Encryption Technology is detonating another rich field
In October 2020, Miami-based art collector Rodriguez-Frelai bought a 10-second video artwork (he could have watched it online for free) for nearly $67,000. In February 2021, he sold it for $6.6 million.
This video by digital artist Bipper (real name Mike Winkelmann) has been certified by the blockchain, that is, digital signatures are made through the blockchain to prove who owns the video and prove that it is the original.
This is a new type of digital asset (known as non-fungible “token” (NFT)) that has become popular during the epidemic, and enthusiasts and investors are vying to spend huge sums of money on commodities that only exist on the Internet. .
Blockchain technology enables the unique characteristics of these items to be publicly certified, unlike traditional online items that can be copied endlessly.
Rodriguez-Frelai said: “You can go to the Louvre to take a photo of the Mona Lisa, but it has no value, because anyone can have the same thing.”
Freile said that the first time he bought Bipper’s work was because he knew the American artist. He believes that the very value hidden here lies in the person behind it.
“Non-fungible” refers to items that cannot have other similar transactions, because each item here is unique, which is in sharp contrast to “fungible” assets such as U.S. dollars, stocks or gold bars.
Examples of NFTs range from digital artwork and sports cards to a piece of land in a virtual environment or the name of a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet, similar to the domain names competed in the early days of the Internet.
This computer-produced video sold by Rodriguez-Frelai shows a huge Donald Trump lying on the ground in an idyllic environment, covered with slogans.
The NFT trading platform OpenSea cited data from the blockchain that as of February 26, the company’s monthly sales in February had increased from USD 8 million in January to USD 86.3 million.
A year ago, the company had monthly sales of 1.5 million U.S. dollars.
Alex Atala, the co-founder of OpenSea, said: “If you spend 10 hours a day on the computer, or 8 hours a day in the digital field, then the art of the digital field has a lot of meaning-because of this. Is the world.”
However, investors warned that although a large amount of money is flowing into the NFT, the market may represent a price bubble.
As in many new niche investment areas, if the hype subsides, there will be a risk of major losses, and in a market where many participants operate under pseudonyms, scammers may have an excellent opportunity.
Just “embrace the terrible”
Despite this, the Justin auction house has just launched its first digital art auction (a collage of 5,000 pictures, also by Bipper). This painting only exists in the form of NFT.
In the first 10 minutes of the bidding, 21 bidders bid more than 100 copies, and the transaction price reached 1 million US dollars. The bid for this work has reached 3 million US dollars, and the auction will end on March 11.
Previously, this department of Castell has never seen an online sales revenue of more than US$1 million.
This auction house, established in 1766, will accept payments in the digital currency Ethereum and traditional currencies, and this decision may help push cryptocurrencies further into the mainstream.
Speaking of accepting encrypted payments, Davis of Castell said: “I think this moment is inevitable. No matter any institution tries to resist this inevitability, there will be no good results. So, you can do the best The thing is to embrace fear.”
Person operated blockchain Encryption Technology to Become Rich in the field of art
Indeed, Bipper, who brought cryptocurrency to Castell, successfully operated the blockchain in the field of art, which aroused people’s enthusiastic interest.
Mike Winkelman never calls himself an artist. But that was before he sold his work and made 3.5 million dollars in one weekend.
In December last year, he auctioned multiple versions of three digital art works, each priced at US$969, as well as 21 unique works, most of which were sold for around US$100,000. This is only his second auction of his works.
As a digital artist, Bipper has created a painting every day for the past 13 years. At first I used paper and pen to paint, but now I mainly use computer software, such as “Cinema 4D”.
Starting from February 25th, Castell will hold a two-week online auction. The auction content is a collection of the current 5,000-day painting. Jia Shide stated that this is the first time that the auction house has sold purely digital art. This will also be the first time that Castell accepts cryptocurrency payments.
Bipper’s transaction method is to bind these works to NFTs (irreplaceable tokens), and become digital collections that use blockchain technology as identity verification.
NFT can take any form, but for Bipper, it usually includes an image or video file, sometimes with a physical object, and is verified by a digital signature on the blockchain.
In an increasingly digital world, NFT cleverly responded to the art world’s need for identity and verification sources, permanently connecting digital files with its creators. It gives digital artwork unique attributes, so it can be sold.
In the past 12 months, the NFT speculative market has grown rapidly and continues to grow. According to the “2020 NFT Report” published by BNP Paribas and Nonfungible.com, the value of the NFT market has tripled in 2020 and is currently worth more than $250 million.
Now, investors who speculate on cryptocurrencies have seen a significant increase in the number of NFTs traded on websites such as MakersPlace (to sell Bipper’s works in cooperation with Castell), SuperRare, and Rarible, which are the front and center of recent transactions.
On these sites, memes and graphic collections are sold together with Bipper’s art, and the boundaries between them are becoming increasingly blurred.
Although this is the first time that Castell has sold purely virtual works, the art world is no stranger to this type of auction.
For example, anyone can use tape to stick a banana to the wall, but it is certainly not Cattelan’s “Comedian” that sticks to the wall (which sells for up to $120,000).
Similarly, some people can easily copy Bipper’s “Daily Work-First 5000 Days”, but even if the content is exactly the same, if there is no blockchain verification, they will not own the artwork itself.
NFT makes it possible to collect digital art works, just like collecting paintings, sculptures or conceptual art works.
