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Should you convert your art into a NFT?

The hype is real, but should you?

I started thinking about this after I “minted” my first “artwork” as an NFT with minimal effort and, might I add, minimal hopes of it ever getting sold. I was curious to understand the process, more so because I, am no artist. But I can take half-decent photographs, was an art journalist for many years and understand technology.

So I was intrigued by some of the media and influencer commentary around NFTs.Could I create an NFT of an artwork, even if I wasn’t an artist?

The core objective of my articles is to document my journey around learning Web 3.0. From being a complete noob to hopefully having a semblance of knowledge and understanding of what is really happening as we witness an interesting fork in the development of the internet.

So I wanted to try.

And just like that, without a ton of effort, using Photoshop, and some nifty pixellating photoshop “actions” and “brushes”, I could easily edit a photograph I had taken to make it look like artwork in the style of Cryptopunks (more recently Chain Runners).

Instead of 10,000 variations, I created one.

I already had a wallet on Metamask and Coinbase. So I just had to create an account on OpenSea, pay the initialisation fee, “mint” my NFT and list it on the marketplace. Overall it cost me over $100 (and it is a high amount — but more on that later), but I was willing to risk the fact that I could forego this entire expense in the name of one-time learning.

I opened it to a one time auction, priced it and decided to keep it for a few days. I did not make a sale, and about a week later, I unlisted it. Then I burnt my NFT.

Burning the NFT cost me as well.

My objective was to go through the process and spend time on the platform. It gave me time to drill into OpenSea’s open API and analyse some data. It made me realise that I neither needed to know anything about blockchains nor have skills as an artist to create an art NFT, among other things.

I saw new “artwork” being listed everyday along with the primary and secondary sales trends. I did not come across really phenomenal artwork at scale for some reason. There was a handful, but the trading action was mostly across cartoons, comics and game like 3D imagery. (I don’t mean to say that these were not skilful, but maybe not in the Tintoretto class of things)

This then made me think. Should actual artists (who can create good artwork unlike me) start thinking about converting their entire art backlog into NFTs en-masse to find new buyers and newer avenues of income?

I thought about looking at the financial upside of this by referencing some easily available macro data on how lucrative the NFT market was for artists. My focus was art since I was interested to know if true artists could get help in gaining exposure from all this NFT craze.

Since NFTs can be used for literally anything, I focused on three kinds of NFT assets that artists can create

1: Collectibles (digitised one of a kind “exclusive” artwork)

2: Metaverse related(art/design to foster community engagement through gaming as a layer)

3: Actual art(though mostly digital in form)

Collectibles

In the NFT world, these are generally a collection of images/ artwork with a similar underlying philosophy but varying permutations built on a core concept. These have the maximum hype in media.

I found out that the most economically successful NFT Collectibles to date straddle the realm of cartoons and avatars. Why no serious or expansive artwork had made it to the “most expensive” list except Beeple surprised me. One has to bear in mind though, that no one knew of Beeple before his NFT auction of $69 million came through, but the fact that it was bought by his crypto enthusiast business associate (and Beeple owned 2% of all coins in his crypto venture) raised all kinds of questions.

(*Beeple is Mike Winkleman who sold his work “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” at the auction house Christie’s for $69 million)

So I kept reading.

And sure enough, there is a method to all this. A process. Most of these collections start at a standard volume of 10k, ie 10,000 variations of an image type, each being unique in its look and characteristic and each being marked to be sold to a unique buyer. These are then “Dropped” into the ether of the internet (not the ethereum ether 😊) positioned as an auction.

This is dubbed as an NFT sale.Kind of like the ICO sales between 2015–2018.

This does not mean that in the near future, we won’t see expansive artwork or iconic photography being bundled as collectables and becoming more successful (economically) in the NFT world. Still, for now, most of the “Collectibles” is an assortment of cartoon images rapidly being traded within a unique community of early movers, speculators, influencers, entrepreneurs, developers and investors.

Most of these “Collectibles” are auctioned for sale across NFT marketplaces like Opensea, SoRare and Rarible, and most have powerful social media influencer led promotion around it.

Eg BoredApeYatchClub is a collection of 10,000 ape images that look like this(see below). To date, they have been bought by over 73,000 buyers at an equivalent dollar value cost of $1.4 billion.

Now let’s take a deeper look at some of the market data, sales numbers, valued projects and example galleries in the realm of Collectibles. All data presented below is from nonfungible.com.

