Crypto Art: What It Is and How Digital Artists can Benefit From It.


In the spirit of following my passion for the fusion of art and technology, I recently participated in a hackathon called Hack Ur Culture. The aim of the hackathon was to come up with technology solutions for Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums based in Africa during this Covid 19 period where their foot traffic has been adversely affected. 

My team called Hack Circle submitted two solutions. One of them was a game based in District 6, South Africa; it won an award for Most Compelling project and was exhibited at the Fakugesi Festival. 

The other one was about digitizing the all-female event Strictly Silk based in Kenya which we are excited and humbled to have gotten the chance to continue developing.

This Hackathon was the epitome of the arts and tech industries fusing seamlessly and it is during my period there as a Hacker that I first learnt about crypto art. My curiosity in cryptocurrency led me to attend the hackathon workshop and I am so glad I did. The concept of crypto art felt foreign at that point but it planted a seed in me. 

I could not get the idea of crypto art off my mind. This led to my research on the same and as a result, this article. I hope that it will enlighten you and plant the seed of curiosity in you as well. 

Covid 19 has accelerated digital transformation in all industries and as artists, we also need to jump on board and see how technology can help us grow in our crafts. So, shall we sow the seed now?

What is Crypto Art?

Crypto art is a category of art that is associated with blockchain technology. I bet you've heard of Bitcoin right? 

Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin but it is far bigger than that and is used in many industries such as finance, healthcare, law, and now - the arts.


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"Bitcoin is a simple application that uses the Blockchain technology to send money around the same way Gmail is an application that uses the internet to send emails around" - Gordon Berger

How can Digital Artists benefit from Crypto Art?

Blockchain is a permanent, public registry that is stored in multiple computers such that if one storage location is lost, the information can still be retrieved from the rest. It could be the future for Creatives and here's why:

When a famous artist paints a canvas and signs it, it becomes worth millions because of its scarcity and uniqueness. Digital art has the challenge that it can be duplicated infinitely in good quality, making its value depreciate with every duplication.


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Blockchain technology has come in to solve this problem. Crypto art adds a unique signature to a digital file of artwork called tokenizing or mining it on the blockchain.

Tokenizing is the digital version of the artist's signature and it represents the scarcity of the art piece while increasing its monetary value. In this way, blockchain technology will allow digital art to be unique in such a way that it can be collected in the same way physical art is.

It is important to note that the token holder is the owner of the piece and can choose to gift it to someone else. In such a situation, they lose ownership, and just like a physical gift the ownership is transferred to the recipient of the gift. 

Here are other reasons why you might want to work with crypto art

  • Blockchain can help in reducing art forgeries because everything is stored in a shared database. Every single artwork can be traced all the way back to its creator/ artist studio. In this way, the artist retains the copyright. 
  • Compensation for future sales is possible; this means when an art piece is sold, a percentage is sent to the original owner who is the artist and the creator of the piece. This is definitely a motivating factor to make digital artists create more art.
  • Digital artists can create digital limited series of their artwork and all the editions will be tracked in the blockchain. 
  • Fractional ownership is possible, meaning you can own a percentage in a certain artwork the same way you can own stock in a company. This translates to, for example, owning 0.001% of Micheal Soi's painting. All these concepts can be used for visual art, music, podcasts, videos, photography, performances, and articles/ blogs.
  • The market for crypto art is growing rapidly and once traded in cryptocurrency, artists can retrieve their money in dollars or euros.
  • Crypto art is also bringing artists together from all over the world. Virtual meeting places called Metaverse and Cryptovoxels are entirely dedicated to art. While Cent is a social media blogging platform on the blockchain that is igniting conversations.

So there you have it. Now it is up to you to water and tend to that seed we have just planted. Do your research and share this along with the other articles you will read on this topic with your fellow artist friends. 

Let's figure out this crypto art thing together. Feel free to share what your biggest take away is in the comment section below. And always follow your passion.

2 comments:

Charli james said...

Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. crypto.com referral

Wendi Ndaki said...

You're welcome Charli and thanks for your kind words. I wish you well and I hope that you will start writing soon.

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