Crypto Art FAQ
Why the Introduction of Non-Physical Art?
Since painting and drawing were first created, we’ve accepted that these are always unique physical objects. Yet, in this modern time, we a surrounded by digital images; be they scans of physical artwork, the billions of photos we’ve taken on our phones and digital cameras or computer generated digital art we may have as backgrounds on our computers and phone screens. Digitised and purely digital art surrounds us, be it unique masterpieces, mass-market advertising, images used on TV and in magazines or iconic labels from our favourite products. We have been ignoring its value for too long, but that is rapidly changing.
Why is it Important?
Combine this new wave of art with the emergence of the Blockchain, upon which we can store this non-physical art in an immutable, secure and verified manner, and we are at the dawn of a new era enabled by cryptographic technology. An era where the value of digital art can be agreed upon, preserved and ultimately transferred. The importance of non-physical art cannot be overstated. Many of the truly unique and masterpiece level works are now being created only digitally and sold for ever increasing prices. No longer can artists, collectors and galleries ignore the importance of non-physical, digital and digitised art.
How Is Non-Physical Art Stored via the Blockchain?
The Blockchain can be thought of as a database, of which copies exist all over the world. When data is written to the database, it gets copied globally and no one can change the data written in those copies. Details relating to your digital art are stored on the Blockchain and the art itself in what’s referred to as an ERC-721 ‘token’. Think of that token in the same way as a file on your computer, but saved out on a web based decentralised file store.
There are many types of token, but we use the ERC-721 token for art which is a ‘non-fungible’ token (NFT), that means they are unique and cannot be swapped with another token. In contrast a ‘fungible’ token can be exchanged with another equivalent one. For example, the cash in your pocket it fungible, any equivalent note or coin is essentially the same. A passport however is non-fungible, only your unique passport is the one for you.
How is Ownership Proven via the Blockchain?
The data on the Blockchain is public, but immutable – people can read the information about your art and see the image, but no one can ever change anything that’s been written when you bought it. Once you have bought the art it’s associated to your unique address/account number. Only you can sell or transfer the art to someone, no one can pretend they own it as you own the address/account number.
Is this Digital Art Truly Unique?
An artist may choose to issue one or more tokens for a given piece, but this will be specified on the site here and no further sales will take place after the number of tokens/copies are sold.
What Blockchain Technology is Being Used?
We have chosen providers with solutions on the Ethereum Blockchain. Their Smart Contracts are required to be ERC-20 compliant and the tokens to be ERC-721 compliant. Choice of the actual provider remains with the artist.
Do I need Crypto currency to buy digital art?
Yes, you’ll need Ethereum to buy art that has been tokenised onto the Blockchain or to buy physical art with the ‘buy with Crypto’ link. However, Ethereum is simple to buy and use and we suggest Coinbase for this, but you can choose to buy Ethereum from where ever you choose.
Can I Sell my Digital Art?
Yes. You own the piece and are free to place it for sale on whichever platform you choose, at a time and at a price of your choosing. When you sell digital art / NFT items, you’ll get cryptocurrency back. As for buying we recommend Coinbase as a good place to start managing your crypto currencies.
How Much Can I Sell my Digital Art for?
You can sell it at whatever price you want. However, as with all art, the price it will actually sell at depends on the market interest for the art and the artist. It’s common to see digital / Blockchain based art sell for tens, hundreds, even thousands of dollars and this will only grow as the market grows.
Is Digital Art a Worthwhile Investment?
We believe so, yes. That’s why we’re dedicating part of our Gallery site here to this form of art, asking our artists to prepare high resolution copies of the art for sale and contacting trusted technology providers who are dedicated to building a robust Blockchain based offering. As more mainstream galleries and auction houses sell more of this art and a broader collector base develops, prices will rise.
As always of course, nothing on this site is investment advice – we’ll share what we know but please do your own research.