As alleged disruptors of art as we know it, NFT works arrived last year to challenge all established concepts of price and image.
These digital works are far removed from the concept of canvas and sculpture art, being also digital and the most separate from anything tangible. Throughout the world, this new formula for the exchange of artistic works is booming and its rapid rise in power, despite its youth, is reflected in figures that run into the millions.
—Christie’s (@ChristiesInc) February 10, 2022
Currently, the record for most expensive NFT artwork is held by “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known in his world as Beeple. This $69.3 million piece is a collage that brings together 5,000 of his previous works.
According to auction house Christie’s, in May 2007, this digital artist set out to create and publish a new work of art online every day and -since then- “hasn’t missed a single one, creating a new digital image for 5,000 days straight.”
Each of these works, known individually as “Everydays”, is considered to be one of the most unique sets of works to emerge in the history of digital art.
— beeple (@beeple) February 7, 2022
Christie’s also highlights “the remarkable difference between images from day 1 (May 1, 2007) and 5,000 (January 7, 2021)”, which reveal Beeple’s evolution as an artist. At the start of the project, “Everydays” were just basic designs, but once the performer started working in 3D, he also embraced abstract themes, color, shape, and repetition. Over the past five years, however, his digital images have become increasingly topical, often in reaction to current events.
Its buyer, Vignesh Sundaresan, known in the cryptocurrency community as MetaKovan, trended in March 2021 when he assured Bloomberg that “there are going to be hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are going to adopt this medium, a digital native medium”. monetize art”.
The second, third and fourth places belong to the same series of works, known as “CryptoPunks”, developed by the video game company Larva Labs. The most expensive was sold for 11.8 million dollars; the next one for US$7.56 million and the one below reached US$7.51 million.
— CryptoPunks Bot (@cryptopunksbot) February 15, 2022
The fifth most expensive NFT takes a much different path, responding to an intent of political criticism against Donald Trump. It is called “Crossroad” and depicts the naked figure of the former President of the United States lying on the ground, his body covered in messages, insults and all kinds of phrases that affect his defeat in the elections. It was sold by its author, Twitter user Pablorfraile, for $6.66 million.
The #1/1 of beeple’s first drop NG just sold on the secondary market for $6.6 million.
History has just been made.
— Nifty Gateway (@niftygateway) February 25, 2021
How to buy an NFT, are cryptocurrencies necessary?
Yes, according to the Binance cryptocurrency platform, the first step to buying an NFT is to purchase some form of digital currency, such as Ethereum, which is currently priced at $3,127.
But the sales of these art NFTs are not only through auction houses, but also through online marketplaces. Why? “A lot of people who want to patent art take an NFT. It helps a lot to avoid counterfeits, that’s exactly what they’re looking for,” said financial adviser Andrés Moreno.
In addition to Binance, there are already platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox for the metaverse that allow people to easily purchase virtual land and even build their own environments using NFTs.
NFT sales reached US$25 billion
Although the idea of NFTs emerged as early as 2014, it was in 2021 that the biggest boom in these assets took place. According to figures from market tracker DappRadar, NFT sales of $25 billion were recorded last year, while in 2020 the amount only reached $94.9 million.
To put these sales into context, Reuters noted that the money spent on NFTs in 2021 equals the money agreed at COP26 to help countries phase out coal; or World Bank funding to purchase and deploy covid-19 vaccines.