If you are a Catalan artist, you should check NFTs
The global demand for certificates of authenticity for digital works has skyrocketed and has created a market where artists, YouTubers, and collectors exchange NFTs for millions of dollars. Here’s how to join the revolution and how to cash in.
NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token’, an inimitable virtual reference unit generated using blockchain technology, which is also used by cryptocurrencies. Unlike cryptocurrencies, however, non-fungible tokens have a unique, irreplaceable unit of reference, which is credited to the author and owner of the work. The concept of fungible refers to goods that are mutually interchangeable.
Certifying, valuing, appraising, and selling digital art in the virtual world was difficult without a tool to provide proof of authenticity and ownership, to stop plagiarism, mass reproduction, and unauthorised distribution over the internet. NFTs securely store the entire history of digital content (which can be a photo, video, audio, tweet, GIF, ebook, meme…) so that we can trace the change of ownership transactions, which are recorded, and on which the author can charge a percentage or ‘royalties’.
Obviously, any digital asset can be copied and redistributed, except for copyright, which often makes it become viral, but with the purchase of an NFT we acquire the original work, signed by the author, and the ownership rights.
The buying and selling process
NFTs have been around since 2017, and one of the first apps to popularise them was CryptoKitties, a ‘blockchain’ game on the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform, where players could buy, sell, and feed virtual cats. Other games, such as Fortnite, which emerged later, normalised the digital purchase of animations, skins, and more.
Today, creating, selling, and buying an NFT is as easy as uploading a photo on social media. All you have to do is register on a marketplace platform such as OpenSea, Rarible, or Markersplace, upload the content you want to convert to NFT, and link your crypto-wallet.
A trend worth millions
Paying money for unique pieces of digital art that we cannot touch, but that we can copy and download to our computer for free, may seem, a priori, nonsense. However, any doubts we may have about the viability of this type of e-commerce are dispelled when we see the figures that the NFT market moves.
The headlines announcing sales of pieces or artists with stratospheric prices are repeated year after year. A few months ago, Christie’s, one of the most famous auction houses, sold a piece of digital art by an artist known as Beeple for $69.3 million. A new record for money paid for an NFT, in the same year that the first tweet in history sold for $2.9 million.
In Barcelona, we have Argentinian-based Andrés Reisinger, an artist famous for his virtual sofas, which sell for thousands of euros. Speculation has taken hold of a trend that seems out of control, like the best financial bubbles, but the new applications of NFTs denote a market that is still in its infancy and presents highly lucrative business opportunities for those who know how to take advantage of it.
11Onze is becoming a phenomenon as the first Fintech community in Catalonia. Now, it releases the first version of El Canut, the super app of 11Onze, for Android and Apple. El Canut, the first universal account can be opened in Catalan territory.
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