If the very lucrative NFT market arouses envy, it is only sometimes understood by everyone. To know how NFTs have changed the art world, we will see an NFT before discovering how to obtain and exploit them as artists.
What Is An NFT?
NFT comes from the English “Non-Fungible Token” Simply put, it is a digital object recorded on the blockchain, which can be a work of art, a video, or even a GIF, and sold on the Internet.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology allows information to be stored and managed, decentralized and securely. Imagine a large spreadsheet shared among many people, but they need complete control over it. Each cell (a block) records information and is linked to the others chronologically to form a chain. Each block then contains a unique set of data and identifiers. This makes the NFTs recorded on the blockchain special: they are amazing.
Indeed, each NFT has a unique identifier and associated metadata, making it possible to verify its provenance, authenticity and ownership. Because of this uniqueness, the NFT is never duplicable and is said to be non-fungible.
NFTs can represent digital assets such as digital artwork, videos, audio clips, virtual collectibles, video game items, recorded sports videos, property, etc. NFTs guarantee the provenance and ownership history of digital assets, which can be helpful for collectors and investors.
Once NFTs are created on the blockchain, they are sold online through cryptocurrency transactions.
What Is Meant By Cryptocurrency?
Although blockchain-based, cryptocurrencies and NFTs differ significantly, especially in their nature and function.
Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, are digital currency forms designed to be a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies are mainly used for online financial transactions or store value. They also have many advantages for selling art and unique digital assets because they are very secure, transparent and easily transferable from one point to another globally.
Now that you know more about the main concepts covered in this article, let’s get to the heart of the matter. Find out how NFTs have changed the world of virtual art.
How Are NFTs Disrupting The Virtual Art Market?
We have seen it well in recent years. With sales of digital works at exorbitant prices, the NFT has wholly disrupted the virtual art market. A brief overview of the advantages that make NFT the ideal format for selling digital art.
A unique and authentic character without equal
This is the leading quality of NFT for selling art. If until 2017, pieces of music, videos and images could be copied without being able to dissociate them from the original, this has changed with the NFT. Indeed, blockchain technology makes it possible to stamp digital files with an authenticity marker that cannot be forged. Each digital work in the form of an NFT is unique. On the one hand, this format guarantees the artist that no copy of his work can pass for the original, and on the other hand, to the buyer that he has the actual work.
This unique and necessarily authentic character has also driven up the value of art NFTs. Like any minimal edition object, these arouse covetousness. This is how works of art in the form of NFTs have been seen to sell for millions of dollars. This phenomenon has drastically changed the way digital artists earn their living.
Better compensation for digital artists
NFTs have played a significant role in the digital art revolution. They have introduced new possibilities for artists and creators to monetize and sell their digital works, which were previously easily copied and shared online without direct ownership control.
In addition, they now have dedicated platforms, which we will discuss later, to promote themselves and sell their works directly to digital art lovers. Artists, therefore, have more control over sales. NFTs, for example, allow them to benefit from royalties on secondary deals. When the NFT is resold, the artist can program a percentage of the sale for themselves, which offers them the potential for additional income as the value increases of their work. Since sales platforms have facilitated transactions, purchasing digital art has become more democratic.
The democratization of the purchase of art
The emergence of NFTs has breathed new life into digital art for several reasons. First, it is a new technology – and like any innovation, it has generated a lot of enthusiasm from the public. Today, there is a real community of NFT collectors, just like traditional art collectors. Advances in technology have also made it easier for digital artists to distribute their work at scale. They make themselves known more efficiently, and their art increases in value.
This direct access to artists and works is very popular with the public. Buyers appreciate the “limited edition” aspect and the authenticated uniqueness of NFTs, which gives them the certainty of having the original.
Finally, digital art is more than just about paintings in 2023. Today, gifs, video clips, memes and tweets are exchanged for cryptocurrencies thanks to NFTs. Added is the ability to split ownership of a large digital art into several thousand tokens. You can now be the owner of a fraction of a digital sculpture without paying an astronomical sum.
