How much would you pay for a piece of art that doesn’t exist in the real world, but exists in the Metaverse?
The latest anarchic event to grip the art world saw an anonymous guild of ‘art digitalists’ buy an original Bansky then set it ablaze – but not before digitizing the work into a non-fungible token (NFT).
For the uninitiated, NFTs are unique blockchain-based digital assets that represent an increasing number of commodities, from art and real estate to collectibles like sports trading cards. This latest pyro-NFT event reflects an unfolding love affair between the art and crypto communities, and it is generating hundreds of millions of dollars and transforming art in the 21st century – the digital century.
From Sotheby’s to Superfarm
The incendiary event itself has a historical precedent. In 2018, a Banksy painting entitled ‘Girl with Balloon’ self-shredded moments after selling for one million pounds (GBP) at Sotheby’s auction house. The painting, rechristened ‘Love is in the Bin’, could now be worth double in the arcane ways of working of the art world.
As for the recent painting set alight in Brooklyn, it marks the first time an artwork has been torched then sold in digital form, with Banksy’s agency Pest Control authenticating the event. Entitled Morons, the piece pokes fun at rich collectors for spending exorbitant sums on paintings.
The digital token representing Morons will be listed on Superfarm, a cross-chain DeFi protocol for NFTs. The anarchic art arsonists’ plan is to hold an auction where investors can make bids using cryptocurrencies. Although Banksy is not directly involved in the venture, the event organizers claim he is aware of the token event.
Sales of NFT-based art works have surged of late, having hit a record $8.2 million in the month of December. Ownership and authenticity are confirmed on blockchain, which provides a public, immutable record, so there is no ability for fraudsters to dupe investors into buying a forgery. Buyers also get to see how much an item previously sold for, who has owned it, and all dates associated with its sale history. Through the NFT model, artists can open their work up to a wider audience of crypto users looking to spend their digital assets.
NFTs utilize the same distributed ledger technology that enables bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that recently crossed the $1 trillion market cap after Tesla’s $1.5 billion purchase helped drive the price to new all-time highs. While…