 2020 and very quickly made $3.5 million from the auction of multiple editions of three digital artworks. His work has since been auctioned at Christie’s, where his piece “Everyday: The First 5000 days” sold for $69.3 million in March 2021. 
 

Beeple - Crypto Art


Another artist causing a buzz in the crypto art world right now is Pest Supply. Pest Supply is a digital artist producing artwork that takes inspiration from the street artist Banksy. His satires drew attention and press coverage and netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales through NFTS in early 2021 alone. 

Trevor Jones is a visual artist who started out painting on canvas before he moved into digital artforms like QR codes and augmented reality. Since breaking into the crypto art scene, he’s topped lists with the highest bids on NFT marketplaces. In Feb 2021, his work “Bitcoin Angel” set a record as the most expensive open-edition NFT artwork sold at the time, raking in $3.2 million.

While all crypto artists are different, there are some commonalities across artists. Crypto artists are often digitally native and tech-savvy; they also tend to be CryptoPatrons or early adopters of cryptocurrency. It would be very difficult for a crypto artist to sell NFTs if they didn’t understand cryptocurrency or didn’t fundamentally have faith in it as an investment. 

Like other contemporary art movements, such as street art or graffiti, the crypto art world comes with a high degree of anonymity. It’s very common for artists to use a pseudonym rather than their real name. 


Crypto art - Alec Monopoly - Eden Gallery


Can Crypto Art Be Copied?

It can be difficult to wrap your head around the idea of buying digital art that can be copied. You can certainly copy a digital file, including art sold with an NFT. In some cases, the owner can buy the rights to reproduction, although artists usually retain this. 

An NFT grants you ownership of the work, but it can be copied with permission or illegally. This is not actually that different from the reproductions we see all the time of traditional artwork. Just as the Mona Lisa has been reproduced countless times in print and digital, so too can crypto art. But only one person can own the original of any artwork.

 

Crypto Art Platforms

The Ethereum blockchain is one of the most popular networks for digital artists to join and sell their artwork on. With no less than 20+ individual marketplaces available on Ethereum, it is currently the most extensive network for crypto art. Each marketplace on Ethereum caters to its own specific artistic style, so you can find something that suits your niche or style. 

Some marketplaces like Raible and Mintable offer a complete range of digital art. Others like Ephemera cater mainly to photographers. The digital art marketplace is a constantly changing world, with new entries popping up almost weekly. 

Most, but not all, crypto art marketplaces require a portfolio review to gain entry. The ones who do are quite obvious upon inspection of the site. So, make sure you are working with the most reputable and focused marketplace for each artistic medium.

Sites like the aforementioned Raible, Mintable, and Ephemera are older and more established in the crypto marketplace world, so they are highly regarded. But don’t let that stop you from searching out other marketplaces like those below.

 

Major Crypto Art Marketplaces

  • ArtOlin
  • Cryto.com NFT
  • Ethereum
  • EOSIO
  • Flow
  • Hive
  • Near
  • Phantasm
  • Tezos
  • Waves
  • Zilliqa
  • VeChain Thor

It’s always a good idea to look around and do some research before making a big purchase or investment. Just as you would when buying art from galleries, do your due diligence before purchasing an artwork, be it analog or digital!

 

Conclusion 

Just as they say about classical artwork, you may not know much about crypto art, but you know what you like. There are many different genres of crypto art available, so if you go looking, you’re likely to find something that suits your taste. If you like the work of a digital crypto artist, then crypto art could be a good investment. 

 


 

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