Thus, NFTs helped put pop culture on the art market while making the latter more accessible, and today, we are witnessing a real craze for art among people who were not interested in it at all before. Now that you know how NFT has revolutionized the digital world, you may want to start as a collector or artist. Here is all you need to know.
Getting Into The NFT Art Market
To better understand how to get by on the NFT market, we will detail the process from creating a work to its sale.
Selling your digital works on the art NFT market: how does it work?
First, the works generally sold in NFT are works created in a digital format, that is, JPEG, GIF, or even MP4. Once you have the job you want to sell, you must go through tokenization. This process consists of transforming the digital asset into a unique NFT. This is done using a blockchain-based platform like Ethereum, which allows NFTs to be created, traded, and sold.
When creating an NFT, we say we are doing ” mintage “. The artist uploads the artwork to the chosen blockchain platform and generates an NFT that represents that artwork. The NFT then contains information such as ownership and provenance of the painting. The uniqueness of the artist’s work is therefore guaranteed.
Subsequently, it is possible to have art NFT checked by independent organizations or experts to obtain a certificate of authenticity. This adds value and trust to the digital artwork. However, this step is optional to put the NFT on sale on a dedicated market platform.
Market platforms dedicated to NFT
There are several popular platforms for selling NFT art. Here are some of the most well-known online shopping platforms:
- OpenSea: OpenSea is currently the largest NFT market platform. It offers various digital artwork categories, including images, videos, games, etc. On the OpenSea platform, the means of payment accepted depend on the blockchain on which the NFT operates. Currently, OpenSea supports payments with Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency for most transactions.
- Rarible is a platform that allows artists to create and sell their NFTs. It emphasizes community building and is known for involving sellers and acquirers in platform governance decisions through voting.
- Nifty Gateway: Nifty Gateway is an NFT sales platform created by the Winklevoss brothers. It showcases digital artwork, artist collections, and exclusive drops, all on a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to shop using credit cards.
NFT Price Definition
Several factors come into play when determining the price of digital art NFTs. These are more or less the same as for classic works of art. Thus, we must first take into account the rarity of the NFT. If it is a limited edition or an NFT that represents an integral work, the latter is more likely to see its price increase. The traditional law of supply and demand explains this.
In addition, the artist’s reputation also plays a significant role in the sale price. Established and prevalent artists sometimes charge higher fees because of their status and credibility in the art world.
Note that the NFT market is still relatively new and constantly evolving. NFT prices can be highly volatile and vary widely depending on economic and social factors. Do your research, consider market trends and consult specialists to estimate the value of an NFT before buying or selling.
How do I get NFTs?
To buy an art NFT, you must go to one of the abovementioned platforms. Once you have chosen the NFT to acquire, it is essential to verify the details of the work, such as the artist, description and authenticity. Specialists also advise consulting the comments or ratings left by other users to understand better the artist’s reputation or the quality of the work.
Purchasing NFT is done in cryptocurrency: you must, therefore, have a cryptocurrency wallet compatible with the blockchain used by the market platform. For example, to purchase OpenSea, you will need an Ethereum-compatible cryptocurrency wallet, such as MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, or Trust Wallet. You must connect your wallet to the platform via a browser extension or a dedicated application.
Once you are ready to buy the NFT, you can submit an offer or select the “Buy Now” option if the price is fixed. You will then need to confirm the transaction by following the instructions in your cryptocurrency wallet. This may involve verifying the recipient’s address, confirming the transaction amount and fees, and electronically signing the transaction. The transaction must be confirmed on the blockchain.
Finally, once the transaction is confirmed, the NFT is transferred from the seller’s address to your wallet address. The blockchain records this transaction, attesting to your ownership of the NFT.
Why are works sold in NFT format controversial?
While NFTs have revolutionized the art world and contributed to better compensation for digital artists, they are imperfect. Many critics of NFTs denounce, in particular, their heavy carbon footprint. Indeed, NFTs operate on the blockchain, a particularly energy-intensive concept. For example, the visual artist Joanie Lemercier calculated the energy consumption of the sale of six of her works in the form of NFT. In 10 seconds, this sale consumed more electricity than his entire studio for two years. While the concept of NFTs is a good idea, it is essential to consider its drawbacks.