Sales stats on NFT Collectibles from 2017–2021
Buying trend on NFT collectibles from 2017–2021
The most valuable NFT collectibles sold till date
The top valued NFT Collectibles Projects
AN NFT Collectible Image gallery- The Bored Yatch Club on OpenSea

When presented in this way, the data shows that there has been a sudden boom in NFT Collectible creation and consumption over the last two years. A very select community of buyers (whose demographics are different from the traditional art buyer) are investing millions of dollars in tokens to collect and trade in these Collectibles.

Let’s consider one wallet to represent one buyer for spitball mathematics since wallet addresses are unique to individuals. Of course, I can create multiple wallets, so the math won’t be perfect since it would be impossible to calculate how many wallets everyone has on average. But to simplify, we can say at least 370,993 wallets have paid for in ETHER and or similar tokens, money amounting to over $6 billion dollars in FIAT currency to buy Collectible NFTs for the purposes of ownership and trading in the past two years.

What is not so clear is why anyone would pay over $7million for ONE pixellated image of “Cryptopunks”? The answer varies depending on who you ask and which blog you read, but here are some options.

One answer is that Cryptopunks is a rarefied community with outsized benefits. Access to this community requires an investment of that kind. But there is not much literature on the benefits of being a member of this community.

One more thought is that it represents a brand. An iconic reminder of how Crypto NFTs started. The first edition. Ownership of that historic moment preserved for posterity. This can have merit in certain cases.

Another answer is trading within or outside a community, or driving profit through secondary market sales where a buyer can flip each collectible for a profit. But then like with all trades, the profits need to be channelled into real-world wealth creation processes through new investments and so on.

The fourth possible option is tax evasion and money laundering.

However, while questions remain,(as they do with any new technology or movement), let’s focus on the fact that an increasing number of people are joining in the NFT craze. The sales graph for Collectible NFTs shows growth in demand in the market for minting, buying, and trading Collectibles around cartoons and apes. Theoretically it would seem that there is an opportunity for artists to create an artwork series or collection, which they can then convert into NFTs and sell or trade on an NFT marketplace.

Now let’s talk about the second player of the NFT world.

The Metaverse

Metaverse

Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users”. Simply put, in the NFT world, Metaverse projects using NFT tokens are mostly around creating a virtual reality space by buying virtual land, virtual homes (virtual people as well when needed), which are all tokenised. The tokens serve as currency for the transaction within this computer-generated community frequented by real-world users and/or gamers.

Sales of Metaverse projects (and thereby NFT tokens that represent them )between 2017–2021
The most vauable metaverse projects/ assets sold till date from 2017–2021
Buying trend on Metaverse projects (lvirtual land/ community etc) from 2017–2021
The top valued Metaverse projects
Decentraland (a popular Metaverse game) gallery on OpenSea

Again the data presented in this manner surface interest in the Metaverse from a select community of buyers. There are many pointers for and against why anyone would pay over $2 million for a square piece of virtual land inside a video game that (can be argued)has no real-world use.

For now though, it may seem justified to think that for artists who work in the gaming industry, NFT’s might be a way to create a new source of income. However, one sobering thought is that VR or AR is not new. Neither are video games. Game developers and designers have been there for ages and have had massive hits in the past two decades with the explosion of smartphones (sans Metaverse and blockchains) Overall, gaming is a fast-growing industry,, and there are a fair amount of developers and designers earning a decent livelihood from it. There is no need for either a blockchain or a Metaverse to access those opportunities.

So then, what is the additional benefit to the creator that the “Metaverse” can help unlock? The answer probably lies in its future mass adoption and ability to open up newer markets and new buyers. On practical evidence gaming is a trend nurtured by a younger audience. There is a possibility that the Metaverse will extend beyond games into a concept of virtual existense. There is thereby a possibility that users within this virtuality, will become buyers for objects to trade or collect in exchange for tokens that can be converted into fiat currency.

Art can be one of those objects

To those as old as I am, you would remember Second Life. That was created without a blockchain or NFTs, with the same concept as a Metaverse. It got some popularity. Brands were enthused and created branded communities, but all of those failed. Nobody knew how to self sustain a community without ongoing real-world financial and community incentives. Was it too early back then, and will the underlying concept, system and community fabric around NFTs make things different this time around?

With DAO’s coming in and DeFi protocols being experimented with, community-oriented wealth earning economies(read financial incentives) are opening up through staking and liquidity pools. A space where games and VR can slot in seamlessly. A lot of this is in an experimental phase, and most innovations for now are blockchain derivatives of what is already there with a decentralisation angle. The messaging is heavily around replacing a central third party authority (read central bank) from making decisions to a diversified community who own the decision making by being contributors to the blockchain (and thereby its wealth fund powered by its currency, the token).

