What are NFTs, the digital art for which some are paying millions of dollars

What are NFTs, the digital art for which some are paying millions of dollars

BERLIN – The new digital art format based on blockchain technology has already sparked a revolution that is allowing creators to disseminate their works without intermediaries, as has previously happened with music and streaming platforms.

As has happened for years in the music industry, where artists can upload their creations to streaming platforms such as Spotify or YouTube, the technology of NFTs (Non-Fungible Token or cryptographic token) now also allows plastic artists publish their works in virtual spaces and, in addition, sell them for up to millions of dollars.

“We all wondered what the art revolution was going to be, something like Spotify was for music: now we have it”, explains in an interview Johann König, artistic curator and owner of the König Galerie, one of the leading centers of the contemporary art in Berlin.

WHAT DOES IT CONSIST OF AND HOW IS IT FOR SALE?

NFTs are digital assets that thanks to blockchain technology – the same that sustains cryptocurrencies – creates an unalterable record of unique and original digital content that cannot be copied without losing its cryptographic signature of authenticity, to the one that everyone has access to on the internet and that allows verifying the origin of that content.

In the case of art, this application is assuming a revolution, since the creator can register his work -generally a JPG or PNG file- as an NFT and upload it to an online “gallery”, such as Nifty Gateway, Open Sea or Rarible .

The buyer accesses these applications for the sale of NFT works from his computer, mobile or tablet and there he can acquire them with cryptocurrencies and certify both their authenticity and the ownership of the work.

We tell you what it is about.

But despite being a mainly digital art, it is possible to visit physical exhibitions in which to see recreations of digital works, as is the case of the exhibition “The artist is online” exhibited at the König Galerie in Berlin.

Thus, crypto art – which was born in 2017 by the hand of Dapper Labs with its CryptoKitties, a collection kitty game that revolutionized the world of “blockchain” – offers painters opportunities to make themselves known similar to those they already have. of the musicians.

A REVOLUTION FOR ARTISTS AND INVESTORS

The arrival of NFT art is, according to König, a “revolution” for the art world, since it is breaking the rules that have traditionally governed it and is democratizing artistic production.

Millionaire sales such as those of the American Beeple, who sold his NFT work “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” in March for $ 69 million at Christie’s auction house, consolidate, according to the artistic curator, this incipient and “very promising” market for artists and collectors.

For König, it is a new option both for those who already have recognition in the art world, and for those who cannot publish their creations through traditional media.

Attachment missing With patience and diligence, this artist creates unique art using waste.

“Imagine, we have our database of 700,000 artists and only seven galleries. So only one percent of creators can access it. So it’s great that artists can now publish themselves,” says König.

The German Annette Doms, art historian and expert in new artistic trends related to new technologies, indicates for her part in an online interview with Efe that crypto art has come to lift some artists out of poverty.

“There is a young artist, I think here in Germany, who lived practically in destitution. But the NFTs arrived and he quickly sold a work of his for $ 200,000. So, this happens, it is a possibility to get rich by selling a work of crypto art”, manifests.

Hundreds of artisans start working months before.

This technology also marks a turning point in the world of art investment and trading, since, according to Doms, investors can find a new market that is just beginning to be exploited.

For collectors, therefore, it could be very profitable and promising to invest in this nascent world of digital art. But he adds that, being a market based on cryptocurrencies, it is not without risk.

A MORE POLLUTING ART

One of the main criticisms of the universe of cryptocurrencies and crypto art is the pollution they produce. This concern, according to König, has also reached the art world.

He explains that, as interest in NFT art increases and the volume of sales and transactions increases, the greater the climate impact they produce due to the cost of electricity involved in producing cryptocurrencies.

“Pollution is a real problem and its relation to NFT art as well. So we are looking for a way to minimize the ecological impact of this new phenomenon”, comments König.