NFTs are certificates of material ownership and authenticity that have as their object digital works. They are tools that owe their success to the characteristics inherent in the nature of their operation. Literally, the acronym stands for non-fungible token and, in practice, these mechanisms are used to register the domain acquired through the purchase contract, regularly stipulated between seller and buyer. Finally, the latter does not so much acquire the object of the transaction, but more the possibility to demonstrate the presence of a direct link with the purchased title.
The NFT keeps track of the transactions that take place within it, so as to be able to offer a service through which to trace what has been sold, to know the respective buyers and intermediaries, without time limits. In conclusion, the value of this mechanism is encapsulated by its dual purpose of providing both proof of authenticity and ownership of the security being transacted.
By virtue of their ability to be used flexibly, NFTs can be associated with different types of resources, however, one of the main applications is related to digital works of art. These premises are fundamental to understand the kind of impact and the artistic value that this kind of works can contain. In fact, the recognition of the authenticity of these works takes place through a certification with blockchain system, creating in this way characteristic both commercial and artistic value.
What is Crypto Art: Meaning and Definition
The term Crypto Art is used to define both the type of art that uses cryptocurrency as its main theme and the art of cryptography itself. The artwork is presented as a digital type of content, which is uploaded to a platform used as an exchange tool, able to allow the performance of a sale transaction, which in turn is recorded on blockchain. The latter acts as a tracker of all the transactions that have occurred and keeps track of all the items that are regularly entered through the mechanism of solving cryptographic transactions.
In this way, a system is created whereby the final information cannot be subject to subsequent modification, as it is not physically located in a place that can identify it, but is abstractly contained simultaneously on all the devices of the users who have access to the platform, thus remaining difficult to find.
Once clarified the concept of crypto art and digital work related to it, it is possible to pass to the analysis of the practical functioning of the exchange mechanism introduced. Since these works are digital instruments, in order to make a transaction of the same, a conversion must take place. Only through the completion of this operation of conversion of the cryptographic works in non-fungible tokens, the NFT, it is possible to proceed to validate the sale. In this way, the exchanged works will be virtual objects that cannot be divided in any way, and that are in a close legal relationship with the work of which they are a representation, like a sort of fingerprint.
How NFT works in relation to Digital Art
As already anticipated, the conversion of crypto art into NFTs allows for the sale, thanks to which the buyer is able to get everything that was previously linked to the transaction. Usually the object of exchange is the digital property of a given work and not directly the physical version of it, in case it exists. But in any case, the choice is at the discretion of the seller, who can decide whether to link the physical version of the asset to the NFT as well or not. The main feature of this mechanism is the possibility to use the NFT as an incontrovertible proof of the transaction between buyer and seller.
Due to their versatility, NFTs are used for the exchange of various resources, but in the case of digital works it should be noted that the operation undergoes adaptations. First of all, there is a change in the figure of the artist, who in these cases is not only the main promoter of his work but must also be equipped with the financial skills and technological knowledge necessary to manage the encryption of art in the NFT.
Where to Buy NFT Linked to Crypto Art
The crypto art market is an ever-changing world; however, below is a list of the most important platforms related to NFT finance art.
Firstly, OpenSea, the largest marketplace to collect crypto works. It is in fact, a platform that allows the sale of digital works through conversion into NFT. Last year statistics showed an increase of about 400 % of the sales that took place on this market, going from eight to thirty-two million dollars, for this reason it has been compared to a kind of Ebay of the crypto world, a place where you can sell and collect resources of all kinds, including crypto art.
Second platform is SuperRare. It was founded in 2017 by John Crain, Charles Crain and Johnatan Perkins. The functioning is always the same, a marketplace within which you can exchange your artworks after previously uploading and converting them into tokens registered on blockchain system. The transaction takes place in a transparent and secure way, allowing users who browse it the opportunity to view the best collectors detected by the platform, along with trending artists, works purchased and earnings obtained. In order to have access to this system, a selection process is foreseen, which involves sending a video presentation and sharing a statement certifying the applicant’s skills and competences, together with the possible collection of works to be proposed.
The third platform is Nifty Gateway, created in 2019 as a result of an exchange that featured the Winklevoss brothers. On this marketplace it is possible to sell, buy and propose Nifties, the name used by the system to indicate NFTs. Characteristic of the platform is the offer to execute multiple sales and not, through auctions or scheduled sales.
Another platform is Rarible, founded by Alex Salnikov and Alexei Falin in about 2020. In this case, Blockchain technology is used to offer digital artists and collectors tools to be used to connect to the crypto art market. The peculiarity of this system is the creation and presence of a community linked to the market, which is the protagonist of the mechanism. The governance of the platform, in fact, is based on an autonomous and decentralized system managed directly by the participating users.
Finally, there is Markerspace, a platform that can be used by all artists who want to enter the world of digital works, exploiting the functioning of the blockchain infrastructure.
NFT and Digital Art: Forecast for the Future
After having analyzed all the main aspects of crytpo art and NFTs, it is possible to conclude the speech by clarifying how the connection between tokens and works of art provide a scenario that can be further improved in the future. All this starting from the modification and revisiting of the concept of property itself, which in turn contributes to define in a different way from the current one also the more general concept of work of art.
Experts in the field of crypto art have among the various points of reflection the problem of environmental impact, such as reducing the electricity needed for the transaction operations. Although, in general, computer security experts define the crypto art system as a sort of new frontier for the secure exchange of artworks, both in physical and digital versions. This is especially considering the importance of antivirus systems and mechanisms to ensure the correct identification of the owners of the resources being transacted in a physically unidentifiable market.