NFTS Are A Scam
Actually, they aren’t. But I used to think so before I started researching the crypto art market.
Let’s start with the term “nft”… it’s beyond stupid and hopefully someday soon folks will start using terms such as crypto art, digital art or digital assets. For now, we say nft and it’s totally acceptable to roll your eyes every time the word is spoken.
For me, nothing will ever compare with physical art… so I really had no interest in nfts. But then I noticed that instead of buying cds, I now download a song to my phone. Instead of renting a dvd, I now purchase a movie on AppleTV. I own these items even though I can’t hold them in my hand. That made me realize nfts make sense in this digital age.
While the traditional art market has been a playground for the rich, the nft market gives everyone access to amazing art. Folks who’ve felt out of place walking into an art gallery now have easy access to online nft marketplaces (OpenSea, Foundation, SuperRare etc.) where they can browse and buy from home. I love that people aren’t buying a piece or two, they are building art collections and any of the artists in that collection could end up being the next Kahlo or Picasso.
Benefits of NFTs
As a traditional artist, nfts solve a ton of problems I’ve experienced in my studio.
Printing: In tech, I’m a usability specialist. The golden rule is to let the end user decide. But in my art studio, I’ve been deciding the size of the canvases. So many times I’ve seen people love a painting but the canvas is the wrong size. With nfts, I’m selling a high resolution image and the buyer gets to decide how to display it. Folks can use a digital frame or they can print the art any size they want on canvas, glass, t-shirts, tote bags etc. This is my favorite aspect of digital art.
Pricing: Folks fall in love with a painting but it’s too expensive. With my pfp (profile picture) collection, I drew layers of art (background, clothes, hair etc.) and then the software randomly combined those layers creating 10k unique images. That’s insane! I would never be able to make that many individual images in the studio. Because the collection size is so large, I can sell the images for much cheaper than my paintings/prints. It’s wonderful to have a collection available at a price point anyone can afford.
Resale: In the traditional art market, the assumption is that after I die, the value of my art will rise. Kind of sucks that I have to die for that to happen. With nfts, collectors can easily list their digital assets for sale in the crypto marketplaces. I’m busting my ass to get my name out there, grow my brand, and I love that it will result not only in art sales for me but it can also lead to big profits for my collectors which they can access now.
Royalties: There is a movement in the traditional art world to make sure artists receive royalties. The EU has stepped up and guarantees royalties on secondary sales but the USA has not. With nfts, artists can define royalties in their contract that will be paid to them every time the art is resold. Given that art sales are entirely unpredictable, the royalty payments will fill in the terrifying sales gaps artists have to contend with. A lot more artists will be able to maintain an art career and continue building their brand which will increase the resale price of their work. Everybody wins when artists stay in business.
Provenance: The blockchain records every transaction of the nft. It proves not only the artist but it also verifies the current owner of the art. Provenance has been one of the biggest problems in the traditional art market and the blockchain solves it.
Soul Nfts: This is what I’m looking forward to. Nfts that stay in your digital wallet for life: birth certificate, passport, college transcript, marriage license etc. I’m in the process of moving and I’ve got this gigantic folder filled with every imaginable notarized document I might need. In the future, all these documents will be in my digital wallet on my phone. And I can’t wait!
For me, these are the reasons I love nfts. But for you, maybe you’ll start liking nfts when you buy one that’s a VIP pass for private events. Or maybe your favorite sports team releases an nft that gives you access to merchandise. There are so many uses for nfts and we are just starting to scratch the surface.
Remember, we are at the very beginning of blockchain technology. Literally version one. In fact, by the time you read this, the ethereum blockchain will have upgraded to “layer 2”. This upgrade negates the environmental impact problems of layer 1. It also speeds up transactions and improves security.
There’s a ton more stuff happening in web3: artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality etc. It’s fine if you aren’t interested now, but it’s coming. Sort of like when AOL mailed CDs to every household and then suddenly everyone had an email account. That’s how it always works with tech. One day, it will just be mainstream and very easy for everyone to use. Right now, it’s still early and there are a lot of growing pains… so keep an eye on it and jump in when it makes sense for you to do so.
If you want to learn more, check out these threads and follow Misha. She posts a lot of good stuff about web3.
Twitter is the smartest place to learn about web3.
But less than 1% know who to follow.
Here are the must-follow accounts—the WEB3 ONE HUNDRED:
— Misha (@mishadavinci) September 11, 2022
By 2030, more than 90% of all online activity will migrate to web3.
Here's what's happening, and how YOU can be ready:
— Misha (@mishadavinci) June 12, 2022