Artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, just sold an NFT for a record 69.3 million dollars, the third highest price a living artist would ever reach. The sale, at Christie’s, for pure digital work is the strongest sign that NFTs, or “indestructible tokens”, have taken the art market by storm, creating Take the leap from professional websites into top auction houses. Beeple, a newcomer to the art world who first heard of NFTs five months ago, is the most popular artist to profit from the huge boom in hyped sales. but this poor understanding.
If you’ve heard of them and want to know what the noise is, here’s a summary.
What is “Token cannot be used” or NFT?
NFT is a blockchain-verified asset in which a network of computers records transactions and provides buyers with proof of authenticity and ownership. The current boom is mainly for digital assets, including images, GIFs, songs or videos. Most importantly, the NFT makes digital artwork unique and therefore sellable.
Now artists, musicians, influencers and sports franchises are using the NFT to monetize previously digital goods cheaply or free. This technology also fulfills the need for authenticity and origin of the art world in an increasingly digital world, permanently linking a digital file with its creator.
Who is the seller? Is that the artist?
Winkelmann sold the artwork herself through Christie’s.
When does this become a thing?
Technology for the NFT has been around since the mid-2010s but became mainstream in late 2017 with CryptoKitties, a site that allows people to buy and breed gender-version digital cats. term by electronic money.
Now, with the value of cryptocurrencies reaching record highs, a number of similar investors who speculate on them are buying and trading NFTs, often at sky-high prices. Beeple is the most famous artist making huge money, but today there are a lot of illustrators, video and graphic artists selling works for high prices.
If I buy an NFT, do I own the artwork?
Sort. NFT buyers will not necessarily have copyright, or even exclusive access to, a work. (Many will remain available to anyone with an internet connection.) But some are willing to pay generously, to claim ownership of “verifiable real things.”
In fact, the art world is already familiar with this genre of buying and selling. To give an example, anyone can stick a banana against the wall, but it is not Maurizio Cattelan’s “Comedian”. Likewise, someone could easily make a digital copy of Beeple’s “Everyday – First 5000 Days” just by downloading it through their internet browser, but even though the content would be identical. each other, they won’t own the artwork without blockchain verification.
How big is the market?
According to the NFT 2020 Report, published by L’Atelier BNP Paribas and Nonfungible.com, the value of the NFT market increased 299% by 2020, when it was valued at more than $ 250 million. But the first few months of 2021 have seen staggering sales, even before this auction.
Is this the first NFT ever sold by Christie’s?
Is not. It was the first fully digital NFT. The first NFT that the auction house sold was actually a token that validates a physical picture, Robert Alice’s “Block 21” from the “Portrait of a Mind” series.
But… is this art?
Beeple’s work has been compared to the work of KAWS or Banksy, two other artists who have surpassed art world gatekeepers to set sky-high selling prices. But in the end, NFT is a technology used to authenticate a work of art; Whether or not a work is art is up to the viewer. This technology can also be used to authenticate other types of objects. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, is currently selling his first tweet as an NFT in a timed charity auction. Bid reached $ 2.5 million on Thursday.
Erin Griffith contributed to the report.