Which makes me move on to the third kind of asset class.

Actual art.

Art

To be honest, anything from paintings to sketches to vectors to 3D graphics can be listed as art NFTs. But the concept of painting on canvas, then creating a digital record of it (read, take a picture and convert into NFT) has not yet come to vogue. It’s strange, but I believe we will see more “hanging on the wall kind of art and photography” converted to NFTs in the coming years because it does present a unique opportunity for this kind of art in the secondary market.

Right now, a painter or photographer sells artwork to a private buyer for a one time cost. If the buyer then sells it at a profit to another buyer, the actual artist gets no percentage of the sale unless specified. With the Ethereum Improvement Proposal” or EIP-2981 there is work around creating an ERC-721 Royalty Standard. The main motivation is to create a modified NFT standard so that NFTs created, purchased, or sold on one marketplace still pay out royalties regardless of the next marketplace it is sold on. With this standard, it would be possible for the artist to set a royalty amount that can be paid to the creator on any marketplace that implements these tokens.

This can be a good source of income for traditional artists. However, there is nothing stopping an artists to slap a royalty clause to their non NFT artwork. Royalty creation does not need crypto or NFT.

What is important to consider is that for now most of the NFT action is on “Digital” art whose pricing is not in dollars, but in the token of the blockchain it is minted on. Buyers can buy, sell or trade these artwork, with the unit of exchange being the token. But this money has no real world utility. It’s when users convert the crypto coin associated with the token into fiat currency, that real world economics come into play and the NFT market gets valuation. In short ordinary buyers are spending cash to give legitimacy to a digital currency which on its own cannot be used for any real life transaction.

This is how art from the most famous art NFT series on Opensea titled Artblocks looks like.

Image from artblocks.io. Artwork titled Quarantine

The question remains whether buyers will actually print these and hang them on their walls like they do when they buy traditional art, or if these will just reside as digital images on smartphones for trading. But with auctioning houses and big galleries starting to dig into NFTs, there is every chance that the traditional art market will look into NFTs as a certificate of ownership, and there will be an economy around it.

Common sense states that the digital ape image craze will temper down in the long term, and artists may use NFTs for authenticity and recording ownership in multiple ways. To drive legitimacy and adoption, the community will also advance to create use cases, some of which we can’t even think of today.

  • Just as a reminder, an NFT is not an artwork. An NFT is just a record on the blockchain with a url pointing to the image.

Let’s now look at some market data around NFT art.

Once again, the data presented in this manner showcases a community of buyers for traditional or abstract NFT art. Over 100K wallets have invested north of $1billion (in equivalent ETH), in collecting and trading such artwork over the last two years.

It seems like a promising business landscape, and one cannot be faulted to believe that this is a market where artists can make decent earnings.However, to even out the argument and add to our understanding, lets not forget, that the market opportunity in the non-NFT art market is also not too bad.

Image from masterworks.io

Non-NFT art, i.e. the traditional art market, represents a $1.7 trillion asset class with an average 8%-15% return yearly. Suffice to say; if you are talented as an artist, you can capture some of that investment. Art has been used as an investment option for years. So it’s not necessary for you as an artist to convert your art into NFT to earn money. If you already have buyers and galleries vying for your art, you are set.

In addition, if the crypto art movement is a subset of this same market opportunity, just with a different distribution method (selling on Opensea vs selling throygh a gallery), then NFTs are not really adding anything to increase the overall art market cap.

With every bull run, market forthiness is created, and it creates some wealth for early movers and speculators , thereby creating a new market in the short run to tap into. NFTs represent a bull run for now, and while entrepreneurs scramble to take advantage of the hype cycle, the narrative of new markets gets created.

So, to come back to the original point of this article. It does seem at face value that there may be an opportunity for traditional artists to create art that can be minted as NFTs and be part of a movement which promises new buyers and newer markets.

So now that we have a very baseline assumption layer based on media commentary, some macro data and influencer hype, let’s try to answer the core question.

Should you as an artist convert your art to NFT?

It depends on many factors, but there is no harm in experimenting and learning. This is, however, a personal choice. I did one experiment to learn, and I won’t do it again until I feel there is more regulation in the entire system and a paring down of transactional fees.