Bipper once said mockingly, “I don’t know anything about the traditional art world.” Not only that, this trendy student who graduated from computer science did not start studying NFTs until mid-October 2020.
Although he is a novice to art and crypto art, his “One Daily” project has been in progress for 13 years and has become popular on the Internet.
He attracted a large number of fans with his doomsday-like and distorted aesthetic (nearly 2 million on Instagram and 200,000 on Twitter). Brands such as Louis Vuitton placed orders for him, and his images are on his spring 2019 collection. .
Bipper’s work has a reckless, straightforward appeal, like a political cartoon sketch set in a dystopian video game.
Politicians such as Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, and Hillary Clinton (usually with mutated robotic bodies) also appeared, as in Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse, and Pikachu. character.
Since Bipper draws a picture every day, his works often repeat what is happening in the news, quickly transforming online culture into visual commentary.
This style can be said to be the mother tongue of a group of speculators who are proficient in memes, many of whom have made a lot of money from technology and cryptocurrency investments.
As the first auction attempt of NFTs, Bipper decided to sell through the Nifty Gateway website in December 2020. Within 5 minutes, the auction broke the highest record for digital art.
Many buyers saw their initial investment doubled within a few minutes and immediately resold these works at higher prices. Today, many of these works are sold at more than 1,000% of the original price.
Just after the war and contemporary art expert Noah Davis said, “Seeing such a high transaction price, they really woke us up like an alarm clock!”
Davis continued: “We are facing a potential paradigm shift.” He pointed out that the recent cryptocurrency boom and this year’s resistance to Wall Street’s GameStop show that financial markets are changing rapidly.
Most of Bipper’s works were arbitrarily called “junk” by himself, and suddenly these works were selected by one of the most respected auction houses in the art world.
You know, for a long time, Bipper felt that the art world dismissed him, but his reversal driven by encryption finally stunned the art tycoons.
In the past, the traditional art world usually said contemptuously: this young thing belongs to that guy. Now, the art world is finally beginning to realize that digital art is also real art.
For a large number of digital illustrators and graphic artists who make a living from their works, this is a game changer. NFT represents a shortcut for rookies to break through. It can bypass traditional art guards.
It is about the dignity of a long-suffering class of artists, who are always struggling for their livelihoods, and their value is degraded by higher-level art market machines and marketing platforms. ”
However, the huge flow of funds earned from NFTs tells a different story.
Generally, the art world despises the act of reselling and disdains the practice of a collector buying a work and then reselling it immediately to make a profit.
Unlike traditional artworks, the blockchain that uses NFT to authenticate works can also create a set of rules to manage the distribution of income from future reselling.
For example, Bipper’s contract will ensure that, as an artist, he can also share the money others have made from speculating on his work-according to NFT industry rules, if his work is re-sold on the secondary market, he can get every sale 10% of the amount.
In this sense, NFT provides artists with a new income model, allowing them to continuously obtain the value of the work as the work grows.
NFT enables these artists and their works to be embedded in the collection of electronic contracts of collectors. When collectors purchase works of art, they establish an indelible contractual relationship with the artists.
Therefore, Jia Shide’s Bipple auction is not only an ordinary purchase, but also a “financial event.” It has prompted many artists to turn to platforms such as Zora and Foundation to create decentralized autonomous organizations that allow them to put community value before art speculators.
LeBron James dunks for $208,000
NFT may benefit from the hype surrounding cryptocurrency and blockchain, as well as the potential of virtual reality to create an online world, making people increasingly interested in it, while online retail transactions have also surged during the epidemic.
Under pressure, the National Basketball Association of the United States launched the Top Shot website, where users can purchase and trade NFTs presented in the form of exciting videos of the game.
Five months after its launch, the platform said it had more than 100,000 buyers and nearly $250 million in sales. Most sales are made on the site’s personal-to-personal market, and the NBA receives royalties from each sale.
The platform’s sales are rising rapidly: According to Top Shot, as of the 26th, February sales reached 198 million U.S. dollars, a five-fold increase from January’s 44 million U.S. dollars.
The website stated that each collection has a unique serial number to ensure scarcity, and that the ownership is protected by the blockchain. When you have LeBron James’ legendary 23/49 dunk, you are the only owner in this world.
The largest transaction to date occurred on February 22, when a user paid $208,000 for a video of LeBron James dunking.
A heavyweight NFT enthusiast with the pseudonym “prank” told Reuters that he invested $600 in an early NFT project in 2017 and has now turned it into a “7-figure” NFT and encryption Currency portfolio.
“Mischief” said that he has now spent more than $1 million on Top Shot and made about $4.7 million through reselling products.
In short, this view of programmable artworks as a way of creating new relationships is opening up more radical possibilities for using NFTs to share the profits of artworks.
For example, the artist Sara Rudi recently announced that she has negotiated in advance to obtain 7% of profits from future NFT sales for every employee of her gallery “bitforms”.
In fact, NFT, which mainly runs on independent Ethernet, is rapidly transitioning to a proof-of-stake model (as opposed to the current proof-of-work model), which will not only be more energy-efficient, but also faster and cheaper-it may become an incentive for this transition Motivation factor.
The low barriers to entry (in theory, anyone can make NFTs) and the mentality of outsiders make the NFT method subvert the traditional mode of collecting contemporary art, and may bring a “meta universe” worth several trillion dollars to the art world. “.