Crypto art: The What’s, How’s, and Why’s

Did you know an artist sold the most expensive crypto art for an amount equivalent to USD 91.8 million? Crypto art or NFTs have been gaining massive attention these past few years. Here's what you need to know about crypto art.

Crypto art: The What's, How's, and Why's

If you are active in various social media, chances are you might have encountered an article or a TikTok reel about ‘crypto art’ and why you should invest in one. Many long-term crypto art investors swear by the profitability of this form of digital art. But, it’s vital to understand the essentials before jumping on the trend train.

What is Crypto art, and how does it work?

Crypto art is a concept that started a long time ago.
Photo from: Jon Tyson

Crypto art is a unique digital form of art because it utilizes blockchain technology to store its ownership and copyright information. Crypto art cannot be reproduced without the original file, unlike other digital art forms. This uniqueness makes it a valuable investment for those looking to protect their artwork.

Think of this as an artwork in a museum. For example, when a famous artist creates a painting and signs it, its value skyrockets thousands or even millions of dollars. The value of an artwork is relative to its scarcity.

Whenever crypto art is created, an imprint of this art is made in the ‘blockchain’ technology. Because crypto art is one of a kind, its scarcity increases, and its monetary value also increases.

If this is your first time learning about crypto art, you might find the entire concept somewhat challenging to understand. This is because various technologies are involved in creating crypto art. Terms such as blockchain technology, NFTs, and minting are foreign for those new to the crypto world.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain is crucial in creating crypto art.
Photo from Launchpresso

Blockchain technology is a digital ledger that stores data securely and transparently. This technology is used to create crypto art, as it is a secure way to store artwork. The blockchain ledger is tamper-proof, meaning that other users cannot manipulate it without leaving a trace. This makes it a reliable way to store data and copyright information.

Although blockchain is commonly related to crypto arts and cryptocurrencies, it is also applicable to other forms of assets. It’s important to know that anyone can trade tangible and intangible assets in the blockchain.

In most businesses, blockchain is used as the primary data transfer method. A company can create a member-only blockchain network to protect sensitive business information. Moreover, utilizing blockchain technology proves to be more efficient and error-free.

What is NFT?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens. These tokens are unique because a user cannot replace them with another token of the same kind. This contrasts with fungible tokens, which a user can replace with another token of the same type. For example, if you have a piece of a token representing one dollar, you can replace that token with another token that also stands for one dollar.

Photo from NeONBRAND

However, if you have a token representing a unique artwork, you cannot replace that token with another token that represents the same artwork. NFTs are used to track and store unique assets on the blockchain.

Essentially, anything digital can be an NFT, although most people prefer to utilize the tech for digital artwork. Another crucial piece of information to keep in mind is that NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain, a cryptocurrency. However, an ETH coin and an NFT work differently, which is a story for another blog post.

What is minting?

Minting is the method of producing a new crypto art piece. This process requires two components: the artwork itself and blockchain technology. The artwork is stored on the blockchain securely and transparently. Whenever someone wants to create a new crypto art piece, they must use the blockchain to imprint the artwork. This imprint is stored on the blockchain and cannot be manipulated without leaving a trace.

Minting is an essential process in the crypto art world because it helps to ensure that the artwork is authentic and unique. By using the blockchain, artists can ensure that their artwork is securely stored and cannot be reproduced without their permission.

Is your head spinning already? Hang on because we’re only getting to the juiciest part. In the following sections, we’ll talk about the benefits, history, and where you can find profitable crypto arts.

The history of Crypto art and its popularity among collectors

The history of crypto art is a long one yet not so distant. Various crypto cultures influenced and conceived the crypto art we know today. This section will go over the most notable milestones of crypto art leading to its current state.

Counterparty

Counterparty is a decentralized platform that allows users to create and trade NFTs. It is built on the Bitcoin blockchain and will enable users to create tokens that represent unique assets. Users can use these tokens to exchange digital artwork, music, and other collectibles.

Counterparty was one of the first platforms to allow users to trade NFTs. It was launched in 2014 and quickly gained popularity among crypto enthusiasts. In 2015, Counterparty held its first art auction, which featured artwork by famous artists such as Beeple and Saint Martin.

This platform was pioneered by developers Robby Dermody, Adam Krellenstein, Ouziel Slama. From here on, various digital artists and enthusiasts entered the bitcoin blockchain. Even the famous trading card games and other online games took their assets in Counterplay.