I also won’t because I don’t have a network to attract buyers and investors to any art I want to sell within this NFT community. To be successful in a creator economy, you first need to build your audience who would be willing to pay for your work. On the contrary I have not spent any time or effort in honing my skill or in cultivating possible buyers. That’s a different skill set than what I enjoy doing. I don’t want to spend time creating communities. I want to take photographs.

So, let’s add some nuance to this.

Should you?

This answer has various facets, but let’s start with the cost of trying.

Are you the curious kind and want to learn about all this hype around NFTs?Learn enough to know if you are missing out on something big or whether you should be circumspect? Then yes. Do it. It’s the fastest way to learn, and there may be not much to lose in a one time experiment(provided you are ok with the cost- i.e. fee expenses). Yes maybe no one will buy your art (worst-case scenario), in which case you will lose some investment on minting and listing your NFT, but this may be a manageable loss in lieu of which you would gain a ton of experience. On the flip side, you may make a profit as well. Either way you will gain experience. Experience that will help you go beyond the media hype and influencer commentary to have a point of view of your own.

But be mentally prepared to lose whatever investment you make in your first attempt. You may sell at a profit , but there is an equal chance that you won’t. Especially if you don’t have a network willing to invest in you. An economic situation where you may or may not make money is always a risk. If you don’t sell at a profitable price, then the money that you spend in fees is gone, and the money you spend in terms of time is also gone.

Be mindful, when you mint an NFT, you have to spend FIAT currency to pay for ETH gas fees, but when you sell, Opensea does not pay you in dollars,it pays you in ETH.

Now you can re-convert ETH into FIAT, and it’s fairly simple. But all crypto exchanges don’t work in all countries, and there are tax laws around the same. So while it takes less than one second to buy ETH using your debit card, it takes a tad bit longer to convert the ETH you make from sales into dollars (or an equivalent currency that you can use) back again.

Then there is the income tax headache + capital gains headache. (same as in traditional stocks)

Would you?

Time is our most valuable commodity. If you are a successful artist already, you may not need to (or you may reinvest your earnings in NFTs for higher profit). But most artists’ median artist salary in the United States is between $60,000 to $90,000 depending on the level of skill, experience, etc.

This adds layers of incentive. You may want to get rich quick and look for avenues to do so, and not all talented artists get the same break. A certain amount of luck is required to break through, but luck is not a quantifiable derivative.

So, if you are willing to take a risk, there can be certain upsides. Instead of being oblivious, you would be in a better position to know what potential opportunities digital NFTs can bring your way as long as you have done due diligence and are aware of the risks. However, win or lose, be cognizant that minting an NFT has nothing to do with creating great art. It’s just a system of tokenization or creating certification of ownership on a blockchain.

If you are great at creating art, you will make money in any system, but if the risk is acceptable and you can be an early mover in a new ecosystem, there is always a chance that you can ride a hype cycle, create a new market for yourself which will serve you for years to come.

Just don’t get carried away with the hype. Creating an NFT will not solve buyers’ acceptance of your art unless they see the value. Present day buyers might see it as a high-risk, high reward trading option, but that would not help you as an artist in the long run.

How would you?

It’s quite easy. All you need is

  • A piece of artwork/ multimedia (it can be literally anything)
  • Account on an NFT platform/ Marketplace like OpenSea, SoRare, Rarible etc
  • A digital wallet like Metamask or Coinbase
  • Money to buy Ethereum, Cardano or Solana (the three popular blockchains where there are NFTs)
  • Money to pay fees for listing and converting your artwork into NFT

How would you price it?

I will elucidate with Opensea costs, but most marketplaces have similar fee structures to get a broad idea. Let’s start with a preliminary sale price of $100.

Primary Sale Price: $100

Account setup fee: -$70

OpenSea commisson: $2.50

Fee total: -$72.50

Artist net profit: $27.50

% of Sale lost to fees: 72.5%

Of course the one time cost will not be applicable every time, but this will give you an idea of how to price your artwork.

Be mindful though. If you see sales details of particular NFTs, either using the Opensea open API or secondary sales data, most artwork gets sold within the $100-$500 range. That means that unlike what the hype suggests, most people creating NFTs will not make a ton of money. Some will, but that happens in any system. There is one Beeple and one Cryptopunk and one BoredApeYatchClub which the media hype as the promise of unforeseen wealth in NFT land. The reality, just like traditional art, is that Picasso’s sell for millions but the average next door artist probably sells for $50.

NFT won’t solve this problem. The artist’s quality will solve for that through the value s/he creates within the community.

Can you get new buyers?

