Blockchain technology and NFTs reduce the number of fakes in the industry by verifying the authenticity and provenance of artwork.
Art remains one of the oldest creative and most cultural practices in human history. Over the years, however, the average person and artist have been alienated from the art world as the once interactive, creative, and open industry turned into a full-on business arena for the rich and culturally powerful. Nonetheless, in the past two years, the industry is slowly healing as the art world embraced blockchain-based art – namely, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to retrieve the lost glory of the art industry.
A World’s Apart: Galleries vs Artists
As alluded to, the art world has increasingly been growing as an investment industry with the rich and powerful stock-up art with the hopes it will gain value in the future. Not the artistic qualities it represents. The artwork lines, colors, values, shapes, textures, space, and movement are no longer the main point in buying art but the future value and demand of the art.
Furthermore, art galleries and auctions are reserved for the financially and culturally empowered. An artist wishing to list their art in a gallery or an auction has to be financially capable, and if they find a means to get the money (for fees) they also need to be culturally connected or well known for their art to be added to the precious walls of art museums. If you are lucky enough to have it pinned or auctioned you may end up with less value than the art is worth.
For example, the average salary of US-based artists and designers ranges between $54,309 and $74,147, according to Salary.com. While the salary could vary due to many depending factors such as skills, experience, real-time compensation, education, etc, this is pretty low given the number of work artists put in. With an average of 50 works of art created annually per artist, most of the value of the arts lies in reselling the art, meaning galleries and auctioneers gain the most from these pieces.
Is Money Corrupting Art?
The biggest challenge facing the art world today is the barrier being created between the global audience of visually fluent collectors and the traditional art elites, as explained above. The latter is usually a small group of influential people leading the major museums, galleries, auction houses, and art publications that define which artists would be celebrated. Art should dismantle consensus, not collude with it. But with money being the center of art today, the value of art is monetarily placed according to who the traditional art elites feel deserve it.
The challenges artists and collectors are facing has caused a revolution in the art space as new forms of art are developed to ensure everyone is included – despite your financial or cultural status. Blockchain technology has been combined with art to bring to birth NFTs, which is a unique piece of token that represents an asset e.g. art, music, collectible, document, etc.
How Blockchain Technology and NFTs Reshape the Art Industry
As explained above, blockchain is carving out a new path for the art industry by giving artists and collectors control over their art and a more decentralized ecosystem. Thanks to blockchain technology, new platforms are being developed to address the pertinent issues in the art industry and revolutionizing how art is bought, sold, supported, enjoyed and even created.
First, blockchains and NFT projects allow the process of owning your art and securitization much easier and less costly than traditional art galleries and museums. This is made possible by removing the intermediaries giving full control to the artists and collectors. One such project, Envoy, a B2B NFT platform, allows artists to collect royalties and revenue into their wallets as soon as the artwork is sold off or resold.
This ensures the process is much more transparent as no central party controls the NFT marketplace. Additionally, it makes the art industry more liquid and open as anyone can directly bid on the art without restrictions. Envoy allows users to purchase both premium and unique “community-driven” NFTs on its marketplace to empower fans.
Additionally, with the new technology users can directly connect with their favorite artists as the art world welcomes a more gamified experience for fans. Starly, another NFT project allows artists to monetize their social presence by offering fans a gamified experience of their NFT collection on the marketplace. Collectors can find rare and unique NFTs by opening randomly selected packs with the NFTs categorized in three rarity classes per pack. Collectors buy and sell their cards on the marketplace to complete the full sets.
On Starly, users can also earn tokens for participating in the NFT collection game. Token holders enjoy a variety of benefits including gaining early access to drops, promoting collections as “featured drop”, generating referral links, earning unique badges, providing exclusive drops for members, getting rebates on purchases (in the form of STARLY tokens), VIP customer support, and exclusive merchandise/events.
All in all, blockchain brings the art community together – as it should be – rather than create barriers for artists and collectors who are not rich and culturally wealthy.
Protecting the Digital Picassos
Most importantly, blockchain technology and NFTs reduce the number of fakes in the industry by verifying the authenticity and provenance of artwork. Blockchains decentralization allows information on the artwork to be secured on an immutable platform with no one authority controlling it. This allows collectors to easily authenticate the original piece of art allowing value to be transferred securely and directly between two parties.
Finally, NFTs are unique and cannot be copied (despite them being digital art). This ensures the NFT being sold will not be a fake or a copy. This ensures ownership of the art can be clearly asserted, maintained and transferred by the holder and no one else.
Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.