What is NFT Art? (NFT Art Definition)

NFT stands for non-fungible token.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not mutually interchangeable. This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and many networks or utility tokens that are fungible in nature.

Non-fungible tokens are used to create verifiable digital scarcity, as well as digital ownership, and the possibility of asset interoperability across multiple platforms. NFTs are used in several specific applications that require unique digital items like crypto art, digital collectibles, and online gaming.

And in recent days, that unique digital something is Art.

What’s The Theory Behind What Makes An NFT Artwork Valuable?

A lot of the normal things that make Artwork valuable are still in play with NFTs.  Such as:

  • The Endowment Effect (One values it because he/she owns it)
  • The Contagion Effect (The item is more valuable because of previous association, like previous ownership)

NFTs now theoretically can include other factors previously impossible with digital items

  • Rarity
  • Provenance
  • Quality

The Ethereum Smart Contract technology seems to provide a new toolset to transparently give Digital Art these real-world qualities.

It promises the rise of Digital Collectibility.

Why It Matters To Art Collectors?

NFT Art has gone viral.  We are getting asked “Is it a bubble? A craze?”

Here’s the current Wikipedia assessment…

Art was an early use case for NFTs, and blockchain in general, because of its ability to provide proof of authenticity and ownership of digital art that has otherwise had to contend with the potential for mass reproduction and unauthorized distribution of art through the internet. In February 2021 a hype started when US-American digital artist beeple’s work “Everydays. The first 5000 days” was the first NFT artwork to be listed in one of the major auctions houses Christie’s. A few days before, the meme animation Nyan Cat had been sold on an internet market place for 600,000 USD.

Later, popular blockchain games like CryptoKitties made use of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs are used to represent in-game assets, and are controlled by the user, instead of the game developer. This lets the assets be traded on third-party marketplaces without permission from the game developer.

Frankly, it’s too new to have a Wikipedia history. Dear reader, literally, the NFT Art history is being written as these words are typed.

But Artwork sold at the NiftyGateway.com marketplace (more on them below) is appreciating daily.

What We Know For Sure About NFT ART’s Current Rise?

This technology needed a killer app (and two proofs of concept to the public at large in the sale of Grime’s Crypto Art and  NBA Top Shot hit at the same time).  We have been active and successful on the non-blockchain online Art Marketplaces. It may well be the digital peer-to-peer marketplaces that best removed the friction between the buying public and the artist to create and transact digital artwork that is backed by a blockchain like Ethereum have won the day.  Austin Artists, take note…

How do I get started minting NFTs?

The platform matters.  We have been playing with them since the beta of how the token will work in 2018.  The minting process is not intuitive yet, and the standards haven’t settled.  They are being created right now.  Play with the tutorial on OpenSea.io to learn.  But do not post a real contract yet until you are up to speed on pricing it, and the process of posting.  Why?

There is an Uber surge demand nature to minting a piece of digital art… when the load on miners is high, it can be expensive (we’ve seen $2k and more for one post).

We invite our Austin artists to come down to SoCo Modern for a little guidance on these ever-changing processes.

We are going with OpenSea.io as our vehicle to distribute our NFT digital artwork.

Dear reader, the skill of knowing what to buy still applies.

When I’m asked how do I KNOW which artists to pick, it’s one of the most difficult questions I get. And to be honest there is no magic tell about who will take off or not. A big portion of my job is gut intuition.
– Patrick Jones 

And that’s why we encourage our favorite Austin Artists to get involved.  The quality will still rise above the noise, as great Art always does. 

Our hope is that this technology delivers on the promise of greater autonomy for Artists.

Stay tuned for this weekend with our first reveal about our own NFT plans.

Unpredictable.  Fun… but unpredictable.
Austin is about to get a little weirder.