Yes theoretically. A much younger generation of users and buyers are creating the Web 3.0 landscape. Across Metaverse, Crypto and DeFi, there is a new generation of creators, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs trying to upend the system by creating new economies.

They want to create new markets.

So yes, as an artist, you may gain access to this audience base. But that does not necessarily mean that there is a fundamentally new market. Most artists will not have tons of community members interested in their work. Look at web 2.0 for example. There are people with millions of followers on Instagram and TikTok. But not everyone can create a community at that scale. Early movers on these platforms had less competition and thereby an advantage, but once you are part of the bandwagon who follow the success of early adopters, it’s not easy for everyone to create a million-strong following on either platform and monetise it.

The same applies to NFT.

The early mover advantage may play in your favour, but you will have to do a lot of work to create advocacy, agency, referral and PR. You have to create a distribution system and a market for your work and cultivate powerful patrons who promote your work within the NFT ecosystem.

Could there be legal risks?

Depends on your country.

If you can buy and/or sell crypto in your country, then no, there is no legal risk, as long you don’t use your NFT for speculation, tax evasion or money laundering. Crypto gains are taxable, and the tax is calculated on the price of that Crypto coin on the day you made the sale. And since crypto prices fluctuate a lot, you need to be careful in recording price volatility at the time of sale.

There is a fair deal of anonymity in blockchains. So while as an artist you can be an honest, decent law-abiding citizen, you are not really sure who your buyers are and what they will do with your art. A lot of crazy valuation stories on NFTs have fairly complex backstories.

Example: One of the Cryptopunk series, which sold for an astonishing $532 million, has an interesting backstory.

NFT CryptoPunk # 9998 was sold for a record 124,457 ETH ($ 532 million at the time of the transaction). However, the deal turned out to be fictitious — the owner sold the token to himself.

The creators of the CryptoPunks collection from Larva Labs said that a user under the nickname blurr bought a token with an instant loan and repaid the loan with the same transaction. They argue that the transaction was not technically legal.

“Some of the recent big bets have been done in the same way. Ethereum was offered and removed in one transaction. Although the application is technically valid, it cannot be accepted. “

In a note to the transaction, blurr left a message: “Looks rare.”

The commission for the transfer of 124,457 ETH was about $ 800.

Now the user has once again put CryptoPunk # 9998 up for sale for 250,000 ETH ($ 1.07 billion). In August, the token price was 110 ETH.

Incidents like this clearly show an enormous lack of regulation in the NFT space and a lot of it is around speculation and money laundering of various kinds.

So exercise caution and prudence. If fraudulent transactions are investigated and your art is used in that transaction, you might have to face some uncomfortable questions.

Can a decentralised creator economy truly help you grow as an artist?

The fundamental core promises of blockchains that have gained a lot of positive media and influencer coverage are

1: Decentralisation (i.e. removal of gatekeepers and intermediaries)

2: Trust (the blockchain can never lie since all records are tracked, set in stone and made visible publicly) and

3: Community-led (the creator controls and not the system).

Similarly, the fundamental core promise of a great artist is in creating great art.

Decentralisation arguably might create new networks and new economies, but it necessarily does not create great art or great artists. The golden Renaissance period of art in the 1600s had iconic masters like Michelangelo and Da Vinci, making masterpieces on the behest of “requests” made by Kings and Emperors. It can hardly be called a decentralised environment, and yet in this environment, there was art that was created that has lasted 400 years, never to be replicated again.

Decentralisation can create wider equality based on meritocracy, protect censorship, help eliminate trust for third parties if it has the right regulation system. This means that you can arguably find a more level playing field as an artist. But even within that, you have to ensure that you are part of communities with the right kind of people and the right laws of governance. Because whether the system is centralised or decentralised, you will still need distribution channels and a favourable market of buyers for your art.

Suppose you are not going to use real-world distribution systems through galleries and curators. In that case, you have to create your distribution systems through ecosystems of communities riding on blockchains. Building a community is one of the hardest things ever and curiously has got nothing to do with NFT, crypto or blockchain.Be mindful that platforms like Opensea are centralised even though they work off a decentrlaised blockchain.

In short, both paths are difficult. Creating an NFT is easy. Finding a buyer is not. Growth hacking a community is a different ballgame altogether.

So don’t get carried away by the decentralisation narrative. It is not a magic pill to power your growth as an artist. Focus on your art and then research which distribution method works best for you. Paintings hung on walls will not disappear, while more digital art will find mainstream acceptance. NFTs as a certificate of ownership may probably be associated with both, but they will have different ecosystems and avenues of revenue.