Rare Pepes

Eventually, meme materials started populating the blockchain. One of the most notable meme characters to gain popularity in the blockchain is Rare Pepe. Rare Pepe is a variation of the original Pepe the Frog meme.

According to Know Your Meme, the Rare Pepe meme originated in a Reddit subgroup, /r9k/, last 2015. The original creator of the Rare Pepe meme placed a watermark on his edit to retain its market value and sell the content at a high price. Over time, various users created their version of the ‘Rare’ Pepe meme to compete in the market.

In 2016, RarePepeWallet was established. Users treated Rare Pepe memes like a trading card game, but instead of actual money, they used cryptocurrencies to trade.

One of the most notable Rare Pepe trading cards is the Homer Pepe. Homer Pepe is a cross between Pepe the Frog and Homer Simpsons from The Simpsons cartoon. In 2018, Peter Kell won the auction for the Homer Pepe card valued at 385,000 PepeCash or USD 38,500. In February of 2021, Kell sold the piece at 205 Ethereum, or USD 312,000.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Peter Kell (@zippi101)

CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties

Rare Pepe continues to skyrocket to popularity and bring attention to crypto art trading. LarvaLabs started creating Cryptopunks around 2017. The creators produced 10,000 versions of Cryptopunks wherein no two characters will look the same.

CryptoPunks are digital characters that are stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Most experts describe CryptoPunks as a hybrid between ERC 20 and ERC 721. It’s important to understand that ERC-20 stands for a fungible token, and ERC-721 is a non-fungible token (NFT).

ERC-20 is the most commonly used token in the Ethereum blockchain. However, this token does not provide distinctiveness from other tokens. Think of it as a regular bill. Your $20 has the same value as your neighbor’s $20.

In contrast, ERC-721 or NFT provides uniqueness and token individuality. This token is unique only to its digital asset. Think of it as the original painting of the Mona Lisa. The original image is priced higher because only one original painting exists. The others are merely a copy of the original painting.

AxiomZen created CryptoKitties with ERC-721 tokens in the Ethereum blockchain. This virtual game inside the blockchain allows users to adopt, feed, and breed their digital cats.

Why should you own crypto art?

Owning NFTs or crypto arts provides different benefits for different people. Artists, collectors, and traders could gain a hefty amount of money from owning NFTs.

Photo from Christopher Maximilian
  • As an artist: Undervalued artwork and plagiarism are two of the most common problem modern artists face. Creating NFTs or crypto arts can prevent this from happening. The digital work you entered in the blockchain will have a unique token, which increases the market value of your artwork.
  • As a trader: With the rising value of NFTs, NFT flipping is becoming a trend for most crypto art buyers. Cryptocurrencies are predicted to gain more significance in the future. Learning how to flip NFTs will be a practical skill to know right now.
  • As a collector: As mentioned, NFTs are currently increasing in market value. Suppose the value of NFTs doubles in the future. Collectors can trade their NFT stockpiles for a massive chunk of money. But, do keep in mind that it will all depend on the volatility of the NFT market.

How do you create and sell NFT crypto art?

Creating NFTs or crypto art pieces does not require you to have extensive knowledge of the topic. You will only need a crypto wallet and Ethereum to make your own NFTs. Outlined below are the steps you can take to set up your crypto wallet and purchase your first ETH.

Photo from Kanchanara

Setting Up a Crypto wallet

  1. Create an ETH (Ethereum) Wallet: You first need to establish a crypto wallet to store your cryptocurrencies. You can use these cryptocurrencies to trade, sell, and create NFTs or crypto arts. There are tons of Ethereum wallets available in the market right now, but the biggest ETH wallet platform is the Coinbase Wallet.
  2. Purchase an ETH: You don’t need to purchase a vast amount right off the bat. Remember, you need ETH to create an NFT in its blockchain. ETH value is highly volatile. Therefore, it’s hard to estimate its real-time value. A good rule of thumb is to spend the amount you are willing to invest.
  3. Connect to an NFT marketplace: There are tons of crypto art marketplaces online. It’s essential to select one that you trust. Do your due research and choose based on user reviews and features. Once you have chosen an NFT marketplace, you can connect your crypto wallet there.

Now, you’re all set to create and sell your first crypto art.

