By Darianne Hudson
- The ability of NFTs to prove the authenticity of digital art has led to a boom in the collection and the creation of a new art market that is not likely to be replicated.
- Black artists find fair way to profit from new multi-million dollar crypto art market
Blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT) trading made the world of art collecting an open, democratized and diverse market for the first time in history. In the first few months of the year, there were over $ 300 million in NFT sales, according to Cointelegraph. Blockchain platforms are now used by artists to register copyright data for digital works of art, create proof of ownership, and be credited whenever the work is digitally traded. Will black artists be able to create works while being their own gallery by exhibiting and selling art, especially pieces that support social justice movements?
Why this is important: Historically, the art trade was an exclusive and predominantly white area of investment. Black art was under-represented due to the dependence on galleries, which made it more difficult for these artists to make a sustainable living from their craft. However, cryptocurrencies are changing that through waves that continue to shock economists, and change the trend in terms of fairness and profitability for digital artists. The blockchain allows them to sell digital works of art with fractional ownership: by creating as many ‘fractions’ as they want and selling them to owners who only buy a fraction of the coin. Fractional ownership increases an owner’s chances of achieving a significant return on their investment.
Artists can also sell directly to buyers without going through an intermediary. Earlier this year, auction house Christie’s sold the first 5,000 Beeple “Everydays” for a record $ 69 million.
Although this is a new space, some black celebrities are not new to collecting and investing in art: Oprah Winfrey, Grant Hill, Swizz Beats, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Danny Simmons ( brother of Rev Run & Russell Simmons) have extensive collections of African and African American art.
And after: Skeptics worry about the longevity and continuity of digital art, as blockchain technology and hardware inevitably undergoes updates. Only time will tell if digital blockchain art will be able to withstand the changes of time, just as historical canvas paintings have stood the test of time. Collectors and artists are convinced that the opportunities that blockchain brings in terms of authenticity, fairness and return on investment will allow it to endure.
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