As long as people live in houses, they will have walls where they will want to hang stuff, and as VR and AR get more immersive and mainstream, parallel game economies will get created around digitised art within the Metaverse.

Are NFTs geared towards promoting art or promoting transactions aimed at increasing coin price? Where lies the motive?

A lot has been said about the beauty of decentralised communities within blockchains and how they change the economics of the game for solo creators.

It’s true. To some extent it does.

But is this a community of artists, designers, developers, or venture funded tech influencers? Is the community focused on promoting art or in driving higher coin usage and in flipping for higher profit? Who is influencing? And who is in the community?

Is this community primarily built of people who are moving allegiance from one economic system to the other? If so, how does that create a new market or increase actual market capital? Fiat currency is just changing destination and creating valuation for a system. But is the system creating actual new market opportunities?

Blockchains are focused on creating more applications that can work on that blockchain and create economic value. Art project DApp’s are a part of that application universe, but the blockchain value rises, when the coin price rises. The coin price rises, when more people buy the coin of the blockchain for transaction and trade, using FIAT currency , thereby giving it valuation. The motive of the blockchain or NFT token is not around creating art renaissance. It is around creating a parallel economy by making people invest fiat currency in it.

In Ethereum, to contribute to any community project or DApp, you only need Proof of Stake. In a Proof of Stake system, anyone with enough buying power can swing the community vote and not necessarily in favour of art promotion. I don’t need to be a connoisseur of art to be part of the NFT art community.

The other argument is that fraud is minimised and authenticity of artwork is guaranteed, because the blockchain can never lie. True, mathematically the blockchain cannot lie, but what if people trusted with writing the block make a mistake, forget an entry, or worse still, lie? The decision on who writes the block in a blockchain(where the immutable record of the NFT is factored in) is voted by the community based on two criteria, Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. If I have enough money to buy enough tokens I can buy into Proof of Stake and write the block but that does not necessarily make me fundamentally honest because of the blockchain. If I have enough computer hardware and a shed in Antarctica I can mine for Proof of Work at relative cheap (low cooling fees) , but again that hardly makes me fundamentally honest due to the blockchain.

Also the blockchain does not need to be attacked. The weakest point does. A browser attack is enough to create fraud. Be mindful that the actual transaction happens on a browser, not on the blockchain. The blockchain just records the transaction once its completed.

So systems are needed and regulations are required within the on-chain architecture and governance, that can look after the interests of the artists, users and community members and not just the influencers and investors. Ensure it’s a fair ground for newer buyers and newer sellers within a stable economic system which is self sustainable and not volatile.

So then is it all a great stroke of innovation or just a ponzi scheme?

The technology of blockchain and, thereby, NFTs, with proper regulation, correct usage and good use cases, can truly solve some complex inefficiencies and inconsistencies that we face in our everyday life. Right now, though, it is kind of like the Wild West. The gold rush moment for a nascent industry to find mainstream acceptance and ride its next growth lever.

Any new technology and system can be used for good or evil intent. The technology is not at fault. People are.

NFTs are new. So there are a lot of weird experiments happening around them, creating a lot of market frothiness. But the underlying technology and core concept is empowering. Blockchains will evolve. NFTs will evolve. Regulations around them will evolve. Market dynamics around them will evolve. But the core concept will survive and transform into more real-world applicable solutions with wider mass acceptance as entrepreneurs figure out products that can be created using this technology that can truly unlock new market potential.

Without wider acceptance and real world use case long term growth is not sustainable. Porting a web 2.0 application idea into a Web 3.0 blockchain and slapping a decentralisation pitch can help in the early hype, but won’t unlock fundamentally meaningful market opportunity.

The present-day NFT craze represents an opportunity for artists to be early adopters and gain access to a few new marketplaces. Not all of them will make a difference, but it can help a few of them build a clientelle because competition is low. There will be some new names and new faces who will define this movement, and there is an opportunity to be part of that. But after this, saturation will start seeping in, and the market will slowly balance itself over time.

Over time if it fails to actually evolve the art market overall, it will be just another tactic in a go-to-market approach for an artist.

About Me:

In my day job I drive product marketing and growth @ Google

For the next few months I will use this publication on Medium titled Metapherse to curate my experiences of learning web 3.0 in the open.Follow me on twitter @hackrlife or on my substack on all things Web 3.0 here.

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Work @ Google. Ex Adobe, SAP, LinkedIn, IBM — Musings on growth, art, investing, life and a few other interests