How NFTs Are Taking Over the Art World

Blockchain is a powerful disruptive force able to change many aspects of society; especially the art world.


The creation of art as a blockchain-based asset is set to change the art world, and in doing so, will assure the rights of the artists and their work is protected. 


How Blockchain Technology Helps The Art World

There are several ways in which blockchain technology is helping re-shape the art world, the most important being the element of traceability. Potential buyers, sellers and the artists themselves can easily trace the journey of the piece of art; from the studio right to the front door of the buyer. All events are recorded and traceable on the blockchain, which allows all the parties to follow the journey of the artwork and to assure its journey is on the right track. Alongside this, transactions are non-repudiable through cryptography, ensuring that the ownership of the product is secure and valid, and the history of the item's journey is fixed and permanent. 


In addition to this, blockchain technology assures the authenticity of the art and helps to prevent against the increasing risk of art forgery and fraud. Apps such as Ascribe are used by artists to verify provenance in real-time. The app assures authenticity by generating a certificate of ownership for each piece of artwork in the form of a unique cryptographic ID, which is then uploaded onto the software. With the ID, an interested buyer is able to retrieve the entire history of the art in question. 


The Benefit of NFT Art

But what is the benefit of turning digital art into NFTs and why have people gone crazy for it?

NFTs give artists more exposure and lets them make money in a range of ways that is not possible in the traditional art world. Even after the NFT is sold, artists are compensated and receive a percentage for every sale or trade. An in-built royalty system which is missing from the physical market, where artists feel like their work is quickly resold on the secondary market. As well as this, crypto artists are able to exhibit their work on specialised platforms and in digital galleries. There is no need for a middleman to facilitate the selling of the digital art and the process is much quicker. 

The Future of NFT Art 

From celebrities to sports players, art dealers to crypto fanatics, everyone is hyped by this new form of regulated digital art. But they don’t come cheap. The most expensive NFT was sold for 69.3 million USD at Christie’s auction house. It was a collection of 5000 different digital art pieces collated into one NFT and was curated by Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple.

 But this new financially transparent model for trading and sharing art has now come under fire. As soon as people realised that almost anything digital could be labeled as art and sold, the art movement took a sharp turn. The likes of A-List celebrities profited off their fame to sell and trade multi-million dollar NFTs, such as CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, who sold an image of the first ever tweet for 2.9 million USD. Taking advantage of the technology and their fame to make millions of dollars from NFTs, some critics say they are unfairly playing the system at the expense of the hard-working digital artists who need the capital more. 

On the other hand, critics say that NFT art is changing the art world and, along with it, is encouraging a new evolution of innovative artists who want to reap the benefits of this technology. Considered as a representation of modern interest in a format which is technologically apt for the time, NFT art is here to stay and there is even discussion of a new wave of art on the horizon. 



Date: 21/7/2022

Source: Ryo Takahashi, 'How can creative industries benefit from blockchain?', McKinsey&Company