In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and Blockade Games co-founder Marguerite deCourcelle talk about bitcoin’s impact on artistic careers. From collecting unique, interactive pieces to designing video games, Cuen and deCourcelle explore how crypto could redefine modern art.
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Bitcoin is money but blockchain technology can also be used in a wide variety of art projects.
Perhaps the best known variety of blockchain-based visual art is non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
For example, Blockade Games co-founder Marguerite deCourcelle said her startup sold $160,000 worth of crypto assets, including NFTs, with most of the profits from two editions of the company’s first game, Neon District.
“Blockade has minted over 850,000 assets to blockchain game players,” eCourcelle said.
She broke onto the scene with paintings that included clues to hidden bitcoin prizes, then started creating interactive, digital art coupled with written roleplaying folklore.
“Instead of the idea of running through the digital treasure hunt and possibly getting bitcoin at the end, the design is now that you start at the beginning, there’s no barriers. You can just start playing,” she said, describing her video games. Players earn “tokens in the background and you’re notified once you’ve created something that’s unique.”
In short, the artist can now co-create with the audience in a way that scales individual experiences. Although DeCourcelle still paints, she’s become fascinated with the creative and artistic potential of blockchain technology.
Since the first wave of so-called decentralized applications (dapps) in 2017, non-fungible tokens have earned gamers more than $20 million through trading, and startups roughly $13.6 million for selling the digital assets, according to blockchain analytics firm Flipside Crypto. Most of that traction was in 2017, when the collectibles game CryptoKitties was the season’s hottest trend and briefly surged to more than 14,000 users.
See also: How Bitcoin Is Used to Promote Human Rights: Stories From Activists and Refugees
Yet, Flipside Crypto CEO David Balter said observers should not dismiss blockchains such as Celo and the CryptoKitties creators’ upcoming Flow. Other gaming dapps like Gods Unchained and My Crypto Heroes garnered $4.2 million and $1.5 million, respectively, selling digital assets.
“There are a number of chains that are working to establish dapps that are participants on the chain. Celo, for example, is doing a good job,” Balter said, listing the above-mentioned gaming projects as well. “We’re talking about customer acquisition costs and lifetime value…these are real businesses.”
Flipside Crypto data scientist Angela Minster added that most of…