Selling Crypto art in the marketplace

  1. Create digital art: In general, any digital content you put out in an NFT marketplace will be generated as an NFT. All you need to do in this step is to get creative. Also, take note of the file types supported by your NFT marketplace.
  2. Put your crypto art for sale: Once you decide on a crypto art to sell, you will price it and put it in your NFT marketplace for minting. Remember that creating an NFT requires paying some service fees. This service fee varies from one marketplace to another.
  3. Bidding: After you place a price and mint your crypto art, buyers will start to see it in the market. Although a buyer can score your piece in the market alone, you’d still need to exert marketing efforts to promote your NFT.

What’s the best NFT marketplace for selling crypto art?

There is a wide diversity of NFT marketplaces to sell your crypto art. It’s essential to conduct research and find the best platform that suits your needs. Some popular marketplaces include OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Getaway. Each NFT marketplace has its own established rules and regulations, so make sure you are familiar with them before selling your art.

Photo from opensea.io

Here are some of the well-known NFT marketplaces for crypto artists. The list is outlined in no particular order:

  • OpenSea: OpenSea is one of the best crypto art marketplaces online. Users commend the platform’s simple design with various easy-to-use functions. In addition, crypto artists receive royalties whenever they sell their NFTs.
  • Rarible: This is another large NFT marketplace available. With Rarible, crypto artists can trade various digital contents (digital artwork, memes, photography, video, etc.).
  • Nifty Getaway: Nifty is known to sell some of the most popular NFTs from famous digital artists like Grimes and Beeple. This NFT marketplace is handled by Gemini, a digital currency exchange company.
  • SuperRare: SuperRare provides a minimalist user interface. This crypto art platform offers the same functions as Rarible. In recent news, SuperRare is planning to produce its token.
  • Foundation: This crypto art marketplace utilizes ETH in crypto art trades. Foundation.app provides a straightforward user interface allowing users to navigate the site easily.

The top five artists creating Crypto art today

NFT artists are the people behind the brilliant crypto artworks. These digital artists use their creativity to come up with new ideas, such as digital artwork, memes, photography, etc.

NFT creator, Pak, hinting at The Merge, his highest-grossing crypto art.

There are tons of crypto artists spread around the world. Here are some of the hottest crypto art creators right now:

  • Beeple: Beeple is the pseudonym for the top-selling NFT artist, Mike Winkelmann. His most notable artwork, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, was sold for an amount equivalent to $69,346,250.00 in USD. Winkelmann is a South Carolina-based graphic artist who works in various areas of digital art.
  • Pak: Pak is an anonymous digital artist. Pak is currently named the highest-grossing crypto art creator in the NFT world. The faceless crypto artists sold The Merge for an amount converting to $91.8 million USD.
  • FEWOCiOUS: More commonly known as FEWOCiOUS, Victor Langlois leads the new age of crypto art. The 19-year old digital surrealist sold their artwork; Nice to meet you, I’m Mr. MiSUNDERSTOOD, for 654 ETH or $2,857,702.
  • Tylerxhobbs: Tyler Hobbs is a digital artist from Texas. His work primarily incorporates algorithms, plotters, and paints. His most notable crypto art is ‘Incomplete Control.’
  • MattDesl: Matthew DesLauriers, or MattDesl, is a Canadian generative artist based in UK. His NFTs mainly involve 3D arts and geometric shapes. One of his most famous NFTs, Meridian, sold for an equivalent of $33,322.66. His overall crypto art value is about $49,613,627.93.

What’s next for Crypto art?

Crypto art is on the rise. Once a small community of artists is now growing into a mainstream movement. NFT provided an avenue for a digital artists to gain authority and protect their digital artworks. In addition, the rising value of NFTs helps artist sell their artwork at a high price.

NFTs are taking off at a much faster rate right now. Although it’s tempting to hop mindlessly on the trend, it’s critical to have a profound understanding of cryptocurrencies and NFTs first.

Keep in mind that cryptocurrency value is volatile. It’s crucial to conduct thorough research on the subject before spending your hard-earned money. Remember, huge rewards come with considerable risks.

Regardless, crypto art provided us a glimpse of what a digital world would look like for all of us. In the meantime, keep an eye out for new technologies and innovations in the crypto art world. There’s no doubt that crypto art will continue to evolve and grow in various ways.

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